How to install and activate packet tracer in Windows

This tutorial explains how to install and activate Cisco packet tracer in Windows step by step. Learn Cisco packet tracer installation and activation steps in detail with screenshots. In case you do not have packet tracer, this article also provides a direct download link to the latest version of Cisco packet tracer for Windows.

Downloading Cisco packet tracer 7.1.1 for Windows

The latest version of Cisco packet tracer is 7.1.1. This version is available for download in both 32bits and 64bits addition. Based on Windows architecture, download the appropriate version of packet tracer.

Download Cisco packet tracer 7.1.1 for Windows 32 bits

Download Cisco packet tracer 7.1.1 for Windows 64 bits

To download the earlier versions of packet tracer, check this article.

Download Packet Tracer For Windows and Linux

This article provides direct download links of all versions of packet tracer for all platform.

Installing Cisco packet tracer 7.1.1 in Windows


Switch to download folder (the folder where you have downloaded the packet tracer) and click setup file

packet tracer downloaded file

Depending on UAC (User Access Control) setting, Windows may ask for confirmation. If it asks, click Yes to confirm the installation. This will launch Packet Tracer setup wizard.

Click Next on Welcome screen to start the installation process.

packet tracer installation start

Accept Software License Agreement

accept license agreement

By default packet tracer is installed in Program File folder of Windows partition. But if require, it can be installed in any custom location. To change the installation location, click Browse button and select the desired location.

Select installation location for packet tracer and click Next to continue the installation

installation location

Next screen allows us to customize the shortcut link name and location in Start Menu.

Shortcut link name is used to select the appropriate application from Start Menu. By default Wizard uses the name "Cisco Packet Tracer" for both folder name and shortcut link name.

To avoid any unnecessary confusion, keep default selection and click Next.

start menu name

Next screen allows us to create two more shortcut links for packet tracer.

Create a desktop icon: - Selecting this option creates a shortcut link at desktop.

Create a quick launch icon: - Selecting this option creates a shortcut link in quick launch bar.

Make your choice and click Next

shortcut link in start menu and task bar

Next screen provides a summary of selections. If any change is required, click Back button and make the necessary change. If everything looks fine, click Install button to start the installation.

Some components of packet tracer are installed in web browser, so make sure all web browsers are closed before clicking the Install button.


Now wait for few seconds, let the wizard install packet tracer

installation running

If wizard detects any opened browser during installation, it prompts to close that.

Close all opened web browser and click OK to continue the installation.

close web browser

Once installation is finished, wizard presents final screen which confirms the successful installation. It also gives us a choice to launch packet tracer immediately.

Click Finish to close the wizard.

installation finish

On first run, packet tracer automatically creates a folder to save all activities. If require, it can be changed latter from Options->Preferences option.

first run save location

Activating packet tracer

From version 7.0, packet tracer needs activation. If packet tracer is not activated, it will prompt for activation before starting. For activation Internet connection is required.

login screen

If system is not connected with Internet, we can use Guest account to access the packet tracer. Guest account allows us to save 10 practice labs.

guest login

To activate packet tracer and remove this restriction, create a free user account at following location

netacad account

To activate packet tracer, login from this user account when packet tracer starts.

netacad user login

Once you are logged in, packet tracer will be activated and all restriction will be removed.

packet tracer activated

Once packet tracer is activated it does not ask for login at next time when it starts.

This concept is similar to web login. When we login in Gmail, Amazon, Facebook, MSN or any other popular web application or website, it provides us an option to remember the username and password. If we select that, the application automatically login us at next time. The same concept packet tracer uses. It saves username and password at first login and uses that to login automatically at next time.

If you want to logout from your user account, click File menu item and click Exit and Logout option from menu option.

logout user account

Once you are logged out, all restrictions will be applied again. You must have to login again to use the all features of packet tracer.

You can use single user account to login in as much copies of packet tracer as you want. So instead of creating multiple user accounts, just uses single user account to login in all copies of packet tracer.

That’s all for this tutorial. If you face any problem in downloading, installing and activating packet tracer in Windows, let me know. If you like this tutorial, please share it with friends.


ComputerNetworkingNotes CCNA Study Guide How to install and activate packet tracer in Windows