Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Is it possible to "refresh wireless networks" in Windows 8

  1. #1


    Posts : 5
    Windows 8 64 bit

    Is it possible to "refresh wireless networks" in Windows 8


    In prior versions of Windows before W8, it was very easy to refresh your network list. This would allow you to see ALL of wireless networks in your area that your WiFi card could detect.

    My Windows 8 only allows me to see the wireless networks that it wants me to see.

    How do I see all Windows 8 networks within range? I have searched but I cannot find anything.

    TC

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 22,581
    64-bit Windows 10


    Hello TC, and welcome to Seven Forums.

    You should be able to see your available wireless network connections by opening Network from within in the Settings charm like right screenshot below. To be able to connect to hidden networks that do not broadcast their SSID, you would click on the Hidden network option at the bottom to setup a network connection.

    Networks flyout Shortcut - Create in Windows 8
    Last edited by Brink; 16 Jun 2014 at 13:27. Reason: removed broken image
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 5
    Windows 8 64 bit


    Thanks for the quick response, Brink.

    However..... I am still not sure that this answers my question.

    When I go into the settings, Windows 8 does not show me all of the networks. It only shows me the two wireless networks that it wants me to see.

    My router broadcasts on 2.4 and 5.0 Ghz channels. Previously, my computer could see both of those. Now I can only see the 2.4 band.

    On a side note, for what it's worth...... there are several networks in our neighborhood that are within range. I do not actually use them(they are all password protected anyway), but for good measure, I would like to be able to see them.

    Before Windows 8 it was really, really, really, really easy to click on "refresh." Evidently we cannot do that any more?

    TC
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 22,581
    64-bit Windows 10


    TC,

    This automatically refreshes and checks for and lists any available wireless network that broadcasts it's SSID name each time you open it.

    If your router does not broadcast it's wireless SSID name, which is recommend to not broadcast it, then you'll need to click on the Hidden network option to manually setup the wireless connection first. Afterwards, it should always be listed here.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 5
    Windows 8 64 bit


    Do you think that the issue could possibly be a weak antenna on my PC? Perhaps it is so weak that it is just not seeing much.

    I just bought this computer from Dell not long ago..... it is supposed to be very good..... it is an XPS 8500 with a quad core i7 processor and lots of goodies.

    I wonder what the feasibility would be for me to remove the existing internal Wifi card and install a different one? Over the years I have changed out video cards, sound cards, memory, internal hard drives, etc. etc.

    TC
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 22,581
    64-bit Windows 10


    TC,

    The wireless network would need to be within range for your PC to see it. Unless you are far off, it should be. I wouldn't think it's your antenna since you are able to see some of the other wireless networks in the area.

    However, the problem is that you're wireless adapter on your PC doesn't support 5.0 Ghz, so it will only see the 2.4 Ghz as Rob posted below.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Quote Originally Posted by True Colors View Post
    Thanks for the quick response, Brink.

    However..... I am still not sure that this answers my question.

    When I go into the settings, Windows 8 does not show me all of the networks. It only shows me the two wireless networks that it wants me to see.

    My router broadcasts on 2.4 and 5.0 Ghz channels. Previously, my computer could see both of those. Now I can only see the 2.4 band.

    On a side note, for what it's worth...... there are several networks in our neighborhood that are within range. I do not actually use them(they are all password protected anyway), but for good measure, I would like to be able to see them.

    Before Windows 8 it was really, really, really, really easy to click on "refresh." Evidently we cannot do that any more?

    TC
    The wireless NIC included with your Dell PC doesn't include a dual band NIC, because of this you will only be able to see the 2.4Ghz connections around you.

    There should be no need to refresh anything in order to see the 2.4Ghz connections in your area, this should all be automatic, if you can't see them then they aren't in range.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Posts : 2
    Windows 8


    Quote Originally Posted by Brink View Post
    TC,

    This automatically refreshes and checks for and lists any available wireless network that broadcasts it's SSID name each time you open it.

    If your router does not broadcast it's wireless SSID name, which is recommend to not broadcast it, then you'll need to click on the Hidden network option to manually setup the wireless connection first. Afterwards, it should always be listed here.
    Unfortunately, the original question is *still* not answered. Please answer the following question:

    In Windows 8, is there a way to manually refresh the list of available wireless networks?

    If the only possible way to refresh your list of available wireless networks is through automatic refreshing, is there a way to go in and change the frequency it checks? I don't like waiting 15 minutes or so for Windows 8 to look for a router I powercycled 20 minutes ago. (I can verify by my iphone that the powercycle took just under 2 minutes before the router started broadcasting.) The only other option is to disable and re-enable the wifi just to get it to rescan, and that is very inconvenient.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Posts : 22,581
    64-bit Windows 10


    Hello Koah, and welcome to Eight Forums.

    It automatically refreshes the list when you open it. If you want to manually refresh it, then you could close and reopen it.

    Networks flyout Shortcut - Create in Windows 8
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Posts : 2
    Windows 8


    Quote Originally Posted by Brink View Post
    Hello Koah, and welcome to Eight Forums.

    It automatically refreshes the list when you open it. If you want to manually refresh it, then you could close and reopen it.

    Networks flyout Shortcut - Create in Windows 8
    That was not something I was aware of. I'll have to run some tests in the future. Thank you for the reply, Brink. It was appreciated. I'll have to visit these forums more often and pick more of your brains. I mean, Windows 8 is nice, but it's sometimes hard to find where everything is.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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Is it possible to "refresh wireless networks" in Windows 8
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