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

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

Download Packet Tracer 7.2.2 and all previous versions

After downloading Packet Tracer, open the folder containing the downloaded file and click on the installation file.

Depends on UAC (User Access Control), Windows may ask to confirm the installation. If he asks you, click on the Yes button to confirm

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

It is not necessary to close an application except for web browsers. The installation process adds a module to web browsers.
So if a web browser is open, close it and click on the Next button.


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

license agreement

The next screen allows us to customize the installation directory. By default,
the package tracer is installed in the “Program File” folder of the Windows partition. If you want to install Packet Tracer
in another folder, click on the leaf and select the folder where you want to install Packet Tracer.

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

installation directory

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

Keep the default selections and click the Next button.

shortcut link name

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

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

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

Make your choice and click on the Next button.

name of the desktop shortcut

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

selection summary

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

real-time progress

If the wizard detects a browser open during installation,
it displays a message to close this browser. Close all open web browsers and click on the Okay to continue the installation.

close the open web browser

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

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

Click it finish to close the wizard.

installation finish

During the first execution to record the activities, the package tracer automatically creates a folder. This parameter,
as well as other parameters, can be changed at any time “Options-> Preferences” the options.

default recording directory

Activation of Packet Tracer

Since version 7.0.0, Packet Tracer can only be used after connection. When you start Packet Tracer,
it presents a connection 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 on Guest login when the engine starts.

confirm guest login

The guest account offers limited functionality. This account allows you to save only 3 training laboratories.

limitation of guest account

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

netacad web page

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

connect to netacad

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

complete package tracer

To provide hassle-free access, the Packet Tracer automatically saves connection information
and uses this information to log in automatically the next time you restart Packet Tracer.

The Packet Tracer does not ask you to reconnect until you manually disconnect.

If you want to log out of Packet Tracer, click on the File menu item and click on the “Exit and disconnect” in the options of the submenu.

logout of packet tracer

Once disconnected, all restrictions will apply again. You must log in again to use the Packet Tracer without restrictions.

If you use multiple copies of Packet Tracer to teach CCNA courses, it is not necessary to create multiple user accounts. You can use a single user account to log in as many copies of Packet Tracer as you want. So instead of creating multiple user accounts, use a single user account to log in to all copies of Packet Tracer.

That’s it for this tutorial. If you like this tutorial, don’t forget to share it with your friends via your favorite social network.


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