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3 Ways to Connect to Hidden Wi-Fi Network in Windows

Wi-Fi is commonly available in places such as cafes and libraries for you to connect your PC. These Wi-Fi networks broadcast their names to be visible in the list of available wireless networks. However, there are hidden Wi-Fi networks that don’t broadcast their SSID, meaning you must know their network name, password, and security information to connect to them. If you already know the information, here are three ways to connect to a hidden Wi-Fi network in Windows.

Connect to Hidden Wi-Fi Network in Windows

A hidden network doesn’t essentially mean that it is secure. It is just a way to prevent the network from reaching all the users looking for a Wi-Fi connection. Well, the significant difference between hidden Wi-Fi and a normal one is that with hidden Wi-Fi, you will need to know the name and password of the Wi-Fi. In contrast, on a non-hidden Wi-Fi network, all you need to have is its password. 

Prerequisites for Connecting to Hidden Wi-Fi Network

There are specific requirements before we move on to the steps for connecting the Wi-Fi network to your Windows PC. You must know the following;

  • The name or SSID (Service Set Identifier) of the Wi-Fi network.
  • The password for the Hidden network, if any.
  • The type of encryption (WEP, WPA-PSK, WPA2-PSK) used by the Wi-Fi network.
  • You can find all the details related to Wi-Fi in the router settings, including the encryption type. 

    1. How to Add Hidden Wi-Fi Network Using Taskbar

    This is one of the quickest ways to connect to a hidden network, and the process to do it is pretty straightforward. Let’s begin.

    Step 1: Click on your Windows taskbar’s network (a globe) icon.

    Click on your Windows taskbar's network

    Step 2: Go to Wi-Fi by clicking on the arrow. 

    Go to Wi-Fi by clicking on the arrow

    Step 3: Select the Hidden Network.

    Select the Hidden Network

    Step 4: Click on Connect in the expanded hidden network section.

    expanded Hidden Network section

    Step 5: In the text field, type the name of the Wi-Fi network and click on Next.

    type the name of the Wi-Fi

    Step 6: Enter the password in the text field and click on Next.

    type the password, and hit Next

    If the credentials match, the Hidden Network section will display a prompt asking if you want to make your PC discoverable on the hidden network. Microsoft recommends clicking Yes if you are on a home network. Well, if you are on a public network, select No.

    Well, that’s about it. You are through. Your PC connects to the hidden Wi-Fi network. But what if the globe network icon is missing from your Windows taskbar? There’s another way to connect using Settings.

    2. Connect to Hidden Wi-Fi Using Settings

    Step 1: Press the Windows key, type Settings, and press Enter.

    type Settings, and press Enter

    Step 2: Click on ‘Network & Internet’ and select Wi-Fi.

    select Wi-Fi

    Step 3: Now, go to ‘Manage known networks.’

    go to Manage known networks.

    Step 4: Click on Add network button adjacent to ‘Add a new network.’

    Add a new network

    Step 5: In the ‘Add a new network’ window, type the network name, select the Security type drop-down and choose an option. 

    If you are not sure what to select, select ‘WPA2-Personal AES’, which works for most networks.

    type the Network name, select the Security type drop-down

    Step 6: Type the Security key. For quicker access, enable both the Connect automatically and ‘Connect even if this network is not broadcasting’ options, and finally, click on Save.

    Type the Security key and save

    There you have it! Your Windows PC will connect to the Wi-Fi network. This is done through Settings. However, there’s one more way to connect to Wi-Fi using the Control Panel. Check out the next method.

    Join Hidden Wi-Fi on Windows Using Control Panel

    Step 1: Press the Windows key on your keyboard, type Control Panel, and press Enter.

    type Control Panel and press Enter

    Step 2: Go to ‘Network and Sharing Center.’

    Go to Network and Sharing Center

    Step 3: Under ‘Change your networking settings,’ click on ‘Set up a new connection or network.’

    click on Set up a new connection or network

    Step 4: In a new window, click on ‘Manually connect to a wireless network’ and click on Next.

    click on Manually connect to a wireless network

    Step 5: Enter the Wi-Fi network’s security information. 

    If you are unsure what to select, select ‘WPA2-Personal AES’, which works for most networks.

    Enter the security information

    Step 6: Check the boxes next to ‘Connect automatically’ and ‘Connect even if this network is not broadcasting’, and click on Save. 

    click Save

    A window will appear stating that you have successfully added the hidden network. And you will be connected to the Wi-Fi network.

    What if Windows Can’t Connect to Hidden Network

    For several reasons, you cannot connect to the hidden network. One of the most common reasons is a change in the Wi-Fi credentials or maybe a Network Adapter issue. General troubleshooting will make it work if it is an adapter issue. Follow the below steps.

    Step 1: Press the Windows key on your keyboard, type Troubleshoot settings, and press Enter. 

    type Troubleshoot settings, and press Enter

    Step 2: Under the troubleshooting window, go to Other troubleshooters.

    go to Other troubleshooters

    Step 3: Scroll down and press the Run button next to Network Adapter.

    Scroll down to Network Adapter

    Step 4: Now, select Wi-Fi and click on Next.

    select Wi-Fi and click Next

    Follow the on-screen prompts. The troubleshooter will try to find the issue and resolve it. But if it comes back with ‘Troubleshooting couldn’t identify the problem,’ it usually means the Wi-Fi credentials have been changed. If you’re connected but there’s no internet, check out these best ways to fix Wi-Fi connected but no internet issue.

    FAQs on Connecting Hidden Wi-Fi Network

    1. How do I find the SSID of a hidden network?

    The SSID and password are found by logging into your router with your router credentials and going to the Wireless settings.

    2. Should I connect to a hidden network?

    In order to protect your privacy and security, if the network is not known, it is better not to connect to an unknown hidden network.

    Connect to the Invisible Network

    There are many use cases for hidden Wi-Fi networks. It doesn’t provide very high-end security, but staying off the grid at least keeps your network away from intruders and uninvited users. Moreover, if someone asks for the Wi-Fi, you have the choice not to share it without worrying that they will find out. 😉

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