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Connecting to Wi-Fi without verifying certificate

I love Windows 10! One reason is that it simplifies a lot of things that I do not want to care about. Usually you just click an icon and things just work. There is a downside to this though: Sometimes you want to access the “advanced properties” and that can be tricky. This is a reminder article for me (and perhaps someone else) how you can alter settings for a wireless network connection in Windows 10.

The problem

The thing was this: I just returned back to the office after spending about 18 months at client. I wanted to connect my computer to the “BYOD-network” at the office. So I just clicked the icon but got an error message, the not very informative “cannot connect to network”. So this time I needed to access the advanced options, but in Windows 10 you cannot access those simply by right-clicking.

If you try to right-click any of the icons nothing happens, so you cannot get or change any information about the Wi-Fi access point. So I did not even know what was wrong. I did remember being able to connect my phone to the network, so I tried that, and I got it to work by not verifying the server certificate. So all I needed to do is to make Windows do the same. This, as it turns out, is not easy.

The solution

Basically I needed to manually create a connection to the Wi-Fi network. To do this, there are some steps. Looking at the overview you need to:

  1. Delete the existing connection from the Windows “known connections”.
  2. Create a connection to the wireless network manually, adding settings as you go.
  3. Updating credentials.

Delete connection

I tried to connect to the wireless network the usual way. When I did the network got added to the “Known Networks” even if I failed to connect. In order to add it manually you need to remove it first. This might not apply to you but make sure it is not in the known networks list.

  1. Open the Wi-Fi settings using the icon in the lower right corner and clicking network settings.
  2. Scroll down to “Manage Wi-Fi Settings” and click it.
  3. Scroll down to manage known networks and find the network in question, click it and then click the Forget button.

Manually create the connection

In order to change anything that is not the standard settings, you have to set them yourself.

  1. Open the old control panel
  2. Choose “Network and Internet”.
  3. Choose “Network and Sharing Center”.
  4. Click Setup new connection or network
  5. Choose according to picture and click next:
  6. In the “Network name”-box you have to enter the full name of the network as it was displayed in the network list earlier. This is usually the SSID as well.
  7. The security type can be different from what is shown in the picture. Choose what is most likely for you and click next.
  8. On the next page, choose Change connection settings. If you get a message that the network already exists you must remove it first (see above). It cannot be changed.
  9. The following page appears
  10. Click the Security tab
  11. Click the Settings button indicated by the picture.
  12. Untick the box indicated in the picture, if you need to remove the certificate verification.

    This is the setting that removes the certificate check that I needed. Click OK to close.
  13. Now click advanced settings.
  14. Select to Specify authentication mode and pick the one that applies to you.

    In my case it was “User authentication” as I do not use domain logon credentials. If you do, select the “User or computer authentication”.
  15. If you selected “User Authentication” you can opt to save your credentials now by clicking that button and entering your username and password. Click OK to close.

Update credentials

You have now created a new connection. Simply select it by clicking the wireless icon. If you have configured everything correctly, you can now connect. Perhaps you need to enter your credentials.