Connecting to the internet when you’re setting up your Windows 11 PC ensures you get the latest security updates. You’ll need an internet connection to finish setting up a device running Windows 11 Home.

If you have problems getting connected to the internet during setup, we have some things you can try to help you get connected. We’ve separated these tips into a few different parts—steps to try on your home Wi-Fi router, on the PC you’re setting up, or on another device. Sometimes, you might need to try a combination of things to get connected.

On your home Wi-Fi router

  • Restart your modem and Wi-Fi router at home. This helps create a new connection to your internet service provider (ISP). When you do this, everyone that is connected to your Wi-Fi network will be temporarily disconnected. The steps you take to restart your modem and router can vary, but here are the general steps. (Note: If you have a cable modem/Wi-Fi router combo device, you only need to follow the steps for the single device.)

    1. Unplug the power cable for the Wi-Fi router from the power outlet.

    2. Unplug the power cable for the modem from the power outlet.

      Some modems have a backup battery. If you unplug the modem and lights stay on, remove the battery from the modem.

    3. Wait at least 10 seconds or so.

      If you had to remove the battery from the modem, put it back in.

    4. Plug the modem back into the power outlet. The lights on the modem will blink. Wait for them to stop blinking.

    5. Plug your router back into the power outlet.

      Wait a few minutes for the modem and router to fully power on. You can usually tell when they’re ready by looking at the status lights on the two devices.

    6. On your PC, try to connect again.

  • Make sure your Wi-Fi router is set to broadcast the network name (SSID). Check this if you don’t see your Wi-Fi network name appear in the list of available networks on your PC. To learn how to make sure your router is broadcasting the network name, check the documentation for your router.

On your PC

  • Make sure the physical Wi‑Fi switch on your laptop is turned on. An indicator light usually shows when it's on. Not all devices have a physical Wi-Fi switch.

  • Move closer to your Wi-Fi router or access point. This helps to make sure you’re in range of your network at home or work and can help improve signal strength. Five full signal bars indicates the strongest connection.

  • Make sure you have the correct Wi-Fi network password. Double check your Wi-Fi network password and confirm you’re joining the correct network.

  • Try connecting to a network on a different frequency band. Many Wi-Fi routers broadcast at two different frequency bands: 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. These can appear as separate networks in the list of available Wi-Fi networks on your PC. If the list of available Wi-Fi networks includes both a 2.4 GHz network and a 5 GHz network, try connecting to the other network.

  • Connect to a different Wi-Fi network. If there’s a different Wi-Fi network that you trust, try to connect to it.

  • Use a wired Ethernet connection. If your PC has an Ethernet port, plug in an Ethernet cable, and then plug the other end into an Ethernet port on your router. If your PC doesn’t have an Ethernet port but you want to try this option, you might consider getting a USB to Ethernet adapter.

  • Connect to a cellular network instead. If your PC has a SIM card slot or built-in eSIM, try to connect to cellular a network with your PC and see if you can get an internet connection that way. For more info, see Cellular settings in Windows.

  • Check and reinstall the Wi-Fi network adapter drivers (advanced). If you don’t see any Wi-Fi networks listed when you’re setting up your PC and see an error message, you might need to reinstall Wi-Fi network adapter drivers. Here’s how:

    1. On a different PC, download the necessary Wi-Fi network adapter drivers from the manufacturer’s website.

    2. Copy the drivers to a USB flash drive. The .inf file must be in the root of the flash drive and not in any subfolders.

    3. On the PC you’re setting up, plug the USB flash drive into a USB port on your PC.

    4. Press Shift + F10 to open a Command Prompt window from setup.

    5. Type diskpart and press Enter. If prompted, select Yes to allow it.

    6. In the new DiskPart window, type list volume and press Enter.

      Note the letter of the USB drive, which will be listed in the column under Ltr.

    7. Press Shift + F10 to open a Command Prompt window from setup.

    8. In the command prompt, type pnputil /add-driver <USBDriveLetter>:\ *.inf, and then press Enter. The full command should look like this: pnputil /add-driver d:\ *.inf

      Replace <USBDriveLetter> with the drive letter for your USB flash drive, such as d:\.

    9. You might need to scan for devices afterwards. To do this, at the command prompt, type pnputil /scan-devices, and then press Enter.

On another device

  • Try to connect to the same Wi-Fi network on a different device. If you can connect, the source of the problem is likely due to your device. If you can't connect to the network on any device, it might be a problem with your Wi-Fi router or internet service provider.

  • Turn on mobile hotspot on your phone. If you have mobile hotspot on your mobile phone as part of your data plan, you can use it to get your Windows device connected to the internet. On your phone, turn on your hotspot, and then you should see the hotspot in the list of available Wi-Fi networks on your PC. Connect to it and enter the password if necessary. After you’re connected, you can go to the network properties and set the network as metered to help reduce data usage when setting up your PC.

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