So, your Chromebook keeps disconnecting from the Internet WiFi. And you’re tired of it.
- Why does it constantly drop the connection?
- What’s making it lose Internet all the time?
- Why is it seemingly random?
- Why does it work sometimes and not other times?
- And WHY does it disconnect when I need it the most out of the entire time?
(I hate that.)
In this article, we’ll talk about:
- The possible reasons why your connection drops
- Different troubleshooting methods to resolve the problem
- How to keep your Chromebook connected
Sound good? Let’s dive in.
And feel free to post a comment if you still can’t get it fixed.
Why does my Chromebook keep disconnecting from WiFi?
If your Chromebook doesn’t stay connected and loses Internet connection randomly, it gets annoying. Fast.
Thankfully, there are some things you can do to troubleshoot the issue and find out why it disconnects from your WiFi.
Go through them, in order, for the best results.
We’ll take it from easy to hard using the process of elimination by our side to see if we can resolve the connection problems.
Some people have reported that their Chromebook USED to work just fine, but over time, the connection starts dropping more frequently.
Anything from updates to hardware damage can cause this.
Rebooting the router sometimes also fixes the issue right away (which is an excellent starting point).
Other people report disconnecting intermittent problems- such as working for just a few seconds and then disconnecting again.
Then you have to push in your router password again over and over again.
How to troubleshoot and fix WiFi connection issues on Chromebook
Here are some solutions you can try to resolve the disconnection issues.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to drop me a comment below. I’ll help you out as soon as I can.
Update Chrome OS
Not being able to stay connected is a very common bug as of Chrome 80+.
The bug reports for this issue have skyrocketed and peaked, but many Chromebook owners are still facing the same “automatic disconnecting issues.”
Some have been able to fix them simply by updating their Chromebook to Chrome 81 or higher.
Try this first, as it’s the easiest solution (and something you should already be doing anyway).
You can check for updates by:
Launching Chrome > Menu > Help >About Google Chrome > Check for updates > Update
After you update, you’ll need to reboot your device. Do this.
Once you get back on, log back in. Check your WiFi connection to verify it’s connected. Connect if not.
Then browse as you normally do and see if you still disconnect.
Run the Chrome Network Diagnostics Tool
This tool tells you why your Chromebook can’t connect to the Internet.
It’s pretty cryptic to the newbie who doesn’t know anything about technical details.
But if you’re handy (or you know how to search about network errors), you can use this tool to see why your Chromebook’s connection is unstable.
Additionally, you can use it to copy/paste the errors into the Chromebook forums so a product expert can help you out.
These error logs help experts find a solution to your problem faster.
Connectivity Diagnostics is a free extension you can download from the Chrome Web Store.
Sit closer to the router
Moving your laptop next to the router may help increase the signal strength.
Try this and see if it stops the disconnections or unstable signals.
It could be just that you’ve been using your device on the borderline of max range and that’s why SOMETIMES it works and sometimes it doesn’t.
I know my crappy connection sometimes doesn’t play nice so I need to relocate my laptop closer to the router. So much for portability.
Check on another device
If it doesn’t work on your laptop, try using your phone or another computer to connect to the same WiFi.
As obvious as this seems, you may be surprised when you find out that the problem was your router the whole time.
Sometimes you just need to unplug that thing and replug it in to get your connection up and running.
Disconnect and reconnect from WiFi
The next step?
Just like how restarting a router magically fixes Internet problems, we’re going to do the same with your WiFi card/receiver.
- To do this, just click on your picture at the bottom-right corner of the screen.
- Then hover your mouse over WiFi. Click on it and disconnect.
- Then click on it again and reconnect again.
See if it fixes your intermittent Internet connection issues.
Check available bandwidth
You should make sure that your home network has enough bandwidth to go around.
Multiple devices drain the available bandwidth faster and can cause disconnection, slowness, or lag between devices.
Note that bandwidth isn’t some mysterious thing that constantly drains in the background. It’s a “fixed” amount that has a specific utilization percentage.
The more it’s being used, the more prone to lag or disconnections it becomes.
For example, if your home has 100mb of available bandwidth:
- Your phone uses 25% (25mb)
- Your desktop uses 50% (50mb)
- Your TV uses 20% (20mb)
- Your other laptop uses 20% (20mb)
- And your Chromebook uses 20% (20mb)
There wouldn’t be enough bandwidth to support all your devices at the same time.
Some will disconnect or lag while they “wait” for more bandwidth to become available.
Other people on the same WiFi network also use up the same available bandwidth, so keep that in mind.
You may need to upgrade to a higher package if this constantly happens between devices. If it’s just you, try shutting down the other devices when you use your laptop.
Does your Chromebook still D/C? Or does it magically fix?
Try another access point
The next thing to try is to use a different network.
If you try a friend’s network, school WiFi, or a public access point, see if that resolves the issue.
If you don’t D/C anymore, then it’s likely a problem with your local area network (LAN) or your Chromebook’s WiFi receiver.
Of course, don’t log in to anything personal or that contains sensitive data on a network you don’t trust completely.
Check your Chrome extensions and Play Store apps
Chromebooks have two places you can add apps:
- Chrome Web Store
- Play Store
While Chrome extensions can’t affect your WiFi connection, Play Store apps are a different story.
Everything from connection monitors to free VPNs all can contribute to connection problems. If an app doesn’t work right, that can cause some WiFi issues.
Apps can be coded poorly or become corrupt. Updates can go wrong or screw up the base code. If you’re guilty of installing a ton of different apps, you may want to go through the list of them and do a cleanup.
