How to Enable 5GHz Wi-Fi on Laptop (Windows 10 and other versions)

Enabling 5GHz Wi-Fi on a laptop: Several windows versions

We all know that the 5GHz band is the fastest of the two Wi-Fi bands (2.4GHz and 5GHz) in use on our routers today. In some routers, the theoretical 5GHz band speeds will blow our minds away. However, you may not enjoy the 5GHz speeds in some devices since either they are not enabled to receive it, are set as optional in the settings, or is not active. How do you enable 5GHz Wi-Fi on a laptop?

As usual, having slow internet is frustrating or can make some people angry. We have all heard of stories where people have crushed their laptops or phones due to poor internet connectivity.

So to ensure these frustrations do not check-in in our lives, why not explore how to enable 5GHz Wi-Fi on our laptops. This is however possible if the laptop supports 5GHz Wi-Fi.

What is 5GHz WiFi?

5GHz WiFi is a standard that enables two routers to communicate with each other. This technology has quickly become a popular feature on laptops and tablets, but it’s not that common on smartphones. However, 5GHz WiFi is becoming more and more common as wireless connectivity improves. With 5GHz Wi-Fi, your laptop will be able to connect to the internet more efficiently by connecting directly to the router instead of through a booster or access point.

This is because the router will pick up signals from multiple devices (like mobile phones and laptops) at once, rather than having one signal be shared between all of them. This means your laptop will have better internet speeds than with 2.4GHz, 4G LTE, or 3G connections.

What are the benefits of enabling 5GHz Wi-Fi on your laptop?

You can take advantage of more bandwidth and download speeds.  5GHz Wi-Fi is a much faster connection than 2.4GHz Wi-Fi.  Because the amount of data you’re transferring to your network isn’t as high, there will be less lag on your internet connection.

With 5GHz Wi-Fi, connections are smoother and more stable than 2.4GHz Wi-Fi. You’ll also have better control over your bandwidth usage so you won’t waste any time waiting for data to show up on your internet connection or being interrupted by buffering issues.

How to enable 5GHz Wi-Fi on a laptop

To activate the 5GHz Wi-Fi on our laptops, we first of all need to check if the laptop is compatible with the 5GHz Wi-Fi or not. Of note is that most of all the laptops available in our homes or the market today are 5GHz Wi-Fi supported.

5GHz Wi-Fi is the fastest band in the dual-band and tri-band routers. However, it has a shorter range when compared with the 2.4GHz band. In Wi-Fi 6 routers, the 5GHz band has an excellent Wi-Fi speed.

Some of the devices in our homes are Wi-Fi 6 enabled. Therefore, these speeds will be able to utilize the Wi-Fi 6 speeds to give you excellent Wi-Fi speeds, better security features, and connections to multiple devices.

You can get your own Wi-Fi 6 compatible laptop to ensure you get the gains of the Wi-Fi speeds provided by the 5GHz band by Wi-Fi 6 routers. Thus you need to get a powerful laptop to enjoy the benefits when you learn how to enable 5GHz WiFi.

How to check if the laptop supports 5GHz Wi-Fi

There are several easy steps on how to check if your computer supports 5ghz WiFi. You can know if a laptop is compatible with 5g WiFi as follows:

  1. First of all, you click the start menu of the windows.
  2. Search ‘cmd’ A command prompt will appear
  3. You will then look at or type “netsh wlan show drivers” located at the command prompt and then press the enter key.
  4. A text will appear showing you various laptop specifications. You will then look at the radio types supported section and assess it.

Here is the determining factor as per the text.

  • If it is indicated that the network adapter supports 802.11ac and 802.11g, your laptop supports both the 5GHz and the 2.4GHz. It is, therefore, compatible with 5 GHz Wi-Fi.
  • If it is also indicated that the adapter supports 802.11n, the compatibility of your laptop for 2.4GHz and 5GHz may either be present or absent. Therefore, you will need to have a test to determine the compatibility and the ability to support 5 GHz Wi-Fi.
  • If it is indicated that the laptop supports 802.11b and 802.11g, the laptop only supports 2.4GHz.
  • 802.11n is perfect for 5GHz.

