How to Connect to a Hidden Network

It will require the right information from the network admin

What to Know

  • Go to Settings > Network & internet > Wi-Fi > Manage known networks > Add network > Save.
  • Go to Control Panel > Set up a new connection or network > Manually connect to a wireless network > Save.
  • It's recommended you select the Connect automatically option.

This guide will show how to connect to a hidden Wi-Fi network via the Settings app and the Control Panel on Windows 11.


How Do You Connect to a Hidden Network in Windows 11?

A hidden network is a wireless network configured not to broadcast its network's name, essentially hiding from the public's eye. Since these networks don't broadcast their names, it's harder for unwanted users to attempt to connect to them and, this security by obscurity creates an extra layer of protection.

To join a hidden Wi-Fi network, you will need the network's credentials. This includes:

  • The name of the network.
  • The network's security type like WEP and WPA2.
  • And the security key, which is the password.

You will have to ask the network admin for the credentials. Once you have it, you can log in to a hidden network using either of the following methods.

Connecting via the Settings

  1. Click the Windows icon on the bottom bar or tap the Windows key on your keyboard to bring up the Start menu.

    Windows icon on desktop
  2. Click the Settings icon to open up the Settings menu.

    Start Menu - Settings in Windows 11
  3. Scroll down to Network & internet.

    Settings - Network & Internet in Windows 11
  4. Click the Wi-Fi tab.

    Settings - Wi-Fi in Windows 11
  5. Click Manage known networks.

    Manage known networks in Windows 11 Settings
  6. Click the Add network button on the right side of Add a new network.

    Add a new network in Windows 11 Settings
  7. Enter the name, security type, and security key information the network admin supplied to you and click Save.

    Save button on Add a new network window in Windows 11

    Tip

    It’s recommend you tick the Connect automatically box underneath the security key so you won't have to input the information again every time you log in.

  8. If you did not select Connect automatically, close the Settings app and open up the Quick Settings menu by clicking on the Wi-fi icon in the bottom corner.

    Wi-Fi icon to open Quick Menu in Windows 11
  9. Click the right facing arrow next to the Wi-Fi tab.

    Wi-Fi menu corner in Windows 11
  10. Locate the newly created entry.

  11. Tap Connect.

    Connect button on Wi-Fi Hidden Network in Windows 11

Connecting via Control Panel

Another way to get connected is through your Control Panel on Windows 11. Here's how that works.

  1. Click the magnifying glass icon on the bottom bar to bring up the search bar.

    Windows 11 Home Screen search
  2. In the search bar, type Control Panel and select the app when it appears.

    Open Control Panel in Windows 11
  3. When the Control Panel appears, click View network status and tasks underneath Network and internet.

    View network status and tasks in Control Panel settings in Windows 11
  4. In the new window, select Set up a new connection or network. A small window will appear.

    Set up a new connection or network in Windows 11 Control Panel
  5. Choose Manually connect to a wireless network then click Next.

    Manually connect to wireless network in Windows 11 Control Panel
  6. In the new window, enter the security information for your Wi-Fi network.

    Control Panel entered info

    Tip

    It’s recommended you select Start this connection automatically so you won't have to input the information again every time you log in.

  7. After the information has been added, click Next.

  8. A window will appear stating you have successfully added the hidden network.

    Successfully added Hidden Network
  9. If you didn’t choose connect automatically, click the Wi-Fi icon in the bottom corner.

    Wi-Fi icon to open Quick Menu in Windows 11
  10. Click on the arrow next to the Wi-Fi symbol.

    Wi-Fi menu corner in Windows 11
  11. Locate the network you just created then click the Connect button once you find it.

    Connect button on Wi-Fi Hidden Network in Windows 11

    Important

    You may find an option called Connect even if this network is not broadcasting. Exercise caution choosing this option because it may put your privacy at risk and even drain your battery.

FAQ
  • How do you connect to a hidden network on Windows 10?

    You can connect to a network on Windows 10 or Windows 8 similar to the way you can in Windows 11. First, select the network icon on the taskbar, click Hidden Network at the bottom of the list, and choose Connect. Next, enter the hidden network’s name, click Next, enter the password, and decide whether you want your computer to be discoverable.

  • How do you connect to a hidden network on Windows 7?

    In Windows 7, you can use the Set Up a Connection or Network Wizard. Go to Start > Control Panel > Network and Internet > Network and Sharing Center > Set up a new connection or network > Manually connect to a wireless network. Enter the information for the hidden network and follow the wizard to complete the connection.

Was this page helpful?