How to Connect to a Wi-Fi Network in Windows 8

Windows 8 has changed a lot about how people use their Windows PCs. Some of the simplest tasks have been altered and may appear foreign to a new user, especially if that user has limited experience with Windows in general. This operating system combines a lot of mobile elements to a desktop environment. This merging is a bit schizophrenic, which can make it confusing.

One of the most frequently asked questions on the Web since Windows 8’s release is how to connect to a Wi-Fi network. The process is fairly simple, but very different from that of Windows 7.

Here’s how to get it done.

First, you’ll need to locate the network icon in the taskbar. It should resemble a staircase if you have a Wi-Fi controller enabled. If you don’t know if your computer is capable of Wi-Fi, you’ll want to consult the documentation that came with your system and/or install any appropriate drivers. Give the icon a single left-click. This should bring up a sidebar with any available Wi-Fi networks displayed.
How to Connect to a Wi-Fi Network in Windows 8

Next, you’ll need to decide which Wi-Fi network is the one to which you need to connect. Often, your service provider’s router will be the network of choice. In an apartment, this may be one specific numbered router out of a dozen. Find out which router belongs to you from your service provider if you don’t already know. Often, it’ll be the one with the strongest signal (most filled in lines) next to the name. Give it a single left-click.
How to Connect to a Wi-Fi Network in Windows 8

This should bring up an option to connect to the network automatically whenever your system is on and in range. Only select this if you want your computer to trust this network enough to connect directly to it without you doing it yourself. I personally only use this option for my home network. Left-click the Connect button when you’re ready to move on.
How to Connect to a Wi-Fi Network in Windows 8

If your desired network is password protected, a password prompt will appear. Fill in your Wi-Fi password and select Next when you’re done.
How to Connect to a Wi-Fi Network in Windows 8

The final prompt will ask you if you want to turn on file and device sharing. Only select Yes if you absolutely trust every computer connected to the network. This will enable someone else to view files in shared folders. It will also allow you to connect to network-attached printers, storage, and other shared hardware.
How to Connect to a Wi-Fi Network in Windows 8

Once you select an option, you should be connected to the network and ready to surf the Web. If you have any Windows 8 questions that you’d like to see in a future article and/or video, please let us know in the comments section below!

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Ryan Matthew Pierson has worked as a broadcaster, writer, and producer for media outlets ranging from local radio stations to internationally syndicated programs. His experience includes every aspect of media production. He has over a decade of experience in terrestrial radio, Internet multimedia, and commercial video production.