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It’s important that your wireless Internet connection is secured with a password to stop unauthorised access, even though networks aren’t usually hard to crack How Easy Is It to Crack a Wi-Fi Network? How Easy Is It to Crack a Wi-Fi Network? Whether you're a computer novice or a pro-level geek, you probably have some idea about Wifi security. You know that you need to have some kind of password, and you also know that there's a... Read More . But when you’re having to set up that connection on multiple devices or share your Internet connection Turn Windows Into a Wi-Fi Hotspot & Share Your Internet Connection Turn Windows Into a Wi-Fi Hotspot & Share Your Internet Connection You've got an Internet connection via a network cable. Can you wirelessly share that connection with other devices? Can you make your Windows computer run like a WiFi router? In short: Yes! Read More , it can become a bit of an annoyance.

Handily, there’s a quick and easy way to save your network settings. You can put the information on a USB stick 3 Tools for Turning Your USB Drive Into a Secure Unlock Key for Your PC 3 Tools for Turning Your USB Drive Into a Secure Unlock Key for Your PC Read More , plug it into your computer or laptop and then run a file to automatically connect to your network.

Without further ado, let’s find out how! Be sure to let us know in the comments if you’ve ever used the following method or if you have your own tips to add.

Saving the Settings

First, perform a system search for manage wireless networks and select the relevant result. This will open a new window that will show all the wireless networks that you’ve connected to in the past (minus those you told your system not to remember).

manage wireless networks

Find the connection you want to save the settings of and double click it in the list. This will bring up another window that contains the properties of that connection.

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Ensuring you’re still on the default Connection tab, you then need to select Copy this network profile to a USB flash drive at the bottom. At this point you’ll be asked to plug in your USB drive, so do just that. Once it’s connected, click the Next button.

copy network settings

The copying process is very quick, so within a couple of seconds you should see confirmation that the settings have been copied to the USB drive successfully. At this point you can click View more detailed instructions and it’ll generate a brief document of information on how to use your new network profile – it’s useful for the future, but we’ll walk through those easy steps now. When ready, click Close.

Now your USB drive will have new data on it: two files called AUTORUN and setupSNK and a folder (containing various other data) called SMRTNTKY. Be sure not to remove any of these files from your USB, else it’ll break the process.

Importing the Settings

This part is even easier. Take your USB drive and plug it into the device that you want to import the network settings to. If you have AutoPlay enabled then it should pop up and allow you to select Connect to a wireless network using Windows Connect Now as an option. Alternatively, if AutoPlay doesn’t prompt you, just load up the drive from Computer and launch the setupSNK.exe file. Both will achieve the same thing.

add network confirmation

You’ll be asked if you want to add your computer to the wireless network. Click Yes and you’ll then receive a confirmation message to let you know that the process was successful.

And that’s it! Pretty simple, right? You can repeat this process as much as you like until you’ve got all your devices hooked up to the same network.

Make the Most of Your Network

With this tip you’re well on the way to efficiently managing your network, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. If the above method doesn’t suit your purpose, it’s easy to share your wireless network Easily Share Your Home Wi-Fi With Friends Easily Share Your Home Wi-Fi With Friends Do you use a complicated password for your Wi-Fi network? You should. But sharing your connection with friends shouldn't be a pain. Don't worry, we've got you covered. Read More with others by using QR codes or phone apps.

newsletter-wifi-blind-spots

You might also want to start making your network more secure 4 Free WiFi Software Downloads to Get Most of Wireless Networks 4 Free WiFi Software Downloads to Get Most of Wireless Networks Read More by monitoring who has access to it and ensuring that anywhere else you connect to has the proper security credentials to keep you safe.

And that’s not all – how about a super quick way to find out your network password How to Find & Change Your WiFi Password How to Find & Change Your WiFi Password Once your WiFi is set up, you feel no reason to remember the password. Until you need to connect another device. What's the password again? Fortunately, it's easy to find out! Read More and how to change it? It’s recommended that you change the password periodically, just so you can keep the network as secure as possible.

Get Connected

With your trusty USB drive in hand, you’ll be the champion of connecting devices. No need to remember your network password when hooking up new devices; simply plug in the USB, run the file and you’ll be good to go.

This will come in especially useful if you’re a network administrator who is having to set up a whole new bank of systems. If that’s the case, be sure to check out our tips for installing programs in bulk How To Install & Uninstall Windows Programs In Bulk How To Install & Uninstall Windows Programs In Bulk A mass installer or uninstaller can save you heaps of time. Remember the last time you set up a new computer? We are going to teach you how to do these tasks in a flash. Read More too.

Have you used the above method to connect to a wireless network? Do you have your own tips to add?

Image credits: USB memory and laptop Via Shutterstock, Flickr/Scott Maentz

  1. John S.
    March 9, 2015 at 5:52 pm

    With Windows, you could also save the same data to a network share that I know we all have..

    This batch file is something I use at work on laptops we have off the domain.

    Export.bat (the file I use to export the wireless settings).
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Echo on
    netsh wlan export profile folder="\sharefolderwireless.name.xml" key=clear
    pause
    ----------------------------------------------------------------

    Import.bat
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Echo on
    netsh wlan add profile filename="\sharefolderwireless.name.xml" user=all
    netsh wlan add profile filename="\sharefolderwireless.name.xml" user=all
    netsh wlan add profile filename="\sharefolderwireless.name.xml" user=all
    netsh wlan add profile filename="\sharefolderwireless.name.xml" user=all
    netsh wlan add profile filename="\sharefolderwireless.name.xml" user=all
    netsh wlan add profile filename="\sharefolderwireless.name.xml" user=all
    pause
    ----------------------------------------------------------------

    - I like "echo on" so I can "see" what's going on and "pause" to "see" if there was anything wrong.
    - The quotes are critical if your \sharefoldernames include spaces!
    - Run EXPORT.BAT once from the laptop that has the correct wireless information.
    - The output file is an XML file, my work setup produced 6 wireless network names. In some cases, the network password is "exposed" within the XML file.
    - Run IMPORT.BAT on each laptop you need this information loaded onto.
    - This beats the pants off inputting the same data laptop after laptop!

    • Tina
      March 29, 2015 at 2:46 pm

      Thank you for sharing your batch file, John!

    • John
      March 30, 2015 at 12:46 am

      I found a typo (lack of backslashes):

      Export.bat (the file I use to export the wireless settings).
      —————————————————————-
      Echo on
      netsh wlan export profile folder=”sharefolderwireless.name.xml” key=clear
      pause
      —————————————————————-
      Import.bat
      —————————————————————-
      Echo on
      netsh wlan add profile filename=”sharefolderwireless.name.xml” user=all
      netsh wlan add profile filename=”sharefolderwireless.name.xml” user=all
      netsh wlan add profile filename=”sharefolderwireless.name.xml” user=all
      netsh wlan add profile filename=”sharefolderwireless.name.xml” user=all
      netsh wlan add profile filename=”sharefolderwireless.name.xml” user=all
      netsh wlan add profile filename=”sharefolderwireless.name.xml” user=all
      pause
      —————————————————————-

  2. Frank K.
    March 6, 2015 at 9:06 pm

    I have DouDou Linux installed on a usb stick. How do I save my network password to that stick so I don't always have to reenter it?

    • Tina
      March 29, 2015 at 2:47 pm

      Frank, I recommend that you ask this question on our Q&A forum.

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