7 Solutions to Fix the PS4 and PS5 ‘Cannot Connect to the WiFi Network within the Time Limit’ Error

Console errors are a major source of frustration for dedicated console players. There are limited resources and support when issues arise with Playstation or Xbox consoles. And from the perspective of troubleshooting, the options within Playstation’s software are limited. 

One common issue for PS4 and PS5 players is network connectivity. If your console has issues connecting to the Wi-Fi network promptly, your Playstation may display the error ‘Cannot Connect to the WiFi Network within the Time Limit’. 

Unfortunately, PlayStation provides no information on how to address this issue or what causes it. Continue reading to learn about PlayStation consoles and how to fix this troublesome error. 

Cannot connect to the WiFi network within the time limit PS4 and PS5 error


The PlayStation 4 console was released in 2013 to much fanfare. PlayStation enthusiasts were excited to get their hands on the next generation of consoles, following the PlayStation 2’s overwhelming success. 

The PS4 was in direct competition with Microsoft’s Xbox One. It experienced retail success up until this game console (except Slim models) was discontinued in 2021. Over 106 million PS4 units were sold in those eight years. 


The PlayStation 5 console came out in late 2020, in the midst of massive supply chain issues for hardware and computer chips. PlayStation has struggled to meet the demand of consumers that want to get their hands on a PS5. These consoles sell out almost immediately upon restock. 

PS5 offers many upgrades over the PS4, including a solid-state drive, ray tracing, and 4K resolution. As of May 2022, PlayStation had sold 20 million PS5s. 

What does the ‘Cannot Connect to the WiFi Network Within the Time Limit’ Error Mean?

The PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 expect your console to receive data from a server, within a predetermined amount of time. If your PS4 or PS5 is having issues connecting and exceeds this time, then the device automatically stops trying to connect. Then your console displays the time limit error. 

Software engineers know that if a connection isn’t established within that time frame, there is likely something wrong on either PlayStation’s side or yours. The error exists to prompt you to address that problem before the console can connect. 

Other Error Messages

  • PS4 won’t connect to wifi within the time limit
  • PS4 cannot connect to a server within the time limit

Why is your PS4 or PS5 Not Connecting to the Internet?

Just like with a computer, a PlayStation may have issues connecting to the internet for multiple reasons. The commonly reported problems include:

  • Your WiFi network is down – sometimes internet issues have nothing to do with the PS4 or PS5. If your own Wi-Fi network goes down because your router fails or your ISP is having issues, you won’t be able to connect your console to the internet using that Wi-Fi connection. 
  • Wrong Authentication Information – to connect to your WiFi network, you need the correct authentication information. Double-check the network password to make sure you have it right.
  • DNS Settings – your PS4 or PS5 may have incorrect DNS (domain name service) settings that are preventing the console from connecting to the internet. Check out the best DNS servers for PS4 and PS5
  • PSN Down – The PlayStation Network is the online gaming service that all PlayStation consoles use. If PSN is down, you won’t be able to connect to PSN to play games with friends. 
  • Proximity to Router – If your console is set up too far from your wireless router, you may have issues connecting to the internet. You may be able to connect sometimes, but your connection drops out on occasion. This is especially common if you live in a bigger house or have your console placed on a different floor than your router. Check the following guide if your PS4 is not connecting to WiFi at all.
  • Outdated Router Firmware – routers receive firmware updates to address bugs or add support for new features. If yours hasn’t been updated in a while, this can cause connection issues. 
  • Wi-Fi Channel is Overloaded – If too many devices are on the same Wi-Fi channel, this can cause poor network performance. 

7 Solutions for the ‘Cannot Connect to the WiFi Network Within the Time Limit’ Error

1. Check Your Wi-Fi Connection

The easiest solution to start with when solving the ‘Cannot Connect to the WiFi Network Within the Time Limit’ error. Ensure that you can connect to your Wi-Fi using another device, like a laptop, desktop computer, smartphone, or tablet. 

Note the connection quality on these devices as well. If they can connect initially but continue to get booted off the network. In such cases, the signal may not be strong enough in that part of the house. You can try to move your console closer to the wireless router, to see if the issues resolve. 

If you cannot connect to the network on another device, then you need to take extra steps to troubleshoot your wireless network. We’ll cover some of these route troubleshooting options in later solutions, but you can always contact your ISP to check for an outage or other issues they can see on their side. 

2. Reboot Router and Modem

If your Wi-Fi network is not working, the first step troubleshooting step is always to reboot. Turn it off and back on. It really is that simple, but it fixes so many nebulous network issues. Make sure to leave the router and modem unplugged for at least 30 seconds to dissipate any energy stored in the capacitors. 

3. Use an Ethernet Cable

A wired internet connection is always preferred when possible. Your house may not have wired connections available in each room, which is why you are trying to use Wi-Fi. But if you need to get reconnected, you can hook up to your router or modem, using an Ethernet cable. 

using an ethernet cable for connection

You’ll probably have to relocate your console to the room where your router and modem are, but your internet connection will be faster and more stable than a Wi-Fi connection. 

