Connect to GovWifi using a Windows device

Different versions of Windows work in slightly different ways. If you don't know which version of Windows your device is running, read Microsoft's guidance.

Contents

Connect using Windows 8 or 10

Once you have a GovWifi username and password, follow the steps below.

  1. Select the wifi icon in the system tray at the bottom right of your screen. You'll see all the nearby wifi networks.

    Screenshot of WiFi panel in Windows 8/10
  2. Select GovWifi.

  3. Select Connect.

    Screenshot of Wifi panel with credentials open on Windows 8/10

    If it says "can't connect to network", your device may have an incorrect or expired username and password for GovWifi or may be expecting an older certificate. To fix this issue, follow the instructions to forget the network and then try again.

  4. Enter the username and password you received by email or text.

    Your password is case sensitive. It's 3 words without spaces. The first letter of each word is capitalised.

  5. Select OK.

    Screenshot of Wifi panel confirmation on Windows 8/10
  6. When you see Continue connecting, select Show certificate details.

  7. Check that the Server thumbprint matches:

    37 CE B5 7A 3F 38 EB 7C 66 A2 4E 90 BB 11 71 D7 BC 4D 65 1A

  8. If it matches, select Connect.

You should now be connected to GovWifi.

Support for Windows 8 and 10

Forget the network

If your device says it can't connect to network, it may be trying to connect with an incorrect or expired username and password for GovWifi or may be expecting an older certificate. You need to tell your device to forget your GovWifi connection.

  1. Go to Settings, WiFi and select Manage known networks.

    Screenshot of WiFi Settings on Windows 8/10
  2. Select GovWifi.

    Screenshot of known networks panel on Windows 8/10
  3. Select Forget.

Check your website access

If GovWifi doesn't let you access websites which you'd normally be able to access, follow the instructions to forget the network and reconnect.

Connect using Windows 7

Once you have a GovWifi username and password, follow the steps below.

  1. Open the Control Panel, and select Network and Sharing Center.

    Screenshot of the Control Panel's network settings on Windows 7
  2. Select Set up a new connection or network.

    Screenshot of Connection Setup Wizard on Windows 7
  3. Select Manually connect to a wireless network.

    Screenshot of manual WiFi connection panel on Windows 7
  4. For the Network name, enter GovWifi and for the Security type, select WPA2-Enterprise. The network name is case sensitive so make sure you enter capital G and capital W.

  5. Select Next.

    Screenshot of successfull WiFi addition on Windows 7
  6. Select Change connection settings.

    Screenshot of network properties dialog on Windows 7
  7. Select the Security tab and select Settings.

  8. Tick the Connect to these servers box. In the text box below it, enter wifi.service.gov.uk.

  9. In the Trusted Root Certification Authorities list, select DigiCert Global Root CA.

  10. Tick Enable Identity Privacy and enter anonymous to prevent your device from broadcasting your GovWifi username.

  11. Select Configure.

    Screenshot of Identity Privacy settings on Windows 7
  12. Untick Automatically use my Windows logon name.

  13. Select OK, then OK again to go back to the GovWifi Wireless Network Properties window.

    Screenshot of network properties dialog on Windows 7
  14. Select Advanced settings.

    Screenshot of Advanced Connection Settings panel on Windows 7
  15. Select User authentication from the dropdown menu under Specify authentication mode, then select Save credentials.

    Screenshot of Save Credentials dialog on Windows 7
  16. Enter the username and password you received by email or text.

    Your password is case sensitive. It's 3 words without spaces. The first letter of each word is capitalised.

  17. Select OK to close all windows.

  18. Select the wifi logo at the bottom right of your screen and select GovWifi.

You should now be connected to GovWifi.

Support for Windows 7

If you can't see 'DigiCert Global Root CA' in the Trusted Root Certification Authorities list you might not have the right certificate installed on your device. If you manage your own device, you can download it from the web.

  1. In your web browser, navigate to: https://www.digicert.com/digicert-root-certificates.htm and select Download under 'DigiCert Global Root CA'. Save the file to the C: drive

  2. To install the certificate from the Command Prompt, go to your start menu, select 'Accessories' and right click on 'Command Prompt'. Choose 'Run as administrator'.

  3. Copy (Ctrl + v) the text below:
    certutil -addstore -enterprise -f "Root" c:\DigiCertGlobalRootCA.crt

  4. Right click in the Command Prompt window and select 'Paste'. Press return.

  5. Follow the same steps for 'GeoTrust RSA CA 2018'. You can download it from https://www.digicert.com/digicert-root-certificates.htm#intermediates

You should now be able to select the right certificate when you try connecting to GovWifi again.

Ask your local IT team if you need help downloading or installing the certificate.