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How To Change The Network Adapter Priority In Windows 7

December 1, 2011 56 comments

For a while after I got my Windows 7 computer I had no idea why it preferred to keep connected to my home wireless network over the wired network but that seems to be the default setting that Microsoft uses. Finally after scouring the interwebs I found the answer – it is very much the same as doing this in Vista so if you know how to do that you can probably stop reading. The problem with the wireless connection being preferred vs the wired connection for me is that the wired is a faster than wireless. As well, for me when I hit the “Turn off wireless connection” quick key on my laptop it turns off Bluetooth as well which is often annoying. Today, I thought I’d share with you the solution for telling your computer which network connection it should prefer.

Two things I thought I’d mention before we begin:

  1. To be clear, for this post I am using Windows 7 Home Premium with Service Pack 1 installed and all images and screen caps come from that version.
  2. All images can be clicked on to be full sized. They are downsized only so they can fit in the constraints of my WordPress blog’s theme.

First things first. You got to get to the network settings! Go to the Start Menu and click on “Control Panel” on the right hand side.

Start Menu Windows 7 Control Panel Selected

For the purposes of this post I am going to assume things are set to default settings so your Control Panel should be organized by ‘category.’ Now that you are in Control Panel you will see a number of different categories for setting on your computer as shown in the screen cap below. You are going to be looking for – as highlighted below – the “Network and Internet” category and click the line which reads “View network status and tasks.”

Windows 7 Control Panel Network & Internet

Once you click there you will be brought to the “Network and Sharing Center” which will look something like the image below. Notice how I am connected to two different connections at once for the internet and the basic network information says from my computer to the internet there are “multiple networks.” But none of that really matters right now because we are quickly going to be moving out of this screen. On your left hand side of the screen you’ll see the option (highlighted in red in the picture below) to “Change adapter settings.” Read more…

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