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 WI-FI Hotspot unprotected (really wish there were Admins that careless in my area) for some business and discovered that they had an unprotected WI-FI 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. To her dismay, her phone kept saying “Turning on WI-FI” but WI-FI 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 WI-FI networks but to help you resolve such an issue at times you really need WI-FI / Bluetooth ON but they would rather stay OFF ( similar to https://journal.hovatek.com/how-to-fix-the-application-not-installed-error-on-an-android-phone/ ).
What could cause an Android phone’s WI-FI / Bluetooth to be unable to come on?
Common causes of this issue include:
- Insufficient app permissions: The WI-FI / 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 WI-FI / Bluetooth apks or files might be missing or corrupted
- Third-party apps: Third-party WI-FI or Bluetooth management apps might be interfering
- Temporary OS error: The Android OS might have encountered a minor error
- Connection timeout: If no Bluetooth / Wi-FI network is detected within the set timeout (which might have been set too low in this case) then the WI-FI / Bluetooth will automatically go off
- Hardware: The IC might be damaged
How do I fix an Android phone whose WI-FI or Bluetooth wont turn on?
Some fixes which have been reported to work are:
- 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 irremovable battery then switch off the phone for 30 seconds
- Reset app permissions: Go to Settings > Apps > All > Press menu button > Reset app permissions
- Enable GPS / Location access: Try toggling on and off location access under Settings > Location access
- Uninstall third party apps: Uninstall any third-party WI-FI / Bluetooth managers you have installed
- Factory reset: Boot the phone into recovery mode and do a data wipe / factory reset
- Flash a Nandroid / Clockworkmod backup: Restore the Nandroid / Clockworkmod backup of a perfectly working phone of the same model as the malfunctioning phone. (see https://journal.hovatek.com/how-to-unbrick-fix-a-bricked-android-device/ )
- Ensure there is actually a working WI-FI / Bluetooth network to connect to before the connection timeout is exceeded
- Check the IC hardware to be sure its in perfect working condition and change if you suspect to be faulty
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