How to manage network adapter settings on Windows 11

Although Windows 11 can detect and configure network adapters automatically, you may still need to perform additional steps to connect to a wireless network, enable specific features, review configurations, and troubleshoot problems.

In previous versions, you needed to use Control Panel to manage various aspects of Wi-Fi and Ethernet adapters. However, on Windows 11, you can now configure most of the networking settings and features from the “Network & internet” section. For example, you can now enable or disable network adapters and configure DNS over HTTPS to improve security. It’s a lot easier to set a static or dynamic IP address, configure data limits, reset the adapters to fix most problems, and more.

In this Windows 11 guide, you will learn the different ways to manage network adapter settings through the Settings app.

How to enable or disable network adapter on Windows 11

To enable or disable a network adapter, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Network & internet.
  3. Click the Advanced network settings page on the right side.

    Source: Windows Central

  4. Under the “Network adapters” section, click the Disable button to turn off the network adapter.

    Windows 11 Settings disable network adapters

    Source: Windows Central

  5. Under the “Network adapters” section, click the Enable button to turn on the network adapter.

Once you complete the steps, the adapter will disable and no longer be available for the system. The adapter will again be available to provide networking functionalities if you enable the option.

How to change network profiles on Windows 11

On Windows 11, changing the network profile type allows you to increase the networking security and make it easier to share files and other services with another computer in the network.

Ethernet connection

To make a network connection public or private, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Network & internet.
  3. Click the Ethernet page on the right side.

    Open Ethernet Settings

    Source: Windows Central

  4. Under the “Network profile type” section, select the profile type:

    • Public: Other computers in the network won’t be able to see your device. This is the recommended option for the home, office, and public places.
    • Private: Other devices can see your computer in the network. When sharing files, printers, or using network applications, this option should be considered.

    Change Ethernet profile type

    Source: Windows Central

Wi-Fi connection

To change the network profile type for a Wi-Fi connection, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Network & internet.
  3. Click the Wi-Fi page on the right side.

    Open Wi-Fi settings

    Source: Windows Central

  4. Click the connection properties setting.

    Open Wi-Fi connection properties

    Source: Windows Central

    Quick note: The device must be already connected to the network to see the option.

  5. Under the “Network profile type” section, select the profile type:

    • Public: Other computers in the network won’t be able to see your device. This is the recommended option for the home, office, and public places.
    • Private: Other devices can see your computer in the network. When sharing files, printers, or using network applications, this option should be considered.

    Change wireless profile settings

    Source: Windows Central

After you complete the steps, depending on the profile you selected, the device will not be discoverable or be visible by other devices to access files and other services.

How to make network connection metered on Windows 11

A metered connection reduces the background data usage of Windows 11 and apps to prevent going over a limited data plan, such as on mobile hotspot plans that only offer a few gigabytes of data.

Ethernet connection

To make an Ethernet connection metered on Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Network & internet.
  3. Click the Ethernet page on the right side.

    Open Ethernet Settings

    Source: Windows Central

  4. Turn on the Metered connection toggle switch.

    Enable Ethernet Metered connection

    Source: Windows Central

Wi-Fi connection

To make a Wi-Fi connection metered, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Network & internet.
  3. Click the Wi-Fi page on the right side.

    Open Wi-Fi settings

    Source: Windows Central

  4. Click the connection properties setting.

    Open Wi-Fi connection properties

    Source: Windows Central

  5. Turn on the Metered connection toggle switch.

    Enable Wi-Fi Metered Connection

    Source: Windows Central

Once you complete the steps, Windows and apps will use less data. For example, Windows 11 won’t download cumulative or feature updates, and some features like OneDrive won’t sync files to the cloud, and apps won’t download updates.

The settings will only apply to the current connection. If you connect to a different network, you must reconfigure the feature as needed.

If you want to disable the feature, you can use the same steps, but on step 5, turn off the Metered connection option.

