Got a call from a client some while back. She was narrating her frustration when she had visited an office notorious for accidentally leaving their WiFi Hotspot unprotected (really wish there were Admins that careless in my area) for some business and discovered that they had an unprotected WiFi network with internet access that day . Having a tonne of things to download, she flipped out her Android phone from its waist holster, faster than the fastest gunslinger in the West and tried to turn WiFi on. To her dismay, her phone kept saying “Turning on WiFi” then WiFi turned off automatically. WiFi never came on for the entire duration of her visit. Classic example of the poem Some have food but cannot eat .
We’re not treating this issue so you can go scouting for unprotected WiFi networks but to help you resolve such an issue at times you really need WiFi / Bluetooth ON but they would rather stay OFF ( similar to the application not installed error ).
What could cause an Android phone’s WiFi / Bluetooth to be unable to come on?
Common causes of this issue include:
- Insufficient app permissions: The WiFi / Bluetooth might be force-closing or unable to come on due to insufficient permissions to launch certain system level apps
- Corrupted apks or files: The WiFi / Bluetooth apks or files might be missing or corrupted
- Third-party apps: Third-party or WiFi / Bluetooth management apps might be interfering e.g Babel Fonts apk
- Temporary OS error: The Android OS might have encountered a minor error
- Connection timeout: If no Bluetooth / WiFi network is detected within the set timeout (which might have been set too low in this case) then the WiFi / Bluetooth will automatically go off
- Hardware: The I.C might be damaged or the motherboard needs cleaning
How do I diagnose if my WiFi and Bluetooth not coming on is due to a software or hardware problem?
One simple test is by trying to turn on your phone’s FM Radio. If the FM Radio can come on then its most likely a software issue. If the FM Radio can’t turn on also or force closes then you’re most likely dealing with a hardware issue. This however isn’t an absolute test, especially in a situation where incompatible fonts is the cause of the problem
To confirm its a hardware issue, try changing the phone’s font manager i.e Babel fonts apk sometimes cause Bluetooth and WiFi not to come on.
How do I solve Android WiFi and Bluetooth not coming on?
Here are some fixes to try (in the order of software to hardware):
- If you have Babel fonts apk installed then uninstall its updates, freeze or use a different font manager app
- Reboot: Rebooting the phone helps clear temporary OS issues
- Battery pull: Remove the battery for 30 seconds then slot it back in and power up the phone. If the phone has an inbuilt battery then switch off the phone for 30 seconds
- Enable GPS / Location access: Try toggling on and off location access under Settings > Location access
- Uninstall third party apps: Uninstall any third-party WiFi / Bluetooth managers you have installed
- Reset app permissions: Go to Settings > Apps > All > Press menu button > Reset app permissions
- Factory reset: Boot the phone into recovery mode and do a data wipe / factory reset or navigate to Settings > Backup & reset > Factory data reset
- Download and re-flash the Android stock ROM / firmware
- Take out and clean the motherboard. Check the IC hardware to be sure its in perfect working condition and change if you suspect to be faulty