Windows 7 Forums
Welcome to Windows 7 Forums. Our forum is dedicated to helping you find support and solutions for any problems regarding your Windows 7 PC be it Dell, HP, Acer, Asus or a custom build. We also provide an extensive Windows 7 tutorial section that covers a wide range of tips and tricks.

Windows 7: Displaying inactive network connections

30 Oct 2010   #1

Windows 7 Enterprise 64-bit
Displaying inactive network connections

Recently i installed a new wireless card, and now under Connections in Network and sharing center i have "Wireless network connection 2".

That means that somewhere on the computer there is still information stored about the previous wireless network configuration i had. I'd like a way to show that previous network and manage it.

What i'd really like to do is delete the "Wireless network connection 2" and just use the old "Wireless network connection", but i see no way of displaying all once active connections in Windows.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Oct 2010   #2
Orbital Shark



If you open up Network and Sharing center and click 'Change adapter settings'

Displaying inactive network connections-network-sharing-center.png

Displaying inactive network connections-change-adapter-settings.png

From there you can remove all unneccessary network connections and rename the in use 1 back to 'Wireless network connection'

information   Information
This can be cause if your network hardware failed at some point and Windows had to recover the device and re-install the drivers

Hope this helps :)


My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 May 2011   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1 | OSX Lion 10.7 x64

I know, I know, this thread is as old as walking backwards, but hey, I came here looking for a solution and although Orbital Shark's answer not quite solved what I was expecting, I went looking by myself and found a way to get rid of the old, outdated network connections.

The issue was, I could not rename my Wireless connection. But that's because I had already renamed an old Wireless connection before. Thus, Windows did not allowed me to rename this new one because it already knew about another one with this very same name. So I went in the Windows registry and searched for my network connection. When I found it, I just deleted the key and its subkeys and voilá, problem has been solved.

Please note, this is a very unsafe method, particularly if you are not sure on what to do or if you have no much expertise playing with Windows Registry. So let me do a quick tutorial with an image to better explain:

0. Create a system restore point before messing up things;

1. Open an command prompt with administrative privileges;

2. Type "regedit" without quotes to open Registry Editor application;

3. Click on Edit, then Find... (or press Ctrl+F);

4. Type the network name you are looking for - in my case, "Wireless Network Connection" (again, no quotes);

5. When you find a key, it will look like the following:
Displaying inactive network connections-regedit_1.png

6. To find out if this belongs the current network interface or to an older interface, take a look at "PnpInstanceID" value (in my picture it is shown right below "Name" key). Any valid network adapter will have an Instance ID value similar to "PCI\VEN_1234&DEV_5678&SUBSYS_12345678&REV_01\blablabla". That is because the hardware is currently detected by the OS, so it is pointing to the hardware.

7. Assuming you found a key not pointing to any currently active interface, you can select the parent key and delete it. In the above image, the parent key is the "{BD8D2B3D-3E6A-40EA-9C59-F5CF756220BA}" key, as found on the left panel.

8. You may need to search a couple more times to find out all old entries. They may be multiple. Proceed as above for removal of any other inactive interfaces;

9. Now you can proceed as Orbital Shark posted above, and Windows will accept the "previous" name in this "new" connection.

Again, I apologise by ressing such old thread. I hope this may be helpful to anyone as it was to me.

Attached Thumbnails
Displaying inactive network connections-regedit_1.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec

23 Jul 2011   #4

Windows 7 Pro x64 SP1

I'll risk my first post in this form bumping an old thread for two reasons. First its the first return I found when searching for the solution myself and second, I've found a way to do this without resorting to regedit.

1) Open Control Panel > Network and Sharing Center.
2) Click on the ICON of a currently connected network
3) Click on the "Merge or delete network locations" at the bottom left of the new dialog.

That will bring up a new dialog showing a list of all defined wired, wireless and vpn networks. You can then delete ones you don't want (I havn't tried merge) and rename your existing network in the Network and Sharing Center.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Displaying inactive network connections

Thread Tools

Similar help and support threads
Thread Forum
Network Meter not displaying Network Interface
This gadget was working before but recently the network interface isn't displaying my networks in the dropdown list. I've tried uninstalling/reinstalling the gadget and tried that Reset Gadget thing that was on this forum as well. I also tried another network meter gadget but got the same result. ...
Deleting my own network connections listings (sys tray network icon)
I'm preparing a laptop for transfer to someone else and have deleted all my network accounts (wireless) in the Control Panel. But over in the Sys Tray, when I click on the network icon, my two connections are still listed (name and name-guest). How do I delete those? Win 7x64. Thanks,
Network & Sharing
Network Connections Blank - Red X on Network Icon- but Internet works
I am connected to the internet, but there is a red x on my network icon (yet when you hover over it, it says internet access.) I tried to go into the network and sharing > change adapter settings, yet the Network connections folder is COMPLETELY blank. I tried reinstalling the driver. ...
Network & Sharing
Do inactive devices slow network speed
I have a custom built PC running windows 7 home premium, an i5 2500k, and 16gb of 1600mhz RAM, and I'm occasionally experiencing lag while watching Youtube videos in firefox. I scan regularly for viruses with malwarebytes and superantispyware, so i know thats not the problem, I run ccleaner about...
Network & Sharing
WRT320N wired connections displaying different names
So whenever i plug in my computers with an ethernet cord to my router i get an older, different ssid name displayed in local area connections instead of the one being displayed on the wireless network. For one computer it displays the old ssid name 3011, with a 2 right next to it (i think thats...
Network & Sharing

Our Sites

Site Links

About Us

Find Us

Windows 7 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 7" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

© Designer Media Ltd

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 18:51.
Twitter Facebook Google+ Seven Forums iOS App Seven Forums Android App