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WINDOWS 8: How do I Merge, rename, delete network locations?

    Question

  • I travel a lot and use public wireless networks and resort to using my iPhone every time I need a connection away from home or when I am often having problems with the service of my internet provider.

    My problem is the saved network connections that I will most probably never use again and also, every time I connect my iPhone it starts up a new network connection (currently network 27). How do I manage these network connections? How can I delete or merge these connections?

    In Windows 8, I just used to click the network icon and click the option for managing network connections (or something quite similar, I'm only recalling from memory at the moment.)

    Please HELP!

    Monday, November 19, 2012 1:17 AM

All replies

  • I am not sure how to merge the connections, but to change the network location, it is the same way in Windows 7. This is how to: Change "Unidentified Network" network location from public to private - http://www.howtonetworking.com/Networking/unidentifiednetwork1.htm

    Bob Lin, MVP, MCSE & CNE Networking, Internet, Routing, VPN Troubleshooting on

    http://www.ChicagoTech.net

    How to Setup Windows, Network, VPN & Remote Access on

    http://www.howtonetworking.com


    • Edited by chicagotech Monday, November 19, 2012 3:00 AM
    Monday, November 19, 2012 2:59 AM
  • No, this is not the anwer I am looking for. 

    I need to know if there is a way to merge or delete previous network connections

    Monday, November 19, 2012 9:48 AM
  • This article may help.

    http://setspn.blogspot.be/2012/09/win-8-client-manage-wireless-networks.html


    Please remember to click “Mark as Answer” on the post that helps you, and to click “Unmark as Answer” if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread. ”

    Tuesday, November 20, 2012 8:32 AM
    Moderator
  • Again, the question was how to merge network connections; a feature available in Windows 7 but apparently not 8. "Managing wireless networks" is a completely different topic.
    Wednesday, June 19, 2013 5:45 AM
  • I would like to know the answer to this too.  I can't find a way to delete old network connections you have made at hotels, restaurants, etc.  In Windows 7 Network and Sharing Center you could click on the icon of the network you were in (was a picture of a house or park bench if public) and you could merge or get rid of unused networks.  Without this you could have hundreds of networks after a year or so.  There has got to be a way to do this without going into the registry.  The OP question was NOT answered. 
    Monday, June 24, 2013 2:57 AM
  • What might help is going to the Network and Sharing Centre (Control Panel), click on "Change Adapter Settings" in the left pane, and then delete from the list.  This will only delete the current WiFi, but you can delete legacy VPNs by this method.
    Saturday, July 13, 2013 4:15 AM
  • Not sure what you mean spdrdr, no legacy networks show up in Network and Sharing Center when you click on Change Adapter Settings.  The only one that will show up there is the one you are currently connected to.  This does not work to get rid of the old networks you once connected to that are not currently in range.
    Saturday, July 13, 2013 11:20 PM
  • This worked for me. I was trying to delete a network and checked about everywhere except for the adapter settings. Thank you!
    Wednesday, August 28, 2013 1:58 PM
  • Okay. Windows 8 truly removed the user-friendly script which allows you to instantly merge, rename, and delete network locations. I also find this as inconvenience since my network locations always get another numeric suffix. However, network locations can easily be managed using the Registry Editor.

    1. Run Registry Editor. (press Windows button + R, type regedit, click OK)

    2. Go to this folder: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\NetworkList\Profiles.

    The Profiles folder will eventually give you all the network locations (past or recent) that you have used. Each network location is represented by a subfolder.

    If you want to set up again the network locations when the network adapter connects to the network, delete all the subfolders of Profiles folder.

    If you want to rename the network location, click on the right subfolder and edit the key named ProfileName and input the name you desire for the network location.

    I hope this helps. Thank you.

    • Proposed as answer by Jhonnel Azarcon Wednesday, October 16, 2013 11:30 PM
    Wednesday, October 16, 2013 11:25 PM
  • You should get the answer credit for this one instead of the blog post above. I was going nuts trying to remove a network location so I could turn sharing back on and connect to my office servers over VPN. Thanks!!
    Thursday, December 05, 2013 1:25 PM
  • Oh thanks for reading my answer proposal. :D
    Monday, December 30, 2013 2:58 PM
  • This fixed my problem....  Just needed to delete an old vpn connection.  Thanks!
    Thursday, February 20, 2014 2:22 AM
  • Very useful, but what about merging?
    Sunday, February 23, 2014 12:27 PM
  • Thanks, I have been trying to change this network name for hours.  You fixed my problem. 

