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How to manage wireless networks in Windows 8.1 and Windows 8 using Classic Shell

Previously, we wrote about how to manage wireless networks in Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 from the command prompt. However, the command prompt and netsh are a very cumbersome way to change their priority, delete network profiles or rename them. Instead, you can manage wireless networks from the GUI if you use the Classic Shell Start Menu. Let's see how.

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Classic Shell's Start Menu allows adding any shell folders as an expandable menu. Using this feature, we can add the CLSID of the old Manage Wireless Networks folder.

  1. Download and install Classic Shell and pick the style you want.
  2. If you closed the settings UI, right click its Start button and click Settings.
  3. Check All Settings at the top and go to the Customize Start menu tab.
  4. For Classic single or two column style of the menu, scroll all the way to the bottom in the right command list and drag the Custom item to the left column where you want to see it in the menu.
    Adding a Custom item in classic style of Start Menu
    Adding a Custom item in classic style of Start Menu

    If you are using Windows 7 style, press the Insert key on the keyboard while you are on the Customize Start Menu tab to add a new item. Pick Custom from the list and drag to reposition it wherever you want.

    Adding a custom item in Windows 7 style of the Classic Shell Start Menu
    Adding a custom item in Windows 7 style of the Classic Shell Start Menu

  5. Double click the Custom item you just added. For Windows 7 style, double click the icon of the Custom item. The "Edit Menu Item" dialog will show.Edit Menu Item-Wireless
  6. In the Link field of this dialog, enter this (you may copy-paste it):
    shell:::{1fa9085f-25a2-489b-85d4-86326eedcd87}
  7. It is the CLSID of the Manage Wireless Networks folder. Click OK to save settings. The other fields are optional.

That's it. Now you will get a nice cascading, flyout menu that shows your wireless networks. You can right click on the connections inside the folder submenu to remove wireless profiles, rename a network, delete profiles or change their order.

The menu item you just added will look like this:

Wireless Networks menu
Wireless Networks menu

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Author: Gaurav Kale

Gaurav is a software enthusiast from India and Classic Shell tester & UX consultant. He started with Windows 95 and is good at software usability testing. He firmly believes that user experience is just as important as software code quality and architecture for software to be successful.

10 thoughts on “How to manage wireless networks in Windows 8.1 and Windows 8 using Classic Shell”

  1. You can do the same thing in Startisback+

    Custom Folders > Add > shell:::{1fa9085f-25a2-489b-85d4-86326eedcd87}

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