So far none of the vendors have issued drivers for Windows 7 – that’s as far as I know, but Windows 7 amazingly found all the drivers on my laptop, including the wireless adapter drivers. I have always used the wireless management utility from the vendor, but now with Windows 7 I had to use the Windows built-in wireless utility.

The wireless built-in utility in windows 7 is almost the same as on Windows Vista – it only has a few differences. if you notice, on windows vista the start menu has an option “Connect to”

Windows vista connect to

Windows 7 does that have this option, so you will need to go to the control panel in order to access the wireless management tool.

Windows 7 control panel

that’s the network and Internet applet in control panel in Windows 7. from here you can configure wireless networks, or the LAN TCP/IP settings. if you click on the applet it will bring the the options for the configuration:

Control panel networking properties

from the window above if you click on Connect to a network option it will bring the wireless access points currently available around you:

available wireless access point

from here you can connect to any wireless access point you have access to it. if the wireless is security-enable it will ask for the security key:

enter security password

and that’s all you basically have to do to connect to your wireless access point.

94 thoughts on “How To Connect To a Wireless Access Point in Windows 7

  1. Um, when I click on Connect to a network, all it says is Dial-up and VPN. It doesn't show Wireless Network connection. However, before I updated my Vista to 7, it could connect to the wireless internet just fine. What happened????

    Reply
  2. I would like to automatically reconnect to the wireless network — in vista you could select to reconnect. I cannot seem to find how to do this in Win7. Any help would be appreciated.

    Reply
  3. From what I've understood so far, certain wireless adapters aren't compatable with Windows 7 software. For example, my Dell Inspiron from 2005 is too old, so I have to connect via ethernet cable. Disappointing to say the least.

    Reply
  4. Try upgading your firmware! Most companies are just coming out with updates, so look for yours at your manufacturer's website. I found a new linksys driver I never knew was there. It will help you.

    Reply
  5. I bought a new laptop with Windows 7. It found my wireless network and when I tried to connect I was prompted for my password as in the dialogue box above. Unfortunately, I entered the wrong password and it obviously wouldn't connect.

    My problem now is that it won't give me the opportunity to enter the correct password as it has automatically remembered the wrong one (I wasn't prompted for this). I have tried to delete the network to start again but the menus are different so I haven't found what I would have used in XP, and when I've tried other things it doesn't work.

    please, please help

    Reply
    • To correct the entering of a wrong wireless password, go to the list of networks, right click on your network and choose properties. There should be a password box with dots in it that will probably disappear as soon as you click in that box. Enter your correct password there FOR GREAT JUSTICE.

      Reply
  6. I just bought a new acer laptop with windows 7 and it lets me connect to my router but it says limited access..and will not let me connect to the internet…:( PLZ if you are aware of the problem please helpp me it is greatly appericated!

    Reply
      • hey..
        vinod and i have the same problem
        your reply won't work.. though i did what you said… or maybe i did something wrong..the ip address too…. i'm not really sure how to get there.. :D
        can you give me a step by step on how to make it automatically….please..this is really frustrating… :]

        Reply
  7. I am using cdma wireless modeum it setup in XP is easier but the same process in windows 7 does not respond the setup

    Reply
  8. i follow your instruction ready but it's still doesn't work. it still have announcement WINDOW WAS UNABLE TO CONNECT TO …..

    Reply
  9. i bought a new laptop using windows 7 is not connecting with wireless connection it connect fine with cable not wireless i have tryed to setup but still the same thing i have followed the instruction but i failed

    Reply
  10. I have a similar problem. I just got a laptop that has windows 7 on it. I have a t-mobile linksys router that the modem is connected to. From that I have a Buffalo routed that is hard wired to the tmobile router. The buffalo router is configured as an access point. My laptop can connect wirelessly to the buffalo router and get an ip address from the tmobile router but I an not get out to the internet. My laptops that are running windows XP can connect the same way perfectly fine. I had buffalo and HP on the phone the other night for over 2 hrs and can't figure it out.. Hope somebody here can

    Reply
  11. In XP I was able to connect to networks at work/ school by clicking "The network key is provided to me automatically". Does anyone know how to do this in windows 7?

