Fix Android Wi-Fi authentication problems with these 9 helpful tips

Sometimes when you try to log in to a wireless network, you experience an authentication error. This is a common problem that is faced by many tablet and Android smartphone users.

What is annoying is the fact that this error pops up even if you have entered the correct password. This could be extremely vexing if you need to get something done urgently like sending an important email or access a file online.

It gets worse if you can’t use the mobile data either, for whatever reasons since there can be a bug that will end up messing up experience.

The Wi-Fi authentication error isn’t necessarily a singular issue, and it could signal something wrong in your Android device or the wireless network or both.

In this guide, we will help you with these Android Wi-Fi authentication problems. You can try one of the proposed solutions and your problem will be solved in a jiffy. If not, then there are lots of other ways in which you can solve your conundrums

Understanding Android Wi-Fi authentication problems

An Android Wi-Fi authentication problem shows up when you are unable to connect to a Wi-Fi network even though the password you have entered is completely valid. Instead of connecting to the network and saving the password for later, the device tells you that it’s authenticating.

After some time, you are told that there is an authentication problem or you see an authentication error beneath the name of the network you are trying to connect to. The first thing that most people do is re-enter the password, to ensure that the password that has been punched in is indeed correct. Unfortunately, sometimes you know for sure that the password is valid, especially if it’s your home network that you always connect to. If this is the case, the issue could be deeper than what can be seen with the naked eye.

We have a compiled a list of possible solutions to help you figure out what caused these Wi-Fi authentication problems in the first place and help you solve them.

Fixing Android Wi-Fi authentication error issues

What works for one device, might not work for the other.  That’s because there could be different underlying issues that led to this problem. If you are certain that the password is correct and your other devices are connecting just fine to the wireless network, chances are that there is a software issue or pairing problem that is just not letting you connect your device to a Wi-Fi network.

1. Reset the Android Wi-Fi connection

The first solution that you can try is resetting the connection between your Android device and the wireless router. Just remove the wireless network from your Android device and add it again as a new connection. This solution usually works for most Android Wi-Fi authentication problems.

  • Go to the Settings app on your device and the look for the Wi-Fi below Network connections.
  • Look for the network that you are trying to connect to and long press the name of the network or its SSID. A popup menu will appear with two options: modify network configuration or forget network.
  • Choose the ‘forget network’
  • Distance yourself enough from the Wi-Fi router so that you just get one signal bar. Then try reconnecting to the network and enter the password again.
  • If all goes well, the password will be authenticated and your device will be connected to the network.

If this solution doesn’t work for you, try the next one.

3. Verifying the wireless name

Most of the time, the ‘authentication failed’ error message is shown when the details of the network such as the username and password do not match. You might be confident that the password is correct, but you might be trying to connect to a different network with the same name.

For example, your neighbor’s router name might be the same as yours. If coincidentally you are trying to connect to another wireless network with the same name using your password, you will get the Android Wi-Fi authentication error for sure. To avoid this problem, just rename your wireless network.

4. Changing the wireless network configuration

No matter which device you are trying to connect to a wireless router, an IP conflict will not let the connection go through. This is true for Android devices too. To solve this issue, change the wireless network setting of the Android device from the default DHCP setting to Static IP.

  • Go to the Settings app on your Android device and select the Wi-Fi as above.
  • Long press the network you want to connect you and then select the modify network config in the popup menu. Some devices display this option as ‘modify network connection’.
  • Go to the next box for advanced options and the look for IP settings. Change it from DHCP to Static. You will be shown an IP Address field.
  • Copy down the information shown in the Static IP field and then delete it. Re-enter the information and save it.
  • If you are confused about the IP address, Netmask, gateway, and DNS to enter, just ask your internet service provider for assistance.

5. Disable Mac Filter on your Router or Add your Wi-Fi Address

You should also check if someone has recently enabled Mac filter on your Wi-Fi router settings. You need to contact the network administrator to disable it or add your Wi-Fi address to the network that should be able to fix the issue.

6. Select the Airplane mode

We usually don’t use the Airplane mode unless if we do not want to be disturbed or we are actually on a plane. Did you know that this mode can actually solve your Wi-Fi woes? Sometimes your mobile network interferes with the Wi-Fi connection. Try the following:

  • On your Android device, pull down the ‘Quick Setting’ Turn off the Wi-Fi and the mobile network.
  • Turn on the Airplane mode. The setting is present in the Quick Setting menu.
  • While the Airplane mode is active, switch on Wi-Fi and try connecting to the network once more.
  • If the connection is successful, turn off the Airplane mode and enable the mobile network too.

This method might seem strange but it works by resolving a potential conflict between the wireless network and the mobile network.

7. Reset the network on Android

Sometimes it might be cumbersome to find out what exactly is causing the Wi-Fi network authentication error. A simple solution is to just nuke the network setting. Nuking means refreshing all the network settings, including the wireless network, mobile network, and Bluetooth connections.

  • Go to the Settings app on your Android device and go to ‘Backup & reset’.
  • Go to ‘Network settings reset’ option in the menu.
  • There will be a ‘Reset Settings’ button. Press it and wait for the process to complete.
  • After completion, go back to the Wi-Fi menu and try connecting again.

You will not lose any important data during this reset, but all the network details will be erased.

8. Update your Android software

Sometimes the issue can be resolved by ensuring that your phone software is up to date. If you delay the update, you might face Wi-Fi disconnection issues.

  • Go to the Settings app on your Android device and go down to the ‘About Phone’ tab.
  • You will see a menu option called ‘System Updates’ or ‘Updates’. It will show the available updates for your device.
  • In some Android devices, there is a separate System Updates tab in the Settings menu or a separate app.
  • If a software update is available, download and install it, then reboot your device.

After you are done installing the updates, try connecting again to see if the Android Wi-Fi authentication error has been resolved. Otherwise, try the next option.

9. Android Factory reset

If everything else fails, try the factory reset option. It will get rid of all the Android apps, network settings, and data from your phone. One of these could be the culprit behind the problem. Before proceeding, ensure that your personal data is backed up.

  • Go to Settings > Backup & reset > Factory data reset.
  • After doing the above, go back to the Settings app and try connecting again.

If the problem persists despite trying all the proposed solutions above, you might need professional help. Take your device to an authorized service center and get it checked for hardware and software problems that could be causing the connection issues.

M. Omer