How to Turn on Wi-Fi on Windows Vista

By Craig Witt

Updated February 10, 2017

Use Vista's Network and Sharing Center to turn on your computer's Wi-Fi adapter.
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The Microsoft Windows Vista operating system gives you the ability to connect to networks using either a physical connection or a wireless adapter. Although the wireless service is generally enabled by default, if a previous user disabled the adapter you may not be able to locate and log on to wireless networks as expected. Fortunately, Vista allows you to easily adjust your wireless settings through its Network and Sharing Center menu. Once you know how to reach this screen, turning on your computer's Wi-Fi connection requires only a few clicks.

Click the Windows "Start" button and select Control Panel.

Click the Network and Internet item within the Control Panel window.

Click the Network and Sharing Center item on the following screen.

Click the "Manage network connections" link on the left side of the window. The Network Connections screen opens within a few seconds.

Right-click the Wireless Network Connection icon within the Network Connections screen and select Enable.


Some laptop computers feature an external switch that allows you to toggle the wireless adapter on and off. If your wireless connection is enabled through Vista but you still cannot connect to a network, confirm that this switch is in the "On" position.