    Reply
  12. I have the same problem! Although I input the correct password and it says that the strength is high it still won't connect: Limited Access! I remember having the same problem with my other laptop a few months ago when I upgraded it to windows 7 and somehow I managed it to work but now it's just pissing me off!!! Help me please

    Reply
  13. Hi Moni, sometimes you get the "limited access" warning because the computer cannot get an IP address – that's normally a problem with your wireless router, not your laptop.

    run a test by connecting to another wireless access point if you can, if it connect then there is something wrong with your wireless access point you are trying to connect to.

    regards,

    Nelson

    Reply
  14. Hi Moni and Nelson,

    I have the same problem that when I try to connect wirelessly it connects fine but then says limited access! I am only able to connect successfully and access the net on my home wireless. I dont think it is an access point problem though because it doesnt work anywhere else i.e. not at anyone elses home, or school etc.??? It is so frustrating!!!! Please Help!

    Reply
  15. excuse me… i used to use window vista … then. my laptop was infected by virus… then. i formatted my laplop and upgraded to Windows 7…. Then. i tried to connection with my Wireless connection… I doesn't work. i see Wireless connection are available .. but can't connect … WHy? i clicked to connect, it shows error… wad should i do?? plz help me

    Reply
  16. Best bet for everyone…get a mac. Online in a flash and it actually works. Couldn't believe how much easier everything is to do.

    Reply
    • I just bought a MacBook Pro and my home computer (Windows 7) isn’t allowing my macbook to get on the internet. I tried the suggestions above but no go, all I get is Windows Wireless is not available. Any suggestions. I really need for my Mac to work because I need it for my online classes. HELP!!

      Reply
  17. Just installed Linksys wireless-G router on my PC (Vista) – works fine. However, when i try to connect my daughter's newer Windows 7 PC so she can access Internet, it remains "searching for device." Note: daughter's Windows 7 PC has previously only been used for games/homework – no internet. Linksys instructions did not cover Windows 7, but your website provided step-by-step instructions – thsnks! Suggestions – what am i doing wrong?

    Reply
  18. Oh well, at least I know now it's not just me!! During set up of my new laptop I was prompted to enter WEP key for my wireless connection. I knew this – miracle in itself – so I was feeling very smug!! But then computer wouldn't accept but said I could come back to this step later – It lied. If I plug in to box via cable it's perfect but when I unplug nothing.Computer says wireless connections are available and the name comes up and it shows good signal but won't connect. My situation is a bit different from everyone else's because we live in such a remote location no internet server was able to help us with a connection until we found a small private company who wanted to extend their service to our area so in exchange for allowing a di8sh thing on our ground big enough to land aircraft by, we have free internet. I was thinking therefore it was an equipment incompatibility problem but now I know! As an aside, the guy that owns the dish said to right click on the name of the network and select properties to enter the key well… a) when I do this it just tries to connect – no menu comes up and b) what good would that do… I've given it the right key already. Sorry to rant I'm just frustrated. Don't ever let me meet Bill Gates – well not with a gun in my hand anyway :)

    Reply
  19. i am getting problem with wireless connection to my lapto:) i am using hp pavilion dv2000 with windows 7… When i am connecting to wireless it is showing as connected and in the toolbar it is showing internet access but when i am opening explorer it is not taking me to any website and showing diagnose connection problems….what to do this

    Reply
    • Quick fix. buy a D-link N 150USB Adapter for Aus$49 plug it in and it will connect. The problem seems to be the drivers for Windows 7 and in my case the Netgear wireless router do not communicate so until Microsoft get off their ass and actually so some thing about it there is no fix there – just a lot of frustration. Do not buy the Netgear N150USB adapter it does not communicate with the Netgear Router – I tried it and took it back to the shop – they are another set of asses. You would have thought that they would ensure that their own stuff was compatible.

