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Fix Windows Cannot Configure This Wireless Connection

I recently had a client who was unable to connect to their wireless network using the built-in wireless card on their laptop.

Basically, one day the connection suddenly dropped and he decided to buy a wireless USB drive to keep working until he fixed the problem.

However, the built-in wireless adapter could no longer detect wireless networks and simply displayed the error message below:

Windows cannot configure this wireless connection. If you have enabled other software to manage this wireless connection, use that software.

If you want Windows to configure this wireless connection, click Change advanced settings, go to the Wireless Networks tab, and then select the Use Windows to configure wireless settings check box.

The user tried to update the driver for the built-in wireless adapter, but that didn’t help either. It was then that he called me. After investigating the problem and trying several different solutions, we fixed it.

I’ll go ahead and list the various solutions I’ve tried, as the one that worked for me may not work for you.

Method 1 – Uninstall a third-party wireless manager

On some machines, such as Dell computers, Dell installs third-party software that manages the wireless connection. Likewise, if you have an Intel Pro wireless card installed, it can be controlled by Intel software.

In this case, uninstall the wireless management software. Please note that you do not uninstall the driver, only the software. In the above case, the user installed a wireless USB drive, so I had to uninstall that software first.

Restart your computer and see if Windows starts to detect wireless networks. If not, keep reading!

Method 2 – start the Wireless Zero Configuration service

If you get a message that the wireless setup service is starting, it might have been disabled by a third-party program on your computer.

You can launch it by selecting Start, Control Panel, Administrative Tools and clicking Services. Scroll down until you find Wireless Zero Configuration.

Make sure Status is running. If not, right-click the service and select Start. After starting the service, check if Windows detects wireless networks.

Method 3 – Let Windows manage wireless settings

If Windows does not start automatic wireless management, you may need to manually specify this as well. Please note that this only works on Windows 7 and earlier.

You can do this by right-clicking the wireless icon in the system tray and choosing View Available Wireless Networks.

Then click on “Change advanced settings” in the left menu:

Then click the Wireless Networks tab when the Properties dialog box appears. Here you should check the box “Use Windows to configure my wireless settings”.

Go ahead and try to check if Windows can now detect your wireless networks. Hope this solves your problem. If you’re using Windows 10, you can go to Settings, then click Network & Internet and then Wi-Fi.

If you still can’t connect with the built-in wireless card, please leave a comment with details and we’ll try to help. Enjoy!

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