How to fix Unidentified Network, no internet access, error on Windows 8.1

Here's a quick fix to address the Unidentified Network issues that cause Windows not to be able to access the internet. This guide works on Windows 10, 8.1, and 7.

Wireless router and network cable

Recently I bought a new router for the office, but after a while my Windows 8.1 laptop began to lose internet connectivity after resuming from sleep or hibernation. The first thing I noticed was that the system tray wireless icon will start displaying a yellow exclamation sign revealing the “Unidentified Network” (no internet access) message.

A quick workaround that always worked was to open the network connections in the Control Panel, right-click the Wi-Fi adapter in question, select Disable and Enable once again. But doing this procedure almost on the daily basis becomes an unnecessary chore. Fortunately there is a permanent fix for the “Unidentified Network” or the commonly seen “Limited access” problem in Windows 8.x, just follow the steps below.

How to fix Unidentified Network on Windows 8.1 

  1. Use the Windows key + R to open Run, type ncpa.cpl, and press Enter to open the Network Connections page in Windows.

  2. Right-click the wireless adapter and select Properties.

  3. On the Networking tab, click the Configure button.

  4. Click Power Management, make sure to uncheck the Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power.

  5. Click OK.

    Windows Power Management tab for wireless network

  6. Right-click the wireless adapter and select Properties.

  7. On the Networking tab, and click Sharing.

  8. Under Internet Connection Sharing make sure the Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s Internet connection is NOT selected.

  9. Click OK to complete the task.

    Sharing tab Wi-Fi Properties in Windows

This actually resolved permanently my wireless connection problem in my Windows PC. Now it’s been several days without losing network connectivity and it seems that the yellow exclamation message is a thing of the past.

It’s worth noting that these instructions should also work for Windows 7 and Windows 8.0 as well, however if you have Wi-Fi issues with your Surface Pro 3, you’ll notice that the “Power Management” tab in the “Wi-Fi Properties” is missing. So in this case make sure you have the latest firmware update installed as the company has been trying to fix the Surface wireless adapter problem for quite some time.