      Reply
  20. I managed to uninstall my wireless LAN on my computer, windows 7
    Please can someone tell me how to get this back? It no longer gives me the option to see avalible wireless connections and just tells me to plug in

    please help : )
    thank you

    Reply
  21. After trying so many things to my old router … I unplugged the router, turn it back on then reset the button for 30 seconds and finally unplugged the cable and go wireless again ! Good luck!

    Spanish: Despues de tratar muchas cosas…Desconecte el router for 30 segundos, re-conectarlo and presionar el boton de 'reset' y desconecte el cable y me trabajo sin cable otra vez ! Suerte !

    Reply
  22. when I click on Connect to a network,it is only showing dial up and vpn…..it is not showing wireless network……while i have already added a wireless network nd it is showing in manage wireless network(BSNL_AP) …one more problem ….my pc is connected to bsnl modem type 2 (wireless)…but internet is not working on my pc nd laptop at the same time…
    plz help!!!!

    Reply
  23. thanks from your site, it is good but it has a problem that the subjects are very very low
    i want you to upload more about computer network specially wireless computer networking (practical)
    thanks of you and your site
    AJQ

    Reply
  24. nelson,u are a genius. i have bbeen having this same broblem of 'limited access' with windows 7. just tried your advice to Yuly and it worked likw magic. thanks so much and keep the good work.

    Reply
  25. i slove this problem
    connect your laptop to the network cables
    now click connect a network in the control panel
    now choose your network wirless acount
    and take th cable and return it to the table computer
    good bye

    Reply
  26. this is non sense as i have no wireless card so do you have any solution for this problem?? except to buy a wireless card

    Reply
  27. I have windows 7 32-bit ultimate running on Lenovo R61 laptop. My laptop was earlier able to detect and connect to a wifi network but now it is not able to detect the network whereas other laptops in the same room are able to detect the network. Please help me out with this issue.

    Reply
  28. i have a laptop, and i have many access points in different places, and those access points are configured with static IP. There is no DHCP. how i can make my laptop save all this static networks, and connect to them automatic when iam in the rage

    Reply
    • do those access points belong to you? if so, the you can do a similar setup I have for the organization I work for. we have 3 access points throughout the building ( using enterprise radius server ) and people moving around connect to those access points automatically. here is what you need to do:

      setup all access points with the same SSID, and the same pre-shared keys. configure the access points DHCP to give out IP subnet range.. I don’t think the DHCP rage subnet matters that much, because each router will need to authenticate the device you are connecting with..

      I need to shoot out for a meeting, send me an email if you need more help..

      Reply
  29. I used to have both LAN & Wireless Networks on my Laptop using Windows 7,later due to some problems,i re installed Windows 7 32-bits,there after i lost my LAN but luckily Wireless was available so i could search for helps online, & some how,things became ok they co-existed for about two days then Wireless again disappeared and i’ve tried all my ways invain,Now Who can help me hear?Thanx.

    Reply
    • Hi Olanya,

      So you don’t have Internet connection at all on the laptop? Have you reinstalled the drivers for both LAN and wireless adapters?

      Reply
  30. I just bought a new Lenovo desktop with windows 7 and at first I couldn’t get internet connectivity, my printer wouldn’t work and my webcab wouldn’t work. I have a G series wireless router connected to DSL through my home telephone. Thanks to the “Forevergeek” articles on the subject I realized most desktops don’t come with built-in network adapters as do most laptops and the problem was a network adapter. I did have a network adapter from my old desktop and had downloaded it on the new Lenovo. What I failed to recognize was that the old network adapter was configured to run with Windows XP and didn’t work with Windows 7. I purchased a Windows 7 compatible adapter for $40 and installed it without incident. I got connected to the Internet immediately. Once on line, Windows 7 recognized my printer and without asking, downloaded the necessary print driver (nice feature of Windows 7). Same problem with my old webcam. Once I got a Windows 7 compatible webcam everything worked.

