A Windows computer is connected to a network, and used to change the network's SSID through the administrative interface. After, the user attempts to connect to the newly named network, and enters the network password correctly but still gets an error "Windows was unable to connect to" the network. Other machines, not previously connected, have no problem. How can the original machine be connected?

Some attempts:

I first went in to Manage Wireless Networks and chose to Forget the old network, by right-clicking on the old SSID, and clicking Forget. However, this is insufficient. I also had to go into the registry, and browse to

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\NetworkList\Profiles

and under that there was a list, which I manually looked through to find one with the Description / ProfileName of the old SSID. (Screenshots here.) I right clicked on the folder and selected Delete, then restarted the machine. I still cannot connect.

Edited to also mention:

From an admin command prompt, the old SSID already does not appear in "netsh wlan show profiles." Attempting to delete via

netsh wlan delete profile name="oldSSID"

results in an error that "Profile 'oldSSID' is not found on any interface."

I have also tried disabling and re-enabling the wireless adapter, including through Device Manager. In Device Manager, I also clicked Update Driver and was told I was running the latest driver (confirmed with the manufacturer's web site).

I have also tried running the following commands in an admin command prompt:

netsh winsock reset 
netsh int ip reset 
ipconfig /release 
ipconfig /renew 
ipconfig /flushdns 

and restarted multiple times, but still cannot connect.


Delete the Wireless Profile completely:

Using an Admin Command prompt:

netsh wlan delete profile name="profile name" This profile and any others you do not need.

Restart the computer and make a new profile. This should connect

  • Unfortunately, the old SSID already does not appear in "netsh wlan show profiles" and attempting the delete results in an error that "Profile 'oldname' is not found on any interface." Thank you for the attempt though.
    – WBT
    Nov 16 '19 at 22:18
  • That may have been an incomplete deletion of the profile using the registry change. Can you connect to any wireless profile at this point?
    – John
    Nov 16 '19 at 22:20
  • Yes, any network except the newly renamed one, and any other device can connect to the new one, and the same device connected to the same network when it had its old name.
    – WBT
    Nov 16 '19 at 22:20
  • I am not sure at this point. If willing, remove the NIC itself (Device Manager). Be sure you have the driver on hand first. Restart and re-add the driver. I am not sure if this will correct the network stack.
    – John
    Nov 16 '19 at 22:25

I have upvoted the other answer because it may be helpful to others and was a reasonable suggestion before I edited the question to show that fruitless step that I'd previously omitted because it seemed redundant.

The solution was to download the Intel PROSet/Wireless WiFi Connection Utility, from the manufacturer's web page specific to my network interface card and operating system. Using this utility, after all the steps described in the question, I was able to connect to the renamed network.

  • Aha... Intel Wifi... This is an known (but obscure) issue. Some Intel Wifi drivers keep their own copies of the Wifi profiles even if you never installed their Wifi Connection Utility. Normally that doesn't cause any problems, but sometimes the Intel profiles get out of sync with the Windows ones. Re-installing the driver doesn't help. Those profile copies are not deleted together with the driver and will be re-used by the next install of the driver. The only solution is to use the Intel Wifi Connection utility to manually remove unwanted/obsolete Wifi profiles.
    – Tonny
    Nov 17 '19 at 0:08
  • Thank you for updating us with the added steps
    – John
    Nov 17 '19 at 3:35

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