68 replies on How to Manage Wireless Network Connections & Profiles in Windows 8

  1. David says:

    Your ‘How to edit’ item does not work. I get a lit of wifi networks but rightclick does nothing and just holding on it does nothing. ….

    • Bob Kingsley says:

      Hello David,
      I’d just like to clarify the procedure a bit for you. You can only right click to edit a network that you’ve connected to in the past. If you don’t have a profile set up for the network, right-clicking won’t have any affect. Also, the long-press I mentioned above references touch-screen devices, so for a desktop or laptop computer you’ll only need to right-click. I hope this helps. If you have any other questions, please respond and I’ll do what I can to help you.

    • TA says:

      Yeah, I just spent several frustrating minutes trying to follow these instructions as well and they didn’t work for me either.

  2. JohnJon says:

    I think it is a horrible change. While managing networks automatically might be desired for some, it is not desired for all and in all cases. I know which networks I want to connect to on my own. An example…my home internet went down. I have tethering on my phone. Since my router was still on, Windows kept trying to connect to my router repeatedly after I connected to my phone. I kept having to switch back to my phone over and over again before it finally got the idea. I guess I could have ran all the way downstairs and turned off my wireless router, but that is a little much I think. Forcing people into a way of doing things with the “I think for you and you get no say” approach is very Apple-like if you ask me.

    • Robert Kingsley says:

      Hello John,
      I sympathize with your troubles. That sounds like an annoying situation. You might be interested to know that you can actually prevent that from happening by manually disconnecting from your Wi-Fi network as described above. This disconnects you from the network and removes the “Connect Automatically” tag. This way, Windows won’t try to reconnect to your router until you tell it to. If you simply select another network and connect to it, Windows will keep trying to switch back to the one it considers a higher priority. I hope this helps. Have a great one.

      • JKL says:

        This worked fine. I do wish, however, I could have found it in the Help files, and not have to search, here. Thanks, much.

    • luis ramos says:

      I think bill gates and the microsoft CEOs are idiots, always working hard to make windows newer versions worse.

  3. Christian R says:

    I tried to connect to a wireless network that is not broadcasting its presence and thus I had to manually connect to the network. However, I forgot to enable the “Connect even if the network is not broadcasting” option. And now I am stuck. The connection does not work. I cannot delete the connection. I cannot edit the connection parameters. When trying to create a new connection I am always told that I cannot since there is already a connection to that network. So, Windows 8 does not provide all the necessary functionality. I have no clue how to connect to this particular wireless network. Reinstall?

    • Ciprian Adrian Rusen says:

      The last section in this article – How to Remove Network Profiles in Windows 8 – doesn’t it help you?
      You forget the network then enter everything again.

      • Christian R says:

        Unfortunately no. Since the network does not broadcast its presence and I forgot to enable the “Connect even if the network is not broadcasting” option, the wireless network will not show up on the list of available networks even though a (hidden) profile exists. Since there is no visible entry available for the network, it is not possible to excercise any commands on the network via the Windows 8 GUI. Very annoying indeed.

        I did find a solution though by reverting to a desktop style command window. By doing “netsh wlan show profiles” and “netsh wlan delete my_troubling_profile” I was able to remove the network which in turn made it possible to create the network again and this time around enabling the “Connect even if the network is not broadcasting” option.

        I believe this new Windows 8 GUI oozes the maturity of a 1.0 release. The saying is that Microsoft often gets it right by 3.0 so lets hope for a quick turnaround.

        • Ciprian Adrian Rusen says:

          Thanks for sharing this solution. I’m sure many will find it useful.
          And yes, you are right. This interface issue is really annoying.

        • MXEC says:

          Christian, thank you. I forgot how to do this, and it is much too difficult in Win8. I suggest you post this to the Microsoft Community support pages. They will respond quickly, and they really need to fix this glaring oversight.

          Mods, this page is misleading. As of 7/13, his issue is unfixed. Please clarify it buy including Christan’s observations in the main text. It is very easy to miss the vital step of clicking both boxes, because of the silly warning.

      • Amanda says:

        I can’t seem to right click and find the forget this network.

  4. Rick says:

    How do I view the network security key for connection that is out of range?