Start by uninstalling the primary culprits and see what happens. If the Internet suddenly starts up again, then that means it was an app that was the problem the whole time!
Some people have reported that they just deleted a bunch of apps, one by one, and it magically stopped the WiFi dropping.
Some apps were said to be culprits of making your Chromebook constantly disconnect:
- Google Hangouts
- Google Docs offline
- Super Equalizer
- Nimbus Screenshot
- And more
Whatever extensions you have on Chrome, try turning them off one by one.
You can do this by going to Chrome > Menu > More tools > Extensions to see a list of all your extensions.
From there, you can disable them or remove them one at a time to troubleshoot the technical issue.
This is THE fix that has helped a ton of different users. A lot of people just pile on extensions and apps and never think about the consequences.
All of those require some bandwidth to process every time you load a web page where the extension runs. When you overload your bandwidth, your router or ISP can drop the connection.
So cleaning up your Chrome extensions can stabilize your WiFi connection and make it run A LOT faster.
Seriously, your Chromebook will run like new again.
Don’t overlook this approach. It really works.
Every extension you add to your browser means more bandwidth demand.
Your connection can only handle so much before it slows down or drops it entirely. If you don’t want to uninstall/disable each extension, use Guest mode to quickly test a version of Chrome without any extensions or apps.
Try Guest mode
Guest mode allows you to run Chrome without any apps installed.
This makes it extremely simple to rule out if it’s a corrupted or poorly coded app that you downloaded which can be screwing up your system.
If it magically works when you sign in as a guest, then that means it’s likely some app you downloaded from the Play Store is screwing with your WiFi.
At the login screen, click on the “Guest” button at the bottom of the screen. This will let you log on as a Guest, which is a clean slate from all Chrome apps.
See if the WiFi issue persists. If it does, then you can rule out that it’s NOT an app that’s causing the problems.
Flush the DNS/DHCP cache
The DNS and DHCP data can cause your Chromebook to automatically throw up a cached connection and this will bring you to the “No internet” page on Chrome.
Sometimes, you’ll get a “DNS Lookup failed” error.
If your Chromebook or router caches this data, it’ll show it each time until you flush the cache.
Even if your WiFi access starts working again (or always worked), you’ll still see the error page when you try to launch Chrome.
You can flush the cache on both your router and Chromebook by doing a full reboot.
- For your Chromebook, use the restart option in the menu to do a soft reset.
- For your router, power it down completely and leave it off for 5 minutes.
- Afterward, turn on your router and let it establish a connection (solid lights).
Then power up your Chromebook and connect to it. See if this fixes the issue.
Some routers require you to log on to the gateway to flush the cache.
You can usually do this by going to 192.168.1.1 or 192.168.1.0 (these are IPs you type into the URL bar on Chrome). Log in with your credentials and then find a setting to flush the cache.
Depending on your router, ISP, and configuration, this will vary. Call your service provider for help. Or look up a guide online.
When you’re out of options, you can try a factory reset by doing a Powerwash.
This will completely erase your Chromebook and restore it to the first day you got it.
Do you remember if your WiFi was working then?
Or was your system buggy since day one?
If it USED to work, there may have been some kind of problem that it acquired over time.
A corrupted update, a broken or poorly coded web extension, or even a Play Store app that broke your WiFi connection (it’s possible).
Regardless, restoring it to the default settings may just fix your problem.
The first thing you need to do is consider if there are any important documents you want to save before you wipe it clean. If so, be sure to save them to an SD card, flash drive, USB hard drive, or cloud service.
This process will wipe all your local data (files in your Downloads folder), custom directories, Chromebook settings, wallpaper, etc. So you’ll want to ensure you have everything saved you want to keep.
When you’re ready, follow this guide to start the process.
(Be sure to save your data before you start.)
And if you get stuck or have any questions, post a comment and I’ll help you out.
Report the bug
This was a popular bug a few updates ago but now has been fixed.
If you’re still seeing the bug occurring, report it by giving feedback to the Chrome team.
To do this, hit “ALT + SHIFT + I” and submit a bug report.
Provide as many details as possible and send it over.
This will help the developers address and fix the issue.
You can also see if there’s already a bug report submitted at the bug ticket database here.
Why does my HP, Samsung, Dell, Lenovo, or Acer Chromebook keep disconnecting from WiFi?
It doesn’t matter what make or model you have- if you disconnect from the Internet and constantly lose your connection, there’s something else at play.
I suggest using the steps above and troubleshooting the problem.
Some Chromebooks may appear to have more connection problems compared to others, but that’s probably just because they possess more of the market share.
More owners mean a larger sample size of users reporting WiFi problems. Unless you actually have a defective model, there should be no specific reason it’s particular to YOUR Chromebook.
Parts do wear and tear over time, so it’s possible the receiver in your unit has become damaged. But if it’s covered under warranty, get in touch with the manufacturer and replace the device.
Most models come with a 2 or 3 year warranty, so use it to your benefit and replace it if it’s damaged.
Otherwise, try to fix the problem yourself.
Did you get your Chromebook connected to the Internet?
Were you able to resolve the WiFi issues? Or are you still having trouble staying connected to your WiFi access point?
If so, it could very well mean that you have a defective WiFi receiver.
Remember, the trick is to use the process of elimination to find out what’s causing the issue.
If you’ve tried using other networks, updating Chrome OS, and even did a Powerwash and it’s still not working, then report the bug on the Chromium forums, and contact the manufacturer for an exchange if you’re still covered under warranty.
If you were able to resolve the WiFi connection problems, post your troubleshooting process here to help out fellow readers.
Or if you found this page useful, let me know as well!
Thanks for reading.