Samsung Galaxy S4 Unable To Connect To A WiFi Network [Troubleshooting Guide]

Posted on Aug 26 2013 - 11:31am by Harold Hisona

galaxy s3 wifi problemsAmong the problems early adopters of the Samsung Galaxy S4 complained about was related to Wi-Fi connectivity. Some reported they were unable to connect to their network while using a specific security type while others said they simply cannot connect. It took about a month after the release of the flagship that Samsung acknowledged the new device had some issues with some models of routers. The claim were seconded by D-Link who said that there were only two models that were affected by what appeared to be a minor WiFi bug.

With all those inherent issues resolved and after millions of people bought the phone, many are still complaining they were unable to connect to a WiFi network. The way I see it, there are only four possible causes and they are as follow:

  • WiFi network has weak signal or not in range.
  • WiFi login credentials incorrect.
  • Router has a problem.
  • Network’s MAC filtering enabled.

GS4 Weak WiFi Reception

When your phone detects a network with a weak signal, it could mean one thing: you won’t be able to get good connectivity because either you’ll be kicked off the network when the signal drops or you simply cannot connect.

We, however, received numerous emails describing this very same problem and majority of the owners said they are trying to connect to their own network at home. So, distance is never a factor here.

If you were able to connect to your network without having any problems before, the occurrence of this issue might just be temporary.

The first thing you need to do is to soft reset the phone by turning it off, taking the battery out for 30 seconds, then turn the phone back on. After doing this, try to “forget” the network you’re trying to connect to and let the phone detect it again as it would refresh all necessary data for better connectivity.

If doing the previous step won’t solve the problem, try to see if power-cycling your router would help. More often, when connectivity problems arise, it’s the router that’s not properly sending out the signal.

After doing those two procedures and your phone is still getting a weak signal or not at all, backup all your data and do a factory reset.

WiFi Credentials Incorrect

It may sound strange but a lot of owners were complaining they couldn’t connect to their own network simply because their WiFi password won’t work. Of course, the most common advise we could give is “check your password to see if it’s correct.” Then, the owners would reply “yes, my password was right because I didn’t change anything in my network.”

At this point, the simple authentication problem turned out to be a bit complicated. The most logical thing to do is to change the network security type to “Open,” which means no password or authentication requirements. This is, of course, applicable to owners who have full access to their network. If you can connect after doing so, perhaps it’s time you change your password to something else and set the network back to require authentication.

However, if the problem persists after the above procedure, “Forget” your WiFi network from your device and let it detect the new one. Check to see if you can connect without having greeted by an error. If you can, then the problem was with the network data saved in your phone. Clearing them will force the phone to cache new ones and the process often solves the problem.

In case the problem continues to bug you after doing the first two procedures, try to connect to your network using a computer or another smartphone. If you can connect and browse the web with different devices, the problem is with the phone. You can either factory reset it or have an appointment with an authorized technician, who may also end up factory-resetting your phone before doing a general device inspection. Thus, you need to backup all your data.

Router Has A Problem

As what I mentioned earlier, when connectivity problems occur without apparent reason, it is more likely caused by a faulty router.

But before you actually call the hotline of your service provider and demand a replacement, which may take a day or two at the earliest, you may want to do what the reps call “power cycle.”

Simply turn the router off (or you can unplug it from the power source) for about a minute, then turn it back on. Wait about a minute or two (or more) before trying to connect to your network. Sometimes routers may take a little while to boot up and send out a signal.

If your router is connected to a modem, turn it off first then the modem. When turning them back on, go for the modem first then the router. At least, that’s the proper way of power-cycling your network devices.

When all of these procedures fail, call for support, demand a replacement and tell the rep you already did all necessary troubleshooting steps to no avail.

MAC Filtering Enabled

If you have full access to your network, it would be easy to fix this problem. You simply have to log into your router settings and turn filtering off or add the MAC address of your device. To keep your network security tight, we suggest you do the latter. Here’s how you find the MAC address of your Galaxy S4:

  1. Go to the Home screen.
  2. Tap the Menu key.
  3. Tap Settings.
  4. Scroll to and tap About Phone.
  5. Scroll down and find your phone’s MAC address.

Doing the procedure would surely fix the problem given that MAC filtering is the reason why you can’t connect to your network. If adding your device’s MAC address, however, won’t solve the problem, try turning off the filtering this time and see if you can, otherwise, there’s some problem with your router or network as well.

Having problems with your phone?

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About the Author

Harold is a tech blogger and reviewer. He's been with The Droid Guy for more than 3 years writing news, updates, tutorials, how tos and troubleshooting articles. Feel free to email him at [email protected], follow him on Twitter or join the community he created to help smartphone owners.