Windows 11 supports wireless Wi-Fi ("wireless fidelity") networks, allowing you to conveniently connect to the Internet, access other connected PCs, printers, and other devices, and share your Internet connection with other PCs and devices.
Because Windows 11 requires you to be connected to the Internet when your first set it up, it's likely that you have already configured your PC to work with at least one Wi-Fi network. But if you own a laptop or other portable PC and use it in different locations, you will need to connect to, and potentially configure, Windows to use other Wi-Fi networks as well.
So let's start there.
Find and connect to a Wi-Fi network
If you bring your PC to a hotel, airport, coffee shop, or another place with a Wi-Fi network for the first time, the Network icon in the notification area of the Taskbar will resemble a globe with a "no" symbol overlay.
You can find and connect to any available Wi-Fi networks with Quick settings, which is accessed by clicking the Network, Sound, or Battery icons in the notification area on the far right side of the Taskbar.
You can also access Quick settings by typing WINKEY + A.
If Wi-Fi is enabled, the Wi-Fi quick settings button will display in an enabled state (using your configured accent color) and will note that Wi-Fi networks are "Available." To see which networks are in range, click "Manage Wi-Fi connections"---the right half of the Wi-Fi quick settings button split marked with the ">" label---to display the list of available Wi-Fi networks.
Private Wi-Fi networks, like those you might access at home or at work, will display an icon with a lock overlay, indicating that you have to enter a password before you can connect. Public Wi-Fi networks, like those you might access at a hotel, airport, or coffee shop, will not have a lock overlay; these networks will still typically require you to authenticate somehow via a website after the connection is made but before you are connected to the Internet.
To connect to a Wi-Fi network, select it in the list. It will expand to display a "Connect automatically" option and a "Connect" button.
Select "Connect automatically" if this is a trusted Wi-Fi network that you will use regularly. (Do not select this option at a hotel, airport, or another public place you visit infrequently or are perhaps doing so for the only time.) Then, click Connect.
If this network is private, you will now be prompted to enter its network security key, which is basically a password, and then click "Next" to complete the connection.
The Network icon in the notification area will change to a Wi-Fi symbol that indicates the strength of the network when you've successfully connected.
Configure a Wi-Fi network
By default, Windows 11 configures all Wi-Fi networks with a public network profile that prevents your PC from being discovered by other devices---and their potentially malicious owners---remotely. Despite its nam...
With technology shaping our everyday lives, how could we not dig deeper?
Thurrott Premium delivers an honest and thorough perspective about the technologies we use and rely on everyday. Discover deeper content as a Premium member.