How to Connect to a WiFi Network on Windows 11

WiFi Computer

Creating a loyal connection with Wi-Fi on Windows 11

Netizens have the strongest connection with their Wi-Fi networks. It’s a bond that’s not only loyal and honest but also a relationship that’s reliable as long as you pay your bills. Wi-Fi used to be a luxury, not more than a decade ago. Today, it’s one of the essentials that come with any accommodation, both private and public. It’s a necessity, although we can survive without it. Wireless Fidelity is what keeps us going in a digitalized world like ours. It’s our cornerstone, our friend, and our partner in times of need.

All these wondrous benefits of Wi-Fi would mean nothing if we’re not connected to it New devices and sometimes the latest upgrades too can cause Wi-Fi disconnection. If you’re facing wireless disconnection on your Windows 11 device for any reason, here are a couple of methods you can incorporate to connect or reconnect back with our wonderful wireless world.

Connect to Wi-Fi from Taskbar

Windows 11 has clubbed the Wi-Fi, Sound/Speaker, and Battery buttons together into one tiny translucent box at the bottom right corner of the taskbar; the quick settings. Each icon can be previewed separately by hovering the cursor on any of them. But when you click on a single button, the options for all buttons in the box will pop out.

Click on this translucent box to see Wi-Fi options.

In the box of options, click on the right-facing arrowhead that says ‘Manage Wi-Fi connections’, next to the Wi-Fi symbol in the upper portion of the box.

If the Wi-Fi is off, switch it on by clicking on the toggle bar next to ‘Wi-Fi’. The Wi-Fi has to ON throughout the process of connecting to a Wi-Fi connection.

Once the Wi-Fi is switched on, you will see a list of all the available Wi-Fi connections. Click on the connection you wish to connect with, and hit ‘Connect’.

If you want to automatically connect to the same Wi-Fi henceforth, select the box next to ‘Connect Automatically’. This will instantly connect you to the chosen Wi-Fi network as and when your device is switched on.

Enter the network security key or the Wi-Fi password for the chosen network, in the box below ‘Enter the network security key’. Then,click ‘Next’.

You are now connected to the Wi-Fi network of your choice.

If you wish to disconnect from any Wi-Fi network, click the ‘Disconnect’ button that appears when you select a connected/saved Wi-Fi network.

Connect to WiFi from Windows Settings

Click on the ‘Start’ button in the taskbar and select ‘Settings’ from the pinned items.

Or right-click/two-finger tap the Windows button and select ‘Settings’ from the menu.

The ‘Settings’ page will now open. Choose the ‘Network & Internet’ option from the left side of this page.

On the ‘Network & Internet’ page that opens to the right, click on the ‘Wi-Fi’ option. It will be first on the list. Make sure you push the Wi-Fi toggle to ‘On’ before proceeding.

In the ‘Wi-Fi’ settings that shows up next, select the ‘Show Available Networks’ option.

You will see a list of available Wi-Fi networks in and around your location. Choose the desired connection, enter the password or network security key and click on ‘Next’.

An alternative to this method is via the ‘Search’ icon. Click on the magnifying glass icon, representing the ‘Search’ button on the taskbar. Enter ‘Wi-Fi’ in the search bar appearing in the topmost portion of the ‘Search’ box. Select ‘Discover WiFi Networks’ from the left search results (under ‘Best Match) or click ‘Open’ under the large app icon on the right.

This will lead you directly to the Wi-Fi settings page. Continue with the same procedure as mentioned earlier by clicking on the ‘Show Available Networks’ option.

Your Windows 11 device is now connected to the WiFi.

Connect to Wi-Fi from Command Prompt

Click the ‘Search’ button in the taskbar, enter ‘Command Prompt’ in the search bar and then select ‘Run as Administrator’ below the app name on the right.

Click ‘Yes’ in the prompt asking if you want the app to make changes to your system.

Type the command netsh wlan show profiles and then press the Enter key to see the available WiFi networks.

Find the wireless network you want to connect to from the list of User Profiles and enter the User Profile name of that particular network after ‘name=’ in the following command.

netsh wlan connect name=<user profile name>

You will be connected to the chosen network in an instant. A downside to this method is pre-connection. You should have connected with the wireless network(s) at least once for it to appear in the ‘User Profiles’ section.

