What to do if network security key is not working on Windows 10

Milan Stanojevic
by Milan Stanojevic
Deputy Editor
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  • The network security key is the password used by users to connect to the Internet and it can cause a lot of frustration when is not working.
  • Users report their wireless network key is not working, and in this article, we will explore how you can fix it.
  • Bookmark our Network & Internet Hub, where you will find more guides, so check them out.
  • Visit our dedicated Troubleshooting section for PC issues related to similar causes.
network security key not working

Many of us use Wi-Fi networks to connect to the Internet, but many reported that their network security key is not working.

This can be a problem and prevent you from connecting to your Wi-Fi network, but there’s a way to deal with this error.

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Here are some similar wireless network issues that users reported:

  • Network security key not working in Windows 10 – There are various problems that can affect your wireless network, and if you encounter them, be sure to try one of our solutions.
  • Netgear security key not working – Be sure to change your network settings and check if that works.

How can I fix network security key not working on Windows 10?

  1. Make sure that your network drivers are up to date
  2. Reinstall your driver
  3. Create a new password
  4. Change the security type
  5. Disable your network device
  6. Create a new network connection
  7. Make sure that you’re using the same password
  8. Use the router’s default password

1. Make sure that your network drivers are up to date

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According to users, sometimes your drivers can cause problems with the network security key. If you can’t connect to your wireless network, be sure to check if your network adapter drivers are up to date.

There are several ways to update your drivers, but the best one is to visit your network adapter manufacturer’s website and download the latest drivers for your model.

To do this, you’ll have to use an Ethernet connection or download the driver on a different device and then transfer it to your PC.

Alternatively, you can use third-party tools such as DriverFix to update all your drivers automatically with just a couple of clicks. This software has an easy to use interface and it’s extremely easy to use.

Once the system scan is completed, DriverFix will compare the found drivers with the ones from its built-in database, and any damaged or broken driver will be repaired and fixed.

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2. Reinstall your driver

  1. Press Windows Key + X to open Win + X menu.
  2. Now choose Device Manager from the list.
    network security key not working device manager
  3. Locate your network adapter, right-click it, and choose Uninstall device.
    network security key not working uninstall device
  4. When the confirmation menu appears, check Remove driver software for this device, and click Uninstall.
    network security key not working confirm unintall
  5. Once the driver is removed, click Scan for hardware changes icon.
    hardware changes network security key not working

After doing that, Windows will try to install the default driver. If the default driver doesn’t work, you might have to update it and check if that solves the problem.


3. Create a new password

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Sometimes your network security key won’t work due to certain glitches on your system.

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It’s possible that there’s a problem with your network connection or your router, and in order to fix the problem, users are suggesting to assign a new password to your Wi-Fi network.

To do this, first, you need to access your router’s settings page and navigate to the Wi-Fi section. From there you should be able to assign a new password for your wireless network.

Several users reported that they had to repeat this process several times before the issue was resolved, so be sure to try that.


4. Change the security type

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According to users, if your network security key is not working, perhaps the problem is your security type. Sometimes your PC won’t work with certain security types, and that can cause this problem to appear.

To fix the issue, users are recommending that you change the security type of your network. To do that, open your router’s configuration page and head over to the security section. Now look for security type section and change it.

Few users reported that switching from WPA2-PSK[AES] to WPA-Auto security type fixed their problem, so you might want to try that.

We have to warn you that not all security types are secure, and some older types might be vulnerable.

To make sure that your wireless network is safe, be sure to read about different security types to find out which types are safe to use.


Check out these 5 best network security antivirus


5. Disable your network device

  1. Open Device Manager.
  2. Locate your wireless adapter, right-click it, and choose Disable device.
    network security key doesn't work disable
  3. A confirmation message will now appear. Click Yes to proceed.
    confirm disable network security key
  4. Wait for a couple of seconds and then enable your wireless adapter.

After doing that, you should be able to connect to your wireless network. If that doesn’t work, you can try disabling your wireless connection and check if that helps. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Settings app. You can do that quickly by using Windows Key + I shortcut.
  2. Next, navigate to the Network & Internet section.
  3. Scroll down and in the right pane click on Change adapter options.
    network key incorrect disable network
  4. Locate your Wireless connection, right-click it, and choose Disable from the menu.
    disable connection network key not valid
  5. Wait for a couple of moments and enable your wireless connection.

If you’re having problems with your network security key, the issue might be your wireless adapter.

Sometimes there can be glitches with your device, and those glitches will cause this and many other errors to appear.

Note: Bear in mind that this solution is just a workaround, so you might have to repeat it whenever the issue appears.


6. Create a new network connection

  1. Open Network and Sharing Center. You can do that from the Network & Internet section in the Settings app.
    network and sharing center network security key not working
  2. Choose Set up a new connection or network option.
    new connection network security key not working
  3. Now select Manually connect to a wireless network, connect to a hidden network or create a new wireless profile and click Next.
  4. Enter the name for the new wireless network. Be sure to use the same name that you’re using for your current wireless network.
  5. Set the Security type to WPA2-personal and Encryption type to AES.
  6. Now enter the password that you’re using for your wireless network.
  7. Check the Start this connection automatically checkbox and click Next.
  8. Now go back to the Connect wireless pane and connect to the wireless network.

Many users reported that this solution worked for them, so be sure to try it out.


7. Make sure that you’re using the same password

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If you’re using a wireless repeater, you might encounter this issue if you’re not using the same password.

Depending on your repeater’s configuration, you should use the same password for your wireless network to connect to the repeater.

In addition, you might have to reset your repeater and then reconfigure it in order to connect properly to it.


8. Use the router’s default password

If you’ve purchased a new router, it will have a default wireless network set up along with a default password, so you can use that password to connect to the wireless network.

In addition, you can restart your router to the default settings and check if that solves the problem.

To reset your router, press and hold the hidden Reset button for a couple of seconds.

Once your router resets to default, you’ll have to manually set up your wireless network again. This is a drastic solution, but if other solutions can’t fix this problem, you might want to try this one out.

If you have problems with a network security key, the issue is usually related to your drivers or settings. However, you should be able to fix this problem using one of our solutions.

If you have additional suggestions or recommendations, please let us know in the comments section below.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in December 2018 and has been since revamped and updated in September 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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