Pi Wi-Fi Issues

Having trouble with the built-in Wi-Fi on your Pi? 

Wi-Fi can be tricky to diagnose as there are many variables involved. To determine if the Pi is the problem, every other variable in the chain must be eliminated.

The following topic from the Raspberry Pi Foundation forum is a great place to start:

NOTE: If your Pi Zero 2 W is missing wireless features (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth), make sure you are using Raspberry Pi OS 32-bit dated 2020-12-02 or newer

Verify the following:

  1. Make sure the PI is up to date. Run sudo apt update && sudo apt full-upgrade (CLI) or Add / Remove Software > Options > Refresh Package Lists followed with Check for Updates,
  2. Confirm the country is properly set in raspi-config (CLI) or Raspberry Pi Configuration (GUI),
  3. Verify if a firmware update is available for your Wi-Fi router/Wi-Fi access point,
  4. Confirm the country is properly set in your Wi-Fi router/Wi-Fi access point (if indicated).
  5. Test with sudo iwlist wlan0 scan and see if your network shows up.

Are the problems still present? Try with Raspberry Pi OS 32-bit (the latest, freshly downloaded OS image is highly recommended) and re-verify the points listed above. Unfortunately, we cannot provide much support for other OSes. 

You have two or more Pis of the same family and one is not performing on Wi-Fi like the other and you think it is defective?

First, run the above verification on all the Pis you are comparing. 

  • In order to eliminate all other variables in the chain, move ONLY the naked Pi board WITHOUT the enclosure between locations!
  • Keep the micro-SD card at the location (Don't leave the card in the Pi) so the variables aren't changed. 

Be careful about:

  • Pi troubleshooting should be done with Raspberry Pi OS 32-bit (the latest, freshly downloaded OS image is highly recommended). Unfortunately, we cannot provide much support for other OSes.
  • For the duration of the tests, don't change the position/location where the Pis are. Wi-Fi signal quality can change if moved a few inches/centimetres away, so put them back in the same place.
  • The only thing that must move is the Pi board itself. Not the micro-SD card, not the hats, not the USB devices, not the power supply. Only the Pi board. If all Pis have the Official Raspberry Pi enclosure, the enclosure can be left on it as it should not cause any interference. If you are unsure, remove the enclosure for the test.
  • As the configuration can alter results, only change the settings if asked, and mention you changed them.

Test, and it doesn't work, exchange both Raspberry Pi boards ONLY, as indicated above and test again.

Revised 2021-08-25

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