How to Connect Your Android Device to a Wi-Fi Network - dummies

How to Connect Your Android Device to a Wi-Fi Network

By Dan Gookin

After you’ve activated the Wi-Fi radio, your Android phone or tablet automatically connects to any known Wi-Fi network, one that you’ve accessed before where the password is still valid. If not, you can hunt down an available network. Follow these steps:

  1. Visit the Wi-Fi screen in the Settings app.
  2. Select a wireless network from the list.
    Available Wi-Fi networks appear on the screen, similar to what’s shown in the figure. When no wireless networks are listed, you’re out of luck regarding wireless access from your current location.
  3. If prompted, type the network password.

    Tap the Show Password check box so that you can see what you’re typing; some of those network passwords can be long.

  4. Tap the CONNECT button.
    The network is connected immediately. If not, try the password again.
  5. If prompted to remember the network, do so.
    Some Androids may ask whether you want to automatically reconnect to the same Wi-Fi network in the future. Choose that option.
Hunting down a wireless network.


While your Android is connected to a wireless network, the Wi-Fi Connected status icon appears atop the touchscreen, looking like the one shown here. This icon indicates that the Wi-Fi radio is on and the device is connected and communicating with a Wi-Fi network.

  • Some public networks require that you sign in to their web pages after connecting. The sign-in page may appear automatically. If not, open the web browser app and visit any page to be redirected to the sign-in page. Heed the directions there to gain network access.
  • A wireless network without a password is considered unsecure. The absence of security makes it easier for the Bad Guys to do bad-guy things on the network. My advice is to use the connection but avoid sending sensitive information over a nonsecured public network.

  • The Wi-Fi connection works best when you plan on being in a specific location for an extended time. That’s because the Wi-Fi signal goes only so far. If you wander too far away, the signal — and your connection — are lost.
  • The Wi-Fi connection stays active until you wander out of range. To deliberately disconnect from a Wi-Fi network, turn off the device’s Wi-Fi radio.