Several smartphone features may only work if the smartphone is online. That means the phone must stay connected to a Wi-Fi network for Internet access, especially when cellular data is unavailable.
That said, it’s frustrating whenever your smartphone unexpectedly disconnects from the Wi-Fi network and even infuriating when this happens repeatedly shortly after every time you reconnect. Here are possible causes why you can’t maintain your Wi-Fi connection and how you can fix it.
Your devices need to restart
For many problems, a simple restart of the device is often the one and only solution. So before considering the other causes below, reboot your smartphone now and see if your Wi-Fi disconnection no longer occurs. Restart the router or access point too if you have access to them.
There are too many wireless users in the network
There’s a limit to how many wireless users can connect to a single access point. If there’s an excess of connected devices, performance issues and sudden disconnections will likely happen. If you have admin access to the Wi-Fi network, force other devices to disconnect. Add or change the Wi-Fi password to stop these devices from reconnecting. Alternatively, see if there’s a different and less congested access point in the same network and connect through it.
The smartphone is getting poor or no Wi-Fi signal
Your smartphone is probably too far from the access point. Move closer to improve your phone’s signal strength and prevent sudden disconnections.
Radio interference is messing with the Wi-Fi
Microwave ovens and other appliances may emit electromagnetic radiation that’s strong enough to disrupt your Wi-Fi connection. Turn these off or move your network equipment and smartphone away from them.
Your smartphone’s stored Wi-Fi network configuration is outdated
Has it been sometime since you last connected to a particular Wi-Fi network? Your smartphone may have some stored configurations for that network that is no longer applicable. Forget the Wi-Fi connection then try reconnecting.
Smart Wi-Fi settings may be disconnecting your phone
Despite the intention to bring added convenience and better experience, some smart features of your phone may be counterintuitively cutting off your Wi-Fi. Look for and disable (or enable, whichever is appropriate) features with names like the following:
- WiFi Assistant
- Intelligent WiFi
- Turn on Wi-Fi Automatically
- Wi-Fi Power Saving Mode
- Smart Network Switch
- Keep Wi-Fi On during Sleep
- Wi-Fi Scanning
Your apps may be turning your smartphone Wi-Fi off
If given permission, some apps can enable or disable the phone’s Wi-Fi. See if your smartphone has a Wi-Fi control history to see which apps recently toggled your Wi-Fi on or off, then configure the settings within these apps to disable their control over the Wi-Fi.
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Someone in the network is disconnecting your smartphone on purpose
Users with the right know-how can make use of apps or tools to kick you out the network. If you’re a guest Wi-Fi user, try looking for the one in charge and request permission to connect to the network. Also ask for network rules and policies, if there any, so you can abide by these and remain on the network.
Conversely, especially in public locations, maybe you’re connected to a random public, unprotected Wi-Fi hotspot that’s already compromised by a random hacker. It’s best you stay away from these hotspots.
The MAC address keeps changing
Routers and access points with MAC address filtering or a similar feature enabled will require devices to have a static, whitelisted MAC address to connect. Think of a MAC address as a unique identifier of your phone that’s associated with its network interface controller, which in this case is the phone’s built-in Wi-Fi.
For security purposes, some smartphones have an enabled-by-default feature that randomizes their MAC address when they connect to a wireless network. This may stop phones from connecting to networks with MAC address filtering in effect, so disable the feature.
Your smartphone needs an update
When was the last time you updated your phone’s operating system? See if there’s a new OS version that’s ready for download and install. OS updates often bring fixes to several issues, including those related to the Wi-Fi.
Your smartphone needs to reset
Check if your phone has a “reset network settings” or similar option to restore your Wi-Fi, mobile data, and Bluetooth to their default setting. But if this issue of sudden disconnections is just one of several problems currently affecting your phone, you may need to do a factory data reset instead.
Your smartphone is old
If all other smartphones and wireless devices can connect to the Wi-Fi just fine, then yours just might be old and faulty. Maybe it’s time to face the fact that your aging smartphone needs a replacement. You can always give your old phone new life by repurposing it.