    Thanks Again,

    Nathan McCloskey

    Saturday, March 01, 2014 6:41 AM
  • Okay. Windows 8 truly removed the user-friendly script which allows you to instantly merge, rename, and delete network locations. I also find this as inconvenience since my network locations always get another numeric suffix. However, network locations can easily be managed using the Registry Editor.

    1. Run Registry Editor. (press Windows button + R, type regedit, click OK)

    2. Go to this folder: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\NetworkList\Profiles.

    The Profiles folder will eventually give you all the network locations (past or recent) that you have used. Each network location is represented by a subfolder.

    If you want to set up again the network locations when the network adapter connects to the network, delete all the subfolders of Profiles folder.

    If you want to rename the network location, click on the right subfolder and edit the key named ProfileName and input the name you desire for the network location.

    I hope this helps. Thank you.


    Of all the answers, yours is the one that worked.  Thank you very much;) you were able to understand what we all were looking for. Though the question that you have answered cant be fixed with a GUI, you have given accurate information for a resolution using the registry. Have to admit, usually messing with registry is a nono however in this case (unless there are 3rd party software that cleans up registry *not many of which that can be trusted to do the right thing) the quick and dirty option is to clean up exactly as per your instructions is a good solution.  Thanks again.. ;)
    Monday, March 31, 2014 11:16 AM
  • Thanks... This Helped Me A Lot. :)
    Tuesday, April 22, 2014 10:56 AM
  • I went to the Registry.  It only shows Networks.  What I would like to do is delete a Drive designation like Z: or Y: that was created via a Net Use Z: xxxx

    where xxxx is the name of another PC connected to hmy Home Group.  I do not see how to get rid of these former drives.

    Any help would really be appreciated.

    Bill Watt

    aligatrjoe@cox.net


    bill w

    Saturday, July 19, 2014 9:28 PM
  • What I would like to do is delete a Drive designation like Z: or Y: that was created via a Net Use Z: xxxx

    Net Use Z: /D

    If that doesn't do what you want perhaps I misunderstood you.

     

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my eBooks:  

    Configure The Windows 7 "To Work" Options
    Configure The Windows 8 "To Work" Options

    Saturday, July 19, 2014 11:51 PM
  • This article may help.

    http://setspn.blogspot.be/2012/09/win-8-client-manage-wireless-networks.html


    Please remember to click “Mark as Answer” on the post that helps you, and to click “Unmark as Answer” if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread. ”


    This clearly isn't the answer to his question. What is wrong with you?
    Sunday, October 05, 2014 9:41 PM
  • Here's an article on how to rename and delete network connections in windows 7 and 8.  Hope it helps.


    • Edited by WireFlare Friday, December 05, 2014 2:29 AM
    Friday, December 05, 2014 2:20 AM
  • Exactly exactly exactly what I wanted for "delete network location."  Thank you, Jhonnel Azarcon!  (I really wish I could have thanked you sooner than 15+ months after you answered.)
    Thursday, January 22, 2015 11:23 AM
  • Thank you. ;)
    Tuesday, April 28, 2015 1:29 AM
  • Thanks to you too. ;)
    Tuesday, April 28, 2015 1:29 AM
  • Thanks to you too. ;)
    Tuesday, April 28, 2015 1:30 AM
  • Thanks to you too. ;)

    • Proposed as answer by icemanab Sunday, May 03, 2015 7:11 PM
    • Unproposed as answer by icemanab Sunday, May 03, 2015 7:11 PM
    Tuesday, April 28, 2015 1:30 AM
  • I just started using Win 8 and was wrestling with the issue of removing/editing some Network Connections.

    Here's how I did it:

    1. Right click on the Windows icon (lower left of window)

    2. Click on Network Connections

    3. Right click on the Network Connection you wish to delete/edit

    4. Click on your chosen action

    Hope this helps someone with the same problem.

    Sunday, May 03, 2015 7:19 PM
  • They did remove that functionality from the GUI, but you can still merge locations (and delete/rename as others have mentioned) by changing value of ProfileGUID at

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\NetworkList\Signatures\Unmanaged\<SIGNATURE>\

    to match the GUID of the profile at:

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

    that you want to merge it into.

