Moving wireless network profiles between computers

Moving wireless network profiles between computers

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Ran into an interesting customer issue regarding connecting to a wireless network.  For whatever reason, this laptop can’t see the wireless network (though others in the office can).  This laptop can connect to other WiFi networks without issue.

My laptop, for example, was able to connect without issue.  Solution?  Either manually create the profile or export it from my laptop.

Since I’m all about finding new and interesting ways to do things, I’d thought I’d try the “Export/Import” route.

There’s a little-known gem of a feature in netsh that allows for just this.

  1. Open an elevated command prompt.
  2. Type netsh wlan show profiles and press [ENTER].
    The output should look something like this:

    C:\Windows\system32>netsh wlan show profile
    Profiles on interface Wireless Network Connection
    Group policy profiles (read only)
    ———————————

    User profiles
    ————-
    All User Profile     : OPincGuest
    All User Profile     : antares
    All User Profile     : SparkDetroit
    All User Profile     : SecureConnect
    All User Profile     : cobo_free
    All User Profile     : Colonial 1
    All User Profile     : Team Perkis-guest
    All User Profile     : MongoNet [Working]
    All User Profile     : Inn Public
    All User Profile     : Android76
    All User Profile     : bww3
    All User Profile     : TGN
    All User Profile     : attwifi
    All User Profile     : aguilmettes-iPhone MyWi
    All User Profile     : HarborLink – Buffalo Wild Wings
    All User Profile     : milkyway
  3. Find the profile you want to export.  In this example, we’re going to export my home profile, “milkyway” to a folder on the thumb drive, F:\wirelessconfig.
  4. Type netsh wlan export profile name=”milkyway” folder=”F:\wirelessconfig” key=clear and press [ENTER].
  5. Take the USB stick to the target computer and plug it in.  Note the drive letter.
  6. Open an elevated command prompt.
  7. Type netsh wlan add profile filename=”F:\wirelessconfig\Wireless Network Connection-milkyway.xml” and press [ENTER].

Published by Aaron Guilmette

Helping companies conquer inferior technology since 1997. I spend my time developing and implementing technology solutions so people can spend less time with technology. Specialties: Active Directory and Exchange consulting and deployment, Virtualization, Disaster Recovery, Office 365, datacenter migration/consolidation, cheese.

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