One of the more annoying messages for most users is “AP currently not in use”, especially for those who don’t understand what an AP is and why it is not being used by the device they are using.
These errors don’t give you a great deal of information to work with and, for surfers who aren’t knowledgeable about technological matters, can seem like a mysterious problem that doesn’t help you fix it. However, it’s not actually that difficult to fix and requires effectively no technical knowledge to remedy. You can do it at home with a few simple settings changes and possibly moving a router. Simple!
Learning how to fix your AP will help you a great deal in the long run and is actually a relatively easy fix. When you can do this, you will be able to explain what the AP is to your technologically illiterate relatives, recognize why the AP is unreachable, and remedy the problem as quickly as possible. We will examine how you can do this without asking the IT specialist who lives at the end of the road to fix your internet.
What is an AP?
An AP is an Access Point, which is generally a router in small office/home office settings. In large businesses, this will often be a much more complex piece of equipment. This is a device that creates the point of access to the internet. That is to say that it allows a laptop, cellphone, or other devices to connect to the internet. It does this by creating a WLAN (or wireless local area network), which is the standard internet connection type in a home environment. Devices connect to the WLAN wirelessly (as is implied by the name) and can suffer problems due to the wireless signal suffering.
In a home setting, an AP is a router. Home routers are actually many devices wrapped up into one device for ease of use for those without technical knowledge of how this kind of technology works. This differs from enterprise environments where the equipment will be more powerful and specialized.
If you are struggling to access the AP and it is currently not in use while your internet connection is slow, you will have to do some basic troubleshooting and non-technical fixes. Nothing that is suggested in this article requires an in-depth knowledge of the technology or device that you are using, so anyone should be able to put an end to this problem if they come across it.
When will I see this error message? AP Currently Not in Use
When trying to connect to the internet, you may enter (or find) the correct name for your wireless connection and the correct password and still fail to connect to the internet. For whatever reason, the device in use cannot find the AP and reports this back to the user.
What is an AP error a sign of?
If you have a WiFi AP currently not in use error on your device, it is not generally a huge problem that will require a technician’s help. Usually, these errors mean that there is difficulty connecting to the internet. It could even be a temporary error with the router that only needs you to restart the device. However, sometimes there are bigger problems that are related to something more complex.
First things first, check the internet connection. If you are out of the range (that is, too far away) of the router, you will see a low connection to the internet on your device. You can either get a range extender to connect to the router or simply move closer to the AP. This is the simplest fix for a common problem.
If this hasn’t worked, you can use the following list to find out how best to treat your problem.
Most common problems with AP Not Found Errors
Step one: Restart your device
Restarting a device can almost magically fix it sometimes. This is down to a number of reasons, but for a non-technically minded individual, it basically cleans the memory and refreshes the system.
Refreshing the system will often fix the problem – this is often excellent advice for any piece of technology, never mind just routers and other Access Points!
Step two: make the necessary checks
This includes checking whether you have your router set up correctly (correct router name or Service Set Identifier, correct password, and other correct settings). Sometimes, if a router has been updated recently, it will have to reset any settings changed by the user to the default. Correcting this manually is fairly straightforward.
Also, checking that you are actually connected to the correct network is also important – this is a problem that many people don’t even think of as they assume it is so obvious. Yet, this is often the root of the issue!
Step three: check the location of the AP
Even though you have moved closer to it in the past, sometimes it can actually be the problem of the location of the router and the access point itself. Small movements to the AP can actually lead to the problem being fixed.
Instead of leaving your router in a secluded corner in the back room, moving it into the main area where you will be connecting to it through wireless connections can actually lead to much better connections. Also keeping the router away from walls and other blockages can also help the signal maintain stronger.
Although being near an obstruction does not stop the wireless signal from being sent out by the router, it can cause issues by deflecting the signal. This can cause “dropped packets” (that is, information sent out by the router is lost and the signal must be sent again by the device which is sending it) which can lead to slow connections and the AP being unavailable.
Step four: checking for unhelpful settings
Some devices (mostly cell phones) will have a setting called something like “avoid poor connections”. This is to help the device maintain a good connection to the internet when it is strong, but also to help it maintain battery life when the connection is poor so the phone can stay offline.
If you have a router or other AP which means that you are often dealing with poor connections, you may want to disable this setting. As you want to stay connected to the device for as long as you can realistically connect, this setting is actually detrimental to what you want.
How will this display on a cell phone?
A common error message for Galaxy users is finding that the “AP currently not in use” for the Samsung Galaxy S5. The problem, much like any other portable device, is not big, however.
If you have followed the steps above and cannot access the AP still, then there is an additional step for those who are using cell phones or tablets that run Android. There are two simple fixes for this problem – reset the WiFi settings or reset the connection.
If you wish to reset the settings, enter the settings where you can find Network and Sharing Center. When you have navigated to this page, then you can find the radio button where you can select either Obtain IP Address Automatically or Obtain DNS Server Address Automatically (Domain Name System is a protocol that gives names to websites instead of using only the IP address). If this has been completed, the device will function as its own DNS server and automatically connect to the AP where it might not have done beforehand.
An easier way (especially for mobile users) is to forget the network and connect to it again. This is a straightforward fix to most connection problems and will refresh the device and the device’s connection. If you have to do this often, however, it would be a good idea to take your device to a technician as it could be a sign of a hardware fault that is causing connection issues.
How To Fix “AP currently not in use. Internet connection too slow.” Error on Android (Video)
If you have an AP which cannot be accessed, these simple settings can help out and allow you to fix your problem with many issues. Moving the router or other AP itself often mixes the problem in most cases, as many people don’t realize how much of a problem poor storage of an AP can be. However, restarting the device or checking the settings on the connecting device is also a good idea as it means that you can quickly reset and fix the problem with minimal technology intrusion.
Meet Eriksson Ray. I’m the co-founder of TenWitch.com. Our website is dedicated to the coverage of product reviews, buyer’s guides, best lists, etc. We can help you to choose a new modem/router or troubleshooting your Internet connection.