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How to Make Your Laptop Choose a Wired Connection Instead of Wireless

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Have you ever connected your Laptop to a wired network point in your house and continued to get wireless  network speeds ? Here’s how you can quickly fix that, the easy way.

Giving Your Wired Connection Higher Priority

Press the Win + R keyboard combination and type ncpa.cpl into the run box, then hit enter.

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When the Network Connections window opens you will need to hit the alt key to display the classic menu bar.

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Once its available click on advanced, and then choose the Advanced Settings option.

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Here you will see the preference of your network connections. In order to make your laptop use a wired connection, if available, even when connected to a wireless network, you will need to select Wi-Fi and then click on the green arrow pointing down.

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This will automatically bump Ethernet to the top.

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That’s all there is to it.

Taylor Gibb is a Microsoft MVP and all round geek, he loves everything from Windows 8 to Windows Server 2012 and even C# and PowerShell. You can also follow him on Google+

  • Published 06/21/12

Comments (21)

  1. Simon SC

    Not related:

    This is a really old module in Windows, and has been used for years. It’s really disappointing how its appearance hasn’t changed to more accurately reflect the Windows 8 user experience.

  2. TheFu

    Golf clap!@!!!!!

    I’ve wondered why the “metric” settings inside the tcp/ip settings for each adapter didn’t seem to work at all for route priority paths. This explains a bunch and is much easier … assuming it is possible to get to this screen pointing and clicking. From the “Control Panel\Network and Internet” page, I couldn’t find a way to get to the same screen. I must be dense.

    On a laptop, I’ve found it is usually easier to just toggle the Fn-{wifi} key to disable the wifi circuits completely.

  3. Iszi

    @TheFu Many laptop Wi-Fi adapters or BIOS configuration screens give you an option to disable Wi-Fi entirely whenever an Ethernet connection is detected. This varies per make and model. Sometimes it can be found on the Advanced tab of your wireless adapter’s Properties page.

  4. spike

    @TheFu: (on Win7 Pro) Go to Control Panel > Network and Internet (assuming category view, otherwise skip this) > Network and Sharing Center > Change adapter settings (on the left)

    This is strange though. My Ethernet adapter’s metric is lower than my wireless adapter’s, and the Ethernet adapter is lower in the list described here. However, the metric settings are working as expected, no matter how I order the list here- meaning, the wired connection (lower metric) is always used when available over wireless, even when not at the top of this list.
    I would really like to know how these two things (metric settings and adapter advanced settings priority list) are related, if anyone can explain!

  5. tow

    Dell laptops (and probably others too) had this option in the driver, in windows XP (When wired is connected, turn off wireless).
    All of the laptops I have now (Dell, windows 7), do not have it any more.
    Shame.

    All of the laptops I have, some are old, but a lot are very new, that runs Linux, have this by default.

    Microsoft blew it again :P

  6. lp

    Great to know this, I found it very useful, thanks!

  7. MdKnightR

    The “easy way” would be to turn off the wireless switch on your laptop’s case, if it’s equipped with one. :D

  8. NewB

    I just did it…so easy. Thanks, I needed to adjust my laptop for that.

  9. tommy2rs

    Or just flip the wireless switch off. Mines on the front edge of the laptop. When I need the wireless I just flip it back on. Gotta love a properly equipped laptop.

  10. Afrom@n

    Is there any way to use both wireless and wired together, to get that much more bandwidth?

  11. webdev

    Great one, very informative. Thanks for sharing!

  12. pete1229

    Instead of all these steps wouldn’t it be allot easier just to open the network and sharing center by clicking on the wireless icon in the taskbar, click on change adapter settings and disable the wireless connection? Then on power up it will select the wired connection. It just seems a whole lot easier!…I’m just sayin”.

  13. spike

    @pete1229: Yes, that’s another way to get to that same window (wireless icon in taskbar). But, what’s being described here is how to make your laptop use wired when available, and wireless when wired not available, without any user interaction at the time to make it switch over.

    Turning off wireless isn’t really the scope of this article, but it’s mainly only useful when trying to save battery power, when not needed. Switching to wired can be done other ways that are automatic (the purpose of this article)

  14. Humanoid

    Awesome tip! Thanks!

  15. walter

    I always thought my OS would chose wired over wireless by default. This is a great and simple tip. Thanks!

  16. Alberta

    i really not know much.

  17. Raheel

    How can we use two or multiple internet connections simultaneously ?

    as shown in figure .. only one internet connection is used which has lower metric value.

  18. DeeEff

    You mean:

    “sudo su”
    “ifconfig wlan0 down”
    “ifconfig eth0 up”
    “exit”

    This is probably the easiest way to do it in linux, and you can substitute “sudo su” with whatever it takes you to get root privileges.

  19. Amir

    it was useful tip, i used to know it in xp

  20. Danny

    This is a really useful find.
    I’m stunned I didn’t find it sooner.
    Thanks HtG.

  21. Amir

    Awsome !
    I always wanted to know how it works!

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