Another Windows 8 annoyance: managing WiFi profiles

I had some issues today with the Windows 8 WiFi connection on my Dell XPS 12. Short story (the long one is tedious): I was using the machine at my local Acura dealer while waiting for the service on my wife’s car to be completed. I closed the lid once I could pay and get the car, yet when I opened it again at home, all Windows 8 wanted to do was to reconnect to the Acura dealers WiFi. It wouldn’t show my home WiFi at all. Even funnier (in hindsight), running the Troubleshooter resulted in a request to activate a ‘manual’ WiFi profile for an older wireless network for somewhere else.

WiFi iconFine, I thought, let’s just remove it from the list of wireless profiles. On Windows 7, it’s a piece of cake: open Network and Sharing Center (right click on the Network icon in the notification tray), and then select Manage wireless networks. At that point you can remove ones you don’t use, rearrange the others, etc, and generally play at being a Network Systems Admin.

On Windows 8, it’s gone. The UI is no more. You can download a freebie third-party app if you want (here’s one), but bloody hell.

The alternative is to use the command line, which is what I did. First open up a Command Prompt. To see a list of the stored wireless profiles, use this:

netsh wlan show profiles

Now that’s in the Command Prompt Window, you can use it as an aide-memoire to delete the ones you don’t want, one by one:

netsh wlan delete profile name=SomeProfileNameWithoutSpaces
netsh wlan delete profile name=”Some Profile Name With Spaces”

And there you have it. A little more tedious to be sure. Oh, and I had to reboot the laptop anyway: Windows 8 resolutely wouldn’t show any other wireless networks (including the one three feet away) apart from my dealer’s one.

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4 Responses

#1 Nadeem Ansari said...
12-Oct-13 11:51 PM

Hey guys I read about how to delete saved wifi profiles in Windows 8 in a much easier and clear way right here [url deleted]

julian m bucknall avatar
#2 julian m bucknall said...
14-Oct-13 1:54 PM

@Nadeem: Really? Seriously? That page you linked to uses exactly the same method as I showed here. It cannot be easier, it cannot be clearer, since it's the same "open a command window, execute these commands." D'oh! I'll admit though that page has way more annoying ads, interspersed in the middle of the article.

Cheers, Julian

#3 DougCuk said...
16-Dec-13 3:44 AM

What was easy to do via the GUI under Win7 suddenly requires use of the Command Prompt in Win8 !!!! - what are the Windows development team smoking?

Also that 3rd party utility looks like it has problems from the user feedback - so use with caution.

#4 Gwenole said...
31-Jan-14 1:58 PM

Check out this other tool: it is very good and cover all your needs for profile management, without requiring using command line methods:

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