How to install and activate packet tracer in Windows

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

Packet Tracer is a network simulator software. It allows us to simulate all essential networking devices for the preparation of any CCNA level exam. To install the Packet Tracer in Windows, download the latest version of the Packet Tracer from the following web-page.

Download Packet Tracer 7.2.2 and all Previous Versions

After downloading the Packet Tracer, open the folder that contains the downloaded file and click the setup file.

packet tracer for windows

Depending on the UAC (User Access Control) setting, Windows may ask to confirm the installation. If it asks, click the Yes button to confirm the installation.

After confirmation, the installation starts in a graphical wizard. The first screen of the wizard presents a welcome message and an instruction to close all the running applications.

There is no need to close any application except web-browsers. The installation process adds a module in web-browsers. So if any web-browser is opened, close that and click the Next button.

welcome screen

The next screen displays the license agreement. Select the "I accept the agreement" option and click the Next button.

license agreement

The next screen allows us to customize the installation directory. By default, the packet tracer is installed in the "Program File" folder of the Windows partition. If you want to install the Packet Tracer in another folder, click the Browse button and select the folder in which you want to install the Packet Tracer.

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

installation directory

The next screen allows us to customize the shortcut-link name and the location of the 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.

name of short-cut link

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 on the Next button.

name of short-cut on desktop

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 of selection

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

real time progress

If the wizard detects an opened-browser during the installation, it displays a message to close that browser. Close all opened web-browsers and click the Ok button to continue the installation.

close the opened web browser

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.

finish of installation

On the first run to save activities, the packet tracer automatically creates a folder. This setting, as well as other settings, can be changed at any time from the "Options-> Preferences" options.

default saving directory

Activating Packet Tracer

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

limitation of guest account

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

https://www.netacad.com/courses/packet-tracer/introduction-packet-tracer

netacad web-page

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

login to netacad

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

packet tracer fully featured

To provide hassle-free access, the Packet Tracer automatically saves login information and uses that information to log in automatically when you start the Packet Tracer again at the next time.

The Packet Tracer does not ask you to login again until you log-out manually.

If you want to logout from the 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 the Packet Tracer without restrictions.

If you use multiple copies of the 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 as many copies of the 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.

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