AT&T Troubleshooting Guide

Fix your AT&T internet issues

AT&T is one of the nation’s top internet providers, but every internet connection can experience service interruptions and slowdowns. Whether you’re dealing with an equipment malfunction, internet congestion, or an outage, this guide will help your solve your AT&T internet problems. And for more tips on fixing your slow AT&T internet, you can also check out our complete guide on internet troubleshooting.

Internet issues occurring too often?

Maybe it’s time for a new provider. Enter your zip code to see what’s available in your area.

Restart your AT&T gateway or modem

This is the tried and true, go-to solution for most AT&T internet issues. It’s quick, easy, and effective. Restarting your AT&T equipment also initiates any needed updates.

Restarting your AT&T gateway or modem is simple:

Step 1: Remove the power cord from the back of your AT&T gateway or modem. If your equipment has a backup battery or phone cable, remove that as well.

Step 2: Wait 20 seconds with the power cable disconnected to ensure the equipment powers down completely.

Step 3: Reconnect the power cable and battery if your equipment has one. For DSL subscribers, reconnect the phone cable.

Step 4: Wait (up to 10 minutes) while the equipment reboots.

Check your AT&T gateway status lights

The status LEDs on your gateway or modem can help you quickly diagnose all kinds of internet issues.

In general, here’s what the most important equipment lights mean:

Light labelSolid greenFlashing greenSolid red
PowerFully bootedBooting up, updating, or testingBoot error
Internet/broadband/WANConnected to the internetAttempting to connect to the internetUnable to connect to the internet
Wi-Fi/wirelessWi-Fi is activeData transmitting over Wi-FiWi-Fi error
EthernetEthernet is activeData transmitting via EthernetEthernet error

First, make sure your gateway or modem is connected to the internet by checking your internet connection light, usually labeled broadband, Internet, WAN, or a globe icon. If you have anything but a solid green light, you may have an internet connection issue. In that case, you should check your cables for damage and then try a restart. If that doesn’t work, it’s time to call AT&T customer service.

After you check that your AT&T equipment is connected to the internet, use the other lights to rule out other issues, like Wi-Fi and Ethernet errors.

Most modems and gateways follow the conventions of the table above, but some are a little different. AT&T has a terrific equipment lights guide you can use to get more information on your specific AT&T gateway or modem.

Are you getting the internet speeds you’re paying for?

Find out with our internet speed test.

Look for damaged cables

Networking cables can get damaged by all kinds of unexpected causes. The usual culprits are harsh twisting, kinking, chewing from pets, and even being stepped or rolled over too often.

Make sure your cables are fully connected to your equipment and devices (for Ethernet). Look out for loose or damaged connectors. With Ethernet and phone cables, the connectors can become less springy, making them loose in the ports. Ensure your cables make an audible click when inserted.

Next, check for obvious signs of damage, like a tear or harsh kink. Also, relieve any cables that are taught with tension. Sometimes, you can’t see cable damage; so when in doubt, replace them. Damaged cables are a common cause of randomly disconnecting internet connections.

Confirm an outage

Occasional outages are bound to happen with any internet provider. Here’s how your check to see if there’s an AT&T outage:

Step 1: Open a web browser and go to https://www.att.com/outages.

Step 2: Enter your zip code and click the “Check for outages” button.

You can also check for outages with the My AT&T app (iOS and Android), where you can get the latest status updates and sign up for text alerts. Unfortunately, you can’t do anything yourself about an AT&T internet outage; you have to wait for your ISP (internet service provider) to fix the problem.

Get a faster internet plan

There may not be anything technically wrong with your internet connection; you may just need more bandwidth. AT&T is a great ISP with some really fast internet plans. But it might feel like you have slow AT&T internet if you don’t have enough speed to keep up with your internet use.

What’s the perfect internet speed for you? 

Try our quick “How Much Internet Speed Do I Need?” test to estimate your specific bandwidth needs.

Disconnect a third-party router

If you have a router that isn’t from AT&T, disconnect it and connect your device directly to your AT&T gateway. If you need help, see our guide on how to connect your computer to your router.

AT&T or your router’s manufacturer may introduce updates that cause compatibility issues between your AT&T service and your router. If your equipment is rated as a compatible third-party product, these hiccups are rare and usually temporary.

See our tips for speeding up your Wi-Fi if you’re not getting enough speed out of your router.

Update your operating system and antivirus

It’s important to keep your operating system (OS) and antivirus rigorously up to date to remain compatible with your AT&T service. It’s a good idea to set up auto-updates. Remember to always back up your computer before an OS update.

Update Windows 10:

Step 1: Click the Windows start button.

Step 2: Navigate to Settings by clicking the gear icon to the far left.

Step 3: Click the Update and Security tile near the bottom.

Step 4: Click the Check for Updates button, which will automatically download and install any available updates.

Update Mac OS:

Step 1: Click the Apple icon in the upper-left corner.

Step 2: Select System Preferences.

Step 3: Click the Update Now button.

Note: If you see an Upgrade Now button instead of an Update Now button, clicking it will download and install a whole new OS. Upgrading to a new OS is a bigger deal than just updating. It may render some of your software unusable, as there are always some growing pains when changing over to a new OS.

Pay your AT&T internet bill

Your service could be shut off if you’re late on your internet bill. You can check with the My AT&T app (iOS and Android) or by logging in to your AT&T online account.

Contact AT&T tech support

If you’ve tried all these fixes to no avail, it’s time to get in touch with the pros.

AT&T Tech Support Phone Number: (800)288-2020

AT&T Customer Support Chat: https://www.att.com/support/topic/u-verse-high-speed-internet

(Scroll to the bottom left of the page)

FAQ

How can I check for an AT&T outage?

You can check for AT&T outages either with the My AT&T app (iOS & Android) or by going to https://www.att.com/outages.

Where can I find my AT&T Wi-Fi password?

Your Wi-Fi network name and password can be found on a sticker attached to your AT&T gateway or router. Look for the labels Wi-Fi Network Name and Wi-Fi Password.

If you changed your network name or password, you need to log in to your router to access them.

What’s the best AT&T internet plan?

AT&T’s best plans are undoubtedly its fiber internet plans. To learn more, see our AT&T provider review, or skip straight to checking out AT&T internet plans .

Why is my AT&T DSL slow?

DSL is one of the slower internet types to begin with. Additionally, DSL is susceptible to network congestion and outages, as are all internet services.

However, DSL is particularly prone to distance issues because it transmits using a phone line. This means your DSL connection may suffer if your residence is too far from the ISP’s main connection, which is either on a telephone pole or in a telecommunications pedestal box.

Author -

Austin worked as a broadband technician installing and troubleshooting countless home internet networks for some of the largest ISPs in the U.S. He became a freelance writer in 2020 specializing in software guides. After graduating with a BS in technical communication from Arizona State University, he joined the team at HighSpeedInternet.com where he focuses on home network improvement and troubleshooting.

Editor - Rebecca Lee Armstrong

Rebecca Lee Armstrong has more than six years of experience writing about tech and the internet, with a specialty in hands-on testing. She started writing tech product and service reviews while finishing her BFA in creative writing at the University of Evansville and has found her niche writing about home networking, routers, and internet access at HighSpeedInternet.com. Her work has also been featured on Top Ten Reviews, MacSources, Windows Central, Android Central, Best Company, TechnoFAQ, and iMore.