Windows automatically connects to a Wi-Fi network: how to avoid it

Currently the vast majority of devices connect to the Internet via Wi-Fi or network cable. Generally the most used and because it facilitates mobility is Wi-Fi. On Windows computers, a laptop that you use in different parts of your home or away from home, would be a typical example. However, sometimes for security or to be calm we want that Windows computer not to connect to the Wi-Fi network automatically. In this tutorial we are going to learn to prevent Windows from automatically connecting to a Wi-Fi, and to change it so that you have to do it manually.

Windows automatically connects to a Wi-Fi network

Why it is interesting to select a Wi-Fi network manually

The use of Wi-Fi networks has grown a lot in recent years. In addition, we could say that it is expanding to the typical PC, laptop, smartphone and tablets that have recently been added newer ones. Some of recent incorporation would be the Smart TV, smart plugs, IoT devices, home automation devices and more.

However, one of the most used is usually a Windows laptop. Usually and on many occasions we choose to connect to a Wi-Fi network automatically, although in some cases it is not convenient. For example, two reasons we might have for wanting to prevent Windows from automatically connecting to Wi-Fi would be:

  1. For security reasons : when we use public or open Wi-Fi networks. Thus, we could establish a routine that the next step we must take is to activate our VPN.
  2. To relax and disconnect : if we have downloaded multimedia content from a payment platform, enjoy it without distractions.

As for the ways to do it, there would also be two:

  • Using the Windows graphical interface . Here we would have three ways: from the taskbar, from Windows settings and from the control panel.
  • Using commands in a command prompt window.

It should also be noted that some of them only work if you are connected to that Wi-Fi network, and others are valid for all the ones you have saved.

Prevent Windows from connecting automatically using the taskbar

This method will only work if we are connected to that Wi-Fi network at that time. So in the Windows taskbar we double click on the Wi-Fi icon to see the available networks.

Once we have found ours, in this case NETWORK_2, we click on the Disconnect button. The next time we restart the computer, we will prevent Windows from automatically connecting to that Wi-Fi network. It should be noted that doing this does not harm us because it does not erase the password. For example, after a restart of the operating system we would see it like this:

In this case, if we click on Connect automatically , from that moment on, it would do it that way again. On the other hand, if we only click on Connect, we would continue to maintain a manual start.

Windows settings panel to not connect automatically

The first thing we have to do is go to the Windows Start Menu . There we write ” configuration ” plus “enter” or we point with the mouse cursor the gear icon so that it appears and we click.

Once inside « Settings » we look for the « Network and Internet » section and double click on it.

Next, we have to go to the Wi-Fi section and we can act in two different ways.

If we click on ” Manage known networks “, we can choose from there if we want any of the networks that we have saved to connect or not automatically via Wi-Fi. On the other hand, if we double-click on our Wi-Fi network , in this case NETWORK_2, only the one we have active will be seen. Regardless of whether we choose one or the other option, when entering that profile of the Wi-Fi network we will see this if it is activated:

In case you want to prevent Windows from automatically connecting to Wi-Fi, we would have to deactivate the box in the red box. This is how it would look after deactivation:

Configuration via the «Control Panel»

Before starting with this method, it should be noted that it only works for the Wi-Fi network that we are using. Once again, we would go to the Windows Start Menu , Control Panel , and we would look for the Network and Internet section that we would double-click.

Then we would click on Network and Shared Resources Center .

Here on the left side we have to click on Change adapter settings .

Then we have to look for the network connection that we have active. In this case it is easy to distinguish because those that are not active will say Network cable disconnected or Not connected .

Then we click on that active network connection and this screen will appear where we must click on the Wireless Properties button.

Once there, in the Connection tab, we deactivate the Automatically connect box when this network is within range and click on Accept .

Thus, we managed to prevent Windows from automatically connecting exclusively to that network, which would be NETWORK_2.

Command prompt to prevent automatic connection over Wi-Fi

Also using commands we can do it, in this case it would be valid both for networks to which we are connected now and for those that are not. In short, it is valid for any network that we have saved. An important point is that to execute these commands it is mandatory to do it as an administrator. To do this we write and select Run as administrator . Also clicking on Command Prompt with the right button appears this option.

Now we are going to use a command to see the profiles of the Wi-Fi networks that I have saved on my laptop. For this we are going to use netsh with the following parameters:

netsh wlan show profiles

As you can see in this laptop I have four different networks saved. As in previous examples, we will continue with NETWORK_2.

In the event that we want to prevent Windows from automatically connecting to a Wi-Fi network, we will have to use that other command:

netsh wlan set profileparameter name=Nombre de red connectionmode=manual

Here what we have to do is replace Network name with the name of the Wi-Fi network that you want to modify, as we mentioned before, it will be the Wi-Fi network NETWORK_2 .

This would be the command in which our Wi-Fi network profile has been executed correctly so that from now on the connection is made manually.

Instead, this would be the command syntax if we want that Wi-Fi network to start automatically:

netsh wlan set profileparameter name=Nombre de red connectionmode=auto

This is the example of the execution to have an automatic connection:

In the hypothetical case that we do not know if we have the Wi-Fi connection in automatic or manual, we would use this other command:

netsh wlan show profile Nombre de red

These are the results that we would obtain if that Wi-fi network has an automatic connection:

Finally, if you put connect manually this will prevent Windows from connecting automatically using the profile of that Wi-Fi network.

As you have seen, it is really easy to configure WiFi networks in Windows to automatically connect to wireless networks, or to make them not automatically connect to wireless networks.