How to manage known wireless networks on Windows 11

On Windows 11, you can also provision Wi-Fi configurations to make connections easier. You can also delete those connections you no longer use for better management.

Add new Wi-Fi network

To provision a new wireless connection, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Network & internet.
  3. Click the Wi-Fi page on the right side.

    Open Wi-Fi settings

    Source: Windows Central

  4. Click the Manage known networks setting.

    Open Manage Known Networks

    Source: Windows Central

  5. Click the Add network button.

    Add a new network

    Source: Windows Central

  6. Confirm the wireless network name.
  7. Use the “Security type” setting and select the security authentication method.

    Quick note: This security feature is usually configured on the router or access point. Typically, it would be the WPA2-Personal AES option.

  8. Use the Security key setting and confirm the security key (sometimes referred to as “Wi-Fi password”).

    Wireless connection settings

    Source: Windows Central

  9. (Optional) Check the Connect automatically option if you want to automatically connect to the wireless network when it is in range.
  10. (Optional) Check the Connect even if this network is not broadcasting option.

    Quick note: Usually, you can choose the network to connect because it’s broadcasting its presence to all devices. However, sometimes, administrators choose not to broadcast the network to remain hidden. This option will let you connect to the wireless network, whether it’s broadcasting or not.

  11. Click the Save button.

After you complete the steps, the network configuration will be applied to the device, and when the access point is within range, the computer will connect automatically without additional steps:

Remove existing Wi-Fi network

To delete a Wi-Fi connection from Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Network & internet.
  3. Click the Wi-Fi page on the right side.

    Open Wi-Fi settings

    Source: Windows Central

  4. Click the Manage known networks setting.

    Open Manage Known Networks

    Source: Windows Central

  5. Click the Forget button for the network you want to remove.

    Windows 11 forget wireless network

    Source: Windows Central

Once you complete the steps, the network configuration will no longer be available on the device.

How to connect to wireless network on Windows 11

To connect a computer to a wireless access point, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Network & internet.
  3. Click the Wi-Fi page on the right side.

    Open Wi-Fi settings

    Source: Windows Central

  4. Click the Show available networks setting.

    Show available networks

    Source: Windows Central

  5. Select the Wi-Fi network.
  6. (Optional) Check the Connect automatically option.
  7. Click the Connect button.

    Windows 11 connect to Wi-Fi

    Source: Windows Central

  8. Confirm the security key (Wi-Fi password).
  9. Click the Next button.

Alternatively, you can also connect to the wireless network through the network icon in the Taskbar.

How to view wireless networks on Windows 11

To view the Wi-Fi networks in range, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Network & internet.
  3. Click the Wi-Fi page on the right side.

    Open Wi-Fi settings

    Source: Windows Central

  4. Click the Show available networks setting.

    Windows 11 wireless networks

    Source: Windows Central

After you complete the steps, you will see a list of the access points within range.

How to enable or disable wireless connection on Windows 11

To disable or enable wireless connectivity on Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Network & internet.
  3. Click the Wi-Fi page on the right side.

    Open Wi-Fi settings

    Source: Windows Central

  4. Turn off the Wi-Fi toggle switch.

    Windows 11 disable Wi-Fi connectivity

    Source: Windows Central

  5. (Optional) Use the Turn Wi-Fi back on setting and select the Manually option to keep the wireless off until you decide to turn it back on. Or use the times (1 or 4 hours or 1 day) to allow the system to reconnect automatically on schedule.

Once you complete the steps, the wireless radios will turn off and connections will not form, but the adapter will continue to be available in the adapter.

How to configure DNS over HTTPS on Windows 11

On Windows 11, DNS over HTTPS (DoH) is a network protocol to encrypt Domain Name System (DNS) queries using the standard Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) protocol to safeguard DNS queries, which results in improved security and privacy browsing the web.

Ethernet connection with DOH

To enable DoH on Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Network & internet.
  3. Click the Ethernet page on the right side.

