19 replies on 3 ways to connect to hidden Wi-Fi networks in Windows 10

  1. Paul says:

    These directions may work for those rare times when a person is setting up a brand new router, and have not ever connected to it, and then begin the initial set-up using these instructions. However, for the vast majority of the time, users have already connected to the router, and are trying to add security by disabling the SSID from broadcasting, just as I did. Now, after disabling the SSID from broadcasting, I followed these instructions, and it all went as described, until I got to the last screen-shot (successfully added), where mine instead says “A network called (my networks name) already exists.” When I click on the selection “Use existing network” that window closes and I’m looking at the Network and Sharing page (which says currently not connected to any networks), and still no internet connection. I ran connection troubleshoot: Nope! Even re-booted my computer: Nadda! Help?

    • Paul says:

      Follow up from Paul: I renamed the router and changed the password, rebooted the router and logged off. I again removed the Ethernet from my laptop, restarted it, and then followed your instructions here to the letter, and it all went just as yours did: I got the “successfully added” but with everything on, and no troubleshooting errors, I still have no internet connection. There is a list of all the other networks available in this apartment complex, but mine does not show in the list (as it should be) and I get “Not connected – Connections are available.” So, from my experiment, it is not possible to connect a Win 10 to a hidden SSID. I went in to the router settings, unhid the SSID (selected NO on the Hide SSID option), restarted Win 10, it discovered and listed the newly named router, I ticked the “connect automatically” and it logged in easily.

  2. darkhorse says:

    Same experience as Paul above.

    Windows 10 can’t connect to a hidden SSID. Tried restarting the WiFi Access Point etc, no luck. Seems like a Windows 10 bug or feature.

  3. darkhorse says:

    It seems a known problem with Windows 10 + hidden SSID.

    See Microsoft answers

    Conclusion is: If SSID is left open (broadcast) then Windows 10 is able to connect, but if it is hidden Windows 10 is unable to connect.

    Windows 8 did not have such problem.

  4. fedelyn gayo says:


  5. Thomas says:

    If I use a TKIP+AES Key for WPA2-Personal. It does not work. Windows 10 works only with AES key…what a pity.. WIndows 7 works for TKIP+AES.

  6. Robert says:

    I believe I read somewhere that not broadcasting disables WPS. I want WPS disabled on all of my network devices.

  7. Dary says:

    My router is capable of broadcasting multiple access points. Opening up all of them look the wifi networks list very long. Scrolling and finding the one I like to connect is painful process, hence hiding the access points.

  8. Ivan says:

    my xps13 laptop does not connect automatically to the hidden network. If i am using the wifi and shut down my laptop, i have to re enter the SSID and password if i startup my laptop again. Additionally, everytime i manually reconnect, the SSID has an incremental number beside it.

    My iphones automatically connects to the wifi even when i reconnect to it.

    CAn you advise why my laptop wont automatically connect everytime i am in range of my home hidden wifi?


  9. sutfuf says:

    So convoluted. Mac OS and Linux have no issues connecting to hidden wifi. (After adding, just click the network from the list and it connects.) Win10 is a pain. “Hidden” what the? Why doesn’t it just come up with it’s name in the list _after_ I add it? I hate windows, and this is why. It’s not intuitive.

  10. Marion (Belle )Straker says:

    I do not know if it is how the issue began but windows 10 did a large upgrade several months ago.
    Since then I keep losing my internet connection anywhere from 2 – 8 hours after opening.
    The message I get when trying to restart the internet is “windows cant connect to the hidden network.

    I did not sign up for or to my knowledge I didnt do anything to have a hidden network.
    I have paid over $400.00 at best buy trying to fix it. I have had my isp come in three different times. Nothing helps.
    I bought a contract with Geek Squad and they say they will give me a discount to bring it in again.
    I need to know HOW and why I would have a hidden network..
    I am just very frustrated.

    Thank you.

    • L. Josserand says:

      You should not need to “sign up for” or “pay $400” to have (or not have) a Hidden WI-FI network. In this context ‘Hidden’ just means that your Wi-Fi network is configured NOT to regularly broadcast its SSID (or network name). The Wi-Fi Hidden/not-Hidden value is just a setting within the definition of your Wi-Fi network and it can easily be changed. The default value is typically that of not-Hidden, and this will cause your Wi-Fi network to periodically broadcast (or announce) its SSID to network users in range, thus indicating its current availability. A Hidden Wi-Fi network can be thought of as being similar in concept to ‘unlisted’ telephone numbers, or perhaps website addresses/URLs on the so-called ‘dark web’. These are normally accessible only by those who already know (by other means) the SSID, unlisted telephone number, or web address/URL in question.

  11. Not Given says:

    I is a hidden network at home to help prevent being hacked

    • L. Josserand says:

      Yes, I believe that the only reasons for making a Wi-Fi network “hidden” would be security-related, such as making unauthorized access to your network that much more difficult. But keep in mind that just being in range to scan the SSID of a network is not by itself sufficient to gain access. Assuming that your Wi-Fi network uses a password security option, then in addition to knowing the SSID any would-be intruder must also discover the password you assigned in order to actually gain access. So I would think that a well-chosen and well-secured password for your network is probably a more important security factor, versus just making the network “hidden”.

  12. Mark says:

    I wireless Wi-Fi really sucks at my house but for some reason when we go into our bedroom we have full service on a hidden network why

  13. J Carter says:

    The Hidden Network show maximum connectivity on the icon and the “Connect” box is always checked. It cannot remain unchecked because it recycles as soon as a different network is selected. Returning to the Hidden Network icon always shows the check mark has been reinserted. Since I have no knowledge of the identification code or password, further identification is impossible.

  14. Anon says:

    If it was a hidden network, it should not show up at all in the wifi list. A network with an SSID labeled “Hidden Network” is NOT a hidden network.

  15. Sung says:

    PC can see my hidden network but can’t share network

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