Easy Way to Set Up a New Wireless Network Connection in Windows

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Computer networkThe previous tip described how to reveal and extract the password for an existing Windows wireless connection. This present tip goes one step further and shows an automatic method of setting up a new wireless network connection that takes setup data from a system that is already connected and imports it into a second system.

The method uses the command line and works by first exporting existing connection data to an XML file. Open a command prompt with administrator privileges and enter a command of the form:

   netsh wlan export profile name={profile name} folder={path and name of folder} key=clear

Profile name is the same as the connection name referred to in the previous tip. Use quotation marks around the profile name if it has spaces. Running this command creates an XML file with the name of the profile and places it in a designated folder. The folder must already exist. The XML file can also be sent to a portable location like a thumb drive or a network location (but not a UNC address). A specific example of the command might be:

   netsh wlan export profile name=yourconnection folder=G:\ key=clear

This would create a file called “Wi-Fi-yourconnection.xml” on the G: drive. This file can then be imported with a second command to create a new connection in a different system. Open a command prompt as administrator in the new system. The command to create a new connection from an XML profile has the form:

   netsh wlan add profile filename={path and name of XML file previously created}

A specific example of the command is:

   netsh wlan add profile filename=D:\Wi-Fi-yourconnection.xml

This method should work in all current versions of Windows from Vista on up.

And there you have it – your new wireless connection all set up.

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This tips section is maintained by Vic Laurie. Vic runs several websites with Windows how-to's, guides, and tutorials, including a site for learning about Windows and the Internet and another with Windows 7 tips.

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