WiFi is showing limited access in Windows 7

By: Elsie Otachi
7 minute read
wifi limited access windows 7

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There’s only so much that can go wrong whenever you’re using a wireless connection. It gets worse when the connection drags, drops, or cannot connect at all.

Some of the common causes when WiFi is showing limited access in Windows 7 include:

  1. Missing updates
  2. Incorrect network connection settings
  3. Damaged or incompatible drivers
  4. Hardware or software problems
  5. Incorrect WEP, WPA, or WPA2 security keys or passphrases
  6. Boot in Safe Mode with Networking
  7. Configure WLAN settings
  8. Check router settings
  9. Configure WinHTTP proxy setting to use direct access

Here are some tips and solutions you can use when WiFi is showing limited access in Windows 7.

FIX: WiFi is showing limited access in Windows 7

  1. Use automatic troubleshooting
  2. Reinstall wireless network adapter driver
  3. Update wireless network drivers
  4. Check and reset hardware
  5. Perform a System Restore
  6. Change your wireless environment
  7. Update router firmware
  8. Boot in Safe Mode with Networking
  9. Configure WLAN settings
  10. Check router settings
  11. Configure WinHTTP proxy setting to use direct access

If your computer has a wireless key or button, press it to enable your wireless adapter. Once the wireless activity comes on or a light turns on, it is enabled. Try connecting to the internet again.

However, if you don’t have a wireless key or the lights are off, try the solutions below.

Solution 1: Use automatic troubleshooting

Use the automated troubleshooter built into Windows 7. The Windows 7 Network and Internet Troubleshooter tests your network for problems and tries to repair any issues found, automatically.

  • Right click Start
  • Select Control Panel

WiFi is showing limited access in Windows 7

  • Click View by and choose Large icons

WiFi is showing limited access in Windows 7

  • Click Troubleshooting

WiFi is showing limited access in Windows 7

  • Click Network and Internet

WiFi is showing limited access in Windows 7

  • Click Advanced
  • Ensure the Apply repairs automatically box is checked then click next
  • Click Troubleshoot my connection to the Internet and follow the instructions to check for problems

If any problems are found, you will see detailed information on these issues, or actions you can take. Windows can also show you what it fixed. Try connecting again, and if WiFi is showing limited access in Windows 7, go the next step.

Solution 2: Reinstall wireless network adapter driver

This clears registry values and reset configurations so that drivers can set up properly for access by Windows. You can do this via Device Manager as described below:

  • Right click Start > type Device Manager > launch the tool
  • Find Network adapters and click to expand it

WiFi is showing limited access in Windows 7

  • Right click the name of your wireless network adapter and select Uninstall
  • Click OK and wait for the uninstall process to be completed
  • Go to Action under Device Manager

WiFi is showing limited access in Windows 7

  • Select Scan for Hardware changes. Your computer will reinstall wireless networks and the network adapter name will reflect in the category.

WiFi is showing limited access in Windows 7

  • Close Device manager and restart your computer then try connecting to the internet again

Update drivers automatically

In order to prevent PC damage by installing the wrong driver versions,  we suggest to do it automatically by using Tweakbit’s Driver Updater tool.

This tool is approved by Microsoft and Norton Antivirus and will help you not damaging your PC by downloading and installing the wrong driver versions. After several tests, our team concluded that this is the best automatized solution. Below you can find a quick guide how to do it.

    1. Download and install TweakBit Driver Updater
    2. driver updater starting windowOnce installed, the program will start scanning your PC for outdated drivers automatically. Driver Updater will check your installed driver versions against its cloud database of the latest versions and recommend proper updates. All you need to do is wait for the scan to complete.tweakbit driver updater scanning
    3. Upon scan completion, you get a report on all problem drivers found on your PC. Review the list and see if you want to update each driver individually or all at once. To update one driver at a time, click the ‘Update driver’ link next to the driver name. Or simply click the ‘Update all’ button at the bottom to automatically install all recommended updates.
      tweakbit driver updater scan finished
      Note: Some drivers need to be installed in multiple steps so you will have to hit the ‘Update’ button several times until all of its components are installed.

Disclaimer: some function of this tool are not free.

Solution 3: Update wireless network drivers

When you download and install the latest driver for your wireless adapter, it resolves any issues such as when WiFi is showing limited access in Windows 7.

You can either get driver updates from your device’s manufacturer website, or from other sites, or install using Device Manager (but this is when an internet connection is available).

Here’s how to use Device Manager to update your wireless network drivers:

  • Right click Start
  • Select Device Manager
  • Find Network adapters and click to expand it

WiFi is showing limited access in Windows 7


For various PC problems, we recommend this tool.

This software will repair common computer errors, protect you from file loss, malware, hardware failure and optimize your PC for maximum performance. Fix PC issues now in 3 easy steps:

  1. Download this PC Repair Tool rated "Excellent" on TrustPilot.com.
  2. Click “Start Scan” to find Windows issues that could be causing PC problems.
  3. Click “Repair All” to fix all issues with Patended Technologies (requires upgrade).

