Can't connect to WiFi on channel 13 after windows update (multiple different computers affected) RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi,

    We have a network of WiFi access points and a lot of them are on Channel 13 ( we are located in Europe so these channels are allowed to use ). 
    Recently, we started getting complaints from different users that they are not able to connect to our access points. The users use different brand computers ( HP, Asus ) and different brand of WiFi adapters ( realtek, atheros) and are using either Windows 7 or Windows 8. The only thing in common is that they recently installed Microsoft Windows updates. 
    The SSID is public (not hidden), they all were able to connect to the SSID before the updates. Currently, they can't even see the SSID in the network list. If we install some 3rd party tool to scan the networks on the computer - it does see the ssid. If we boot up from a livecd - it also does see the network. If we put the WiFi on channel 6 or some other lower channel - they are able to see the network, but not on channel 12-13. So this is definitely something related to windows update. Are there any known issues with this? How can this be fixed? Any workarounds available? 
    Unfortunately, these notebooks belong to our clients and we can't replicate the issue on a few of our own notebooks we tried. I would try to deinstall each update until i find out which one makes the wifi broken, but still waiting for a customer to sacrifice his notebook to me for a day or two to find this out.

    P.S. Changing the wifi channel to something other than 13 is _not_ a solution as it does not fix the underlying problem in windows.

    I asked the same question on but i've been forwarded here.

    Saturday, September 21, 2013 12:13 PM

All replies

  • Hi There,

    I had a similar problem (but not on such a wide scale :-P) until a few moments ago. I purchased a new Wi-Fi adapter and when it was connected to my desktop (Windows 7 64Bit All available updates installed) it wouldn't display Wi-Fi networks on channel 12 and 13. when I connected it to my laptop (Windows 7 64Bit All available updates installed) it would display and connect to networks on channel 12 and 13 with no problems. I fiddled around with my Wi-Fi adapters settings for a while and finally got it to work with channel 12 and 13.

    First open 'Control Panel' and go into 'Networking and Sharing Center' then select 'Manage wireless networks' and  click on 'Adapter properties', click on 'Configure' and then click on and then click on 'Advanced' then select 'Country Region (2.4GHz)' and in the Value Box Select  '#1(1-13)'.

    This solved my problem but this will probably be quite a hassle having to do this on a lot of pc's...

    I hope this will help you in some way!

    Kind Regards



    Monday, September 23, 2013 1:48 AM
  • Hi,

    This was my first guess too when i encountered the issue, but, unfortunately, none of the problematic notebooks / wifi adapters had an option to change the region in the adapters settings. Other notebooks have this ability so i know where to search for the setting, but unfortunately these ones didn't.

    I tried finding some settings in regedit too, but failed to find one.

    Any suggestions?

    Tuesday, September 24, 2013 7:20 AM
  • I honestly don't have a clue! 

    I've been able to change the region setting on all of my computers (3 windows 7 and 2 windows 8)......

    Do you have the Specs, Operating Systems (and whether they are 32 bit or 64 bit), Model's of laptops/netbooks that are affected?

    Tuesday, September 24, 2013 8:28 AM
  • Hi,

    In the USA, 802.11 operation in the channels 12 and 13 are actually allowed under low powered conditions. The 2.4 GHz Part 15 band in the US allows spread-spectrum operation as long as the 50-dB bandwidth of the signal is within the range of 2,400–2,483.5 MHz[10] which wholly encompasses both channels 12 and 13. A Federal Communications Commission (FCC) document clarifies that only channel 14 is forbidden and furthermore low-power transmitters with low-gain antennas may legally operate in channels 12 and 13.[11] However, channels 12 and 13 are not normally used in order to avoid any potential interference in the adjacent restricted frequency band, 2,483.5–2,500 MHz,[12] which is subject to strict emission limits set out in 47 CFR §15.205.[13]
    In Canada, 12 channels are available for use, 11 of which at full power and the other (channel 12) is transmit power limited. However, few devices have a method to enable a lower powered channel 12.

    So I guess the Microsoft devices just do not use these channels.

    For more information, please refer to the following article.

    List of WLAN channels

    Please Note: Since the website is not hosted by Microsoft, the link may change without notice. Microsoft does not guarantee the accuracy of this information.

    A quick and easy fix may just be to perform a system restore, which will roll back any driver updates.

    System Restore

    Even easier, may be to go into Device Manager, into the properties for the wireless device and click the Roll Back Driver button, if it is an option.

    Hope this helps,

    Ada Liu

    • Edited by v-Ada Tuesday, September 24, 2013 9:58 AM
    • Marked as answer by Cloud_TSModerator Sunday, October 6, 2013 7:31 AM
    • Unmarked as answer by sysmonk Monday, October 14, 2013 2:12 AM
    Tuesday, September 24, 2013 9:58 AM
  • Hi,

    Unfortunately you have not answered my question. 

    As i have stated in my question, i am in Europe, where channels 12-13 are allowed.

    Secondly, everything works fine on thousands of computers running different versions of linux/mac/windows. 

    Unfortunately, the system restore is not an answer either as we need to get the computers updated. It might be a temporarily solution IF Microsoft is going to fix this issue, but so far nobody has even marked this as an issue as everyone is from USA and not Europe, and does not care about this problem.

    The driver rollback also does not give any expected results (the driver for the wireless device itself doesn't seem to be updated during the windows update).

    Monday, October 14, 2013 2:17 AM
  • Hi,

    I ran into this very same problem and have used hours to find out what is going on.

    Does anyone know the solution for this?

    I'm in europe, my router uses channel 13. Windows 7 cannot see the SSID (but can see other ssid and connect), windows 10 and others (printer, phones, tablets, TV) can (and use).

    • Proposed as answer by HT2017 Wednesday, January 25, 2017 5:40 PM
    • Unproposed as answer by HT2017 Wednesday, January 25, 2017 5:40 PM
    Friday, November 4, 2016 6:16 PM
  • I am in the US. After reading posts from this thread, I looked at my router and and the channel bandwidth was set to Auto, which including 20MHz and 40 MHz I looked at my wifi network card configuration and it was set to 20MHz only. So, I think that is why sometime I can see my SSID and sometime not.  So I changed my router from Auto to 20 MHz for channel bandwidth and my laptop picked up my SSID right away.  My wifi netword card configuration doesn't have 40MHz, and that is why I set my router to 20MHz to match with my laptop.  Hope this helps!
    Wednesday, January 25, 2017 5:39 PM
    Sunday, July 23, 2017 7:44 PM
  • Good solution - if you're running the Turkish version of Windows. :-)

    Saturday, March 31, 2018 6:32 PM
  • hi, same problem i faced. but i cannot see the fixes on youtube. your article so helpful. its now working. thank you. :)

    Monday, May 13, 2019 9:39 AM
  • Just in case you like to avoid bunch of words


    Saturday, July 20, 2019 12:18 PM