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How to connect to Wi-Fi on Windows 10

With Windows 10, Microsoft has changed things around a little, and it isn’t always obvious how to connect your device to Wi-Fi. Here, we’ll show you how to connect your Windows 10 laptop, tablet or PC to a wireless network.

Before you can connect to Wi-Fi you will need a few details: the name of the wireless network (typically printed on a label on the router) and the password (again, usually found on the router). If you’re using a PC, make sure it is fitted with a Wi-Fi adaptor: many PCs don’t have Wi-Fi and have to connect to a router using a network cable or, if it’s too far away, by using powerline adaptors.

See also: How to access your router to change Wi-Fi and other settings

How to connect to Wi-Fi on Windows 10: In brief

  • Press the Windows key and A to bring up the Action Centre (or swipe in from the right on a touchscreen)
  • Click or tap on the Wi-Fi icon if it’s grey to enable Wi-Fi
  • Right-click (or long press) and choose ‘Go to Settings
  • Choose your Wi-Fi network from the list and tap on it
  • Enter the password and wait for the connection to establish

How to connect to Wi-Fi on Windows 10: In detail

Usually, you will see a Wi-Fi icon near the clock in the taskbar which runs along the bottom of your screen. Clicking or tapping on this should display a list of the available Wi-Fi networks.

If the icon is missing, press Windows-A to open the new Action Centre where you should find it at the bottom. If you still don’t see it, click the ‘Expand’ button to show more icons.

Action centre expanded:

How to connect to Wi-Fi on Windows 10 - Action Centre

Just click on the one to which you want to connect and then make sure the ‘Connect automatically’ box is ticked. This means your computer will connect to that network whenever it is in range.

How to connect to Wi-Fi on Windows 10 - Action Centre

When you click Connect, you’ll be asked for the password. It’s worth unchecking the ‘Share network with my contacts’ box because if you leave it checked (it’s enabled by default if you used Windows 10’s Express setup option) then all your Skype and Hotmail contacts (who have a Windows 10 device) will be able to connect to your network automatically when they visit you. For some people it’s a great feature, but for anyone worried about what people will be able to access on your network, it may be too great a risk.

How to connect to Wi-Fi on Windows 10 - Action Centre

Microsoft says that your Wi-Fi password is sent encrypted and guests will not be able to access computers or other network devices on your network. Which they will if you willingly hand over your password to guests.

Some routers and hotspots will offer an extra option when you click Connect: the ability to press the WPS button on the router to connect your computer without entering a password.

How to connect to Wi-Fi on Windows 10 - Action Centre

Once you’ve done that, or entered the password, you will see a message ‘Verifying and connecting’ and – assuming the password is correct – a ‘Connected’ message.

You can then check you have internet access by launching a web browser and visiting your favourite website. That’s, right?

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