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 on June 17, 2020 reviewed by Jon Fisher Lifewire Tech Review Board Member Jonathan Fisher is a CompTIA certified technologist with more than 6 years' experience writing for publications like TechNorms and Help Desk Geek. our review board Article reviewed on Jun 10, 2020 Jon Fisher 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? 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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. Instructions in this article apply to Windows 10, Windows 8, and Windows 7. Reasons to Prevent Automatic Connections Usually, this practice makes sense, including on 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, avoid connecting to these networks because these 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. 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 connect. Disable Automatic Connections in Windows 10 When you don't want your computer to connect to your ISP automatically, turn off automatic connections. On Windows 10, you do this through the Action Center. In the lower-right corner of the screen, select the Action Center icon, then choose All Settings. The WIN+I keyboard shortcut does the same thing. Select Network & Internet. In the left pane, select Wi-Fi. In the Related Settings section, select Change Adapter Options to open the Network Connections dialog box. Double-click the relevant Wi-Fi connection to open the Wi-Fi Status dialog box. Go to the General tab, then select Wireless Properties to open the Wireless Network Properties dialog box. Go to the Connection tab, then clear the Connect Automatically When This Network is in Range check box. Click OK to save the setting and close out of the dialog box. Disable Automatic Connections in Windows 8 On Windows 8, there's not a setting for disabling automatic connections, but you can forget networks, which accomplishes the same thing. Select the Wireless Networking icon in the system tray located in the lower-right corner of the desktop. This icon consists of five bars of increasing size from small to large. Alternatively, activate the Charms utility, select Settings, then select the Network icon. Identify the network name in the list. Right-click and select Forget This Network. This deletes the network profile. Disable Automatic Connections in Windows 7 In Windows 7 you can disable automatic connections or forget a network to prevent your computer from connecting to Wi-Fi networks you've used before. Click the Start button, then click Control Panel. Select Network and Sharing Center in the Icon view. For the Category view, choose Network and Internet, then select Network and Sharing Center. Select Change Adapter Settings. Right-click the relevant network, then choose Properties to open the Connection Properties dialog box. Select the Authentication tab and clear the Remember my Credentials for this Connection Each Time I'm Logged On check box. Forget a Network in Windows 7 Another way to prevent automatic connections in Windows 7 is to forget the network, essentially removing it in Windows. Click the Start button, then click Control Panel. Select Network and Sharing Center in the Icon view. For the Category view, select Network and Internet, then choose Manage Wireless Networks. Select the Wi-Fi connection, then select Remove.