Software & Apps Windows Disable Automatic Wireless Connections on Windows Stay secure by preventing automatic connections to some networks By Mary Landesman Writer Mary Landesman is a former freelance contributor to Lifewire and a security expert. She was named as one of the women to watch in IT security. our editorial process LinkedIn Mary Landesman Updated February 17, 2020 The Wireless Connection The Wireless Connection Introduction All About Wireless What Does Wireless Really Mean? 802.11 Standards Explained The Range Of A Wireless Network Dual-Band Wireless Networking Explained How Bluetooth Works With Wireless Measure It: Wi-Fi Signal Strength What Is A Wi-Fi Hotspot? The Best Wi-Fi Channels For Your Network Access Your Router As An Administrator 5 Tips for Securing A Wireless Network How Many Devices Can Connect To One Wireless Router? How To Connect At Home How to Name Your Wireless Network How to Change Your Wireless Router's Admin Password Change the Wi-Fi Channel Number to Avoid Interference Build a Wireless Home Network Use Wireless Speakers In Home Theater Connect Your Echo & Alexa To Wi-Fi Connect Google Home to Wi-Fi Wirelessly Connect An iPad To Your TV Use a Free Firewall Program How To Connect On The Go How to Find Free Wi-Fi Locations Get 4G or 3G on Your Laptop Connect To Wi-Fi in Your Car Get Wireless Internet Access in a Hotel Use Your Android As A Wi-Fi Hotspot Set Up Personal Hotspot On Your iPhone Connect Nintendo Switch To Bluetooth Headphones Connect To A Wireless Network With Windows Access Your Computer Remotely How to Troubleshoot Wireless Issues 7 Reasons Wi-Fi Connections Drop Disable Automatic Wireless Connections on Windows How to Hack-proof Your Wireless Router How to Fix OS X Bluetooth Wireless Problems What to Do When Google Home Won't Connect To Wi-Fi How to Hide Your Wireless Network Can't Connect To The Internet? Try This What to Do When There's No Internet Connection The Future of Wireless 5G Changes Everything How 4G And 5G Are Different Why 5G Really Is Faster All About 5G Cell Towers 5G Challenges: Why It Isn't Rolling Out Faster Is 5G The High-Speed Replacement for Cable? When 5G Is Coming to the US The 12 Best 5G Phones Coming in 2019 Tweet Share Email By default, your Windows computer automatically connects to any known, existing wireless connection. After you provide credentials and connect to a network one time, Windows automatically connects you to that network the next time it detects it. The connection information is stored in a network profile. Reasons to Prevent Automatic Connections Usually, this practice makes sense—you wouldn't want to log on continually to your home network. However, for some networks, you may want to turn off this capability. For example, networks in coffee shops and public places are frequently unsecured. Unless you have a strong firewall and are careful, you may want to avoid connecting to these networks because they are frequent targets of hackers. Another reason to avoid automatic network connections is that your computer might connect you to a weak connection when a stronger one is available. You can explicitly turn off automatic connection for individual network profiles using the procedures listed here for Windows 7, 8, and 10. Another option is to disconnect manually from the network. When Windows detects that you have manually disconnected from a network, it prompts you for authentication the next time you try to connect. Instructions in this article apply to Windows 10, 8, and 7. Disabling Automatic Connections in Windows 10 At the bottom right corner, select the Action Center icon and choose All Settings. Select Network & Internet. On the left side, select Wi-Fi. Select Change Adapter Options on the right panel under Related Settings to open the Network Connections dialog. Double-click (or right-click and select Properties) on the relevant Wi-Fi connection to open the Wi-Fi Status dialog. Select Wireless Properties below the General tab to open the Wireless Network Properties dialog. Uncheck the entry Connect Automatically When This Network is in Range under the Connection tab. Disabling Automatic Connections in Windows 8 Select the Wireless Networking icon in the system tray located on the bottom right corner on your desktop. This icon consists of five bars of increasing size from small to large. You can also activate the Charms utility, select Settings and then select the Network icon. Identify the network name in the list. Right-click and select Forget This Network. This deletes the network profile entirely. Disabling Automatic Connections in Windows 7 Click the Start button and then click Control Panel. Select Network and Sharing Center if you are using the icon view. For the Category view, choose Network and Internet, and then Network and Sharing Center in the right pane. Select Change Adapter Settings in the left pane. Right-click the relevant network and choose Properties to open Connection Properties dialog. Select the Authentication tab and uncheck Remember my Credentials for this Connection Each Time I'm Logged On. Another way to disable in Windows 7 is to "forget" the network, essentially removing it in Windows. To do this, do the following: Click the Start button and then click Control Panel. Select Network and Sharing Center if you are using the icon view. For the Category view, select Network and Internet, then Manage Wireless Networks. Select the Wi-Fi connection, then select Remove.