Networking Fundamentals.
About Lesson

This tutorial explains how to install and activate Packet Tracer on a Windows system. Learn Packet Tracer installation and activation steps in detail through screenshots.

Download the latest version or the version of Packet Tracer that you want to install on the Windows system. You can download the installer file of Packet Tracer from the following web page.

Download Packet Tracer for Windows and Linux

Once the downloading is finished, open the folder that contains the downloaded file.

setup file of packet tracer

Double click the setup or installer file of Packet Tracer. Depending on UAC (User Access Control) setting, Windows may prompt to confirm the installation. If it prompts, click the Yes button to confirm the installation. After confirmation, the installation process starts in a graphical wizard.

The first screen of the installation wizard presents the license agreement. Select the “I accept the agreement” option and click the “Next” button.

license agreement

The next screen provides an option to customize the installation directory. By default, Packet Tracer is installed in the “Program File” folder of the Windows partition. If you want to install Packet Tracer in another folder, click the Browse button and select the folder in which you want to install Packet Tracer.

Make your choice and click the Next button to continue the installation.

destination location

The next screen allows us to customize the shortcut-link name and the location of Packet Tracer in the Start menu.

A shortcut-link name is used to launch an application from the Start menu. By default, the wizard uses the name “Cisco Packet Tracer” for both the folder-name and the shortcut-link name.

Keep default selections and click the Next button.

start menu option

The next screen allows us to create two more shortcut links to launch the Packet Tracer.

Create a desktop icon: – This option creates a shortcut link on the Desktop.

Create a quick launch icon: – This option creates a shortcut link in the Quick-Launch bar.

Make your choice and click the Next button.

additional options

The next screen provides a summary of selections. If you want to change an option, use the Back button to get that option. To start the installation with currently selected options, click the Install button.

summary selection

The wizard displays the real-time progress of the installation.

real time progress of installation

The last screen of the wizard displays the result of the installation. If any error occurred during the installation, this screen displays that error. If the installation process is completed without any error and notice, this screen shows the confirmation message.

If the installation is successful, this screen shows an option to launch the Packet Tracer. If you keep this option selected, the packet tracer starts when the wizard is closed.

Click the Finish button to close the wizard.

installation finish

When Packet Tracer starts the first time, it asks the user to select the mode in which it should start. Multi-user mode allows multiple users to work simultaneously. If you don’t want to share or exchange your packet tracer instance, click the No button.

multi-user mode

Activating Packet Tracer

Since version 7.0.0, Packet Tracer can only be used after login. When you start Packet Tracer, it presents a login box. If the system is not connected to the Internet, you can use the Guest account to access Packet Tracer.

To use a guest account, click the Guest login button on startup.

confirm guest login

The guest account offers limited features. This account allows you to save only 3 practice labs.

guest login restriction

To remove this restriction, you must log in to Packet Tracer from a Cisco Academy account. To create a free Cisco Academy account, visit the following web page.

netacad login page

Visit the above web-page and create a free user account and use that user account to login to Packet Tracer.

login from neta account

Upon successful authentication, Packet Tracer will be activated and all restrictions will be removed.

restriction removed

To provide a hassle-free access, Packet Tracer automatically saves login information and uses that information to log in automatically when you start Packet Tracer again the next time. The Packet Tracer does not ask you to login again until you log-out manually.

If you want to logout from Packet Tracer, click the File menu item and click the “Exit and Logout” option from the sub-menu options.

logout from packet tracer

Once you are logged out, all restrictions will apply again. You must log in again to use Packet Tracer without restrictions.

If you use multiple copies of Packet Tracer to teach CCNA courses, there is no need to create multiple user accounts. You can use a single user account to log in to as many copies of Packet Tracer as you want. So instead of creating multiple user accounts, use only one user account to login to all copies of the Packet Tracer.

That’s all for this tutorial. If you like this tutorial, please do not forget to share it with friends through your favorite social network.

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