Manually Connect to a Hidden Wi-Fi Network on Windows 11

While connecting to a wireless network, there is a possibility that some Wi-Fi connections, for some reason, may not be shown under ‘Available Networks’. It could be either a hidden network or a network currently out of coverage area. In such a situation, there’s no need to panic, because you can always manually connect to the WiFi network.

Click on the Quick Settings toggle menu at the right of the Taskbar.

Then, click the right-facing arrowhead next to the Wi-Fi icon in the upper portion of the quick settings box.

Click the ‘More Wi-Fi settings’ option at the bottom of the ‘Wi-Fi box showing the list of available Wi-Fi networks, which would appear if the Wi-Fi is turned on.

Choose ‘Manage known networks’ on the Wi-Fi section of the ‘Network & internet’ settings page.

A list of all the previously saved wireless networks appears. Click the ‘Add Network’ button on the ‘Add a new network’ row visible at the beginning of this list.

A box very similar to the one occurring in the control panel route towards manually adding a wireless network will open. Though a little different in design, this box too asks for the same information as the former.

Enter the required info; Network Name, Security type, and Security key. Tick the box in front of ‘Connect automatically’ if you want to automatically connect to the selected WiFi network. Once done, hit ‘Save’.

The new network will now appear on your list of available/saved networks. You will also automatically connect to this wireless network unless changed.

Manually Connect to a Hidden WiFi Network from Control Panel

You can also manually connect to WiFi from the Control Panel on your PC.

Hit the ‘Search’ button from the taskbar and type ‘Control Panel’ in the search bar. You can launch the control panel either by clicking the app name on the left, below the ‘Best Match’ section or by clicking on the ‘Open’ option below the app icon on the right.

Select ‘Network and Internet’ on the ‘Control Panel’ window.

Click on ‘Network and Sharing Center’ on the ‘Network and Internet’ page that opens next.

Click ‘Set up a new connection or network’ below the ‘Change your networking settings’ section on the ‘Network and Sharing Center’ screen.

Select ‘Manually connect to a wireless network’ in the pop-up box and then click ‘Next’.

You will now be prompted to enter the Network Name of the connection you wish to manually connect to, along with the security key or password, security type, and encryption type of the network, if any.

Once you’ve entered the requested info, click the box in front of ‘Start this connection automatically’ to check it. This way you will automatically connect to this network at the end of the process. Click ‘Next’.

The new wireless network will now be added to the list. Continue by clicking ‘Change connection settings’ in the next pop-up.

A ‘Wireless Network Properties’ box containing the given information for the newly added wireless network now will show on the screen. Since this network has been set to start automatically, the ‘Connect automatically when this network is in range’ option will be selected by default here as well. Click ‘OK’ to continue.

If your Wi-Fi button was turned off, click it to turn it back on. You will now be automatically connected to the manually added wireless network.

How to Forget a Wireless Network/Wi-Fi Connection on Windows 11

Sometimes, we wish to forget things. While what goes on in the mind stays and fixes in the mind, forgetting a Wi-Fi connection is comparatively a cakewalk.

The process to forget a wireless network follows the initial course as mentioned in the previous section. Click on the Quick Settings toggle in the Taskbar, then click on the > forward arrow icon and select the ‘More Wi-Fi Settings’ option from the bottom of the box. Then, on the Wifi Settings page, select the ‘Manage known networks’ option.

Now, on the ‘Manage known networks’ page, navigate to the Wi-Fi connection you wish to erase from your system’s memory. Click the ‘Forget’ button next to that particular network.

You can also forget the WiFi network directly from the list of WiFi connections on the quick settings. Right-click or tap the wireless connection you wish to forget and select ‘Forget’ from the drop-down menu.

You’re now free of that wireless network! It wouldn’t show up in your list of known networks or WiFi connections any more.

Unable to Connect to the WiFi on Windows 11?

There are many reasons why the WiFi may not be working on your system. It could stop working midway, cease to function the way it used to, provide weaker signals, or your computer may not be able to connect to the WiFi. Whatever may be the reason for poor wireless connectivity, these troubleshooting methods should bring your WiFi back to life.

First up, connection. If your WiFi router is way too distant from your computer, then you may not be receiving the full range of wireless connectivity. Try sitting close to the router and check if your WiFi connection is any better on your computer. If it does improve, then the issue was the distance between the WiFi router or source and your system.

Now, if that didn’t work, check the WiFi router itself. Turn off the WiFi router and unplug it. Replug the router after a few minutes. Check the WiFi connection both on the router and your computer. If it’s the same, restart the router, or even reset it if need be. Then, try connecting your device to the WiFi.

