Why does my Wi-Fi have an exclamation point?

Having internet access in your home has become almost as normal as having a fridge or an oven over the past decade or so. In fact, a massive 96% of households in the UK currently boast at least one Wi-Fi connection. Although having unlimited internet access in your home comes with a plethora of benefits, it also comes with the knowledge that you will likely face technical issues at one point or another.

For starters, your Wi-Fi router will have the potential to show a variety of different symbols for a variety of different issues. One common symbol that you may notice on your Wi-Fi router is an exclamation point. In this article, we are going to look at what this symbol means, while also examining the different ways in which you can get rid of it.

Why does my Wi-Fi have an exclamation mark? What it means and how to fix it

If your Wi-Fi router is displaying an exclamation point then in short, it basically means that you currently don’t have any internet access. This could be due to a variety of reasons including a power outage in your home or network issues with your internet provider. The exclamation point doesn’t tell you the reasons why you don’t have internet access, just that you don’t and that you should do something about it.

More often than not, a good old fashioned reboot is enough to remove the exclamation point from your router and there are typically two ways to do this. Method one is as simple as going to the plug socket which your router is connected to and flicking the switch on and off.

Method two is dependent on who your internet provider is. Most routers will have either a restart button (this is different to the reset button) which you can press or a on/off switch. Either way, they are usually fairly small and on the bottom of the router itself. To complete a reboot either press the restart button or flick the on/off switch, depending on which one your router possesses.

If this doesn’t work and the exclamation mark reappears once your router has rebooted, then you will need to look at the following options.

Reset your router

Electing to reset your router is a big step to make, it isn’t like flicking a switch and things going back to normal in a painless way, there are extra steps that you will need to make both pre and post reset. It’s essentially what it says on the tin – resetting your router back to its original state as if you’ve just bought it. To complete a reset, please follow these steps:

  1. Firstly, you will need to make a note of the name of your wireless network. This is otherwise known as an SSID and can be found on a sticker on your router.
  2. Also make a note of any personal/unique security settings that you currently have on your router that you wish to preserve after the reset has taken place.
  3. Locate the reset button on your router. It will be a tiny button that will require you to use a paperclip to press.
  4. Find a paperclip, or anything else that you could use to press the button, and hold it down on the reset button for a minimum of ten seconds.
  5. Your router will now reset.
  6. Once it’s fired back up, wait until it has stopped flashing and then input all of the network data which you jotted down prior to performing the reset.
  7. Get back on the internet and continue browsing.

Update your router’s drivers

If the idea of a reset is a little daunting then it is worth checking your router’s drivers before committing to one. This is because if your router’s drivers are out of date then you won’t be able to connect to the internet. To check the status of your drivers and potentially update them, you are going to need a desktop computer or laptop.

  1. Go to the Device Manager on your computer/laptop.
  2. Navigate to the network adapters section and right click on your wireless network.
  3. From the options that appear, select “update driver”.
  4. Wait for the updates to take place and then restart your router by turning it off at the mains or by flicking the on/off switch on the router itself.
  5. If you find that the exclamation point has now disappeared then tick the box that makes these driver updates happen automatically.

Conclusion

To conclude, an exclamation point on your Wi-Fi router means that you currently don’t have any internet access – it may be intermittent, so you may only notice it when your internet cuts out every hour or so. While we have suggested a number of ways in which you can fix the issue, we would absolutely urge you first and foremost to check that your internet provider isn’t suffering an outage before you go and start messing about with your router’s driver and/or reset button. If they aren’t, then crack on with the suggestions above to resolve the issue.

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Andy

Andy is a Professional Content Editor with expertise in a whole host of areas (or so he tells us anyway). His main interests are sports, tv/film and social media. He has reviewed over 100 apps so far for Apps UK.

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