It’s not strange if all of the network-dependent apps aren’t working fine on Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi issues are common and there are many factors involved. However, what happens if most apps work without issues but only some apps are not working on Wi-Fi?
For example, some people report Instagram won’t work on Wi-Fi, even if it works on Mobile data without issues. Or it could be any other app. That’s exactly what happened to a user we found on Google Forums. So, we made sure to put our minds to it and find some applicable solutions. If you’re affected by this problem, check the instructions we provided below.
Table of contents:
- Clear local data or reinstall apps
- Disable VPN/proxy/Custom DNS
- Switch to 2.4GHz
- Use different MAC Address settings
- Reset Network settings
Why are some apps not connecting to the internet?
We can think of a few reasons why most apps work on Wi-Fi but certain apps are not connecting to the internet. The local app data might get corrupted (quite possibly after major Android updates, like Android 12) or the affected apps are outdated.
That can be mitigated by simply reinstalling those apps. However, we can’t ignore networks and various network-related factors that can cause issues with apps and internet connection. So, you can try tweaking network settings and giving it another try. If that fails, try resetting network settings.
1. Clear local data or reinstall apps
Due to the nature of the problem, we should eliminate causes coming from the affected apps before we move to network-related steps. First, make sure that the app itself isn’t down because of server-side issues. You can usually find information on that on Down Detector or some other website.
If that’s not the case, you can clear the app’s cache and data first and then, if that fails, go for the reinstall. To clear the local data from any app, you’ll need to navigate to Settings > Apps. Once you select the app from the list of available apps, you need to open Storage and clear the data. A quick restart is suggested.
On the other hand, to reinstall apps, you can uninstall them from your Home Screen or navigate to Google Play Store, search for the problematic app, and uninstall it there. After that, you can install it again, sign in if necessary, and check for improvements.
In addition, while in Settings > Apps, tap on the 3-dots menu and then tap Reset app preferences. Resetting app preferences will bring all your installed apps to their default states, and hopefully, those certain apps that were not working on Wi-Fi will start working now.
2. Disable VPN/proxy/Custom DNS
If the issues persist, we should probably move to the network to determine why exactly some apps work on Wi-Fi while others don’t. The main focus is the router. Give it a restart first and wait for your phone to reconnect. If that did nothing, access router settings and ensure that the built-in firewall isn’t blocking some domains or devices.
Continue by disabling VPN, proxy, or DNS (if you made any changes to it) on your phone. Some apps are region-locked so you won’t be able to use them in different regions, so make sure to disable anything that might alter your IP address and give it another try.
You can usually find all those settings in Settings > Connections > More connection settings. Of course, the exact path might differ based on your device model, Android version, and the Android skin (OneUI, Stock Android on Pixels, MIUI, etc.).
3. Switch to 2.4GHz
This might be a bit of a long shot but stranger things have happened. If you own a dual-band router that allows both 2.4GHz and 5GHz wireless connection, switch to 2.4GHz. You can do that in router settings. You can set up and use both simultaneously so, connect to one SSID first and then try another with a different band.
Also, on a bit unrelated note, try navigating to Settings > Connections > Advanced options or More connection options > DNS (or just search for DNS in Settings and open it). Once there, select Private DNS provider hostname and, in the text field, type dns.google, save it, and try again. If that failed, you can try changing the MAC Address settings.
4. Use different MAC Address settings
A MAC Address can be Randomized or taken from your phone that has a unique MAC Address like all other devices with network capabilities. In this case, we suggest switching from whatever is set by default (usually Randomized MAC) to the other option and trying again.
Some users managed to address (no pun intended) the problem that way. Here’s how to use different MAC Address settings on your Android:
- Open Settings.
- Select Connections and open the Wi-Fi network your phone is currently connected to.
- Tap Advanced settings or expand more options.
- Tap on MAC Address and change it to the alternative option. From Randomized to Phone’s MAC or vice versa.
- Open the app that’s not working on Wi-Fi and give it another try.
5. Reset Network settings
Finally, we can only suggest resetting network settings. Of course, a factory reset is also an option but we’re not sure if that’s going to solve anything, and can take a lot of time and effort to set up everything. So, go for the network reset and hope for the best because no one wants to be left with the factory reset as their last resort. Although resetting network settings delete some things, it’s much less of a pain.
Here’s how to reset network settings on your Android:
- Open Settings.
- Select System or General management.
- Choose Reset options or Reset.
- Tap Reset Wi-Fi, mobile & Bluetooth (or Reset network settings).
- Tap Reset and confirm when prompted.
And, with that said, we can conclude this article. Thank you for reading and don’t forget to tell us if the solutions provided here worked for you. Have you managed to fix the problem with a different approach? Share it with us in the comments section below.
Editor’s note: This article was initially published in July 2022. We made sure to revamp it for freshness and accuracy.
Social media apps not working on Wi-Fi, how to fix them?
Before anything, check if the apps are not down. Facebook's (or rather Meta's) social media services tend to have a global outage from time to time. If that's not the case, reinstall apps, and check network settings and app permissions.
Wi-Fi not working with certain apps on iOS, is there a fix?
On iOS, you can reinstall the apps and hope for the best although it's worth inspecting network settings and restarting your router and phone. Of course, unless the problem is on the other side. If nothing works, reset network settings.