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Sometimes when I resume my laptop (Dell XPS 13 9360) from sleep or hibernate, Windows 10 (20H2) displays a globe icon in the system tray (instead of the WiFi strength icon) and doesn't automatically connect back to my preferred WiFi network. I'm unable to access my home network or the internet in this state.

To resolve, I must click on the globe (which displays a list of WiFi networks), click on my chosen SSID (which already has "connect automatically" ticked) and then click on "Connect".

How can I make it so that Windows always connects to my preferred WiFi network after it wakes up?


Further details:

  • All Windows updates applied and latest drivers installed
  • Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 wireless adapter (Atheros 12.0.0.948) has "Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power" disabled
  • Power Saving mode for the wireless adapter is set to "Maximum performance"

2 Answers 2

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Having the same issue occurring after Windows Update, I found stopping and then restarting the WLAN Service remedied the issue each time connectivity failed. To do that more easily, make a Windows .bat file:

  net stop wlansvc
  net start wlansvc

Make a shortcut to the .bat file, and set it to run as Administrator.

That said, after another update, the issue stopped occurring.

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Inspired by DrMoishe Pippik's answer and, working on the assumption that no fix will be forthcoming from Microsoft and/or Killer, I created a simple batch file to work around the problem.

This is the contents of fix_wifi.bat:

@echo off
setlocal enabledelayedexpansion

rem Check to see if WiFi is connected to anything within the first
rem 5 seconds of running this script

for /L %%i in (1,1,5) do (
    timeout 1
    netsh wlan show interfaces | findstr /c:"Signal" && goto connected
)

rem We're not connected to any WiFi network, so try restarting the
rem Wireless AutoConfig Service

net stop wlansvc
net start wlansvc

:connected

rem Additional tasks to be performed can be added here (if required)

exit

I then created a scheduled task to call this script (running with the highest privileges) on the workstation unlock of any user.

The good news is that it works great - if I don't have a WiFi connection within the first 5 seconds of unlocking then it restarts the Wireless AutoConfig Service which (usually) gets me connected.

The downside to this is that it's more a workaround than an actual fix and that a terminal flashes up whenever you log into your computer. You can fix the latter issue by installing nircmd and then calling the it with the exec hidden arguments.

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