Reasons to Get Unable to Join Network Error While Connecting WiFi

There are some instances where even if you have the right wireless key, your laptop shows issues with connecting to the wireless network. One of the common error messages most people get in that situation is "Unable to join Network". It is an error message you may get while your computer is trying to connect to WiFi connection and failed. Culprit can be either WiFi adapter or the Access Point itself. This tutorial explains the major reasons to get this error while joining a WiFi and explains possible solutions to fix it. Here I have arranged the steps in a systematic way to make it easy for you to follow.

Steps to Solve -Unable to Join Network
  1. Wireless Interference

    Cordless Phones, microwave oven etc which operate in 2.4Ghz bandwidth can disturb the signals from Access Point. This may cause the error "Unable to join Network". In order to solve it either you should stop using such devices while using WiFi or change the frequency to 5GHz. You can change the frequency of the WiFi (it is possible for 802.11n and higher versions) from the Wireless settings page of AP (or router).

  2. Check the strength of  Signal

    Weak signal prevents adapters capture the network and join. You should ensure that the distance between Router and your computer is reasonable. If there are any major signal barriers like thick wall, hard objects etc, they can weaken the signal.

  3. Check Whether Adapter or AP is faulty

    Try to connect another computer to the same WiFi. If other computers are connecting without any issues, you may click on the link below to continue the troubleshooting steps.
    Troubleshoot The WiFi Adapter

  4. Power Cycle the AP

    In most cases a power cycle can fix this issue. To learn more about this step, visit the link below.
    How to Power Cycle a Router

  5. Change the Wireless Channel

    Another possible solution is to change the WiFi channel. You can select channels 1,6 or 11.

  6. Disable the Encryption and Try to connect

    In a few cases after disabling wireless encryption, the error message "Unable to join Network" disappeared. Changing the encryption from WEP to WAP or Vise versa is also fine.

  7. Check MAC filter settings

    Make sure the MAC Address filtering is disabled on your  Router/AP. If your computer's MAC address is blacklisted by router, you may get "Unable to join Network" error message. You can find this option under "Wireless MAC filter" under "Wireless Tab" on Router setup page.

  8. Change the Wireless Mode

    Try changing the mode to "g and b" or "g only" and check for the issue.

  9. Change SSID

    If none of the above steps work, you may logon to setup page and change the Wireless Network Name (SSID). After changing the SSID, try to connect to the new network.

  10. Update Router Firmware

    It is advised to use latest firmware on your Router/AP. Updating to latest firmware can fix most of the bugs and it can improve the performance.

  11. Reset and Reconfigure

    The final solution is reset and reconfigure the router. To learn more about it, visit the link below.
    How to Reset Access Point

  12. I also recommend you to read the following article if the issue "Unable to Join Network" persists.
    WiFi  Keeps Disconnecting

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