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How to Connect an Android Phone or Tablet to WiFi

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Support.com Tech Pro Team
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Introduction

This guide will walk you through connecting your Android smartphone to Wi-Fi.

1 Credentials

In order to connect to a wireless network, you must have the required credentials. These are:
  • Wireless Network Name (SSID)
  • Wireless Network Key (Password)

Finding Network Credentials

Most wireless routers/gateways have a label with the default credentials. If the credentials aren't there, look in the devices documentation.
Default Wi-Fi credentials highlighted on router/gateway sticker.

If your Internet Service Provider (ISP) installed the wireless router or gateway, they might have left you a setup sheet which may have the credentials.

? Do you know your Wireless Network name (SSID) and Key?

  1. Yes
  2. No

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This guide will walk you through connecting your Android smartphone to Wi-Fi.
In order to connect to a wireless network, you must have the required credentials. These are:
  • Wireless Network Name (SSID)
  • Wireless Network Key (Password)

Finding Network Credentials

Most wireless routers/gateways have a label with the default credentials. If the credentials aren't there, look in the devices documentation.
Default Wi-Fi credentials highlighted on router/gateway sticker.

If your Internet Service Provider (ISP) installed the wireless router or gateway, they might have left you a setup sheet which may have the credentials.

Depending on what device (Smartphone or Tablet) and which generation you have, the menu theme and options might look slightly different on your screen. However, the steps should be similar across all Android devices and generations.

  1. From the main screen of your Android device, tap on the Apps button.
    Home screen with Apps button highlighted.
  2. Then look for and tap on Settings.
    Apps page with Settings icon highlighted.
  3. Go to Wi-Fi.
    Settings page with Wi-Fi highlighted.
  4. Make sure the Wi-Fi feature is enabled by flipping the On / Off switch to the On position then wait for the network list to populate and tap on the Wi-Fi network that you want to connect to.
    Wi-Fi settings with toggle highlighted with arrow pointing to toggle and list of available networks.
  5. Your Android device will automatically connect to the network if there is no security enabled, or you have connected to it in the past. The Wi-Fi network name will show Connected underneath and the Wi-Fi symbol will fill up in the top right corner of the screen.
    Wi-Fi settings page with arrows pointing to connected Wi-Fi network and Wi-Fi symbol in the status bar.
  6. If the Wi-Fi network requires a password, then you will see a small padlock next to the Wi-Fi symbol, which also means the connection is secure. Tapping on a secured Wi-Fi networks name will prompt you to enter the password. Passwords are always case sensitive. Type it in using the on screen keyboard then tap Connect.
    Secure and unsecure Wi-Fi symbols shown.
    Wi-Fi settings page with arrow pointing to field to type in your security key and another arrow pointing to Connect.
  7. If the Wi-Fi network you are trying to connect to is hidden, then tap the More option which looks like three dots positioned vertically, on the top right corner of the screen, then tap Add network.
    Wi-Fi settings page with arrow pointing to the Menu icon.
    Wi-Fi settings page with Menu open and Add Network is highlighted.
  8. Enter the Wi-Fi networks name using the on screen keyboard and tap Save if no password is required to connect. If a password is needed to connect to the Wi-Fi network then tap on Security and select the security type. Type in the password, then tap Save.
    Wi-Fi settings page with arrow pointing to a manually typed network name and another arrow pointing to the security type dialog box.
    Wi-Fi settings page with an arrow pointing to the security key typed in and another arrow pointing to save.

At this point your Android device should be connected to Wi-Fi.

As an alternate way you can also try the following method:

  1. Swipe downwards from the top side of the screen.
    Home scree with arrow indicating to swipe your finger down from top of the screen.
  2. Look for the Wi-Fi symbol in the drop down menu and tap on the word below it. If you're not connected to any network, it will say Wi-Fi. If you're already connected to a network, it will show its name.
    Quick Menu options with Wi-Fi highlighted.
  3. Make sure the Wi-Fi feature is enabled by flipping the On / Off switch to the On position then wait for the network list to populate and tap on the Wi-Fi network that you want to connect to.
    Wi-Fi quick settings with arrow pointing to highlighted toggle and another arrow pointing to the list of available wifi networks.
To help troubleshoot the problem we should check if other devices can connect to the wireless network.

If other wireless devices are connected to the network and functioning properly, chances are the router is OK. It's possible there is an environmental issue. Do you have a portable wireless device (Smart Phone, Tablet, Laptop, etc.) that you can put in the same area to test and see if that device's wireless connection still functions as intended in that location?

If you haven't already, please try power cycling the device you're working with. To do so, simply turn it off, wait 30 seconds and turn it back on again.
Check your Android user manual for any specific requirements to connect to Wi-Fi.

The device needs to be within a reasonable range of the router in order to connect and have the best connection speeds.

  • In general, in most homes, you can be up to 30 feet from your router for a decent connection.
  • From 30' to 50' away, the speeds will be slower, and may drop occasionally, but it should be usable.
  • Greater than 50' away, and the signal will most likely be too weak to overcome interference. The speeds will be slow, and the connection may be sporadic.

The above numbers are approximates only. Optimal range may vary based on router make and model.

Your router may need to be relocated to a more centralized location in order to provide better coverage for all your devices.

Good Placement

A house, separated into rooms detailing how placing Wi-Fi in the center of a house will provide better coverage to reach all devices. Diagram.

Bad Placement

A house, separated into rooms detailing how placing Wi-Fi in the corner of the house can cause some devices to not have a Wi-Fi signal. Diagram.

Since this appears to be a range issue that can be resolved by putting the router in closer proximity to the device's intended use area, we recommend moving the router to a more centralized location.
If wireless signal is not reaching your device, and relocating your router or the device itself to be in closer proximity is not possible or doesn't resolve the issue, a great way to boost wireless signal without replacing existing equipment is to acquire and install a range extender. Range extenders work with your existing wireless router as a type of wireless repeater used to expand the reach of wireless signal in your home.