Share this Story

How to: Turn on Wi-Fi on an Android Device [Beginners’ Guide]

You just got your new Android smartphone home and are ready to connect to your home network, but how do you do it? It’s pretty simple really and can be accomplished with the touch of a few buttons. 

Standard Method:

1.  First, head into the Settings menu of your device.

*Press the Menu button and then Settings. On some devices without a Menu button, you can pull down your Notification menu and select the Settings icon.

2.  From there, the top option you will see under “Wireless & Networks” is Wi-Fi.
3.  Select Wi-Fi and turn the toggle or button to “On.”
4.  The device will display all of the networks in range.
5.  When you see your home network’s name, select it, enter your password and hit “Connect.”
6.  You are now connected to a Wi-Fi network.

Alternative Methods:

For future usage, Android comes with a Power Control widget that can be placed on a homescreen and is a much quicker method for toggling Wi-Fi on and off. To add the widget, long-press the desired homescreen and an options menu will appear. Select “Widgets” and scroll down the list until you see “Power Control.” You have now added the Power Control widget to your homescreen.

If your device is running Ice Cream Sandwich or Jelly Bean, the widgets menu can be accessed by opening your app drawer and scrolling all the way to the right or hitting “Widgets.” By hitting the Wi-Fi icon on the Power Control widget, it will toggle your Wi-Fi connection on and off without forcing you to go into the Settings menu.

On some devices, the Power Control is accessible through the pulldown notification bar on the top of your display.

*Android Beginners Guide is a way for people new to Android to get to learn how Android works. We will be posting many tips and tricks on how to optimize your usage of the Android operating system.

  • ptm

    can I turn on wifi, surf the net, on any smartphone, WITHOUT having a SIM card?

  • Spencer Ward

    I’ve lost my faith in humanity… well done fellas. Is the new person not entitled to education? We were all generally there once, lost in the absurdly elitist niche that is Android fans There are people out there that use event their smartphones for just that, a phone, the discovery of wifi could be mindblowing to them! Connecting to my home internet to download stuff? Man, I told my grandmother that and her jaw actually hit the floor. Give people a chance man, you could be shutting down the next enthusiast.

  • What’s a Wi-Fi?

    • Are there people that go around “not liking” comments just for fun?

  • C2Cab95

    LMAO @ “Bill Wi the Science Fi”

  • Trevor

    Slow news day

  • steven sullivan


  • Can DroidLife please reprint the article.
    “How to screw in a light bulb”
    My refrigerator is dark when I close the door and I can’t see my porno while “surfing” the web.
    iPad owner

  • bob martin

    maybe step 1 should be how to turn the phone on.

  • niceness

    A tutorial that speaks to me; How to use Tasker to take photos of you in the bathroom while posing duck face and making a million hits on instagram.

  • Tech_Lady

    Does anyone know how to turn on wi-fi without a SIM card?
    (Samsung S3)

    • smwandrie93

      Touch the bottom left corner, bottom right, bottom left, bottom right, then press either the volume up or down( i dont remember which one…)

  • Dain Laguna

    So here i was, browsing on my nexus7, and then i come across this article. Disqus SUCKS on mobile devices, but some of the comments you clowns are leaving inspired me to bust out the laptop and type a proper response.

    This isnt ‘rom life’. this isnt ‘root life’. its droid life. therefore, any article relating to or pertaining to android is game.

    what if i was just getting into android? what if i was tired of my iphone, but wanted to get good tips and tricks and i literally just got my phone today, and that verizon rep who sold me the phone just wanted to make a sale and didnt really have the time to teach me the ropes of my new phone?

    what if i had been hearing about this awesome, informative community of android enthusiasts who are a wealth of knowledge and i wanted to be a part of it?

    coming to a site like this and seeing the types of comments posted here would make me want to crawl back into my simple, boring, ‘safe’ iphone hole that i just crawled out of. and BACK to the community that thinks i’m smart just because i have an iphone.

    thats what you guys really want to encourage? i work in sales, for an isp, and if i had a dollar for every person who came in wondering how to turn on wi fi on their android phone (hell even their iphone) and explained the benefits of doing so to them, i wouldnt have to work anymore.

    You think providers, especially Verizon, are encouraging people to not use data on their phones? why would they, when data overages and all sorts of money is in store for them if they dont?