    Reply
    • Thanks for your comment, Fred. I’m glad ForeverGeeks was able to resolve the problem you had with your network adapter. please feel free to ask me any tech question you might have.

      have a great day.
      cheers,
      Nelson

      Reply
  31. I believe Windows 7(no accusations) needs to comply with peoples wishes.
    In my opinion Windows XP at least done more to please the individual person than Windows7(maybe in a couple more years,Windows7 will be as good as the good-ol XP)maybe its´planned that way?
    Larry

    Reply
  32. HI
    please i have a problem, the electricity was sudden cut , then i switch on the lab-top, this message was appeared to me( please restored your computer “recommended”) then i press this choice, after several mins the lab-top was opened normally but when i want to connect to a wireless or even dial in connection their is no any response, but the all wireless network available around was detected by the lab-top….. i mean that the wireless was detected but dose not connected.
    pleaaaaaaase help me

    Reply
  33. hey there..i have a problem in connecting to wireless networks which are shown in connect to network menu.
    I m fed up of this problem.
    Could anyone help me out of this….
    one thing more, earlier i was able to connect to the networks…..
    plz help me…….plz

    Reply
  34. Hi I have the same problem of LIMITED ACCESS with my wifi device
    I have also tried to manually put the same IP ADDRESS by which i m able to access the same wifi device on oher laptop.
    but that also did not work..
    please guide me….!!!!

    Reply
  35. Ok so I have a problem my IT guy at work cany fix…help! We recently put in nrw routers before then my internet worked fine. Now, however it is showing my connection as strong but when I click on it it says windows was unable to connect to this network. It doesnt even try, it gives this response automatically. We have tried reconfiguring the router and computer…nothings helped

    Reply
  36. Hi There,
    I am Using wifi from by my apartment …Earlier my brother was using Reliance BroadBand..
    Then I got that lap..Tried to connect wifi in my room It shows that it connected successfully but i can’t access net ..Why is that…Can Any one help me reply Sakthy0007@gmail.com

    Reply
  37. Hi,

    Can someone help me please!

    I bought a new Lenovo laptop with windows 7. In my house I can connect to my wifi with mo problems but when I try connecting to my friends home wifi it just says ‘can not connect to this network’. I am entering the correct password but it still says can not connect to this network.

    Help please.

    Reply
  38. i have acer aspire laptop and i am using windows 7 but i have a problem with my laptop i want your help my laptop is though a error when i connect from network ( unable to find the server,or may be server version is not updated on server ) please help me for this problem i will very thank full to you

    Reply
  39. when I click on Connect to a network, all it says is Dial-up and VPN. It doesn’t show Wireless Network connection. However, before I updated my Vista to 7, it could connect to the wireless internet just fine.
    please help me out..

    Reply
  40. Hi,

    Please can you advise as to what I am now doing wrong – I have a Toshiba Laptop with Windows 7. My wireless connection was working fine, but now it just states “Limited Access” – but the signal strength is showing as excellent.

    It also states “Unidentified Network”, “no network access”

    I am going through an Edimax wireless 3oom range extender/ap & the WLAN is flashing orange.

    Once connection is established I then used to log into BTOpenzone

    Are you able to advise why I can no longer get a connection?

    Many thanks

    Kind regards

    S

    Reply
  41. hi,

    I have a lenovo laptop and a wireless router.

    My office laptop is able to detect the wireless and works fine but my personal laptop is not able to connect to wireless router and nor through LAN cable. I have checked the drivers and it’s all available. Thinking that the drivers must be corrupted, I have downloaded the current drivers from lenovo website and istalled it. But still it’s not working.

    One more thinng to point here, my laptop very well detect the wirless network availabilty at home, but when i click on connect, it asks for the passwrord, when I enter, after somtime it will say limited connectivity and connection unsuccessfull but it shows signal strenght as excellent. My laptop has OS as windows 7 with 64 bit..
    Any help will be highly appreciated..

    Thanks,
    Jaswant

    Reply
  42. I’m having problems with the wireless network not showing up. I had to reinstall my windows 7 because it booted me to the Black screen of Death (I don’t know why, because the hard drive for this laptop works perfectly fine on another Dell Inspiron), so I was forced to reinstall Windows 7. Now that I have it all clean and have everything up, it refuses to find and give me any wireless network connection. I’m sitting right next to the router and it won’t show the bar or anything at all. I tried adding the network, I tried to get the laptop to find the wireless networks. Nothing. Nothing works for this damned thing, and I’m getting very pissed off right now. It’s frustrating me to no end.

