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Changing the Network Adapter Connection Order in Windows

A common frustration with Windows-based laptops  is that the device will use a wireless connection when you are wired connection. Fortunately, this is very easy to resolve in Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7.

I am writing this guide using  Windows 7 as my example, but the path and process is basically the same in all versions of Windows.

1) Go to the Control Panel and open Network and Sharing Center (In Windows XP, this will be the Network option). Then click on Change adapter settings.

2) In the menu bar, click Advanced (Note: if you don’t see the menu bar, click Organize then Layout and select Menu bar, or press the Alt key on your keyboard. This will bring back the menu bar where you can select the Advanced option.) Under the Advanced menu, select Advanced Settings.

3) I the Advanced Settings window, Select your Wireless Network Connection so that it is highlighted, and then use the Up/Down arrows to move it below your Local Area Connection.

4) Click OK. Your done!

Note: This technique also works well when you are using a VPN connection and have trouble successfully connecting to your VPN. Just move the VPN connection to the top of the list, and click OK.


I recently learned that changing the order of network adapters doesn’t always work, although it works in most circumstances. If you find that changing your network adapter order does not resolve your connectivity issue:

  1. Open the Control Panel\Network and Internet\Network and Sharing Center
  2. Open Change adapter settings.
  3. Right-click on your wireless adapter.
  4. Open the TCP/IPv4 Properties.
  5. Click the Advanced tab
  6. On the IP Settings tab, take the check out of Automatic metric, and put a value of 99 in the Interface metric box.
  7. Repeat steps 1 through 6 for any other wireless adapters, reducing the value of the Interface metric by 1 for each (98, 97, etc.)

What this does is tell Windows that the higher the Interface metric is, the more “expensive” it is to use. Windows will try to connect to the lowest value first. In this case, since the LAN adapter has an automatic metric, it will become the first choice. If your computer does not detect a LAN connection, it will try to connect with the next available resource.

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