Windows – Backing up, Transferring, and Restoring Wireless Network Settings

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If you have a machine setup and working on your wireless network, sometimes it’s easier to set other machines up by simply migrating the settings. Either because you don’t want your child to try and type in a 64 bit WPA key, or you might simply have forgotten the WEP/WPA key,and don’t want to go through all the hassle of setting it up again.

In a small business environment you can give your colleagues their wireless settings in an XML file, or on a USB thumb drive. When using XML files you can even script the deployment of wireless settings to your users.


Option 1: Export/Import wireless Networks to XML File.

This is quick and easy, and if you are feeling adventurous enough, could be used to script the deployment of wireless networks.

1. On your working wireless machine, open a command window, the following command will list all the wireless profiles that are installed on this machine, )in the example below there is just one).

netsh wlan show profiles

Show Wireless Profiles

2. Now we know the name of the profile (Note: Typically it will be the SSID), we can export it to a folder. Be aware if the folder does not exist, the process is liable to fail.

netsh wlan export profile name={profile name} Folder=c:{folder name}

Export Wireless Profile to xml

3. This will produce an XML file, containing the settings.

Wireless Settings xml file

4. Copy the folder containing your XML file to the destination machine, and issue the following command;

netsh wlan add profile filename=”c:{folder name}{file name}.xml”

Import Wireless Settings from xml file

5. Your wireless profile will be restored.

Transfer Wireless Settings

Option 2: Export/Transfer/Import wireless Settings via USB.

1. On the source machine open ‘Control Panel’.

Control Panel

2. Select ‘Network and Sharing Center’.

Network and Sharing Center

3. Select ‘Manage wireless networks.

Windows Manage Wireless Settings

4. Locate the wireless profile you want to migrate, (in the example below there is just one), double click it > select ‘copy this network profile to a USB flash drive’.

Backup Wireless to USB

5. Assuming you already have a USB drive plugged in, the wizard will detect it > Next.

Wireless USB Transfer

6. Close.

Export Wireless to USB Drive

7. Take the drive to a destination machine, and plug it in, Windows 7 has autorun disabled, with older versions of Windows you can simply choose ‘Connect to wireless network” from the autorun menu. If not open the drive and run the setupSNK.exe file.

Import Wireless form USB

8. Yes to confirm.

Restore Wireless Settings

9. OK to close.

Import WPA Key

10. Your network is setup and ready to go.

Restored Wireless WEP Key

Related Articles, References, Credits, or External Links


Author: Migrated

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