Take a look at your taskbar (bottom right corner of the screen where the time is) and see what the network icon looks like, when working normally you’ll see either a little monitor with something that looks like a trident beside it or 5 bars ascending in size a bit like a staircase. As you’re reading this though it’s more likely that yours will have either a red cross or an exclamation mark superimposed on top, here’s what to do depending on which one you can see.
Red Cross – This one means that your PC can’t detect a physical or Wireless connection.
- Have a look at the back of your PC to make sure that your network cable is firmly plugged in and then follow it to where it connects to a network port, checking for damage along the way. If the cable or network port is visibly damaged then that’ll be your culprit and all you need to do is get a new cable or switch to a different network port, you may need some IT help to find the cables or an available port. If there are no visible signs of damage it’s still worthwhile trying a different network port and cable.
- If you connect via WIFI and you see this then check to see if there’s an on/off button for WIFI, almost all laptops have one in an annoyingly easy to nudge place, if you’re sure WIFI’s switched on then left click on the network icon and check if your wireless network is displayed and click on it to connect if it is.
- If neither of these solved your connection problems then try rebooting your PC/Laptop, a bit cliché but amazing how many problems it can fix!
Exclamation Mark – This one’s a bit more complicated, it normally means that you have a connection but you’re unable to use it for pretty much anything.
- Reboot your PC/Laptop and you’ll probably find that once it’s back on you’ll have internet access again.
- Windows Troubleshooter: Left click on the network icon and select Open Network and Sharing Center. At the bottom of the screen there is an option to Troubleshoot problems, click on this and try following the Windows prompts, this will often fix the problem for you but if not take note of any information it gives you as it may help later.
- Network configuration: Left click on the network icon and select Open Network and Sharing Center. In the pane on the left hand side click on Change adapter settings and the next window you’re presented with will show you icons of your network connections. Right click on the connection and select properties, click on Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4), but make sure you don’t remove the tick from beside it, and then click properties. In this window you will most likely see dots beside Obtain an IP address automatically and Obtain DNS server address automatically, if not and you’re being presented with a lot of numbers then check with a colleague to see how theirs is configured,
- If automatically then try settings yours to automatically.
- If they too have a lot of numbers in here then you’d probably best contact us as these numbers are your network addressing, they allow your PC/Laptop to communicate with everything else on the network.