7 Windows 10 Wi-Fi Features You Might Have Missed
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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 How to Optimize Windows 10 for Battery Life How to Optimize Windows 10 for Battery Life Battery life is a pretty important factor for mobile devices. While Windows 10 does offer new features to manage power settings, the defaults are not necessarily contributing to optimal battery life. Time to change that. Read More 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.

Windows 10 WiFi Settings

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 The Pros and Cons of PCI-e Wireless Network Adapters vs. USB Wireless Solutions The Pros and Cons of PCI-e Wireless Network Adapters vs. USB Wireless Solutions Need to add wireless networking to your computer? You've got two options: PCI-e network adapters or USB wireless solutions. Let's take a look at the pros and cons of each. Read More . 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

lesser-known windows 10 wi-fi features

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.

Network Speed Test

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.

Windows 10 Mobile Hotspot Settings

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 Windows Shortcuts 101: The Ultimate Keyboard Shortcut Guide Windows Shortcuts 101: The Ultimate Keyboard Shortcut Guide With so many shortcuts built into Windows and its software, it might seem impossible to learn them all. Here's the ultimate guide to the most useful keyboard shortcuts. Read More . 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.

Windows 10 Create Keyboard Shortcut

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.

Windows 10 Advanced Shortcut Properties

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 How to Set Your Wi-Fi and Ethernet Connection as Metered in Windows 10 How to Set Your Wi-Fi and Ethernet Connection as Metered in Windows 10 In Windows 10, you can set your Wi-Fi or Ethernet connection as metered. This will limit the data consumption by Windows Update and other background apps. Here's how to set it up. Read More . 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.

Windows 10 Metered Connection Settings

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 How to Limit Data Usage and Internet Bandwidth in Windows How to Limit Data Usage and Internet Bandwidth in Windows If you want to maximize speed or stay within an internet data limit, you need to manage your bandwidth. We show you how to limit wasteful apps in Windows. Read More .

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 50 Funny Wi-Fi Names for Your Network SSID 50 Funny Wi-Fi Names for Your Network SSID A good Wi-Fi name makes it easy to find your own network. A great network name will also entertain your neighbors. Read More .

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.

lesser-known windows 10 wi-fi features

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.

lesser-known windows 10 wi-fi features

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

lesser-known windows 10 wi-fi features

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.

Windows 10 WiFi Usage Details

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.

If you’re after even more advice on Wi-Fi, check out our articles on how to best secure your network connection 7 Tips to Secure Your Wi-Fi Network in Minutes 7 Tips to Secure Your Wi-Fi Network in Minutes Is someone sniffing and eavesdropping on your Wi-Fi traffic, stealing your passwords and credit card numbers? Would you even know if somebody was? Probably not, so secure your wireless network with these 7 simple steps. Read More and how to use a booster for a stronger signal Power Up Your Home Wi-Fi Using a Booster or Extender Power Up Your Home Wi-Fi Using a Booster or Extender Wi-Fi is great until it fails to hit the hard-to-reach corners of your house. There are two easy ways to gain that extra reach: extenders and boosters. Read More .

Which of these Wi-Fi tips is going to be of most use to you? Do you have your own to share with us?

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  1. Squalle
    December 3, 2017 at 4:40 am

    I was using the mobile hotspot feature for a couple of weeks. Before I realized it was there, I was using Connectify, which closes the connection every half hour. So once I found that Win 10 had the hotspot feature, I started using that. So after a couple of weeks, it just stopped working. Now, when I click to turn it on, it says 'Applying settings' and just sits there, eventually turning back off. So I tried to go back to Connectify, but now I get errors about drivers (I have updated my drivers).

    I'm almost certain it happened because of a windows update. I removed one of the updates (which didn't fix the issue) and the other could not be uninstalled.

    Anyone know anything else about this? It would be nice to get it back so I'm not needing to use my data plan while away from home.

  2. David Faulkner
    November 30, 2017 at 10:04 am

    Re tip #3: my Windows 10 desktop is Ethernet-connected to the router, but there is no option for Mobile Hotspot anywhere in Settings. Does the presence of this option depend on other factors?

    • Joe Keeley
      November 30, 2017 at 10:56 am

      Hey David.

      If you go open Command Prompt, enter "netsh wlan show hostednetwork", is your 'Hosted network status' showing as 'Unavailable'? This feature won't be available if so.

      Also, what version of Windows 10 are you on? You can find this out by going to Settings > System > About. You don't need the latest version for this feature, but updating Windows to version 1703 or beyond might help. Go to Settings > Update & security > Windows Update to check for updates. If needed, you can push the update through with the Update Assistant here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10