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Q: How do I remove the wireless access points my computer has remembered or saved?


Most modern operating systems (Mac OS X 10.5/10.6, Windows Vista/7) remember which wireless access points (APs) they have connected to in order to more quickly re-establish a wireless connection. This is useful in a home network as the computer quickly finds your wireless network and spends less time searching for available networks.

However, with so many access points on campus, your computer may save the information of an access point that is not nearby to your room or office and attempt to establish a connection with it. This can result in a poor wireless connection due to the access point not being the closest one available with the strongest signal strength.

As a result, it is useful to remove the saved/remembered networks from your computer, forcing it to establish a connection with the nearest router with the strongest signal strength.


Windows Vista / 7

Click on screenshots to expand them
  1. Open the Start Menu and open the Control Panel

    Start Menu

  2. Click on Network and Internet

    Control Panel

  3. Click on Network and Sharing Center

    Network and Internet

  4. Click on the link below the network name describing the network type. In this case, you would click Work network. A window titled Set Network Properties will appear. Before we removing all remembered networks, it is necessary for the wireless to be disconnected. For this reason, return to the Network and Sharing Center window and click on Connect or disconnect. This will bring up a list of wireless networks. Click on the network you are connected to and select Disconnect
    Vista 7
    Vista Sharing Center Windows 7 Sharing Center

  5. Return to the window titled Set Network Properties and click on Merge or delete network locations

    Vista 7
    Vista Set Network Location Windows 7 Set Network Properties

  6. Select all the MIT networks listed (including MIT N, MIT GUEST, MIT TEST, MIT SECURE and MIT SECURE N if they are listed) and click the Delete button.

    Network Locations

  7. Click the Close button and then the Cancel button in the Set Network Properties window.
  8. You may now connect to a wireless network. The recommended networks are MIT SECURE and MIT SECURE N. If your computer supports MIT N or MIT SECURE N, it is recommended you connect to MIT N or MIT SECURE N. Instructions for connecting to these networks can be found here: How to connect to MIT SECURE wireless

IS&T Contributions

Documentation and information provided by IS&T staff members

Last Modified:

May 27, 2012

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