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The other day at a friend’s house I could not get onto their wireless network.  The MacBook and iPhone were connecting without problems so I finally Googled for “windows is unable to connect to the selected network.”  The first link on Google’s search results led to a very helpful page titled “Windows is unable to connect to the selected network.”

It turns out that Windows has a bug where it assumes that all the wireless access points it detects use open authentication.  For some reason my friend’s router was using shared authentication.

To solve this problem I did the following.

  1. Double-click on the wireless icon windows-wireless  in the windows system tray (normally in the bottom right hand corner).  A Wireless Network Connection Status window will pop up.
  2. Click on the Properties button in the Wireless Network Connection Status window.  A Wireless Network Connection Properties window will pop up.
  3. Click on the Wireless Networks tab in the Wireless Network Connection Properties window.
  4. Click on the Add… button to enter in the information about the wireless network with the shared authentication.  A Wireless network properties window will pop up.
    1. Enter the Network Name (SSID).  This is the name of the network you tried to connect to before getting the message that Windows cannot connect.
    2. Set the Network Authentication to Shared.
    3. Uncheck the box that says “The key is provided for me automatically.”
    4. If there is a key enter it in the Network Key and Confirm Network Key boxes.
    5. Press the OK button.
  5. Now either Windows will automatically connect to this newly configured wireless network or you can rescan and connect manually.

The above steps should work.  It worked for my laptop and the Windows laptop of the owner of this wireless network. 🙂


3 Responses to “Windows is unable to connect to the selected network”

DM wrote a comment on November 26, 2011

I was unable to connect to my new wireless router with my old XP laptop. Then I found this article. It works! Thank you so much. You have saved me a lot of heartache.

Ferlando Mitchell wrote a comment on July 20, 2012

Thanks for the information, it worked just as u said.

jm wrote a comment on November 8, 2012

Thank you so much for this; I have spent hours researching this! Exceedingly relieved to have this issue resolved.

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