How Can I Connect to WiFi on My Computer?

By Ruri Ranbe

Updated September 28, 2017

Some networks can't be accessed unless you know the admin password.
i Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images

Wi-Fi technology enables computers to connect to the Internet through a wireless local area network. Computers connect to a WLAN through a router, a device which is wired to an Internet modem and transmits network data to nearby PCs. To connect to a Wi-Fi network, your computer must have a Wi-Fi, or wireless, card installed, and it must be close to a wireless access point, or router. Before attempting to connect to the Internet, make sure your PC has a wireless card installed and that the card is enabled.

Confirm the computer has a Wi-Fi card installed. Click "Start." Type "devmgmt.msc" into the search bar. Press "Enter" to open Device Manager.

Expand "Network adapters." If there is no device with the words "WLAN," "Wi-Fi" or "Wireless LAN" in the name, your computer might not have a Wi-Fi card. Connect a USB wireless card to the computer and install the device to enable wireless capabilities on your PC.

Click "Start." Right-click "Network." Select "Properties" from the contextual menu to open "Network and Sharing Center."

Choose "Change adapter settings" from the left pane. Click "Wireless Network Connection."

Click "Enable this network device" if the option appears in the toolbar.

Click the arrow icon on the taskbar to view all of the programs in the notification area. Click the Wireless Network Connection icon to view a list of available Wi-Fi connections.

Select a wireless hot spot from the list. Click "Connect." Enter the network password into the appropriate field, if required, then click "OK."

Launch a browser and navigate to a Web site to confirm the connection works.


The Wireless Network Connection icon looks like a signal bar.


You shouldn't connect to a Wi-Fi hot spot unless you have permission to connect to that network.