Surface can find my wireless network but can’t connect

Here are some solutions to try if your wireless network appears to be available on your Surface but you can’t connect to Wi-Fi.

Before you begin, check your symptoms

Important: Before trying any of these solutions, make sure that the symptoms you have are the same as those described below. If you’re having other issues with Wi-Fi, see Can’t connect to a wireless network for other solutions.

Check the Wi-Fi settings on your Surface:

  • Go to Start , and select Settings > Network & Internet > Wi-Fi.

What you see

  • Wi-Fi is On.

  • In Settings > Network & Internet > Airplane mode, Airplane mode is also Off.

  • Your wireless network is in the list of available networks but you can’t connect to it.

  • The wireless network icon is in the taskbar.

Can’t connect to network

Make sure you’re using the correct password for your router

If you’re not sure what your network password is, see How to find your wireless network password.

If you can now connect to your wireless network but still can’t access the Internet, see Can’t connect to a wireless network for other solutions.

Check your network on another device

If your wireless network appears in the list of available networks on your Surface but you can’t connect, you should first make sure the network is working properly on another device. Can you connect to your wireless network and go online from another PC, tablet, or smartphone?

  • If your wireless network doesn’t work on any other devices, the problem might be with the network or hardware itself. Go to Wireless network doesn’t work on other devices below.

  • If you can connect to your network on another device but not on your Surface, see Wireless network works on other devices but not on Surface below.

If you can’t connect on your Surface or any other device, try the following solutions.

Restart your network hardware and reconnect to Wi-Fi

Try restarting your modem, router, and Surface. Here’s how:

  1. Remove the power cord from your modem and wireless router.

  2. After all lights on the devices go out, wait at least 30 seconds and plug the modem in again.

    Note: Some modems have a battery backup that prevents the lights from going out. For this kind of modem, press and quickly release the reset button. If you don't see a reset button, remove the battery instead.

  3. Plug in your router and wait another minute.

Next, restart your Surface (go to Start   > Power > Restart) and re-connect to Wi-Fi. To see how, go to Get online.

If you still can’t connect, follow the instruction in Advanced troubleshooting: Check to see if MAC address filtering is enabled, at the end of this page.

If you can now connect to your wireless network but still can’t access the Internet, see Can’t connect to a wireless network for other solutions.

If you can connect to Wi-Fi on another device but your Surface still can’t connect, try the following solutions.

Solution 1: Restart your Surface and reconnect to Wi-Fi

Restart (not shut down) your Surface. Go to Start   > Power > Restart to restart your Surface and re-connect to Wi-Fi. To see how, go to Get online.

If your Surface still can’t connect to your wireless network, try Solution 2.

If you can now connect to your wireless network but still can’t access the Internet, see Can’t connect to a wireless network for other solutions.

Solution 2: Check the date and time settings

Check and, if needed, correct your date and time settings on your Surface. Here’s how:

  1. Go to Start , and select Settings > Time & language.

  2. Make sure the info is correct or make changes as necessary.

  3. Try to connect to your Wi-Fi network (to see how, go to Get online.)

If you still can’t connect, follow the instruction in Advanced troubleshooting: Check to see if MAC address filtering is enabled, at the end of this page.

If you can now connect to your wireless network but still can’t access the Internet, see Can’t connect to a wireless network for other solutions.

Note: This solution contains some advanced troubleshooting steps. You should be comfortable with using a command prompt. For more info, see Command Prompt: frequently asked questions .

Wireless routers can prevent unauthorized network access by using a feature called MAC filtering.

Unfortunately, MAC filtering can also prevent your Surface from connecting to your wireless network.

If MAC filtering on your router is turned on, try one of the following:

  • Turn off MAC filtering temporarily to see if that is preventing your Surface from connecting to your wireless network.

  • Add the MAC address of your Surface to your router’s authorized list.

Here’s how to find the MAC address:

  1. Select the search box in the taskbar, enter cmd, and in the search results select Command Prompt.

  2. At the command prompt, enter ipconfig /all and press Enter.

  3. Find the Physical Address. This is the MAC address for your Surface.

    mac-address-med

To change MAC filtering settings on your router or to add the MAC address of your Surface to your router’s authorized list, refer to the info that came with your router or go to the hardware manufacturer's website. If you change your router's MAC filtering settings, restart your router before trying to connect your Surface to your wireless network.

If you still can’t connect, contact your Internet provider or the manufacturer of your wireless router. Let them know that you can see your wireless network from multiple devices but can’t connect to it.

Run the Windows network troubleshooter

The Windows network troubleshooter can help diagnose and fix Wi-Fi problems. Here’s how to use it:

Select the search box in the taskbar, enter network troubleshooter, and in the search results, select Identify and repair network problems.

Install updates

Installing the latest updates can help fix many common Wi-Fi connection issues, but you’ll need to be online to download the updates. If you can’t connect to your home network, here are some other options:

  • Go to a friend’s house, your workplace, or connect to a public network at a coffee shop or library.

  • Use a wired connection.

  • Use the Skype WiFi app to find a Wi-Fi hotspot. For more info, see How do I use Skype WiFi?

  • If you have a Surface Pro 3 or Surface 3, you can use another PC with Internet access to download the file to a USB drive and transfer it to your Surface. For more info, see Install Surface and Windows updates.

  • If you have a Surface 3 with built-in mobile broadband connectivity, you can use it to connect to the Internet and get updates. For more info, see Set up your Surface 3 (4G LTE).

Once you’re online, check for and install the latest updates manually: To see how go to Install Surface and Windows updates.

After installing the updates, restart your surface and are reconnect to Wi-Fi. To see how, go to Get online.

If your Surface still can’t connect to your wireless network, contact us.

If you can now connect to your wireless network but still can’t access the Internet, see Can’t connect to a wireless network for other solutions.

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