4. Test Connection on PS4 and PS5

The PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 have a feature that allows you to perform an internet connection test from the console. To test your connection:

  1. Turn on your PS4 or PS5. Within the Main Menu, press down on the D-Pad until the Settings (toolbox) icon is highlighted. 
Playstation main menu
  1. Continue using the D-Pad to navigate to Network, then press X (Enter) to select.
select network using D-pad
  1. Highlight Test Internet Connection and again press X (Enter) to select. 
test internet connection
  1. When complete, the PS4 or PS5 will output a report similar to the one below. Check that an IP Address could successfully be obtained, that the network connection was successful, and that PlayStation Network Sign-In was successful. 
test internet connection result

5. Change WiFi Channel 

Before you go updating your Wi-Fi router’s firmware or setting up port forwarding, try to change the Wi-Fi channel first. Many households use dual-band routers, providing two different WiFi channels. If you have a dual-band router, you’ll be conditioned to see two Wi-Fi options that match your Wi-Fi network name. The naming format typically looks like this:: 

  • <Network Name> 2.4GHz
  • <Network Name> 5GHz

Normally, you’ll want to use 5GHz for your more demanding electronics. 5GHz offers a faster connection, but has a limited range, whereas 2.4GHz has a longer range with a slower internet connection. You should put consoles, smartphones, and computers on 5GHz, but put smart home devices, smart TVs, smartwatches, and other similar devices on 2.4GHz.

Think about what Wi-Fi channel your PS4 or PS5 normally uses. If it’s always on 5GHz try switching to 2.4GHz to see if you can connect. Or if it’s always on 2.4GHz do the opposite. These channels can get bogged down if too many devices are connected at once. 

To change the Wi-Fi channel for your PS4 or PS5:

  1. Turn on your PS4 or PS5. Within the Main Menu, press down on the D-Pad until the Settings (toolbox) icon is highlighted. 
  2. Continue using the D-Pad to navigate to Network, then press X (Enter) to select.
  3. Select Setup Internet Connection and then choose Use Wi-Fi from the next menu. 
set up internet connection of your PS4 or PS5
  1. Follow the steps and you’ll see a list of Wi-Fi networks that your PS4 is picking up. Select the one that has the channel you want to switch to, and you’ll need to enter the network password. It will be the same as your other network password. 

6. Change DNS Server

Your PS4 may assign a DNS server automatically and you don’t always want that. You manually specify a DNS server within PS4 or PS5 by setting up a custom internet connection:

  1. Turn on your PS4 or PS5. Within the Main Menu, press down on the D-Pad until the Settings (toolbox) icon is highlighted. 
  2. Continue using the D-Pad to navigate to Network, then press X (Enter) to select.
  3. Select Setup Internet Connection and then choose Use Wi-Fi from the next menu. 
  4. Now select Custom.
  5. Set the IP Address Settings to Automatic for best results. 
set up internet connection on PS4 or PS5
  1. Under DHCP Host Name, select Do Not Specify
  2. Now under DNS Settings, you want to select Manual. This is where you are going to make the changes.
  3. Enter a preferred DNS into the Primary DNS option. Then select Done. Do the same for Secondary DNS, selecting your backup DNS option. Select Done and then Next. 
select new DNS servers on the internet connection setup to fix the Cannot Connect to the WiFi Network within the Time Limit error
  1. Select Automatic for MTU Settings. Then choose Do Not Use for Proxy Server. The setup is complete and you can now Test Internet Connection to see if the DNS changes made the ‘Cannot Connect to the Network within the Time Limit’ error go away.

7. Update Router Firmware

If you really need to use the Wi-Fi connection and can’t hardwire it or move the console, then try to update your router firmware as the last option. Router manufacturers regularly release firmware updates. 

Firmware is just software that controls a hardware device. Firmware updates can fix troublesome bugs and even improve the performance of your internet connections. 

To check your router for new firmware:

  1. Enter your router’s IP address into the search bar of Chrome or another web browser. Usually, this IP address is listed on the router somewhere. 
  2. Enter your Username and Password to gain access to your router’s private network settings. 
Update router firmware to fix the Cannot Connect to the Wi-Fi Network within the Time Limit PS4 error
  1. This step will differ across router manufacturers, but you’ll need to navigate to the Update or Firmware section of the router’s settings. Check the Advanced, Management, or Administration tabs if you are having issues locating it. 
  2. You may need to visit the manufacturer’s site to download the firmware update file. Once downloaded, extract the file and place it on your desktop so it’s easy to find. 
  3. Within the router settings page, select this firmware update file and start the upgrade process. When the router has been updated, reboot to make sure the firmware is completely applied. 

Resolved ‘Cannot Connect to the WiFi Network Within the Time Limit’ Error

The ‘Cannot Connect to the WiFi Network Within the Time Limit’ error can be a major pain for PS4 and PS5 players. Usually, it’s related to your own home Wi-Fi network, so you’ll need to do some standard Wi-Fi router troubleshooting to find a solution that works. 

If none of these options work, check that PSN is up by visiting the PlayStation Networks status page

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