How to Fix Wi-Fi Authentication Error on Android

Authentication Error Featured Image

Connecting to Wi-Fi is an essential feature on a mobile phone, and when you are unable to do so, it can be very frustrating. A Wi-Fi authentication error can happen for any number of reasons. If you are having trouble getting your device to connect to a wireless network, there are many different things you can try to make a successful connection.

The authentication error happens when the “handshake” between a router and a device fails. Below are some of the ways you can use to fix Wi-Fi the authentication error on Android.

1. Restart your device

The first thing you should try if you are receiving the authentication error is to restart your device. Most of the time this will solve a lot of issues on your phone.

2. Turn airplane mode on and off

Android Airplane Mode

Another reliable way to clear the cause of authentication errors is to turn the airplane mode on your phone on and off.

Find airplane mode in the connections settings. Tap it to turn it on and then again to turn it off.

3. Reset the network

1. Open the Settings on the device and select Wi-Fi.

2. Choose the network you want to connect to. Locate the setting to “Forget the network.” This will erase data about the network on your phone.

3. Go back to your Wi-Fi settings and select the same network again. Enter the password and let it connect to the network.

4. Reset network settings

Nearly every network issue can be fixed by resetting the network settings on your phone.

1. Open the Settings and locate “Reset network settings.”

Reset Network Settings to fix Authentication Error

2. Tap “Reset Settings,” and when asked, confirm the reset. All Wi-Fi, mobile data, and Bluetooth settings will revert to factory settings.

Any errors should resolve, and you can then connect to the network.

Android Reset Settings Button

5. Check maximum devices supported

There may already be too many devices already connected to the network, which prevents you from connecting. If you have access to the router, you can open your router’s settings and note the connected devices. Disable a few of the devices and try to connect again.

6. Restart the router

It might be the router that is having issues. Restart the router by switching it off for 30 seconds and then on again. Try to connect your phone to the network again once the router is up.

7. Change from DHCP to static

The default IP address assignment on your device may be set to DHCP. If so, it could be causing the authentication error. Changing this to static could be a solution.

1. On any Windows computer click the Start menu.

2. Type cmd and open the command prompt.

3. In the command prompt, type the command ipconfig/all and press Enter. You will see a lot of information, but you only need to focus on the Default Gateway, the IPv4 address, and the DNS Servers.

Windows Find IP Address

4. Write down the values you see for the Gateway and DNS server. You will need to ping the network to find an available IP address on your network.

5. To ping the IP address, open PowerShell and type ping followed by the address you want to test starting with the router IP address and working your way up. This will look like:

6. If the system displays a ping time, there’s already a device on the network with that IP address. But, if the response reads “Destination host unreachable,” it means the IP address is available, and you can use it to connect your device to Wi-Fi. Write down the value you find.

Windows Destination Host Unreachable

Input those values into your Android device by opening Settings and locating your Wi-Fi settings.

1. Tap and hold the network you want to connect to.

2. Select Advanced.

3. Change the setting from DHCP to static.

Android change Dhcp to Static

4. Enter the information you find as follows:

  • IP Address: the open IP address you discovered using the Ping command.
  • Gateway: the Default Gateway IP address.
  • DNS 1 and DNS 2: type the IP addresses of the DNS servers.

Leave any other fields in this form set as the default, then tap Save.

8. Factory reset device

If none of these ideas work on your phone, the last resort is to reset your phone back to factory settings. Locate the factory data reset on your phone and scroll down to locate the button.

Android Factory Data Reset Option

When you tap the button, all the data, apps, and settings will be deleted, eliminating whatever is causing the phone to be unable to connect. This is a drastic last step, so you may want to back up your device before doing this.

Authentication Error Factory Data Reset Consequences

Which of the above methods work to fix Wi-Fi authentication errors for you? If you are sharing your Wi-Fi network with your friends, you can easily do it with a QR code and not have to reveal your password. Alternatively, you may want to prevent the Wi-Fi from automatically turning on to save battery.

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Tracey Rosenberger Tracey Rosenberger

Tracey Rosenberger spent 26 years teaching elementary students, using technology to enhance learning. Now she's excited to share helpful technology with teachers and everyone else who sees tech as intimidating.

2 comments

  1. One small caveat: when searching for an open IP address, not all devices on a network will respond to a ping. Especially these days of the need for higher and higher security with devices.

  2. Try fix Wi-Fi.it. It’s not a real IP address, it’s a browser script that helps fix Wi-Fi issues like a network troubleshooter. Just go to it like a web page and it will come up with 1 of 3 answers: 1. You are connected to the internet, 2. You are not connected to the internet (usually because you have turned off Wi-Fi) or 3. It brings up the offending authentication page (terms and conditions, password, etc.).

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