In today’s world of technology, we have migrated from local area network (LAN) to wireless networks. Nowadays wireless networks are installed everywhere and it has become a requirement instead of a luxury. Wherever we go, we connect to a wireless network and then we forget about it. It has become a huge task for us to manage these wireless networks. However, Windows 10 has made it easy.
In windows 10, we can manage wireless networks using settings app and control panel. But sometimes we need to perform more advanced tasks like finding the network security keys of different Wi-Fi profiles stored on our computer or generating reports for troubleshooting connectivity problems. These tasks can’t be performed with settings app or control panel. For these advanced tasks, there is a command known as “Netsh” (Network Shell). Microsoft introduced Netsh command in 2000 and it has been part of windows operating system since then.
Using Netsh command, we can view, troubleshoot and configure wired as well as wireless networks. However, in this article, we will focus on managing wireless networks in windows 10. We will use Netsh WLAN commands to view, edit, delete, import and export wireless profiles stored on our computers.
Before we start with the tutorial, we need to open the command prompt with administrator rights to perform these commands. To open the command prompt with administrator rights, press Windows Key + X and select Command Prompt (admin).
Manage Wireless Networks in Windows 10
View Driver Information of Wireless Adapter
To get the driver information of your wireless adapter, use the following command:
Netsh WLAN show drivers
This command will tell information about the installed driver, vendor name, version, wireless display support and much more.
To view all the features supported by your wireless adapter, use the following command:
Netsh WLAN show wirelesscapabilities
View Settings of Wireless Adapter
If you want to see specific wireless adapter information such as wireless signal, radio type, channel and type of authentication your computer is using, you can use the following command:
Netsh WLAN show interfaces
The above command will display settings of all wireless adapter on your computer. If you want to see the settings for one specific wireless adapter, you can use the following command:
Netsh WLAN show interface name="Interface_Name"
View Wireless Network Profiles saved on your Computer
Whenever you connect your computer to a wireless network, the operating system creates a network profile and it gets automatically stored in your computer. If you want you can view all these network profiles using the following command:
Netsh WLAN show profiles
The above command shows all the wireless network profiles stored on your computer and you can connect to any of these wireless networks using these network profiles.
To see the list of profiles for a particular wireless adapter, you can use the following command:
Netsh WLAN show profiles interface="Wireless_Interface_Neme"
Delete Wireless Network Profiles stored on your Computer
When you no longer need to connect to a particular network profile because you have moved somewhere else or that wireless network is no longer available or you need to reset the network profile settings then you can delete that particular network profile. To delete any network profile, use the following command:
Netsh WLAN delete profile name="Profile_Name"
When you delete a wireless network profile using this command, write the name of the profile in place of “Profile_Name”.
Note: While windows 10 is capable of syncing your wireless network profile between 2 computers if you use the same Microsoft account on both the computers, it won’t sync the changes you made to wireless network profiles.
Recover Network Security Key from any Wireless Network Profile
Using Netsh command, you can recover network security key from any wireless network profile stored on your computer. If you have lost or cannot remember the security key to connect another device to your wireless access point then you can use the following command to recover network security key for any network profile:
Netsh WLAN show profile name="Profile_Name" key=clear
Note: You can view your current network security key through the wireless adapter properties in the control panel.
Stop Connecting Automatically to a Wireless Network
We have many times seen that our laptops try to connect to a wireless network which is out of range. Using Netsh commands, we can stop automatic connection process to those wireless networks which are out of range or those which offer poor connectivity. To stop connecting automatically to a wireless network, use the following command:
Netsh WLAN set profileparameter name="Profile_Name" connectionmode=manual
If you choose a network to connect automatically to your system when in range, windows 10 will set that network as a priority. If you want a network to move up in the list of priority networks, use the following command:
Netsh WLAN set profileparameter name=" Profile_Name" connectionmode=auto
Generate Wireless Adapter Report
It happens many times that you want to connect to a wireless network access point but you can’t and the worst is you don’t even know the reason for that. Here, Netsh command comes to rescue. If you need to troubleshoot that why your system can’t connect to a wireless network access point, you can use the following command:
Netsh WLAN show WLANreport
This command will generate a troubleshoot report for the wireless adapter so that you can identify the reason for non-connectivity. The above command will generate the troubleshoot report in the following path:
After the wireless adapter report has been created, open the report. The report will show a graph with connectivity status and many other pieces of information like when the connection started, when it got disconnected and errors. It is a very detailed report which also summarizes information about network adapters configured on your computer, success and failure rate, disconnect reasons and many more.
Export Wireless Network Profiles
Up to windows 7, Microsoft allowed importing and exporting of wireless network profiles through the control panel. But in windows 10, Microsoft removed this feature because of the sharing functionality and syncing of Microsoft accounts. However, users can still use this feature using Netsh commands.
To export all your wireless network profiles, use the following command:
Netsh WLAN export profile key=clear folder="Folder_Path"
To export only one wireless network profile, use the following command:
Netsh WLAN export profile name="Profile_Name" key=clear folder="Folder_Path"
In this command, you have to specify the name of the network profile you want to export in place of “Profile_Name”.
This was our guide to managing wireless networks in windows 10 using the command prompt. To know other Netsh commands, type the following in command prompt and press Enter.
If you know some other Netsh commands, share them with us in the comments section below. Feel free to share this article with your followers on Facebook and Twitter.