How to Change The Connection Priority in Windows 8.1, Windows 8 or Windows 7

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network priority

 It happens all the time. You're using your relatively slow Wi-Fi network as you sit on the couch, but even after you get up and plug your notebook into the speedy Ethernet port at your desk, Windows still insists on using on the hotspot as your Internet connection. Unfortunately, on some systems, Microsoft's operating system places slower connections higher in the priority order than wired ones.

Fortunately, by tweaking a couple of settings, you can decide which connection takes precedence when more than one is available. Just follow these simple steps to change the connection priority in Windows 8.1, Windows 8 or Windows 7.

1.  Navigate to Control Panel. In Windows 8 or 8.1, you can get to control panel by hitting Windows + X and selecting Control Panel from the menu that appears.

navigate to control panel

2. Select Network and Sharing Center. If not visible, pull down Large or Small icons from the View by menu.

select network and sharing

3. Click Change Adapter Settings.

click change adapter settings

4. Hit the Alt Key to make the menus appear above the list of Network connections. If you don't see the File, Edit, View and Tools menus, hit Alt again.

network connections menu

5. Select Advanced Settings from the Advanced menu.

select advanced settings

6. Rank your connections by priority using the up and down arrows.

rank connections

Author Bio
Avram Piltch
Avram Piltch, LAPTOP Online Editorial Director
The official Geeks Geek, as his weekly column is titled, Avram Piltch has guided the editorial and production of since 2007. With his technical knowledge and passion for testing, Avram programmed several of LAPTOP's real-world benchmarks, including the LAPTOP Battery Test. He holds a master’s degree in English from NYU.
Avram Piltch, LAPTOP Online Editorial Director on
Add a comment
  • Marko Lehtola Says:

    Where this setting is in Windows 10?

  • Lakesha DuBose Says:

    I followed the steps but it only has ethernet and remote access connections. It doesn't have the wireless connection option.

  • Benedict Says:

    My laptop is now not seeing any wireless network again. The network icon is now cancled in red at the taskbar. Im using windows 8.1 please how do i solve this problem

  • Ben Mordecai Says:

    Thank you! This beats disabling my wifi when I'm at my desk!

  • Adrian Says:

    Thanks for this, but what about the priority among different wifi connections? And switching wifi connections? This is easy to sort out on my Android phone, but my Windows 8.1 laptop is another story... For example, there is different wifi in one part of the building from another.

  • Spas Kasabov Says:

    Everything is there in windows 10 as well.

  • Aaron Says:

    In response to above comments:

    The connection on the top gets 1st priority, 2nd to the top gets 2nd, etc

    To access the "File. Edit. View." etc menu, you must press Alt.

  • Michael Carrico Says:

    There is no "File. Edit. View." etc.. in Windows 8.1

    So this does NOT work.

  • ADJ Says:

    Not clear!
    Does this mean the connections that are in the bottom get high priority?

  • Ran Man Says:

    Worked great!

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