This step-by- guide explains how to share your internet with Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) and turn a Windows 8 computer into a Wi-Fi hotspot.
Latest posts by Michael Pietroforte (see all)

Update: These posts could help with your WiFi problems:

Whenever I want to share an Internet connection through Wi-Fi and turn my Windows machine in Wi-FI access point, I find myself googling again because I somehow can’t memorize the procedure. Google is a great brain extension for people with a bad memory like me. However, in this case, it always leads to frustration because many guides about Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) are incomplete, describe the procedure in the wrong order, or confuse different Windows versions. I wonder if all those how-to bloggers out there just copy from one another or if anyone actually tried their Wi-Fi sharing step-by-step guide.

With Windows 8, things got worse. The forums are full of posts of frustrated users who just can’t connect to their Windows 8 Access Point. This is probably due to the fact that things are a bit different than in Windows 7, and many how-to bloggers just re-posted their old articles with a new heading. (I didn’t verify this and, as mentioned above, I only remember roughly how it worked in Windows 7.)

Anyway, next time I can just search on 4sysops and I will find an ICS guide for Windows 8 that works.

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  1. Launch a command prompt with administrator privileges. (Type cmd on the Start Screen, right-click the icon, and click Run as Administrator.)
  2. Type netsh wlan show drivers and verify if Hosted network supported says Yes. If it says No, you are done. Your NIC doesn’t support Wi-Fi sharing.
    Hosted network supported
  3. Type netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=allow ssid=Hotspot key=12345678. (Note that you can replace “Hotspot” and the security key with your favorite settings.)
  4. Type netsh wlan start hostednetwork.
    netsh wlan start hostednetwork
  5. Open the Network and Sharing Center in the Control Panel. (Type Control Panel on the Start Screen and then Network in the Control Panel search box.) Then, click Change adapter settings.
    Change adapter settings
  6. Now comes the part that appears to be different in Windows 8 than in previous Windows versions. You will notice that a new network adapter appeared, called Local Area Network Connection, followed by a number that can be different from computer to computer. The device name is Microsoft Hosted Virtual Network Adapter. The ssid you used above (Hotspot in this guide) will appear under the name. If you see Identifying under its icon or just Enabled, be patient and wait until Hotspot (the ssid is used in step 3) appears.
    Microsoft Hosted Virtual Network Adapter
  7. Right-click the network adapter that is connected to the Internet and select Properties. (This can be an Ethernet adapter, a mobile network adapter, or your phone that is connected through USB. In this guide, it is my Samsung phone.)
    Internet Connection Sharing - Adapter connected to the Internet
  8. Click the Sharing tab and then enable Allow other network users to connect through this computer's Internet connection.
  9. In Windows 7, if I remember it right (correct me if I’m wrong), you would have selected the Wi-Fi adapter under Home Networking Connection. If you do this in Windows 8, you will be able to establish a Wi-Fi connection to your Windows 8 Access Point, but your client won’t receive an IP address through the Windows 8 DHCP server. Thus you have to select the Local Area Network Connection adapter I mentioned in step 6 as your Home Networking Connection.
    Allow other network users to connect through this computers internet connection

I find it quite amazing that it is so complicated to share an Internet connection through Wi-Fi in Windows 8. On the other hand, it took me a few seconds without any googling to find out how I can turn my Galaxy S3 Android phone into a Wi-Fi hotspot. No, Mr. Ballmer, you don’t need to be a computer scientist to use an Android phone. However, you have to be a DevOp for many basic Windows configuration tasks.

  1. Diego 7 years ago

    Hi, I had everything setup and my phone connect perfect with the hosted network nevertheless there is no internet on my phone notwithstanding that in the network area in my laptop it says connected to the internet (hosted network). What can I do?

    I’m trying to share my Ethernet connection at work, i already change the settings for “Internet Connection Sharing service” and “Routing and Remote Access service” in services.msc

    Also I’ve shared my Ethernet connection with the hosted network. As I mentioned my phone connects properly but it doesn´t have internet.


    Many thanks,

  2. Ivaldo 6 years ago

    Hi Michael, I’m had this issue:

    “Cannot enable shared access. Error 765 ICS cannot be enabled. A LAN connection is already configured with the IP address that is required for automatic IP addressing.”

    I changed the IP manually but this error continue occuring. Do you know what can i do?

  3. Wolfram Schmied 6 years ago

    Thank and thumbs up. I’ve been pretty much not-at-all in device manager in recent years, and completely forgot about “hidden” devices. Cost me hours to finally arrive here. Major UI design flaw not to indicate presence of filtering. Had a similar problem with Play Store the other day. >(

  4. Acampeau 6 years ago

    I found how how to make the drop down box apprear.

    If you only have 2 adapters, it will default on the 2nd one. I plugged a 3rd and got acces to the drop down menu!

  5. Tony (Rank 1) 6 years ago

    Hello Michael:

    Is there a way to “save” the configuration? The fix works perfect for me but if the laptop is restarted or turned off, the whole process has to be repeated from scratch like it was never done.

    Thanks for your help.

    • Author

      I no longer have a Windows 8 machine where I can test this, but I guess most of the configurations should still be in place and you only have to share the the connection again (steps 8-9). Am I right?

  6. chinedu 6 years ago

    how can i change my password

    • Author

      You set the WiFi password as explained in step 3:

      netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=allow ssid=Hotspot key=12345678

      The key parameter sets the password.

  7. Aadarsh Poudel 4 years ago

    I followed the same procedure but the network is not visible to my phone and other devices.

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