    • Malthe says:

      In command prompt you can use the command: netsh wlan show profile name=”SSID” key=clear
      where SSID is the name of the Wi-Fi.
      You can view your saved Wi-Fi profiles with the command: netsh wlan show profiles
      I would very much like to know if this could be done without the command prompt, though

      • Ethan says:

        i tried this but it just tells me that the security key is “present” rather than telling me what the key actually is.
        Any idea how to actually find out the password, given that my computer was connected to this network previously, just i am currently out of range of the network.
        thanks in advance

      • christine says:

        how do i find the password for a wifi network that is currently out of range that i was previously connected to before. i did the command prompt thing but it is saying the security key is “present” but i know it is not so

  5. Winter says:

    Hi I have change the password of my wifi, but how to make windows 8, ask me for the password so I can enter the new password? Now it try to reconnect with the old password and then says “Limited”.

    • Ciprian Adrian Rusen says:

      In this tutorial we have a section named “How to Remove Network Profiles in Windows 8”. Read it and follow the instructions. Windows 8 will forget the old network details and you will be able to enter the new password.

  6. Winter says:

    Ok thanks, it work, at first I thought that “forget network” would completely delete the network from the list preventing to re-join again. Now I know it use to only delete the password. I’m rather new to windows 8, I only have my laptop for about a month.

  7. Erika says:

    Your link for deleting a troublesome Wireless Network Profile is for Windows 7, how do you delete a profile on Windows 8 that is not in range so it’s not showing up on the available network list?

    • Erika says:

      Nevermind I figured it out, was harder than it needed to be but I managed.

      • Ciprian Adrian Rusen says:

        The answer was inside this article, in the “How to Remove Network Profiles in Windows 8” section.

  8. Carlos Spork says:

    Quick question: A friend had its wireless network security set to connect using WEP and his PC had been hacked. He asked me for help to improve the wireless network’s security. So I did, leaving the network’s SSID unchanged (say “MYWLAN”). I deleted the profile using the “Forget this network” option and connected to the network again. As soon as I got back home, he called me to tell me that he was working on a spreadsheet (on Windows 8 desktop) and casually hovered over the Network icon on the notification area in the taskbar. He was puzzled because the SSID of his home network had changed from “MYWLAN” to “MYWLAN 2”, although the SSID on the available network list was still showing as “MYWLAN”.
    Can you please explain how to get rid of the ” 2″? It’s easy on Windows 7 clicking on “Manage wireless networks” or on “Merge or delete network locations” after clicking on the network icon on the “Network and Sharing Center”. My friend is afraid his PC is at risk again and I can’t convince him otherwise.

    • Ciprian Adrian Rusen says:

      There is no need to worry about how Windows internally names the connection. Really! Just ignore that.

      What he should do though is to change the type of protection used: WEP is weak and easily cracked. He should use WPA2 instead. With the same password, WPA2 is a lot harder to crack.

      • Carlos Spork says:

        Thank you, Ciprian. I don’t worry. It’s my friend who is concerned even though I told him not to. He is evidently very sensitized after the hacking into his network.
        Moreover, I had already changed the protection type from WEP to WPA2-Personal. In addition, I also disabled the SSID broadcast and restricted the access to the network setting up a list of known MAC addresses (I also had to show him how to add or remove devices from that list).

        • Ciprian Adrian Rusen says:

          Then, he’s safe from harm. Good work, btw. 😉

          • Carlos Spork says:

            Thank you, Ciprian! It’s quite a compliment coming from you! I’m very flattered. 🙂 But, what if I told you that, in addition to securing his network, I also installed two repeaters to increase wireless network coverage throughout his three-story office? It was quite a challenge to configure three different BSSIDs for the same SSID and using three different channels to improve efficiency.

          • Ciprian Adrian Rusen says:

            Very cool. 😉
            I have to ask: would you consider writing a paid tutorial about how to set up repeaters? It should be aimed at a home users with a larger house. 🙂

            Obviously, it will be published on 7 Tutorials and you will be given credit for your work.

          • Carlos Spork says:

            I definitely would. Just let me know how to contact you privately.

  9. jimmy says:

    after connecting to wireless and opening internet explorer,,it prompt me to connect to a dial up connection..what does this mean and how can i solve it?????

  10. Ann H says:

    I hate this new feature, just like I would uninstall 8 and install 7 if I could. I don’t want Windows to decide how I want to work. I travel a lot and I am always connecting to new networks. In Windows 7 I could on a regular basis delete all the hotel and wireless cafe networks I will never use again. Now it seems, I have to use the command prompt to get up the list and manually delete them. How backward is that? Maybe I should just install DOS and give up on Windows entirely.

