Almost every laptop out there has WiFi connectivity so that you can connect to the Internet wirelessly and don’t have to bother with ethernet cables. However, a wired connection gives you better transfer speeds and stability over the regular WiFi connection. Windows knows this, and as soon as you are connected to an ethernet cable, it favors the wired connection over WiFi and switches to it.
But sometimes the switch may not happen for whatever reason, and you might still be using WiFi over a wired connection. Even if Windows does switch to the wired connection, your WiFi is still on and active. Needless to say, WiFi can easily drain your laptop battery. It is always a good idea to disable WiFi when connected to a wired connection. The good thing is you can automate this process. Here’s how to do it.
Turn Off WiFi When Connected to Ethernet
For Windows to automatically turn off WiFi when connected to a wired connection, all you have to do is change the WiFi network card properties. You can start by searching for “Control Panel” in the Start menu and opening it.
In the Control Panel make sure the View is set to “Category,” and click on the link that reads “View network status and tasks” under the Network and Internet section.
Assuming you are connected a WiFi network, click on the “WiFi” link under “View your active networks” section. If you are connected to a wired connection, click on the “change adapter settings” link appearing on the left panel, right-click on your WiFi adapter and select “Status.”
In the Status window click on the “Properties” button.
The above action will open the WiFi properties window. Here, click on the “Configure” button.
In this window navigate to the “Advanced” tab and select the option “Disable Upon Wired Connect” under the Property section. On the right side select “Enabled ” from the dropdown under the Value section. Click on the “OK” button to save the changes.
Note: if you cannot see the “Disable Upon Wired Connect” option in the Advanced tab, it means your WiFi card doesn’t support this feature. Follow the other method discussed below.
That’s it. Windows will now automatically disable WiFi as soon as you are connected to a wired connection.
Turn Off WiFi on a Wired Connection with Software
If your wireless card has no native option to automatically disable WiFi, you can use a lightweight software called WirelessAutoSwitch. It is not free, though, and will cost you around $8.
On the bright side, WirelessAutoSwitch is very easy to use. Just install the software, and you are good to go. When you connect an ethernet cable, the WiFi will be disabled. As soon as you disconnect the ethernet cable, the WiFi will be automatically enabled and Windows can connect to the available WiFi network.
If you are looking for a free alternative, you can try the WLAN Manager PowerShell script. However, the script hasn’t been updated in over two years and may not work for some network cards. Try the script and see if it works for you.
To start, download the zip file from the official website and extract it.
Open PowerShell with admin rights and navigate to the extracted folder. Before you can run the script you need to have proper permissions. Execute the below command:
When prompted, type “A” and press the Enter button to confirm the action.
Now, execute the below command to create a scheduled task that disables WiFi when you are connected to a wired connection. Just like the WirelessAutoSwitch software, the WiFi will be automatically enabled when you disconnect the ethernet cable.
If the script didn’t work as intended, use the below command to uninstall the WLAN manager.
Comment below sharing your thoughts and experiences about using the above method to automatically disable WiFi when the ethernet cable is connected.
Image credit: Unplugged – no computer, no internet, possible?