Unable to connect because you need a certificate to sign in to Wi-Fi

If you receive this error message when you try to connect to WiFi —  Can’t connect because you need a certificate to sign in to WiFi, then this Article will help you resolve it. Users have reported getting this problem all of a sudden. For example, Windows was already connected to the same WiFi, but the browser then stopped working. However, the problem does not lie with the browser. Instead, the issue is with the configuration of your WiFi.

Connecting to WiFi requires a certificate. Contact Your IT support person.

Why does the Wi-Fi Certificate Error appear?

The problem also occurs in business environments where the WiFi is set up so that the server issues a certificate for every connection. Problems can occur if the server doesn’t know the issuer, the client doesn’t know the server certificate has changed, or the certificate has changed. The error can occur when changes in WiFi security protocol are made, the time on the PC is out of sync, or the network adaptor has a problem. In all of these cases, the secure connection or any certificate used to connect to the WiFi connection will be invalidated.

Can’t connect because you need a certificate to sign in to Wi-Fi

Here are some solutions that will help you to fix this problem occurring on your Windows 11/10 PC. These are:

  1. Configure Windows Network Profile
  2. Fix Time and Time Zone
  3. Ensure Windows Time Service is Automatic
  4. Reset Network Adapter
  5. Connect with IT support

Here are some solutions to fix the Windows WiFi certificate error on your computer.

  1. Configure WiFi Security Profile

If your WiFi provider or router has changed its security settings, you will need to make the necessary changes. Especially if the Network is hidden and you manually configured it.

Ensure the router or access point is configured with the appropriate security type before proceeding. SSID or Network Name, as well as password, are already known to you.

  • Open Windows Settings using Win + I
  • Click on the Network and Internet option
  • First, click on the Forget button next to the network which was earlier used
  • Done that, click on Add Network button to open Add a new network window
  • Make sure to set the Security type as WPA2-Enterprise and the Encryption type as AES. 

Following that, you must choose the EAP method, add a trusted server name, and add the certificate thumbprint. Once you have done that, connect to the network and check if this works.

  1. Fix Time & Time Zone
  • Right-click on the Start button and click on Settings
  • Select Time & Language.
  • Disable and then enable both Set Time Automatically and Set Time Zone Automatically.

Restart the computer for the changes to take effect.

Check if the problem has been resolved now. If not, you will need to set things manually. It is possible for the discrepancy to occur when the regional time differs from the PC settings.

  1. Ensure Windows Time Service is set to automatic.

Windows offers a Time Service that maintains synchronization between clients and servers in a network. The date and time synchronization will be unavailable if this service is stopped. All services that depend on this service will fail to start if it is disabled.

  • Open Run prompt and type services.msc and press the Enter key
  • It will open the Services window and locate Windows Time.
  • Right-click on the Windows Time service and then click on Restart.
  • If that doesn’t resolve the issue, right-click on the Windows Time Service once again.
  • Go to Properties. Here, you need to make changes to the Startup type. Change it to Automatic from Manual.
  • Confirm that the changes have been made by clicking on OK.

This should resolve the Windows WiFi certificate error on your system.

  1. Reset Network Adapter

Using the following steps you can fix the WiFi certificate errors in Windows by resetting the network adapter.

  • Right-click on the Windows Start (Windows icon on the extreme bottom left).
  • Select Device Manager.
  • Scroll down to Network adapters from the list. Click on the arrow sign to expand it
  • You will see a list of adapters mentioned.
  • Right-click on the WiFi network adapter.
  • From the drop-down menu, select disable and then re-enable them to reset the network adapter.

If this doesn’t work, you can run the Network Troubleshooter

  • Open Windows Settings using Win + I
  • Navigate to System > Troubleshooters > Other troubleshooters
  • Locate Network Adapters and click on the Run button next to it
  • Once done, you will be able to

Make sure you restart your computer for the changes to take effect.

  1. Connect with IT support

The best course of action would be to connect with the IT team and have it resolved. Chances are that you will be informed if something has changed on the IT end. Nevertheless, if that doesn’t work, a professional team should be contacted.

Windows might pop up the WiFi certificate error for a variety of reasons. Likewise, different solutions can resolve the issue with ease. Try all of these methods and see if the problem is fixed or not. Contact a professional as soon as possible if the problem persists!

Where are WiFi certificates in Windows?

WiFi certificates are stored in the local machine’s certificate store, just like other certificates. You can check out both user certificates and computer certificates using Certificate Manager.

How do I find my WiFi certificates?

Windows stores all certificates in one location, and they can be viewed via certmgr.msc. When it opens, locate Enterprise Trust and you should be able to view the certificate there. The Trusted Root Certification will display it in other cases.