    To echo what someone else said earlier: EVERYONE is buying smartphones nowadays. EVERYONE. its what providers are encouraging people to do. its what people see all over the place on tv, on the internet, on the street. if you are gonna get a new phone, you have to get a smartphone. tis the way of the world. maybe people back in the day didnt want cable or satellite or even to watch tv on the internet, but that didnt change the direction media consumption was going in. you either get on board or get labeled a simpleton or ‘old fashioned’

    so now those people are damned for trying to get on board and damned if they stay behind?

    have you seen what feature phones are like nowadays? they arent like they used to be. there is ZERO incentive to get a feature phone. they are made awful and have horrible user experiences in store for their users. you think motorola or samsung is saving the best of the best for those phones? or even wasting real effort? (hell samsung barely puts forth effort in some of their premier smartphones.)

    Look…i get that this site is geared towards the android hardcore. but there isnt a huge noob disclaimer here like there is on xda, nothing to encourage people to stay away if they arent into ‘flashing the latest roms, yo’ (i know no one here really talks like that, but it flowed nicely.)

    But at the end of the day, YOU, and android know-it-all, master of rooting and roms, benchmark enthusiast…..YOU clicked on an article called ‘How to turn on wi-fi on an android device (beginners guide)’. You had every right to, but you, just like everyone else on the internet, should have known better.

    now get over yourself and click on that which actually interests you, if it bothers and has shaken you to your core on such a profound level that you cant even handle what someone else does and posts on THEIR website.

    • Keenan Singh


    • Bigwavedave25

      “But at the end of the day, YOU, and android know-it-all, master of rooting and roms, benchmark enthusiast…..YOU clicked on an article called ‘How to turn on wi-fi on an android device (beginners guide)’. You had every right to, but you, just like everyone else on the internet, should have known better.
      now get over yourself and click on that which actually interests you, if it bothers and has shaken you to your core on such a profound level that you cant even handle what someone else does and posts on THEIR website.”

      ^^^ THAT ^^^

      Well put. No need for “advanced” users to come over and piss on cheerios or blab about how much they don’t need this. Just move on and let the new comers start gaining knowledge without reading your infantile comments and feeling bad about what they don’t know yet.
      But if that’s you, fine, don’t expect anyone to come asking you for help. Which, as put above, is what the “COMMUNITY” is all about!

    • GTIguy

      TL;DR. Bottom line is you shouldn’t be looking to Droid Life to learn how to turn on Wi-Fi. Look in the manual that came with your device or poke around on your device. If you can’t fugure out how to do that then get an iPhone because there is no hope for you with anything technical.

    • Good stuff 🙂

      Thanks for understanding what we’re doing here lol

      • Dain Laguna

        any time sir. given how many tech savvy folks we have on this site, im surprised how such a simple concept is so far beyond their understanding.

  • Seriously, who the hell isn’t looking at the Bill Nye the Science Guy reference in the images!? This is meant for the beginners of Android (since many may have defected from other platforms or are just starting out on their first smartphone – Android). Let the newbies have their fun, and the regulars have a chuckle over the absurdity, and old school-ery!

  • ManBearPig618

    What is the icon pack going on here?

  • Follower

    “1. First, head into the Settings menu of your device.”
    But, how to head into Settings menu? 🙂

  • Why did this require a guide? You’ve no business owning a smartphone of any kind if you can’t figure out how to turn on wifi.

  • Jeff Simpson


  • Next please post on how to send a file with wifi direct because I really cant get that working.

  • JulianZHuang

    my brain got explored. now i know how to turn it on!

  • Davros

    What? My phone has the wifi’s? 😀

    • Davros

      Lol, down voted? Really? I miss the old days when there was maybe 20 of us and would laugh and have a good time. :'(

  • Want to be on top of a Google search? I used now. Touche

  • Is this a serious post? Is it April 1st? Does every third word write out an alternative more interesting post?

  • erod434

    What’s wi-fi?

  • What the heck..

  • alpine2g

    Um.. Your are quite late for a April fool’s joke! EPIC FAIL.

  • halppl0x

    how do I turn my wifi on?

  • At 1st I thought they were joking .. then on 2nd thought – this article is good for business !! If you cant understand why, oh well.

  • Stew

    You guys don’t HAVE to have a certain number of posts a day, do y’all?

  • Genius!

  • :-p

    Hurry and turn your WiFi on before apple files a lawsuit for the use of a settings menu system for the management of hardware settings.

    • MKader17

      your forgot to add, “… by mean of touch input gestures”


    To everyone saying “Why was this necessary?”

    To you, it isn’t but I’m sorry to say that not everyone is like you. There are plenty of people who have android phones that have NO IDEA what Wifi is, and that they can connect to it. Smartphones are being purchase by all sorts of people now, and this information would be very helpful to them. Droid-Life is expanding its base by attracting newbs who may find this info valuable. This is how websites stay relevant, expand and thrive. /endwalloftextrant

    • When you get a new android, google teaches you how to activate wifi instantly………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

      • Keenan Singh

        Usually the carrier sales rep will set it up for you, so people won’t see how

        • Good point, it’s been a while since I’ve bought a phone at a store w/ sales reps.


