Here's my issue. I'm working in a school as IT Tech and I'm currently planning to roll out Windows 7 on students laptop.

The issue is : When you go to the properties of a WIFI network, you have the fields to input the WIFI key, WPA2 key here in my case, and you also have a checkbox that allow you to "unmask" the characters of the WIFI key. This is actually the problem. Anyone who can access the WIFI network properties, will be able to see the WIFI key, which is really an issue in a school environment where student are all eager to get the key for their precious IPod Touch, what I don't want to happen for obvious reasons...

So, is there a way to disable that checkbox or else, make the field cleared out when the checkbox is checked, just like it was on Windows XP or Vista?

Update April 29 2010

I just tested it out on a Windows Vista laptop, and Vista isn't affected by this bug! So this is really just on Windows Seven that the check box is "checkable" when a password is input. I keep searching on a way to resolve this problem.

  • see uttam answer – AminM Jun 13 '17 at 15:42

As far as I know, you cannot override this option.

You can, however, set up a standard user (non-admin) account for the users and set up the network on that account. From there, they'll need the admin password to be able to check the 'Show password' box. Note the 'Admin' logo next to the check box below:

alt text

  • Yeah well, this is a simple way to do it, but I already test out this thing... Actually, it doesn't really work all the time, I've just test it and I've been able to see the WIFI key whether the admin icon was there... Dunno why.. This is really looks like a security fail in Windows 7... – Marc-Andre R. Apr 28 '10 at 19:43
  • Actually this gonna be the best solution before I got something better to manage my WIFI Access. Thanks. – Marc-Andre R. May 4 '10 at 14:49

Wireless keys are usually not very secure, so using it as the only mechanism of controlling access to a school's wireless network is not an ideal solution. You should instead keep track of the Wireless MAC address of each laptop and use access points that allow you to restrict access via MAC address. There are lots of WAP Management solutions available that let you control access to a large wireless network. Alternatively you could setup the DHCP server to only respond to MAC addresses that have been validated, which would help prevent unauthorized users from accessing the network.

  • Yeah, you're right on that, I'm currently trying to implement RADIUS with WPA2-AES Enterprise, but I got issue with Vista/Seven client (see here : serverfault.com/questions/133114/…) . That'll be the best way to manage everything, if only I can get it work, that why I'm asking this question 2d to have a backup plan up to the moment I'll be able to make radius work on vista/seven... – Marc-Andre R. Apr 29 '10 at 2:03
  1. Open a command prompt as an administrator (right click, select “Run as administrator”
  2. Run Regedit
  3. Browse to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AppID{86F80216-5DD6-4F43-953B-35EF40A35AEE}
  4. Right click on the key
  5. Select Permissions
  6. Click Advanced button
  7. Select Owner tab
  8. Highlight Administrators group and then click OK
  9. Under Security, highlight Administrators group and set Permissions to Full Control
  10. Delete the key

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