Enabling 5GHz Wi-Fi on windows 10

The step to step process of enabling 5GHz Wi-Fi on windows 10 on your laptop is as follows:

  1. Inspect your machine’s compatibility using the process described above.
  2. Activate the 5GHz mode on the adapter. The process involves the following:
  3. Select the device manager option after right-clicking the windows logo.
  4. On the device manager, select the network adapter’s option.
  5. Select and right-click the wireless adapters driver option and then choose the properties option.
  6. Find a tab indicated as ‘advanced’ from the wireless adapter properties.
  7. Select or search for 802.11n on the properties heading.
  8. On the value heading, select ‘enabled’ on the appearing drop-down menu.
  9. Tap ‘OK’ and reboot your PC. After the reboot process, you should find the 5 GHz WI-Fi enabled.

Another simple process that you can use to enable your laptop for 5GHz Wi-Fi is using the device manager set up. The process is as follows.

  1. Open the ‘wireless adapter’ settings and select ‘advanced.’
  2. Select ‘properties’ and search the preferred 5GHz band, and a list appears on the values section where you will select the 5GHz band and click ‘OK.’
  3. Reboot your laptop. After that, you will have your laptop 5GHz enabled.

Finally, the simplest process of how to enable 5GHz WiFi on your laptop is by automatically updating your Wi-Fi driver. You can also do the process manually.

Automatic update on a laptop

Updating your WiFi drivers is an easy way of how to how to get 5ghz wifi on a laptop. The process of the automatic update includes the following process.

  1. Search and select the ‘device manager’ from the windows key.
  2. Select the ‘Network adapters’ option and expand it to get the ‘wireless adapter’ driver.
  3. Right-click the driver and select ‘update drivers software.’
  4. You will then select ‘search automatically for an updated driver software’ This selection allows the automatic process to start and run on its own.
  5. After the update, restart your laptop.
  6. You will find the 5GHz network available.

You can also use the manual process of updating the 5GHz drivers for your laptop. The manual process for the update is as follows;

  1. Open the ‘device manager’ and select an option indicated as ‘browse my computer for drivers software’ This should be done in a new window.
  2. Browse then select the folder where the Wi-Fi driver software is hosted and hit the ‘next’ button.
  3. Follow the information relayed step by step until the driver gets fully installed.
  4. Finally, restart the computer. After the rebooting process, your laptop should 5GHz active.

Enabling 5GHz on windows 8 and 7

The process of enabling 5GHz Wi-Fi on windows 8 and Windows 7 is the same. If it is not active, the same process has an excellent outcome for the two. There are high chances that sometimes windows 7 shows the 5GHz Wi-Fi presence, but windows eight does not.

Even Windows 7 and eight can get updates to the 5GHz adapter for the laptop. To enable 5GHz Wi-Fi on laptops with windows 7 and 8 the following process works.

  1. Select the ‘open network and sharing center’  from the Wi-Fi icon on the right corner of the desktop’s lower right side.
  2. Select ‘change adapter settings.’
  3. On the Wi-Fi adapter, right-click and select the ‘properties’ option.
  4. Select ‘configure’ then go to the ‘driver’ tab.
  5. Then select ‘update driver’ then ‘browse my computer for driver software.’
  6. Select the option that will allow you to pick from the list of device drivers on your computer.
  7. Click ‘have disk.’
  8. You will then select the updated driver and select ‘next’ to have it installed.
  9. You will then close all the windows and restart the laptop to see if the 5GHz Wi-Fi is enabled.

The 9 steps above describe how to enable 5ghz wifi on windows 7 and windows 8. Once completed, you will be able to enjoy the faster WiFi band especially when you are near the router.

How to enable 5GHz Wi-Fi on a mac laptop

Mac laptops also have excellent support for 5GHz Wi-Fi. They also have an excellent performance when connected to the 2.4GHz Wi-Fi bands. However, you may experience a few challenges once in a while.

Checking if your mac laptop supports 5GHz Wi-Fi

Here is the process of assessing the ability of a mac laptop to support the 5GHz Wi-Fi bands.

