Once you or your network administrator has setup a wireless network for your Windows 7 computers and other machines, it should automatically (best practice and safest option) be secure, encrypted, and protected from access by a password (or "network key"), that keeps intruders away. When you first join that wireless network, Windows 7 will ask you to supply the password as authentication mechanism, and allow you to use that internet connection afterwards. But if the wireless network password / security key changes later on, you will need to change the network password, as explained in this tutorial.
Update network for wireless connection in Windows 7
Here are the steps to follow to update your wireless network credentials:
- First, look in the bottom right corner of the screen, and see if the "wireless network" icon is visible; it looks like this, with five bars (like the ones indicating cellphone reception).
- If the wireless network icon is hidden, click on the "Show hidden icons" arrow button in the taskbar, as shown on the screenshot below, and you'll see that icon:
- Once you are looking at the wireless network icon, click on it to see all wireless networks in ranger, including your current connection (which shows the word "Connected" next to its name). Right-click on that wireless network, and choose "Properties" from the context menu:
- Windows 7 will open the "[your-connection-name] Wireless Network Properties" dialog: make sure that the "Security" tab is currently selected.
- You will see a few dropdown menus, and a text field labeled "Network security key", which contains your current network password for this particular network / internet connection:
- Below that field is a checkbox called "Show characters": if you check it (and optionally enter the administrator's password, if prompted to do so), Windows 7 will display in plain text the current network security key (your current connection's password).
- To change wireless password / network security key, just type the new password inside that text field, and pay particular attention to avoiding typos, since Windows 7 will not ask a second password as confirmation as it often does.
- When you have updated the wireless network password, click on the "OK" button to apply your new settings and return to Windows. From this point on, Windows 7 will automatically use the new password when you try to join that particular wireless connection!
...And this is all it takes to update and change network password in Windows 7!
Tip: For more information on connecting wirelessly (or not) to the internet and local computers, see our Windows 7 Networking and File Sharing Tutorials.
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