7 Windows 10 Wi-Fi Features You Might Have Missed
If you’ve simply been connecting to your Wi-Fi network and forgetting about it, you’ve been doing it wrong. You can do so much with your Wi-Fi on Windows 10. We’ve rounded up the best tips and tricks for you.
Whether it’s keeping your Wi-Fi disabled for a set period of time, monitoring your data usage, or blocking particular networks from appearing, we’re sure that something below will be useful for you.
If you have your own Windows 10 Wi-Fi tip to share, please let us know in the comments.
1. Turn Wi-Fi Back on After a Set Time
You might not want your Wi-Fi on all the time. Perhaps you need to conserve battery life or want to do away with distractions. Whatever the case, you don’t need to remember to turn it back on. Instead, you can get Windows to automatically turn your Wi-Fi back on after a period of time has passed.
To do this, press Windows key I to open Settings. Click Network & Internet > Wi-Fi. Slide the Wi-Fi connection to Off.
A drop-down called Turn WiFi back on will then reappear. By default this set to Manually, but you can choose from In 1 hour, In 4 hours, and In 1 day.
You’ll also see the same options if you disable your Wi-Fi via the Taskbar icon.
2. Check Network Speeds
The network adapter is a bit of hardware that your system uses to interface between a network. If you want to find out the maximum receive and transmit rate of the network adapter, it’s simple.
First, press Windows key X and click Command Prompt. Then copy and paste the following command:
netsh wlan show interfaces
This will list all of the network adapters on your system and their respective details. Check the line’s Receive rate (Mbps) and Transmit rate (Mbps) for your network adapter’s limits. Remember, this is just what the hardware can handle, not what you’re paying your internet provider for.
To see what your network is actually performing at, grab Microsoft’s free Network Speed Test application.
All you need to do is launch the application, click Start, and wait less than half a minute for it to complete. You’ll then see your Download speed and Upload speed.
3. Create a Mobile Hotspot
If you have an Ethernet connection on your computer then you can use that to create a mobile hotspot. Simply put, this allows you to share your connection with other devices so that they connect to it via Wi-Fi.
To get started, press Windows key I to open Settings. Navigate to Network & Internet > Mobile hotspot.
Once here, ensure that your Ethernet connection is selected on the Share my internet connection from dropdown. It won’t work otherwise.
You’ll notice that Windows will have automatically given you a Network name and Network password. These are the details that devices connecting with you will need to use. Click Edit to change these if you wish.
If you don’t want other devices to turn on your mobile hotspot without you enabling it, slide Turn on remotely to Off.
Once you’re ready, slide Mobile hotspot to On. A maximum of eight devices can connect at one time.
4. Toggle Wi-Fi With Keyboard Shortcuts
If you want to quickly enable and disable your Wi-Fi connection, the best way to do that is with keyboard shortcuts. You might find your keyboard already has that as a function key, especially on a laptop, but if not then keep reading.
Right-click your desktop and go to New > Shortcut. Input the following:
netsh interface set interface name="CHANGEME" admin=disabled
You’ll need to switch out CHANGEME for the name of your Wi-Fi connection. If you don’t know what this is, click the Wi-Fi icon in your Taskbar to bring up the list of all available connections.
Click Next. This will be a shortcut for disabling the Wi-Fi, so give it a suitable name. Click Finish.
It’s the same process as above to create a shortcut to enable the Wi-Fi, but input the following instead:
netsh interface set interface name="CHANGEME" admin=enabled
Again, remember to switch out CHANGEME with your Wi-Fi name.
Once done, both shortcuts will need to be set to run as administrators. Right-click each shortcut, click Properties > Advanced… > Run as administrator > OK.
While you’re in the Properties, click within the Shortcut key. Press whatever combination of keys you want to use to activate this shortcut. When done, click OK.
5. Use a Metered Connection
You can set your Wi-Fi connection as metered. This will help stop your data being wasted on things you don’t need or want.
For example, it won’t automatically download updates, refresh Start tiles, or sync OneDrive data.
To enable this, press Windows key I to open Settings. Go to Network & Internet > WiFi > Manage known networks.
Once here, select your Wi-Fi connection from the list and click Properties. Finally, slide Set as metered connection to On.
For other advice on conserving data, see our article on how to limit data usage and internet bandwidth.
6. Block Certain Wi-Fi Networks
You can stop particular Wi-Fi networks from appearing on your computer based on their name. This is useful for when you want users to only be able to connect to or see networks you’ve approved. Perhaps the Wi-Fi network name isn’t as funny as someone thinks it is.
To begin, press Windows key X and click Command Prompt (Admin).
To allow only particular networks to appear, copy and paste this command:
netsh wlan add filter permission=allow ssid="CHANGEME" networktype=infrastructure
Switch out CHANGEME for the name of the Wi-Fi network you want to allow. You can run this command multiple times to allow other networks.
When ready, run this command to block all other networks from appearing:
netsh wlan add filter permission=denyall networktype=infrastructure
Alternatively, if you just want to block particular networks, copy and paste this:
netsh wlan add filter permission=block ssid="CHANGEME" networktype=infrastructure
Replace CHANGEME with the name of the Wi-Fi network you want to block.
To reverse any of these commands, run them again but replace add with delete.
To see a list of all your active filters, run this:
netsh wlan show filters
7. Track Data Usage
If you want to find out how much data each application on your system is using, that’s simple. Windows 10 will show your data usage over the last 30 days.
Press Windows key I to open Settings. Go to Network & Internet > Data usage > View usage details. Use the Show usage from drop-down to select WiFi.
If you want to reset the 30-day calculation, click Reset usage stats.
To see network usage in real-time, press CTRL Shift Esc to open Task Manager. On the Processes tab, look in the Network column to see the Megabytes/second usage of each application and background process.
Wi-Fi, Fo, Fum
Hopefully, you’ve learned something new about how to manage your Wi-Fi connection on Windows 10. Since it’s a constantly evolving operating system, it’s likely that even more features will be available in the future.
Which of these Wi-Fi tips is going to be of most use to you? Do you have your own to share with us?