    Reply
  43. im using compaq610, win7 in change adapter setting there is no wireless network connection&LAN only bluetooth connection is dar wat to do ??? plz help

    Reply
  44. I have a Dell Inspiron 1564 laptop running Windows 7 64bit. It cannot connect to my Linksys WRT310N router but it can connect to an unsecure Netgear router. I have disabled all the Network adapters and had them reinstalled with the updated drivers. I’ve made sure the Encryption and Security types match on both router and laptop. I’ve disabled vs 6 under TCP/IP connection (and then put it back). My laptop sees my router, but does not connect. When I run the Windows diagnosis, it says I should contact a friend :(!

    I know the wireless adapter is working because it connects to the Netgear router. I know the password is correct because I also connected another Dell laptop to this router with no problems. The Dell that will not connect just had a Factory Reset. Thanks for your help.

    Reply
    • Hi Adrienne, it seems like you know a lot about computers so pardon me if I am being redundant with my suggestions, but have you tried different encryption settings on the router? i.e. wep,wpa, wpa2 etc. There are some laptops that don’t support certain formof encryption.

      Cheers, I hope you find a solution to your problem.

      Nelson.

      Reply
  45. I have a BIG problem.
    ok, i clicked on “connect to a network” thing….but i keep getting this response that says:
    not connected. no connections availible.
    wtf??? and im sitting RIGHT NEXT TO MY OTHER COMPUTER that works tottally fine on the internet.

    i think my computer suckss. (
    and DONT tell me to buy a new laptop. im 14. where the hell am i gonna get like $200+++ dollars????)

    Reply
  46. i have a new toshiba running on windows 7 it conects to the internet fine but even when i sit next to the router i only get 1 bar connection and cant connect from upstairs all m other laptops and devices work fine how do i reslove this

    Reply
  47. Pingback: How do I connect to WIFI – there is no wireless connection option? | E-NetComp

  48. Hi,
    I did what is mentioned at the top, put the WiFi password in, it show me “connected” SUPER, but still NO Internet. the wheel is still running and running and running , but thats it.
    Sorry , I sound frustrated? I am. I guess tomorrow I give the Schlaptop back.
    Hans

    Reply
  49. Hi there. I have a HP laptop. At a hotel for work and there is wireless here, but when I try to connect it keeps telling me to press access point configuration button. I have spoke to front desk, they say there are no PIN or anything like that and I should be able to just connect. It is apparantley an unsecured network as well. Is there a TCP/IP setting I should change that I am missing? I have wireless at home and travel to many different locations where there are wireless and this is the first time I have had an issue.
    Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

    Reply
  50. Ok People, I am going to try and help everyone I can, first, if you re-install your os system, windows does not always have the drivers for your laptop embedded in the windows os system, download the drivers for your wireless card and install them, If you have a desktop, you will not alway have a built in wireless card, all new laptops do. on a the laptop depending on the model, you may have a tiny switch on the side or front of it showing a wireless emblem, like a little antenna with waves going out from it, make sure it is switched on ok? if you buy a new laptop check that first, if its an old laptop it will require a wireless card if you do not have one built in.
    Every time you restoe to factory settings if it has a built in wireless, it will work, if you upgrade to another version of windows, you do have to install the drivers for your particular laptop most of the time. Sound cards too.

    Routers sometimes have to be reset for 10 seconds so you computer will pick it up after uyou restart.

    Now, you can also try this in the startup box type in ipcong /release a space between ipconfig and the / then type in ipconfig /renew. of course you do have to hit the enter key after each of these suggestions. that resets your configuration for your IP.

    I hope this helps.

    Richard Golden

    Reply
  51. hi, can u please advice. i installed a new windows 7 operating system. i didnt back up my program,s or files. i am trying to connect to wireless network but there are no networks displayed on the bottom right hand corner. there is no single wireless network displayed on the list. thanks

    Reply
  52. Pingback: how to connect to wireless before login windows 7

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