Fix 1: Reset Network on your PC

If all that did not help, you can reset the WiFi network adapter on your Windows 11 device too.

First, hit the Windows key + X and select ‘Settings’ from the pop-up menu.

From the left panel of options on the Settings app, click ‘Network and Internet’. Select ‘Advanced Network Settings’ at the end of the ‘Network and Internet’ settings page.

In the ‘Advanced Network Settings’ page, click the ‘Network Reset’ option under ‘More Settings’.

Click the ‘Reset Now’ button on the far right end of the ‘Network Reset’ option of the ‘Network Reset’ page.

Click ‘Yes’ from the prompt that pops up next.

The network reset will require you to sign out of the WiFi. So, all saved WiFi passwords will also be erased. Your Windows 11 system will shut down automatically once you’ve set the network to be reset. You can shut down your computer manually as well.

You will notice that there is no ‘WiFi’ option in the quick settings box, and the ‘Wifi icon on the taskbar is replaced by a disconnected globe icon. The WiFi is on the reset course.

When you switch your system back on, the WiFi button will reappear in the quick settings. You will need to reconnect to the WiFi.

Click the quick settings box on the bottom right corner of the taskbar to begin.

Then, click the right-facing arrowhead next to the WiFi icon.

Choose the wireless network you wish to reconnect with and enter the network security key or the WiFi password for the chosen network. Click ‘Next’ once you’re done.

You’re now reconnected to the WiFi. However, this method will only help fix WiFi connectivity issues on the Windows 11 system. It wouldn’t fix other technical issues causing the WiFi disconnection. The next methods may help.

Fix 2: Update Wireless Network Adapter Driver

The system’s wireless drivers that are due for updating may cause poor wireless connection on your Windows 11 device. Once you update these drivers, the WiFi may start working just fine. Here’s how you do it.

Clicking the ‘Search’ button (magnifying glass icon) in the taskbar, and type ‘Control Panel’ in the search bar. Open the app by clicking the app name in the search results or the ‘Open’ option on the right side of the search results to launch the Control Panel.

Select ‘Hardware and Sound’ on the Control Panel.

Click ‘Device Manager’ on the Hardware and Sound page that opens, below the first option on the menu; ‘Device and Printers’.

Navigate ‘Network Adapters’ on the Device Manager page and expand this option. Double click the second option below ‘Network adapters’, which will be the name of your wireless adapter.

Choose the ‘Driver’ tab on the properties of your wireless adapter that will now open. Select ‘Update Driver’ under this tab.

You will now be asked to choose the manner in which you’d like to look for driver updates. An automatic search is recommended, so select ‘Search automatically for drivers’ in the prompt box.

If driver updates for your wireless adapter don’t show in the next window, click the ‘Search for updated drivers on Windows Update’ option.

You will be redirected to the ‘Windows Update’ settings page. If there are any updates, they will be listed here.

Click the ‘Install Now’ button above the list of pending installations to install the pending updates.

Once the updates are installed, restart your device, and then check the WiFi connection.

Fix 3: Run WLAN Auto-Configuration

If all fails, you can configure your system’s wireless LAN connection in such a way that it constantly looks for connectable wireless networks and automatically connects you when there’s an available network.

Open the ‘Run’ application by searching for ‘run’ in the search bar and selecting ‘Run’ from the left search results or ‘Open’ option below the app name on the right. You can also launch this app by holding down the Windows Key + R.

In the ‘Run’ dialog, type ‘services.msc’ in the ‘Open’ box and hit ‘OK’.

A list of all the services running on your system will appear. Scroll all the way through to the ‘W’ section of this alphabetically arranged list of services.

Locate the “WLAN AutoConfig” service. If the service says ‘Running’, then the solution to your WiFi issue ain’t here. But if it says ‘Disabled’ or anything other than ‘Running’, double click the WLAN AutoConfig option to open it.

The WLAN AutoConfig properties dialog will open directly on the ‘General’ tab, stay on this tab.

Click the box next to ‘Startup Type’. Select ‘Automatic’ from the drop-down menu, and then click ‘Apply’.

Click ‘Start’ on the same dialog box to get the service started and finish the process by selecting ‘OK’. Now, the Service status will change to ‘Running’.

Note: When the WLAN AutoConfig isn’t running, your WiFi will automatically stop working. This will be a sign to check these settings.

Check the WiFi connection on your device once the WLAN AutoConfig service is running.