The first time that you connect to a network, Windows automatically creates a network profile and stores it on your computer. Your computer can then automatically connect to the network in the future, and your preferences for that network will be applied.

If a wireless network that you want to connect to doesn't appear on the list of available networks, it might be because the network is not broadcasting. In that case, you can create a profile for the network so that you can connect to it automatically in the future.

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Create a network profile

  1. Open Connect to a Network by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, and then clicking Connect to.

    A list of networks currently available is displayed.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • If the network that you want to create a profile for is in the list, click it, and then click Connect.

      If you save the network after successfully connecting to it, a profile for the network is stored on your computer. The next time you open Connect to a Network, the network will be in the list of available networks, if it is in range of your computer.

    • If the network that you want to create a profile for is not in the list and you think that it is in range of your computer, make sure that the wireless network adapter on your computer is enabled by doing the following:

      1. Open Network Connections by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking Control Panel, clicking Network and Internet, clicking Network and Sharing Center, and then clicking Manage network connections.

      2. Right-click the network adapter, and then click Enable.

    • If the network that you want to create a profile for is not in the list, click Set up a connection or network, click Manually connect to a wireless network, click Next, and then follow the instructions. If you save the network, a profile for the network will be created and stored on your computer. To select specific authentication and security settings, click Change connection settings.

Modify a network profile

You might want to modify a network profile to change the network icon, or to change the network adapter used to connect to the network, for example. To modify a network profile, you need to be connected to the network.

  1. Open Network and Sharing Center by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking Control Panel, clicking Network and Internet, and then clicking Network and Sharing Center.

  2. Click Customize.

    From there, you can change the name, icon, network location type, network adapter used, security preferences, and other settings.