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How to Change the Priority of Wireless Networks in Windows 8

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One of the noticeable changes in Windows 8 was the exclusion of the Wireless Profile manager that was included in Windows 7. While there are a lot of third-party tools to change the priority of the networks you connect to, we’re going to show you how to do it natively in Windows 8.

How to See the Priority of Your Wireless Networks in Window 8

Sure there is no included GUI, but that’s never stopped us. To see a list of Wireless Networks you have joined and their priority open up an admin command prompt and run the following:

netsh wlan show profiles

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How to Change the Priority of Your Wireless Networks in Window 8

So now that we have seen the priority of our wireless networks, you probably want to know how you can alter it. To do this we need a few pieces of information from the previous screenshot, namely the name of our interface, Wi-Fi in my case, and the name of the network we want to adjust the priority of. Once you have all that run the following:

netsh wlan set profileorder name=”w1r3l3$$” interface=”Wi-Fi” priority=1

Just replace w1r3l3$$ with the name of the network and Wi-Fi with the name of your network interface.

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Now if I go back and check my profiles you will see that w1r3l3$$ has been bumped up.

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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 12/21/12

Comments (19)

  1. Michael

    Microsoft really should have just left this interface option available.

  2. spike

    awesome :)

  3. Jim

    Only awesome if you think having to go to the command line to do something that was incredibly intuitive in an earlier version of the OS. Windows 8 has so many of these weird idiosyncrasies. Is it as terrible as some reviewers have made it out to be? Absolutely not, but is it an improvement on Windows 7? I don’t believe it is for the typical desktop/laptop user.

  4. larry

    just like DOS. thanks for help, i’m trying to use windows 8 and my dos training is going to help.
    very poor system

  5. Jim

    Correction…
    Only awesome if you think having to go to the command line to do something that was incredibly intuitive in an earlier version of the OS is better.

    Or I guess it could be awesome that you can still do it all, although it would be really sad if you couldn’t.

  6. Yanfox

    Merci Korben mais sans vouloir être désagrable, tu peux gérer cette fonction la depusi le centre de réseau et partage -> gérer les connexions wifi. Il suffit de monter ou descendre les réseau afin d’ajuster leur position dans les priorités de connexions…

    Ca fait moins power user qu’en ligne de commande mais c’est tout aussi efficace et rapide ;-)

  7. Yanfox

    ca m’apprendra à l’ouvrir trop vite…. c’est pour win 8 ou je cherchais comme une âne la GUI… mea culpa !!!

  8. Taylor Gibb

    @Jim you shouldn’t be so scared of the command line, you can do more from a tool like PowerShell, than you could ever dream of doing in the GUI.

  9. Dennis

    Hmm did not work for me ..

  10. Chemical

    @Taylor Gibb

    Please come over and teach my grandparents + extended family how to use a command line for a feature they knew how to use that was included in Windows 7.

  11. Riddle

    just code a tool for it . It won’t take more than 10 minutes max …

  12. James

    Still can’t understand why anyone would install this dumbed-down effort of an O/S on a normal desktop machine. Any advantages are so outweighed by the seemingly never-ending omissions of, or crippled, facilities that have been used in Windows for many years. Microsoft really are losing it. First the dreadful ‘ribbon’ thus making previously intuitive operations take twice as long to figure out, then the entire O/S! Staying with XP (still my fav version -fast, reliable, intuitive, full featured- as long as 1st class antimalware is installed) and Win7 for a long time to come, methinks!
    Having to install a raft of 3rd party fixes to put things back to where they always used to be is something I have no intention of doing.

  13. Taylor Gibb

    @Chemical, your point is valid for grandparents that know how to use the interface and what the priority of networks even means. Normally I get a call saying my internet isn’t working or is slow please fix it.

  14. Taylor Gibb

    @James, You need to start looking outside of your little box. You still on XP, really now…

    Note: Not being rude here, but people are always commenting on why we run Windows 8. Well it just so happens that I think pretty much every tech author at HTG has at least one Windows 8 machine. The OS is not so dreadful its just different to what you use to and most people are scared of change.

  15. Chemical

    @Taylor

    Or don’t show up then. I will recommend they stay on an O.S. without gutted features.

  16. terminal terminator

    i was on win8 and looking for the interface… of course i could not find it.. it was ripped away. I think this is just one more stupid move from my-kro-soft …have i upraded my machines to windows 8? Yes.. Do I think its good? No its crap live another vista.

  17. terminal terminator

    *** like another vista.

  18. Tech

    Not to be rude. But change is the way of the future either get on-board or stay in the stone ages your choice without these changes and enhancements the opportunity for advancement and or streamlining processes wouldn’t be possible. Windows 8 is very sleek, smooth transitions and has tons of customization options for those who are interested.

    Simple if you don’t like it don’t use it.

  19. Danielle Gleeson

    The issue for the normal user is that it takes a long long time to work out seemingly simple features. I am a fairly confident windows user and require my PC to work as a lecturer everyday but I cannot navigate Windows 8 without having to constantly go to help menus and online forums. I’m sure it’s for the better and I can see the possibilities however, for me, it’s like having a nice meal placed 2 metres away from me and not being able to eat it. It really shouldn’t be quite so difficult for the average user. I am certainly not afraid of change providing good change management principles are employed. I can’t say Microsoft are quite up on these principles with the introduction of Windows 8. I know I will get there over time (which I have very little of) but I feel very sorry for those who already struggle with Windows 7.

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