How to fix the “internet may not be available” error on Android devices, including Samsung


Getting an “Internet may not be available” error on your Android device can be an annoying and concerning event. Still, the chances are good that it’s simply a setting problem or other relatively simple technical issue. Internet-related issues are tricky to deal with on a phone, as your typical source for problem-solving will be to look up the error on the internet. 

Internet may not be available in Android smartphone

There are several possible reasons for receiving this error message. As the error is connection-related, there are a few different places to check to determine where the problem lies, but the good news is that many of them are easy fixes and require little technical knowledge to correct. Here are the reasons why you might be receiving the “internet may not be available” error on your Samsung or other Android devices.

What can cause an “internet may not be available error” on Android?

The “internet may not be available” error can be caused by many different things, so it’s best to thoroughly check these settings and potential issues to determine which one is the problem.

DCHP issues

DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) is a network protocol your device uses to automate the task of assigning an IP address. When you try to connect to the internet, your device has no IP address (unless you have set up a Static IP address), and it broadcasts this out to the server. DCHP kicks in to receive this request and assign an IP address to your device.

If that communication isn’t working correctly, your phone won’t receive an IP address and cannot connect to the internet.

DNS settings

In essence, DNS (Domain Name System) is a listing of websites that contains both their names and their IP addresses. When you type “amazon.com” into your browser, the request is sent to a DNS resolver, which in turn interacts with other nameservers to return the IP address for that site. Once the system has determined the correct IP address, it sends an HTTP request to bring up that webpage on your browser.

DNS lookup process

DNS servers also cache (or store) results once they’ve looked them up, and this can occasionally cause an issue if there is a change to an IP address once the information has been cached. It’s also possible for the DNS servers to become blocked by websites, making it impossible for them to connect and thus refuse the connection from the initial request.

WiFi router issues

Home routers assign IP addresses to your phone and often deal with your DNS settings. There can be cases where the router-assigned IP address becomes invalid due to a change in IP address which the router doesn’t allow out to the internet. There’s a conflict between the device, the router, and the outside address in these instances. 

Old Android version

It’s essential to keep your Android version up to date to avoid issues with connectivity. If you’ve chosen to update manually, you’ll need to make sure you’ve upgraded. Failing to do so can cause problems with how the phone connects to the internet. There may also be bug fixes and other improvements that can solve your issue, so be sure to stay up to date.

Incompatible third-party app

Apps have become more robust and powerful over the years, and many apps rely on settings from the phone or can request changes to those settings. It’s entirely possible for an app to request and have you make changes to settings that can cause issues down the line. If an application uses a resource required by the phone, conflicts can result, and the “internet may not be available” error can occur.

How to fix the “internet may not be available” error on Android

There are many possible causes for the “internet may not be available” error, and there is no single sure-fire method for correcting the issue; it will depend on why your Android device has the error.

You can try one or all of these suggestions to see which one fixes your issue. After that, you’ll have a better idea of where a future problem might lie, and it will be easier to troubleshoot and fix.

1. Restart your Android device

The first sentence every troubleshooter hears from tech support, and for a good reason. Restarting your device will clear out any temporary settings or issues that might have occurred from an app or other system issue. Restart your device:

  1. Power off your device by holding the Power button and choosing Power off.
  2. Press Power and Volume down to turn the device on.
Restarting your Android device can fix the internet may not be available error

2. Change date and time settings

Many programs use the time and date settings as a security check to ensure the device is safe and working correctly. If you have your Samsung or other Android device set to manual updates for date and time, this could be causing the “internet may not be available” error. 