    Funny point here – the captcha I am expected to type in is: beats me – I couldn’t put it better myself

    • Ciprian Adrian Rusen says:

      In Windows 8, you don’t have to use the Command Prompt to delete wireless network profiles. Simply use “Forget Network”. See the instructions in this guide.

      • Ann H says:

        Sorry I should have been clearer – I needed to delete networks out of range, so they aren’t listed in the list of networks to forget

  11. Jodie says:

    Hey is there a way to undo “forget this network”? I accidentally pressed it and now I can’t get my network to show up anymore.

    • Ciprian Adrian Rusen says:

      You cannot undo “forget this network”. Is your network a hidden one? Are you in its range? Can other devices see it?

  12. Rick says:

    There is no possibility to right-click in Windows 8.1. How do I manage my existing wireless connections? And how do I define a SSID with additonal security information? (like first time visits in university, no connection before)

  13. chrisrinaudo says:

    i’m having a problem, and I can’t seem to find any info on it. my computer is intermittently connecting itself to a hidden network that is not listed in my computers available networks. it is also listing devices that are not mine. I have tried both right clicking it to forget it, and used command prompt to find that it is not listed there because I never set up this network myself, it just appeared. I remain connected to my network at the same time that I am connected to this network. have you ever heard of this happening? how can I stop my computer from connecting to this hidden network against my will?

    • Ciprian Adrian Rusen says:

      Maybe you have some malware on it? Use a third party antivirus (like Bitdefender, Kaspersky, ESET), to scan it and see if there’s some malicious program doing this.

  14. Niteowl1 says:

    Using Windows 8.1 with a mouse.

    Used Charm to access Network icon, but there is no “View Connection Properties” with tapping, holding, or otherwise with both right or left buttons. Other options?

  15. chrisrinaudo says:

    thanks for the help everyone, I really appreciate it!!!

  16. Alex says:


    I have the same question as Jodie, my internet was playing up and I pressed ‘forget network’. Now I can’t find my network what so ever… HELP! I have an online business and have’nt a clue how to get it back. Its just not there.


  17. W8 is useless says:

    Windows 8 is useless as it will only allow you to modify the advance parameters if you have already saved the network by connecting to it.
    The whole reason I need to get to the advance settings is because I can’t connect to my network by just clicking it and putting in the password! I use 802.11x so I need to change the certificate settings!

  18. Petes says:

    This is no longer true with 8.1, also in 8 and 8.1 you can’t forget networks that are out of range, so you end up with a big list of networks that windows will search, every time it looks for new networks, this broadcasts to all your neighbors (and hopefully not a stalker) all the access points you’ve been to.

  19. Karl says:

    Anyone know a way to add a wireless network when you are not physically present? I needed to set up wireless for someone who was going to that location later in the day and could find no way to do this. I had to actually accompany her to the location.

    • Petes says:

      Right click network icon or go to “Control Panel” / “Network and Sharing Center” / “Setup a new connection or network” / “Manually connect to a wireless network”.

  20. Trint Benefield says:

    Okay, I go to a university and live on campus and each hall has its own wifi. In my dorm, the wifi is named so and so housing. A couple days ago while logging into the wifi, because it requires you to sign in with a certain username and password, somehow the properties for the network got changed. I tried adjusting the settings and now when I connect it says so and so housing 2 3 4 because I attempted to change it multiple times. I right clicked on it and clicked forget this network in hopes it would reset the settings, and it was renamed so and so housing, but when I reconnect to it it goes back to so and so housing 2 3 4. Is there any other way I can reset the settings for this connection?

  21. sagari says:

    thanks for helping,

    but why my windows 8 cant right clicked that mention above ???

    but at least it work 😀

  22. scot says:

    Though the Manage Wireless Networks window was an important and useful feature of previous versions of Windows, its loss is not an issue. Windows 8 manages to provide all of the same functionality

    There used to be a perfectly useable gui for managing wireless networks and having to revert to the command prompt sucks

  23. Mohomed Farooque says:

    Sometimes I let my friends to use my laptop but unfortunately they can see password of my wireless router which my laptop is connected to by going to this wifi network Properties and then to Security and then check in “Show Characters” box..so is there any way to prevent them from seeing my wifi network password in Windows??
    how can I prevent this please answer me if possible

  24. Darrin Boyd says:

    Do you know how to set up the connection such that it will prompt for the login credentials? I am at a client’s site and they have a public wi-fi system that requires a username/password to be entered through a browser prompt. When I open a browser I do not get prompted for any security credentials automatically. Therefore, I can never get connected. In contrast, when I use my Macbook Pro I get prompted immediately for credentials. TIA!

