How to Temporarily Disable WiFi in Windows 10

How to Temporarily Disable WiFi in Windows 10

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If you’re on the move with a laptop, you may not need to use the Internet. Perhaps you’re doing some work on a word processor, or you’re so far away from a WiFi point that you’re not able to get on the Internet at all! If you find yourself not using your WiFi connection, it’s a good idea to turn your adapter off to save battery. Luckily, Windows 10 comes with a few ways to disable the WiFi. In fact, there are even ways to have it turn back on again after a set amount of time.

If you’re using a laptop, there’s a good chance you can enable and disable the WiFi from the keyboard alone. Typically, this involves holding down the Function (“Fn”) key and pressing another key with a WiFi symbol on it. Sometimes there will be an independent key or button on the unit itself that toggles the WiFi. This feature will vary depending on the model of laptop you’re using. Check your manuals and documentation online to see if your laptop has this functionality.

If your laptop does have this – great! When you’re on the move, simply press this key combination and the WiFi will shut off. When you’re back home and want to access the WiFi, press it again to re-enable it.

If you don’t have a keyboard shortcut, you can turn off WiFi through Windows 10 instead. Look for the WiFi symbol on your taskbar. It looks like the following image.

disable-wifi-symbol

If you don’t see it, you may need to expand the list of icons by clicking the arrow to the left.

disable-wifi-arrow

Click the WiFi symbol, and you’ll see a host of options. Right now, we’re interested in the ones at the bottom

disable-wifi-options

By clicking these icons, we can disable the WiFi in different ways. We can click the WiFi button to turn it off, or we can click the “flight mode” button and disable WiFi that way instead.

Disable WiFi or Enable Flight Mode?

So if both of these features do virtually the same thing with WiFi, why are there two options? More importantly, which one should you pick?

To figure out which option is best for you, it’s important to realise that flight mode will shut off all wireless communications to the computer. This does include the WiFi; however, it also includes other wireless communication capabilities such as Bluetooth. If you’re currently using other wireless communications (such as a Bluetooth mouse), disable only the WiFi. If you want to disable all communications entirely, you can use flight mode.

Auto-Enable

If you choose to disable WiFi instead of using flight mode, you’ll see that Windows 10 offers to automatically turn the WiFi back on after a set amount of time. If you like, set a timer for the WiFi connection so you can get back online as soon as you’re home.

disable-wifi-timers

Unfortunately, if you want to use flight mode, there doesn’t seem to be a way to use this timed feature at the time of writing.

If you would like, you can also turn off the WiFi via the settings screen. To access this, click the Start button, then the Settings cog on the left.

disable-wifi-settings

Click “Network & Internet.”

disable-wifi-network

On the left, click “Wi-Fi.”

disable-wifi-sidebar

You’ll see a single toggle switch to turn WiFi on or off. Switch this to Off to disable WiFi. You’ll also notice the timer feature is on this screen, too.

disable-wifi-settings-timers

When you’re out and about, you’ll want to save battery to keep your laptop going as long as possible. If you’re not using the Internet, you can easily disable WiFi in Windows 10 and preserve your charge. Even better, you can set it to automatically turn back on so you don’t forget later!

What battery saving tips do you know of? Let us know below.

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