How to Change Connection Priority of Wireless Networks in Windows 8 and 8.1
A network connection is a set of information that enables your computer to connect to the Internet, a network, or another computer. When you install a network adapter in your computer, Windows creates a connection for it in the Network Connections folder. A local area connection is created for an Ethernet network adapter. A wireless network connection is created for a wireless network adapter.
This tutorial will show you how to change the connection priority order of your wireless network profiles to how you like for all users in Windows 8, Windows RT, Windows 8.1, and Windows RT 8.1.
Windows usually connects to networks in this priority order:
- Wi‑Fi (wireless)
- Mobile broadband
When you connect to a new Wi‑Fi network, itís added to the list, and Windows will connect to that network while itís in range. If you connect to another Wi‑Fi network while in range of the first network, Windows will prefer the second network over the first one.
Mobile broadband networks are treated differently. If you manually connect to a mobile broadband network when there is a Wi‑Fi network in range, the mobile broadband network is preferred just for that session. The next time youíre in range of both networks, the Wi‑Fi network is preferred. This is because mobile broadband networks typically are metered
If you want to force your PC to prefer a mobile broadband network over Wi‑Fi, tap or click the Wi‑Fi network in the list of networks, and then click Disconnect
. Windows wonít automatically connect to that Wi‑Fi network.
NOTE: This is the Networks (Connect To) list of network connections before and after changing the priority order of the Wi-Fi Networks.
Change Connection Priority Order of Wireless Networks in Networks (Connect To)
Click/tap on the wireless network icon
in your desktop taskbar notification area to open Networks (Connect To).
Click/tap on one of your wireless networks that you want to be at the top of the connection priority order list, check the Connect automatically
box, and click/tap on Connect
. (see screenshot below)
3. Windows will now automatically connect to that wireless network by default when it's within range.
Change Connection Priority Order of Wireless Networks in Command Prompt
While this method can also be used in Vista
and Windows 7
, you will find it much easier to use the Manage Wireless Networks
UI for them in the tutorial link below instead.
Manage Wireless Networks
was removed in Windows 8
, so this is why the method here below is using the command prompt instead.
Open a command prompt
In the command prompt, copy and paste the command below, and press Enter. (see screenshot below)
NOTE: This command will show you the name of the interface (ex: Wi-Fi), and a list of all wireless network profiles (ex: "Brink-Router" and "Brink-Router2") on your PC. You will need this information in step 3 below
netsh wlan show profiles
In the command prompt, type the command below, and press Enter. If you like, you could repeat this step to change the priority order of any other listed wireless networks as well. (see screenshot below)
NOTE: This command will change the connection priority of the wireless networks on your PC
netsh wlan set profileorder name="WirelessProfileName" interface="InterfaceName" priority=1
Substitute WirelessProfileName in the command for the wireless network profile name (ex: "Brink-Router" and "Brink-Router2") displayed in step 2 above that you want to change the priority of.
Substitute InterfaceName in the command for the name of the interface (ex: Wi-Fi) displayed in step 2 above.
Substitute 1 (one) in the command for what priority order number you wanted to have the wireless network profile name listed in. In my example I only have 2 wireless network profiles listed, so I can use 1=first or 2=last.
For example, if I wanted to change my Brink-Router
(name) wireless network profile to be listed first (1) in the connection priority order instead of Brink-Router2
, I would type the command below exactly.
netsh wlan set profileorder name="Brink-Router" interface="Wi-Fi" priority=1
If you like, repeat step 2
above to verify the priority order of your wireless network connections has been changed to how you wanted them.
When finished, you can close the command prompt if you like.