        This clearly shows a lack of understanding on how the majority of phones are activated. Work in retail for a week and you will see what I mean.

        • I suppose. It just all seems so trivial. What’s the point of owning a smartphone if you can’t even figure out wifi? If people want a phone tailored for the layman, noob, or non tech-savvy person, buy an iPhone. Or a basic phone.

  • Mr. Obvious, Maybe

    Well, I just referred an Android noob to Droid Life while on the plane the other day. Not everyone who reads this is a know-it-all on the OS.

    Read the article title. If it’s not applicable to you, or not of interest, then here’s an idea….. DON’T READ IT!

  • anon

    How to Pick Your Nose
    1 raise your dominant hand (that is the one your write things with)
    2 retract all fingers but your index, that’s the one next to your thumb
    3 inspect your index finger for cleanliness, you do not want to ram that poop you scratched off your anal sphinkter in your nose. wash if needed.
    4 gently shove your index finger up your nostril with the offending glob of gob.
    4a do not insert it too fast or hard you will poke your brain.
    5 gently twist and prod with the finger until you dislodge the booger, best to attempt to use your fingernail to hook a corner.
    6 retract your finger and the gob of booger
    7 eat residue off your finger.
    Congrats you picked your nose.

    Warning sticking things in your nose may lead to bleeding or partial lobotomy, proceed at your own risk

    • Benjamin Sicard

      I use my pinky; it allows for more pinpoint accuracy.

  • ChrisTraeger1

    The funny thing is when you turn on your new Android phone Google already teaches you how to enable your WiFi settings

  • @ droid-life, remember your target audience. Swing and’a miss.

    • nightscout13

      They want to expand i guess, and maybe have a separate part of the site for noobs, filled with tutorials.

  • Must say, connecting to wifi is one of the few things I think iOS does better than Android. It still irritates me that available wifi access points don’t pop up in a window to choose from when I try to use an internet connected app like they do on iOS. It just doesn’t make sense to have to dig in to settings to set up a new wifi network every time.

    • nightscout13

      There are apps that provide shortcuts. Some Samsung phones have the pop-up when a familiar network is in range. You can also enable this feature on all Andoroid phones

      • There’s an app for everything, it doesn’t negate the fact that the stock iOS implementation of connecting to a wifi network is better than stock Android. Don’t get me wrong, I love Android and wouldn’t trade to an iPhone for anything, but I can freely admit when there are features in iOS that are better, pairing to wifi networks is unquestionably one of them.

        • nightscout13

          Are you not familiar with the automatic WIFI connect feature in Android? Once you get close to home, it connects automatically, what’s so difficult about that? Please do explain to me how Apple has accomplished that task better?

  • Liderc

    And to turn your device on, hit all the buttons together and then throw it in the trash can.

  • Image related:

  • dude

    next article: How to put your android device in your pocket.

    • No we already had that one when Kellen explained why he likes headphone jacks on the bottom 😛

  • dickdouche

    What is WiFi?

    • John

      “Wifi” means “wireless fidelity”. The term “wifi” refers to certain kinds of wireless local area networks, or WLAN (as opposed to LAN, or computers that are networked together with wires).

      • nightscout13

        Either he’s trolling, or he’s stalking you. Or both.

  • elemeno

    Best part of this post? “Bill Wi the Science Fi” Yoink…

  • bakdroid


  • droidarmy

    I don’t see those floating jellybeans in that wallpaper. How do I turn them off?

  • EvanTheGamer

    What? Really? Come on man…lol

    Anyone with even the slightest bit of a brain would know how to turn on WiFi; easiest thing in the entire world. I mean…not to sound messed up or anything, but if you don’t know how to turn on WiFi, you have no business owning a smartphone.

    Besides, anyone visiting Droid-Life I’m pretty sure knows how to turn on WiFi.

    Hey folks…just sayin’. lol

  • Name

    How to turn it off now???? PLEASE?? ;;;((((((

  • Destroythanet

    This must be Droidlife’s version of those dumb “Apple Genius” commercials that have been running during the Olympics.

  • nightscout13

    For real??

  • Tex

    But I keep my WiFI off since we don’t have VoWiFi, I don’t want to miss a call

  • DonDemon

    I dont think many people on this forum need directions to turn on wifi. Pretty basic, but thanks anyways.

