Wireless connection is disabled. How to turn it on?

Updated: February 26, 2023
6 min read
Wireless connection is disabled. How to turn it on?
by Anton Hrytsaienko
Tech Expert & Writer
Checked by
Quality Control team

Often the "Wireless connection disabled" error appears as a result of running a troubleshooting diagnostic. The error itself shows up with a "not fixed" status. This error is most commonly encountered in Windows 7. With Windows 8 and Windows 10, however, you can also run diagnostics and see a message saying that wireless is disabled and that the problem has not been fixed.

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Of course, no one will just run troubleshooting. It means that there are some problems with the connection to the Internet via the Wi-Fi network. Most likely, the wireless module is really disabled. There is a red cross on the notification panel and the status "No connection" near the adapter itself.

In this article, we will give some recommendations that should help you get rid of this problem. First, let's look at what this error looks like in Windows 7:

Wireless connection is disabled

Note that the status of the adapter "Wireless network connection" (or "Wireless network" in Windows 10) is "No connection". And the diagnostic result is "Uncorrected".

Although, as practice shows, sometimes the diagnostic tool fixes this error automatically. The status "Fixed" appears, and the Wi-Fi starts working.

Well, in the notification panel, next to the connection icon, you probably just have a red cross. And if you click on it, you'll see the message "No connection - No available connections". In Windows 7, that icon looks a little different.

So the wireless connection is disabled for some reason. Windows can't fix the problem on its own, so we need to turn it on manually. That is what we are going to do next. I suggest that we start with the simplest and most effective solutions.

Troubleshooting Windows networking problems

It is quite possible that you have not run the troubleshooting yet. Therefore, the first thing I advise you to do is to use this solution. Right-click the connection icon and select "Troubleshooting". And if Windows finds a fault, it will most likely offer to fix it - agree.

Maybe Windows will enable the wireless connection itself, and everything will work. If not, see the following solutions.

How do I turn on wireless in Windows?

Examine your laptop from all sides, including near the keyboard. We need a separate switch, or button, that is responsible for turning the wireless connection on/off. It usually has a wireless icon, antenna, or something like that next to them. It looks something like this:

Wireless connection is disabled

If there is no such hardware switch, then look at the keyboard. There should be a separate button with a wireless icon on it. As a rule, this should be pressed in combination with the FN key. For example, FN + F2.

It depends on the particular laptop. As the switch itself and the keys can be different.

After using the switch, or keyboard shortcut, the available Wi-Fi networks should appear in Windows.

Is the problem still there? Check the hardware switch, keyboard shortcut, and other solutions again.

Additional solutions

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And so, what else can be done:

  • Reboot the laptop.
  • Recall what caused the "Wireless connection disconnected" error. Maybe some program was installed, or some settings were changed before that.
  • In Windows 7, open the Mobility Center with the Win + X shortcut and try to enable wireless there.
  • If you have Windows 10, try turning on the network in the settings, under "Airplane Mode". Sometimes this helps.
  • Check if the WLAN Auto setup service is running.
  • You may have a program installed on your laptop from the laptop manufacturer that is responsible for controlling wireless networks, power, or function keys. You can view the settings there. If there is no such program, you can download and install it. You can download it from the manufacturer's website for your laptop model. It is usually under Drivers/Utilities.
  • You can try simply removing the Wi-Fi adapter from the Device Manager and rebooting. Before doing so, it is advisable to download the Wi-Fi adapter driver. Especially if you have Windows 7.
  • A difficult but workable solution is to disassemble the laptop, remove the Wi-Fi module, and tape one contact on it. After this procedure, Wi-Fi will always be on. Regardless of the switches, function buttons, and settings.

It is possible that there are other solutions. If you know how to solve this problem in another way, write about it in the comments section. You can also describe your own case there.

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