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How to disable Wi-Fi in Windows 10

Wi-Fi is a technology which allows a user to connect to a wireless local area network (WLAN). It is a communications standard that describes how high-frequency radio waves can be used to provide wireless high-speed Internet and network connections. If your Windows 10 device comes with a wireless network adapter, you might want to disable Wi-Fi when you are not using it in order to save your device's battery. Here is how it can be done.

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Wi-Fi hardware can be embedded in your device's motherboard or it can be installed as an internal module inside the device. Wireless network adapters exist as an external device which can be connected to a USB port. When enabled, having Wi-Fi on all the time can affect your battery life. Having Wi-Fi on is not a problem when your Windows device is plugged in, but you might want to disable it when on battery. Here is how.

Windows 10 allows to you to disable Wi-Fi natively using the Settings app. The Settings app is getting more and more options previously available only in the classic Control panel. The ability to manage wireless connections has been moved to Settings almost completely in Windows 10 "Creators Update".

To disable Wi-Fi in Windows 10, you can do the following.

Open Settings and go to Network & Internet, then open Wi-Fi. Use the "Wi-Fi" option on the right to disable or enable Wi-Fi.

Wifi Settings Windows 10

Tip: you create the Wi-Fi Settings shortcut to open this page directly.

Alternatively, there is a Quick Action button in the Action Center. You can use it to toggle the Wi-Fi function with one click or tap.

Click the action center icon at the end of the taskbar:

Windows 10 Action Center Icon

Expand the buttons if you have no Wi-Fi button visible:

Windows 10 Action Center Expand

Disable or enable the Wi-Fi function.

Windows 10 Disable Wifi

Tip: See how to customize the Action Center buttons in Windows 10.

It is worth mentioning that Airplane mode settings in Windows 10 can override the state of Wi-Fi.

Check if Airplane mode is configured to turn Wi-Fi on or off by visiting Settings - Network & Internet - Airplane mode. See the Wi-Fi option there.

Windows 10 Disable Wifi In Airplane Mode

Lastly, there is another way to disable your wireless network adapter in Windows 10. Open Device Manager and find your Wi-Fi adapter under the "Network adapters" group.

 

  1. Press Win + X keys together on the keyboard and click Device Manager.
    Windows 10 open device manager
    Tip: you can customize the Win + X menu of Windows 10.
  2. Expand the "Network adapters" node and find your adapter:Windows 10 Wifi Adapter In Device Manager
  3. Right click the adapter in the list and select "Disable" in the context menu.Windows 10 Wifi Adapter In Device Manager

Later, you can open Device Manager again and re-enable the adapter when needed.

Now you know everything to disable Wi-Fi hardware using the options provided by Windows 10.

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

4 thoughts on “How to disable Wi-Fi in Windows 10”

  1. This article “How to disable Wi-Fi in Windows 10” Ignores the fact that this option is not available in some releases of Windows 10. Please state for which releases you offer this information.

    1. Actually it’s best to use Windows 7 or 8.1 and avoid Windows 10 if you have a problem-free experience. Windows 10 is so shit and buggy that even we tech geeks have trouble with it.

  2. Is there _really_ no way to turn the WiFi adapter on/off from the keyboard, without opening the Action Center, Device Manager (LOL), etc.? Unfortunately, Airplane Mode turns off Bluetooth accessories, too. I just want to be able to toggle my WiFi on/off. Thanks!

  3. Sorry, I probably should’ve been more specific. I’d like to create shortcuts that execute commands that turn WiFi on/off, to which I could assign keyboard shortcuts… Does that make sense? Or do we have to stop and point and click each time?
    I realize this is a first-world-type problem, too, so obviously it’s not tremendously important in the grand scheme of things. :?)

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