  • techie1

    Are you serious? What even is this?

  • Really? Was this necessary?

  • Michael Forte

    If you don’t know how to turn on wifi I think you’re better suited to a dumb phone.

  • And try not to poke yourself in the eye with your phone while you’re figuring the wi-fi out.

    • Also, do not place device in mouth. Damage may occur.

      • nightscout13

        Some people like the feel of a vibrating object in their mouth. (not me)

  • Justin Hunt

    This misses something important that seems to get a lot of newbies: Some access points require you open the browser and accept their rules before they will give you any access.

  • zepfloyd

    Don’t worry, on most Verizon Android phones not a Nexus, it will annoy the hell out of you begging you to turn Wifi on every 5 minutes!

    • Diablo81588


    • nightscout13

      So far just on the GS3 Floyd.

  • What widget theme is that being used in the above pics?

    • stock jellybean(possibly BB rom) with what looks like Tersus icons.

  • Apostrafee

    But how do I play Instagram? Just go on the browser?

  • genius_im_not34

    ummmm how do i turn my phone on?

  • Morlok8k

    My phone has wifi? Woah… 🙂

  • maxkobi

    FINALLY!!! maybe i can get under 10 gigs a month now!!! and save battery!!! THNX!!!

  • Fresh2infinity


  • Murphy

    Is this real…

    • John

      Slow news day I guess.

    • paladaxar

      As funny as it is to question the sanity of posting an article like this on droid-life, I think I understand why they posted it. It’s all about getting hits from Google searches. If someone asks “how do I turn on wi-fi on my Android phone”, droid-life wants to make sure they have it covered so that their article comes up as one of the top results. When that happens, they get more ad views and potentially new readers/followers of this amazing blog.

      Now, I’m all for droid-life making as more money (this is where I get 99% of my Android fix and I trust Kellen almost enough to give him my unlock pattern), it does seem a bit out of place here because most of the articles here deal with rooting/roms/bootloaders etc. That’s one extreme, and then articles like “toggle your wi-fi” and “how to swipe to a different home screen” are on the other extreme. There’s not much of a middle ground (at the moment). And I think most of us LIKE it that way. Most of us come here because we’re on the hacker/tinkerer extreme and we want to see those articles.

      Now, bringing in a middle ground and the “Android Newbie” crowd MAY widen your audience, but I would hate to have to go looking for another site that puts up posts for the more “extreme” users. I left phandroid a while ago because they started posting WAY too much and I don’t have the time/patience to wade through all of the chaff to get to the stuff that I actually care about. I don’t want a new article ever 17 seconds if I don’t get anything out of them.

      I KNOW, it’s not all about me…but I think most of the current audience of this site cares only about the kinds of articles that are usually posted here and that’s what keeps us coming back — we know we’ll get a high concentration of articles that we care about and Kellen’s got our back to make sure we don’t miss anything important. That’s what has set this site apart from the rest. There are TONS of Android sites that we could be using, but this one gets it right in most of our eyes.

      That being said, making money is important (even if just to stay afloat), so may I make a suggestion? If you want to do some beginners guides, or even some intermediate stuff, why not have some tabs or filters to make everyone happy. The front page stays true to the “hardcores” that just want to know that the latest AOKP has dropped and rumors about what might be announced at the next IO, and then you could have a “New to Android? Click here to explore” button or something. You can even make it huge and noticeable…it would be better than seeing the home page fill up with articles that mean nothing to 95% of your current customer base.

      One should always be careful when trying to change their customer base…it’s not often a good idea.

      Just my $.02 — take it or leave it…but seriously…I love this site.

      • zepfloyd

        That’s essentially what AC did.

      • nightscout13


      • JBartcaps

        Okay chill out, your response was longer than the entire article

      • feztheforeigner

        I can’t believe I just read all of that. I agree with it, just can’t believe I read all of it…

      • dnyor93


      • michael arazan

        Isn’t this why we pay Verizon the extra $30 to train their staff to be able to answer these basic questions about our phones for beginning smart phone users?
        Seriously, I understand why articles like this need to be written, but also every instruction book with a phone tells you how to do the basic functions too.

        • CivilDroid

          Id rather pay Droid Life than Verizon

        • anti fall

          Yeah but you really want to suit on hold for 20 min to answerquestion like this

      • honk

        Wall of text. . .

      • …attracting new readers is one thing, but attracting a reader who can’t figure out how to turn on WiFi is attracting a reader who probably finds it difficult to, well, read, if you catch my drift.

    • niceness

      A few months back some jackass posted a article about how Android user’s are dumb because they can,t turn on their WiFi, i think this is the reply months late.