    Merge

    Friday, June 26, 2015 10:59 PM
  • Finally!  Someone who understands what we are looking for.  :-)

    Once I put the ProfileGUID in the Unmanaged networks that I want to merge, do I remove them from the Profiles?  I have a wireless extender, which causes me to have 3 networks show up (Network, Network_2G and Network_5G).  I want to only need to see and connect to ProfileGUID Network.  But they are all still showing up.


    Saturday, July 25, 2015 8:30 PM
  • James, I am so sorry no one gave you a full and complete answer (until now). This is not an easy answer, but it accomplishes what you were trying to do without resorting to links to the wrong information or invalid methods.

    This is how to merge network locations in Windows 8 and later. First off, I familiarized myself with this tree in the Registry:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\NetworkList\Nla
    Go there in regedit. The first part of this is to backup that key. Click FILE-> Export and save your NLA.reg someplace convenient. You can always Merge this registry file later if you mess things up.


    Second, Take a look at these keys:

    Profiles\{Long-String-in-Hexadecimal-1}

    Profiles\{Long-String-in-Hexadecimal-2}

    ...etc.


    Signatures\Unmanaged\01010300F00F0080000000F000MORE_HEXADECIMAL_NUMBERS_1

    Signatures\Unmanaged\01010300F00F0080000000F000MORE_HEXADECIMAL_NUMBERS_2 ...etc.


    Third, browse all the Unmanaged keys and try to find the network you are trying to merge. More than likely, you will start to see a pattern emerge. Pay close attention to the MAC address of your Default Gateway, found in the Key named DefaultGatewayMac.

    Fourth, you will optionally want to discover which MAC addresses are on this network. Since I maintain a DHCP server, I completely understand what this means, and actually had a list of old and new MACs for different network cards on my home network. If you have no such list, or you are getting lost, then you will need to Google these things and browse your network for these MAC addresses. Here's a few pointers to get you started if you are somewhat familiar with this:

    Run these in a CMD window:

    arp -a           [You will see a lot of other MACs called "Physical Address"es]
    ipconfig /all    [You will find your own MAC.]

    Compare these to known hosts and routers, wireless access points, switches, WAN routers, cable boxen, and other machines alive on your network.

    Fifth, armed with this knowledge, go and try to start the merging of your network that Windows has decided is a plethora of disparate networks. As you can see, Windows basically looks for the default gateway's MAC address as a unique identifier on the network. It is also checking for domains, domain suffixes (Key name DNSSuffix), and something called "Source." I think the "Source" key is configured to indicate which network device is being used... I see a lot of 8 in hexadecimal for 802.11g, a 200 for a WAN card, and a 408 in hex for a 802.11n card at 5 GHz.

    Here's what you should do:

    Look at each Unmanaged key and find your most recent or most favorite one. Now look at its ProfileGuid and use that to go back up to the Profiles Key. So if your ProfileGuid is {9014C005-F052-4474-A2A7-D1BA26187B04} then you look for {9014C005-F052-4474-A2A7-D1BA26187B04} under Profiles.

    Under the {9014C005-F052-4474-A2A7-D1BA26187B04} key (or whichever one you prefer), you will see DateCreated and last connected, and the important ProfileName. Pretend for a moment that your ProfileName is MyHomeNet. Look at the other ones above and below {9014C005-F052-4474-A2A7-D1BA26187B04} until you see the Profile that seems correct already. Do not modify any Profiles. You may now see stupid things like MyHomeNet 2, MyHomeNet 3, Network 4, and other NEAR duplicates in the Windows ridiculous way!!

    So go back to the Unmanaged keys and modify them to POINT to your favorite Profile, leaving the bad profiles alone and orphaned. In other words, some of the bad profiles names will never appear any more when we are done.

    *Click your favorite Unmanaged key that is pointing to the good profile and select ProfileGuid. Double Click it, and the string will be highlighted.
    *Hit CTRL-C to copy this.
    *Click one of your Unmanaged keys that you want to merge, and select its ProfileGuid. Double Click it, and hit CTRL-V to paste the good profile.