  • Right click the name of your wireless network adapter and select Update Driver software

WiFi is showing limited access in Windows 7

  • Click Search automatically for updated driver software. If one is found, follow the instructions to install it. if not, check the manufacturer’s website.

WiFi is showing limited access in Windows 7

Solution 4: Check and reset hardware

  1. Click Start
  2. Select Power and click Shut Down
  3. Unplug the power cord from your wireless router/gateway or wireless modem/router
  4. Unplug the power cord from your broadband modem
  5. Wait five seconds and then plug the power cord back to the wireless router and wait for the lights to come on and reflect the normal internet and computer activity.
  6. Turn on your computer and perform a hard set once Windows loads. If it doesn’t connect automatically, click the Network Connection icon on the notification area and select your network.
  7. Click Connect

If this doesn’t help when WiFi is showing limited access in Windows 7, try performing a System Restore.

Solution 5: Perform a System Restore

  • Click Start
  • Go to the search field box and type System Restore

 

  • Click Create a restore point
  • Enter your administrator account password or grant permissions if prompted to
  • In the System Restore dialog box, click System restore then click Choose a different restore point

Couldn’t repair Office

  • Click Next
  • Click a restore point created before you experienced the problem
  • Click Next
  • Click Finish

To go back to a restore point, do the following:

  • Right click Start
  • Select Control Panel
  • In the control panel search box, type Recovery
  • Select Recovery

WiFi is showing limited access in Windows 7

  • Click Open System Restore

WiFi is showing limited access in Windows 7

  • Click Next
  • Choose the restore point related to the problematic program/app, driver or update
  • Click Next
  • Click Finish

Solution 6: Change your wireless environment

You can do the following when Windows WiFi is showing limited access in Windows 7:

  • Move your computer and router closer to each other for a stronger signal
  • Remove any metal objects near or between the router and computer as these can block connections
  • Limit the number of devices using the network simultaneously as performance drops and when many devices are connected

Note: If WiFi is showing limited access in Windows 7 after doing these things, you can buy a different antenna for your router or set up a different router as a signal repeater.

Solution 7: Update router firmware

When your firmware is outdated, it can affect performance, your computer’s security or prevent the router from connecting to the internet. To update the firmware, log in to the configuration men on your router, and use it to update. Check your router’s user guide for instructions on how to do this. Connect your computer directly to the router using the network cable when performing the firmware update.

Solution 8: Boot in Safe Mode with Networking

Safe Mode with Networking starts Windows in safe mode, including the network drivers and services you need to access the internet or other computers on the same network.

Restart your PC and before Windows 7 splash screen appears on your computer’s display, hit F8 to enable Advanced Boot Options.

The Advanced Boot Options screen should now be available. Select ‘Safe Mode with Command Prompt’.

Keep in mind that if you are not fast enough when pressing F8, Windows 7 will boot up normally. In this case, restart your computer and try to press F8 faster.

Once you’re in Safe Mode, run a System File Checker (SFC) scan

How to run an SFC scan

  • Click Start
  • Go to the search field box and type CMD
  • Right click Command Prompt and select Run as Administrator
  • Type sfc/scannow
  • Press Enter
  • Restart your computer

Do the following to exit Safe Mode:

  • Right click Start
  • Select Run
  • Type msconfig

WiFi is showing limited access in Windows 7

  • A pop up will open
  • Go to the Boot tab

WiFi is showing limited access in Windows 7

  • Deselect or uncheck Safe Boot option box
  • Restart your computer

Solution 9: Configure WLAN settings

  • Right click Start
  • Select Run
  • Type services.msc
  • Right click WLAN Autoconfig

WiFi is showing limited access in Windows 7

  • Select Properties
  • On Startup Type drop down menu, select Automatic

WiFi is showing limited access in Windows 7

  • Click Apply and then OK
  • Restart your computer

Solution 10: Check router settings

Ensure that your router is set to broadcast its SSID or network name and you are connecting to the correct SSID, using the correct WEP/WPA passkey on both devices. Once you confirm this, use ‘Windows Connect Now or WiFi Protected setup if available on your router. If you’re trying to use WPA or WPA2, ensure the network adapter and your router support this protocol. If you can only connect using WEP, then your hardware needs a firmware upgrade (see solution 7).

Solution 11: Configure WinHTTP proxy setting to use direct access

  • Click Start
  • Search for Command Prompt
  • Right click Command Prompt and select Run as administrator
  • Type this command: netsh winhttp show proxy. If it says Direct access (no proxy server), then you already have WinHTTP access.
  • Type the commands below:
  • netsh winhttp reset proxy
    net stop wuauserv
    net start wuauserv

Has any of these 11 solutions helped fix the WiFi limited access issue on Windows 7? Let us know in the comments section below.

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For various PC problems, we recommend this tool.

This software will repair common computer errors, protect you from file loss, malware, hardware failure and optimize your PC for maximum performance. Fix PC issues now in 3 easy steps:

  1. Download this PC Repair Tool rated "Excellent" on TrustPilot.com.
  2. Click “Start Scan” to find Windows issues that could be causing PC problems.
  3. Click “Repair All” to fix all issues with Patended Technologies (requires upgrade).

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