How to Connect to a Network in Windows 11

A few ways to get your PC on Wi-Fi

What to Know

  • From the taskbar: Click the action center > Manage Wi-Fi Connections > (network name) > Connect.
  • From Windows Settings: Click Network & internet > Wi-Fi > Show Available Networks > (network name) > Connect.
  • From the Control Panel: Click Network and Internet > Connect to the Internet > (network name) > Connect.

This article explains how to connect to a Wi-Fi network in Windows 11, including how to choose a Wi-Fi network from the taskbar, connect through Windows Settings, and connect via the Control Panel.

How Do I Connect a Windows Computer to a Network?

You can connect a Windows 11 computer to your network by plugging in an Ethernet cable if your computer has an Ethernet port or via Wi-Fi if that isn’t possible. There are three ways to connect a Windows 11 computer to your Wi-Fi network: from the taskbar, Windows Settings, and the control panel. Each method accomplishes the same task, so you are free to use whichever you find most convenient.

How to Connect to Wi-Fi From the Taskbar in Windows 11

The easiest way to connect to a Wi-Fi network is usually through the taskbar. The taskbar includes shortcuts to a lot of useful controls. If your taskbar hasn’t been modified, you’ll find these controls located next to the time and date near the right edge of the taskbar. In Windows 11, clicking the network, sound, or power icon will open the Quick Settings menu, which you can use to connect to a network.

If you can’t find the Wi-Fi or network connection settings on your taskbar, skip this section and try the method described in the next section.

Here’s how to connect to Wi-Fi from the taskbar in Windows 11:

  1. Click an Action Center icon on your taskbar (network, sound, and power icons located to the left of the time and date) to open the Quick Settings menu.

    Action Center in Windows 11
  2. Click the Manage Wi-Fi Connections button (top left) in the Quick Settings menu.

    The Wi-Fi network button icon in Windows 11 Quick Settings.
  3. Click a Wi-Fi network.

    A Wi-Fi network in the Windows 11 Wi-Fi menu.

    If your Wi-Fi is currently turned off, you’ll need to click the Wi-Fi toggle first.

  4. Click Connect.

    Connect in the Windows 11 Wi-Fi menu.
  5. If prompted, enter your Wi-Fi password and click Next.

    Next in the Windows 11 Wi-Fi connection menu.
  6. Your computer will connect to the Wi-Fi network.

    Windows 11 connected to a Wi-Fi network.

How to Connect to Wi-Fi From Windows Settings

If you’re having trouble with the Action Center and Quick Settings menu, you can also connect to a Wi-Fi network through Windows Settings.

Here’s how to connect to a network through Windows Settings:

  1. Right click the Start button (Windows icon) on the taskbar, and click Settings.

    Settings in the Windows 11 start button context menu.
  2. Click Network & internet.

    Network & internet in Windows 11 Settings.
  3. Click the Wi-Fi toggle if it’s off.

    The Wi-Fi toggle in Windows 11 settings.
  4. Click Wi-Fi.

    Wi-Fi in Network & internet settings.
  5. Click Show Available Networks.

    Show Available Networks in Windows 11 Network & internet settings.
  6. Click a Wi-Fi network from the list.

    A Wi-Fi network in Windows 11 available networks.
  7. Click Connect, and enter the network password if prompted.

    Connect in Windows 11 Network & internet settings.
  8. Your computer will connect to the network.

    Windows 11 connected to a network in Windows Settings.

How to Find Wi-Fi Connections in the Windows 11 Control Panel

Most of the functionality previously found in the Control Panel in older versions of Windows is now available through the Settings menu in Windows 11. You can still connect to a network through the Control Panel if you prefer, but it takes some extra steps, and it essentially just brings up the same network menu that you can access via the Quick Settings menu directly on your taskbar.

Here’s how to connect to a network from the Windows 11 Control Panel:

  1. Click the search icon (magnifying glass) on the taskbar.

    The search icon (magnifying glass) on the Windows 11 taskbar.
  2. Click the search field, and type control panel.

    The search field in the Windows 11 search menu.
  3. Click Control Panel in the search results.

    Control Panel in Windows 11 search.
  4. Click Network and Internet.

    Network and Internet in the Windows 11 control panel.
  5. Click Connect to the Internet.

    Connect to the Internet in Windows 11 Network and Internet settings.
  6. Click the Wi-Fi toggle to turn it on if Wi-Fi is off.

    The Wi-Fi toggle highlighted in Windows 11.
  7. Click a Wi-Fi network.

    A Wi-Fi network highlighted in Windows 11.
  8. Click Connect, and enter the network password if prompted.

    Connect highlighted in Windows 11.
  9. Your computer will connect to the selected network.

FAQ
  • How do you connect a printer on Windows 11?

    To add a printer to Windows 11, go to Settings > Bluetooth & devices > Printers & scanners > Add device. Select Add device to install the printer automatically.

    Choose Add manually for manual installation options.

  • How do you connect AirPods to Windows 11?

    To pair and connect AirPods to a Windows 11 PC, put the AirPods in the case, open the case, and press the case's button until the LED flashes white to place them in pairing mode. Then, on the computer, go to Settings > Bluetooth & devices > Add device > Bluetooth, and select your AirPods.

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