ESP8266 Not Connecting To WiFi: 7 Ways To Fix

esp8266 not connecting to wifi
esp8266 not connecting to wifi

As more and more homes and businesses rely on wireless networks to keep in touch with what is happening in the world, new technologies arise to enhance reliability of internet connections.

As the complex world wide web has always been, it counts on satellites, routers, modems, microchips, senders and receivers, antennas, and a whole bunch of gadgets that enable the signal to reach small devices such as your smartwatch.

One of such devices is the Espressif Systems ESP8266, an advanced wireless microchip with microcontroller features and a TCP/IP stack. Despite its high technological design, as with so many other Wi-Fi devices, it is simply not exempt from the occasional issue.

With the intent of providing answers to the users who have been reporting issues with the ESP8266, we came up with a list of seven easy fixes any user can perform without a single risk of damaging their equipment.

So, without further ado, let us walk you through the list of fixes that you can perform to have your wireless connection working flawlessly.

ESP8266 Not Connecting To WiFi

  1. Clear the Cache

Clear the Cache

As with so many other electronic devices, the ESP8266 also has a storage unit dedicated to temporary files that help the connection with other devices. Unfortunately, this storage unit is not unlimited, and you will need to perform a cleanse every now and then.

So, go to the router settings and get the cache cleaned to give your system more room to run as it gets rid of the unnecessary temporary files.

  1. Verify The Wi-Fi SSID

Verify The Wi-Fi SSID

The SSID of your Wi-Fi or, in more simple terms, the name of your network, should not have any spaces between the characters. Should that happen, the connection procedure may identify it as two separate tasks and not reach the point of connection.

So, go to the router settings and make sure your Wi-Fi SSID has no spaces between the characters. While in there you can opt to change it as well, though it’s not really recommended as your carrier should have a set of names listed on their system and that may cause discrepancies in the identification of your device.

  1. Check The Frequency Of The Wi-Fi Network

The frequency of the Wi-Fi also plays a key role in the connectivity process. Should you attempt to connect your Wi-Fi microchip through a frequency it is not designed to use, it will simply not happen.

As the waves will not be properly received by your Wi-Fi microchip, it will also transmit waves in a frequency that may not be received by other devices, leaving it in a limbo.

In the case of ESP8266, make sure you are not attempting connections through 2.4Ghz frequencies, as that one will not work with the microchip and prevent any connection.

Go to the router settings and make sure the frequency is set to 5Ghz, the ideal one for ESP8266, and enjoy the outstanding connection quality promised by the manufacturer.

  1. Make Sure The Channel Is Available

Make Sure The Channel Is Available

As a peculiarity of the ESP8266, the Wi-Fi AP will not run if they are set do to so through channels 13 and 14. Consider it superstition or whatever suits you, it will simply not work! Luckily, you can always change the settings and select other channels – or even let them be set automatically.

Make sure to verify the selected channel as you allow the automatic configuration, even if it is just to check if they are visible and available for the microchip. As channels 13 and 14 are not in the visibility spectrum of ESP8266, simply choose any other channel and have it connect through that.

  1. Check The Router Operation Configuration

One more set of configurations worth checking is the router and modem operation mode. As different modems and routers work with their own set of connection ranges, users have to make sure the selected operation mode is compatible with the router or modem used.

In the case of ESP8266, go to the router and modem settings and choose 802.11G+N, the optimal operation mode. After that, make sure to verify if the automatic channel configuration opted for 11 to automatic or 20 to automatic, and that should do it.

  1. Tweak The Hostname Settings

Tweak The Hostname Settings

As the hostname plays an important role in the initial stages of a connection process, make sure yours is tuned to perfection. With ESP8266 the automatic initial configuration will provide you with general SSID and password, as with any other Wi-Fi microchip.

The key here is to tweak the hostname settings and add ESP-host before the Wi-Fi SSID to give it priority over other connections. That should do the trick and solve the “Not Connecting to Wi-Fi” issue.

  1. Check If The Issue Is Not With The Wi-Fi Connection

Check If The Issue Is Not With The Wi-Fi Connection

Should you try all the six fixes above and still notice the issue, there is a big chance the problem is not with ESP8266, but with the Wi-Fi connection. Thankfully, a simple router reboot should do the trick, as long as it is through unplugging the power cord and giving it a minute before plugging it back again.

It is fairly known that this procedure allows the router system to refresh its settings and clear storage units, running smoother and from a fresh starting point afterwards.

Finally, should you attempt all the fixes herein and still experience connection issues between the Wi-Fi and your ESP8266, give Espressif System a call. Its customer support relies on highly-trained professionals that will be glad to aid you in any sort of issues, even the replacement of components.

6 thoughts on “ESP8266 Not Connecting To WiFi: 7 Ways To Fix”

  1. 8 Disable the 5GHz band in the router.
    I don’t know why, but on two different routers, if 5GHz is enabled, then esp8266 cannot connect to its 2.4GHz .. Despite the fact that the ssid is different for 5GHz and 2.4GHz networks

  2. esptool FatalError: Failed to connect to ESP8266: Timed out waiting for packet header

    How can we resolve this . Any one please explain!!

  3. You are wrong about the frequency band supported by the ESP8266 – it works in the 2.4GHz band, not the 5GHZ band. Please correct this!

  4. Hi,

    I have few ESP8266 based Arduino boards (Weemos/LOLIN D1 Mini). I experienced
    these boards likely will not connect to my TP-LINK AX20/AX1800 WiFi-6 capable
    home router. While they were connecting without any problems to a TP-Link
    Archer C80 (non Wifi-6 capable) device.

    On the AX/AX1800 by default my wireless 2.4 was set to use 802.11/b/g/n/ax.
    After changing it to 802.11/b/g/n mixed the problem seems to be solved.


  5. Hello I am trying to connect my ESP8266 to a Wifi hotspot by it is an unsecured WiFi network, and has no password, I enter the SSID and no password and it will not connect, If is use my laptop to connect to the same network and after entering the SSID and no password it does connect but as soon as i open a browser i receive a request for a USER ID and PASSWORD and I enter my Optimum OnLine User ID and password and now i can browse the internet form any of their hotspots. So i would like to make the ESP8266 to connect to the WiFi network, but how to get to the sign-in page? That seem to be the hold up. Any Idears?

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