  1. Select the apple icon  found at the top left part of the screen
  2. Select ‘about this mac’ option where several options appear
  3. Choose the ‘system report’ on the display options.
  4. Scroll down the options that feature on the left side until you see the ‘network’ option.
  5. On the ‘network’ option select ‘Wi-Fi’ then look a the ‘supported PHY Modes’
  6. You will then see the status indicated as 802.11a/b/g/n/ac.
  7. If your computer has 802.11a/b/g/n  support standards, your computer works perfectly with 5GHz Wi-Fi.

Mac automatically connects directly to the 5GHz Wi-Fi and can alternate with the 2.4GHz. However, the 5GHz Wi-Fi gets disabled when you tamper with the settings. You will need to separate the 5GHz band from the 2.4 GHz band for better functionality.

Additional reading: How to Remove Write Protection from USB Drive in Windows 10- 5 effective ways

To make the 5GHz band permanently active, you will click the ‘wireless options’ button located on the window’s bottom. Click the box located next to the ‘5GHz network’ name. Could you give it a unique, different name? Could you give it a unique, different name?

You will then set your device to use the 5GHz band every time it connects to the internet.

Common challenges that arise after enabling 5GHz Wi-Fi on your laptop

Certain challenges arise as soon as you enable your laptop to 5GHz Wi-Fi. Despite being compatible, the laptop still may not be able to handle the signal that comes along. Below are some common challenges that arise and how they can be solved.

No internet connection

There may be no internet flowing to your laptop after having it 5GHz enabled. What brings this challenge is, however, not very clear. Your laptop decides to fail. At times the problem could also be with your Wi-Fi router.

To fix this challenge, you will need to restart both your computer and your router. Restarting the computer will start the connection process afresh. You can also consider unplugging the router cables for around 30 seconds.

Slow connection

The major problem of slow connections is the distance between your device and the router. You should, therefore, first, get closer to the router as the first solution. Another problem could be the compatibility between the router and your laptop.

You will, therefore, experience a weaker signal that dominates the connection frequently. Such a challenge needs a simple fix. Restart the connection again. If the problem persists update the software of your computer

Network stability

After getting connected to the 5GHz Wi-Fi, your computer may begin to experience network instability. This is a challenge that occurs mostly with windows 8.

The first solution is to reconnect and ensure that the settings of the computer are strictly at auto-connect. Another solution is to ensure that the computer drivers are updated. You will therefore need to have all your computer drivers updated for better functionality.

You can also check the best laptops for Wi-Fi 6 or other devices. These devices enable you to enjoy the faster Wi-Fi 6 speeds at your home.

Conclusion: How to enable 5Ghz Wireless band on your laptop

We have explored how to switch to 5GHz WiFi on Windows 10, 8, and 7. Use the steps above to enable 5GHz WiFi on a laptop!

5GHz Wi-Fi has an excellent performance when connected to your laptop. You will enjoy fast speeds and a very stable internet connection. An extended range of connections to your computer is also another benefit.

5GHz Wi-Fi also proved to be excellent in supporting devices and programs that need extra internet, such as gaming. If you do not have this updated wireless technology, you need to have it today on your laptop.

In addition, you can get the best router for multiple devices to access fast internet speeds for your devices at home or in the office.


Can I use 5GHz WiFi on my PC?

Yes, you can use 5GHz WiFi on your personal computer (PC) if the Windows-based computer contains an 802.11a or 802.11n wireless network adapter. This is the adapter that is used to connect to the 5GHz network band.

Why my laptop can’t connect to 5G WiFi?

There are a few reasons why the laptop can’t connect to 5GHz WiFi. The main ones are the lack of 802.11a or 802.11n wireless network adapters or the installation of the wrong drivers. However, you can buy a USB Wi-Fi dongle for your laptop to add 5GHz WiFi to your laptop.

Is 5GHz better than 2.4 GHz?

5GHz WiFi band is better than 2.4GHz band when connecting your devices in close proximity. 5GHz has several WiFi channels which can be used without interference or overlapping. Moreover, 5GHz offers speedier WiFi at a short range as compared to 2.4GHz WiFi. However, 5GHz is easily blocked by walls and obstacles and has a shorter range as compared to 2.4GHz WiFi.

Is 2.4 GHz good for streaming?

If you have an excellent router, then yes 2.4GHz WiFi is good for streaming. However, since most of the devices are connected through the 2.4GHz because of compatibility and range, then we recommend using 5GHz for streaming and other high-bandwidth devices or activities.