    So if {9014C005-F052-4474-A2A7-D1BA26187B04} was your favorite profile and it is applicable to your network, then you will paste it into ProfileGuid in a number of places. You might do this 2, 7, or 27 times if you still have 27 og them!

    You have now merged a lot of unique networks into one profile. Note that this should only be done when your network is the same but the "default gateway" has a different MAC. You should not be merging your home network location with your school network or your hotspot network.

    Your changes can take effect pretty quickly. You can disable and then enable your wireless. You can unplug and replug in your wired network, too. As soon as a reconnect is done, it should have the correct name.

    At this point, you can go back to the registry and edit the Profile name if needed.


    • Edited by MacGillacutty Saturday, August 15, 2015 3:49 AM cleanup
    • Proposed as answer by Shimz0rd Monday, October 03, 2016 10:15 AM
    Saturday, August 15, 2015 3:47 AM
  • All these replies seem very complicated so as I've got to rename a connection I've got, here are the steps I took to do the rename.

    I start a command prompt as administrator.

    So, I create a directory C:\TEMP and make that a current directory.  Here goes . . .

    I'm renaming zagabong to Sisters's network.

    Step 1:

    Export the profile you wish to rename . . .

    C:\Temp>netsh wl ex pr zagabong key=clear
    Interface profile "zagabong" is saved in file ".\Wi-Fi-zagabong.xml" successfully.

    You don't need to use key=clear unless you wish to see what the pass-phrase is

    Step 2:

    I now have a file with the contents . . .

    <?xml version="1.0"?>
    <WLANProfile xmlns="http://www.microsoft.com/networking/WLAN/profile/v1">
    	<name>zagabong</name>
    	<SSIDConfig>
    		<SSID>
    			<hex>7A616761626F6E67</hex>
    			<name>zagabong</name>
    		</SSID>
    	</SSIDConfig>
    	<connectionType>ESS</connectionType>
    	<connectionMode>auto</connectionMode>
    	<MSM>
    		<security>
    			<authEncryption>
    				<authentication>WPA2PSK</authentication>
    				<encryption>AES</encryption>
    				<useOneX>false</useOneX>
    			</authEncryption>
    			<sharedKey>
    				<keyType>passPhrase</keyType>
    				<protected>false</protected>
    				<keyMaterial>clear-text-key</keyMaterial>
    			</sharedKey>
    		</security>
    	</MSM>
    </WLANProfile>
    

    I change the name field so I get:

    <?xml version="1.0"?>
    <WLANProfile xmlns="http://www.microsoft.com/networking/WLAN/profile/v1">
    	<name>Sister's WiFi</name>
    	<SSIDConfig>
    		<SSID>
    			<hex>7A616761626F6E67</hex>
    			<name>zagabong</name>
    		</SSID>
    	</SSIDConfig>
    	<connectionType>ESS</connectionType>
    	<connectionMode>auto</connectionMode>
    	<MSM>
    		<security>
    			<authEncryption>
    				<authentication>WPA2PSK</authentication>
    				<encryption>AES</encryption>
    				<useOneX>false</useOneX>
    			</authEncryption>
    			<sharedKey>
    				<keyType>passPhrase</keyType>
    				<protected>false</protected>
    				<keyMaterial>clear-text-key</keyMaterial>
    			</sharedKey>
    		</security>
    	</MSM>
    </WLANProfile>
    

    Step 3:

    Remove the original profile . .

    C:\Temp>netsh wl del pro zagabong
    Profile "zagabong" is deleted from interface "Wi-Fi".


    Step 4:

    Import the changed profile . . .

    C:\Temp>netsh wl add pro Wi-Fi-zagabong.xml user=all
    Profile Sister's network is added on interface Wi-Fi.

    That concludes this lesson. It is a bit more involved, but you'll also be assured that everything in the registry that needs to modified is correctly modified.

    I've tried editing the registry directly, but the changes to not show on the UI for some reason.

    PS: Get rid of the XML files when you're done, unless you would like to keep back-up of the Wi-Fi profile.  I've used netsh to back-up every profile with keys in clear text.  Easily done . . .

    netsh wl exp pro key=clear

    Each profile gets written into it's own XML file.  This can also be used to transfer WiFi settings from one computer to many.

    Enjoy!

    Wednesday, September 02, 2015 1:34 AM
  • Thank you. It's perfect!
    Tuesday, January 02, 2018 5:45 PM