To correct date and time settings:

  1. Drag down your Notifications Panel.
  2. Click the Settings Icon.
  3. Locate the Systems Settings icon, and tap it
  4. Find the Date and Time settings.
  5. Locate the Use network-provided time and Use network-provided time zone settings, and turn both of them on.
Automatic date and time settings can resolve the internet may not be available error on Andorid

3. Check IP address settings and DCHP mode

If you have conflicting settings with your router, or the settings are causing the issue, you’ll need to update or change the DHCP mode. To check your settings and make changes:

  1. Drag down your Notifications Panel.
  2. Tap the Settings icon.
  3. Locate the Wireless and networks icon.
  4. Tap on WiFi.
  5. Press and hold WiFi connection.
  6. Tap on Modify network.
  7. Tap on Advanced options.
  8. Tap on IP settings.
  9. Choose Static.
  10. Tap on DNS 1.
  11. Type “8.8.8.8” as the setting.
  12. Tap on DNS 2.
  13. Type “8.8.4.4” as the setting.
  14. Tap Save.
Set static DNS addresses.

Reconnect to your WiFi and see if the device is now connecting to the internet. If the issue is still present, revert the IP settings from Static to DHCP.

4. Clear your cache

It’s possible that the “internet may not be available” error is being caused by using cached settings and protocols to speed up the connection. If these settings are outdated or incorrect, they might be the problem that’s causing you not to connect to the internet. To clear the cache:

  1. Power off your device by holding the Power button and choosing Power off.
  2. Press Power and Volume down to turn the device on.
  3. Keep holding the Power and Volume down until the Android Logo appears.
  4. Let the buttons go.
  5. Move down the list of options by pressing Volume down until you reach the Wipe cache partition option.
  6. Select this option by clicking the Power button.
  7. Wait for the cache to be cleared.
  8. When this is complete, select the Reboot option and click Power.

When the device has rebooted, try to connect to the internet and see if this has corrected the problem.

5. Update the Android version

If your Android version is sufficiently outdated, it can cause the “internet may not be available” error due to conflicts with the device settings and the WiFi router. To solve this issue, check for Android updates::

  1. Drag down your Notifications Panel.
  2. Tap the Settings Icon.
  3. Tap on Software update.
  4. Tap on Check for updates.
  5. If a newer version is found, tap on Download and install.
Update Android version to resolve the internet may not be available issue

When the new version is downloaded and installed, check to see if your issue has been resolved.

6. Refresh WiFi network (Samsung devices)

If the problem is caused by an issue between your device and your WiFi settings, you can refresh those settings by commanding the device to forget the WiFi connection and then re-establish that connection. To do this:

  1. From the Home screen, swipe up or down to access your Apps screen.
  2. Tap on Settings.
  3. Tap on Connections.
WiFi network connections on Samsung Android device
  1. Tap on WiFi.
    Make sure the WiFi is turned on (upper right).
  2. Tap the network you want to forget.
  3. Tap Forget.
  4. The WiFi network should show up in the available networks list. If not, close out the WiFi screen and re-open it.
  5. Tap the network.
  6. Enter the password and tap Connect.

7. Reset network settings

If you’re still having issues with the error, you can try resetting your network settings, as well as resetting all settings. To reset your network settings:

  1. Drag down your Notifications Panel.
  2. Tap the Settings icon.
  3. Tap System.
  4. Tap Advanced.
  5. Tap Reset options.
  6. Tap Reset network settings.
  7. Tap Reset settings.

This should reset all of the network settings for the device and may solve the issue for you. If you wish to reset all settings, you should understand that you’re about to perform a factory reset and delete all data from your device.

Warning: Make sure to back up all important data before proceeding further with the factory reset.

  1. Drag down your Notifications Panel.
  2. Tap the Settings icon.
  3. Tap System.
  4. Tap Reset options.
  5. Tap Erase all data (factory reset).
Reset options in Android

Once the process is complete, you will need to go through the setup steps to return the device to how you had it. With any luck, this will have solved the issue for you.

Conclusion

The “internet may not be available” error on Android, including Samsung devices, can be caused by several issues. Once you’ve determined where the issue is occurring, you can take steps to correct the underlying problem. 

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