  25. SallyMae says:

    I don’t like the new method at all. My wireless network connection somehow got set to connect manually to a network that does not even exist and I cannot connect to my own network anymore. When I click my network as described above I don’t even get the properties option. I can’t figure out how windows refuses to recognize this network. I did rename it but the network windows now says I am set to connect to isn’t even the default name of the network. I can’t figure out how in the world to fix this. I’ve been googling for two days now.

  26. christine says:

    how do i find the password for a wifi network that is currently out of range that i was previously connected to before. i did the command prompt thing but it is saying the security key is “present” but i know it is not so

  27. christine12 says:

    how do i find the password for a wifi network that is currently out of range that i was previously connected to before. i did the command prompt thing but it is saying the security key is “present” but i know it is not so

  28. Mark says:

    I find the information in your article less than accurate and your comment and assessment:
    “Though the Manage Wireless Networks window was an important and useful feature of previous versions of Windows, its loss is not an issue.”

    Is a total fallacy. Removal is another example of a Microsoft advancement FAIL.

    As a Network Engineer, my time is best spent on Network gear, yet this new method takes two to three times longer to troubleshot than any other clients that I support. Which is darn near everything else given we have a very liberal BYOD policy.

  29. parinaz says:

    when I try to connect on wifi display cant connect to this network and when I run this cmd netsh wlan show profile ,user profile is none ,how do I fix this problproblem.help me pls

  30. Kelly says:

    I accidentally forget a network, and now it does not appear. How can I find a forget network?

    • Andy says:

      Get within range of it again so that it shows up in your available networks and connect to it.

  31. Andy says:

    This solution doesn’t work for me at all. My network names are being appended with numbers (ex. Network 2, Network 3) on subsequent connections. This happens on my Windows 8.1 laptop and with VPN connections on my Vista desktop. At least on Vista, I could go to “Manage Network Connections” and delete the older connection profiles. In Windows 8 with these instructions, those profiles do not appear so that I can delete them. I had to find them in the registry and manually delete them. Every time this happens, the new connection is set to Public instead of Trusted in my security software.

    These extra profiles do not even appear when specifically mentioned in a ‘NETSH WLAN SHOW PROFILES name=”Network Name” key=clear’ command. I can see the profile right in the registry. I even found profiles of networks I never connected to. Is there another way to see these profiles and delete them without venturing into the registry?

  32. saneyetcrazy says:

    If someone could help me on this problem, I would be eternally grateful. I have Windows 8.1 on a laptop. Whenever I would boot up and click on the wi-fi icon all the available connections would be listed on the right where the charm bar would be. I only use the connection from my router though. Of course then I would click on my connection and click on “connect.” My Netgear router is a few years old so sometimes it takes 5-25 to connect. I was grudgingly living with that……….until today. I was going through the motions, clicking and watching, Connect, Close, (watching) until it timed out. then the whole process would start over again. I don’t have the faintest freaking clue what happened today but now whenever I try to connect it keeps asking for the Network Security Key.I could live with it one time but not if I have to try to connect 25 times in a row. Thia has never ever happened before. Thank you much in advance.

  33. Tracey says:

    My windows 8 will not connect to my sky broadband

    • Ciprian Adrian Rusen says:

      What exactly does Windows 8 do? Do you receive any errors? What do those errors say?

  34. BeenThere says:

    The feature of Windows 7 “Manage Wireless Networks” allowed me to view my connection along with some hacker’s connection and delete the latter. This is completely missing from Windows 8. And I do have a problem with some hackers who intrude into my wireless connection. In Windows 7, the little triangle with bars on the taskbar would display a yellow triangle underneath so I immediately knew that there’s something wrong with my wireless, and have a chance to fix it. Not so with Win8. Here I have to hover over said triangle MANUALLY. Like, all the time. Who would do that? No really. Whoever designed Win8 should be fired. Win10 likewise along with all their harmful updates. Argh

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