Using Your Windows 8 Wireless Connection Inside Hyper-V

As a Microsoft developer, I prefer to leverage Microsoft tools whenever possible, thus, I was ecstatic to hear about Hyper-V support in Windows 8 Professional. It is by far one of the most exciting features in the new operating system.

Traditionally, I have leveraged VMWare player from my laptop to compartmentalize my client development environments. I have found that dedicating a VM to each client keeps my laptop clean and reduces overhead of all the various applications we need as developers. Recently, I embarked to setup a new Hyper-V VM on Windows 8 and discovered that Hyper-V does not automatically create a wireless adapter with the guest VM. So, despite having a Wi-Fi connection on my laptop, my new VM could not access the Internet.

After some research and tinkering, I was able to configure Hyper-V to use my laptop’s wireless connection. I thought it would be helpful to document the process as a way to help others looking to switch to Windows 8’s Hyper-V.

The Hyper-V Virtual Switch is a software-based layer-2 network switch built into Windows 8’s Hyper-V Manager. The switch allows you to connect virtual machines to virtual or physical networks. In this case, we will be setting up an internal virtual network adapter to support communication between the laptop running Windows 8 and the VM running Windows Server 2012.

  1. Launch Hyper-V Manager from your App Menu
  2. In the Actions area in right-hand navigation, click “Virtual Switch Manager”
  3. When the Virtual Switch Manager window opens, select “New virtual network switch” on the left, select “Internal” on the right, and then click the “Create Virtual Switch” button
  4. Give the new switch a name like “Virtual WLAN” and click “OK”
  5.  In Windows 8 sys tray, right-click on the wireless icon and click on “Open Network and Sharing Center.” You will see the new Unidentified Network connected to the vEthernet (Virtual WLAN) adapter.
  6. Back in Hyper-V Manager, select your VM (make sure it is turned off) and on the lower left side, click “Settings”
  7. The Settings window will default to Add New Hardware, select “Legacy Network Adapter” and click “Add
  8. In the Legacy Adapter details, select the “Virtual WLAN” adapter we configured earlier and click “OK
  9. Go back to Windows 8’s Network and Sharing Center and click on the “Wi-Fi” link (or the name of your laptop’s wireless adapter) listed in the Connections
  10. In the adapter status window, click “Properties”

  11. In the Properties window, click the Sharing tab, check the “Allow other network users…” box, select “vEthernet (Virtual WLAN)” (or the name of your wireless adapter), and click “OK” to close the window
  12. Click Close to exit the Wi-Fi status window
  13. To confirm you have it setup correctly, click on the “Change adapter settings” link. You should see the word Shared beside your wireless connection.

Now, whether you are trying to get some work done at the airport or giving a demo at the client’s office, your Hyper-V VM can share your laptop’s wireless connection.

If you have other virtualization questions or are looking for more great tips, please send us a tweet @CrederaMSFT on Twitter. Also, be sure to follow Credera on LinkedIn for more great tips.



  • peterdew

    Very clear, and just works! thanks!!

  • Abdurrahman

    Thanks a million Rick for a useful guide.
    Now I have my Ubuntu desktop sharing my WiFi seamlessly :)

  • Will Hesselton

    Might I ask why you would have to go through all of those extra steps? This is the “RIGHT” way to do it …1. Virtual Switch Manager 2. Select External, select create virtual switch 3. Name: whatever, Connection Type: External Network, select your host’s WLAN from the drop down and put a check next to “Allow management OS, blah, blah, blah” Select Apply and OK 4. With your VM powered off, go to settings and remove whatever Vswitch you had when you created the machine. 5. Add the new switch you just created and boot up your VM and viola! No need to add a legacy NIC or even tell your host’s WLAN to share it’s IC. Hyper-V does that for you. Got it?

  • RemixedCat

    How do you do it so the WLAN connection is seperated from the host OS

    For example:

    Wired ETH:HOST only vlan=1
    WLAN:guest only vlan=3

  • Benjamin Gray

    Unlike Joshua, I could not get the drop-down menu to appear in Wi-Fi properties. What would cause this issue??

  • Ahmed El-Saeed

    thank you this task is very nice and i try to make it and it worked

  • John Dudley

    Another Thank You and life saved. My Ubuntu VM can now access the internet! YAY!

  • Sid

    Tried the same exact steps on Windows 8.1 Doesn’t seem to work. Ubuntu inst able to connect to a Wired Connection. Any ideas ?

  • Paul C

    Out of curiosity, has anyone experienced high cpu useage when sharing the network adapter. I have pinpointed it to the networking service. Disabling the networking sharing fixes it. I am running an i7 4650. I dont think it’s lack of processor. It hovers between 40-50% utilization. and the problem is intermittent.

  • Andre Da Costa

    Excellent, thanks for the great tutorial!

  • snuff breaker

    Worked for me, thanks

  • Miguel Forero

    Thanks man, thats was very useful 😀