    Open Ethernet Settings

    Source: Windows Central

  4. Click the Edit button for the “DNS server assignment” setting.

    Windows 11 configure DNS settings

    Source: Windows Central

  5. Select the Manual option.
  6. Turn on the IPv4 toggle switch.
  7. In the “Preferred DNS” setting, specify the IP address of the server that supports DOH.
  8. Use the “Preferred DNS encryption” setting and select one of the available options:

    • Unencrypted only: DNS traffic is transmitted without encryption as normal.
    • Encrypted only (DNS over HTTPS): Windows 11 will only allow encrypted DNS queries.
    • Encrypted preferred, unencrypted allowed: The system will prefer DNS traffic encryption, but it will also allow queries without encryption.

    Windows 11 DNS over HTTPS

    Source: Windows Central

    Quick note: Since we are configuring DOH, you want to select the Encrypted only (DNS over HTTPS) option. You can learn more about this feature on this Microsoft support website.

  9. (Optional) In the “Alternate DNS” setting, specify the IP address of the secondary address to use with DNS over HTTPS.
  10. Use the “Alternate DNS encryption” setting and select one of the available options.
  11. (Optional) Turn on the IPv6 toggle switch.
  12. In the “Preferred DNS” setting, specify the IP version 6 address of the server offering DNS over HTTPS.
  13. Use the “Preferred DNS encryption” setting and select one of the available options:

    • Unencrypted only.
    • Encrypted only (DNS over HTTPS).
    • Encrypted preferred, unencrypted allowed.
  14. (Optional) In the “Alternate DNS” setting, specify the IP version 6 address of the secondary address to use with DNS encryption.
  15. Use the “Alternate DNS encryption” setting and select one of the available options.
  16. Click the Save option.

After you complete the steps, the DNS queries will be sent encrypted over the internet.

Confirm DNS encryption

To confirm if the connection is encrypted, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Network & internet.
  3. Click the Ethernet page on the right side.

    Open Ethernet Settings

    Source: Windows Central

  4. In the IPv4 DNS servers property, you should now see the new address and the Encrypted status.

    Confirm DOH status

    Source: Windows Central

  5. In the IPv6 DNS servers property, you should now see the new address and the Encrypted status (if applicable).

Once you complete the steps, if you see the “Encrypted” status, DNS over HTTPS is working as expected.

Wi-Fi connection with DOH

To configure DOH for a wireless connection, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Network & internet.
  3. Click the Wi-Fi page on the right side.

    Open Wi-Fi settings

    Source: Windows Central

  4. Click the Hardware properties setting.

    Hardware properties

    Source: Windows Central

  5. Click the Edit button for the “DNS server assignment” setting.

    DNS server assignment for Wi-Fi

    Source: Windows Central

  6. Select the Manual option.
  7. Turn on the IPv4 toggle switch.
  8. In the “Preferred DNS” setting, specify the IP address of the server that supports DOH.
  9. Use the “Preferred DNS encryption” setting and select one of the available options:

    • Unencrypted only: DNS traffic is transmitted without encryption as normal.
    • Encrypted only (DNS over HTTPS): Windows 11 will only allow encrypted DNS queries.
    • Encrypted preferred, unencrypted allowed: The system will prefer DNS traffic encryption, but it will also allow queries without encryption.

    Windows 11 Wi-Fi DOH configuration

    Source: Windows Central

    Quick note: Since we are configuring DOH, you want to select the Encrypted only (DNS over HTTPS) option.

  10. (Optional) In the “Alternate DNS” setting, specify the IP address of the secondary address to use with DNS over HTTPS.
  11. Use the “Alternate DNS encryption” setting and select one of the available options.
  12. (Optional) Turn on the IPv6 toggle switch.
  13. In the “Preferred DNS” setting, specify the IP version 6 address of the server offering DNS over HTTPS.
  14. Use the “Preferred DNS encryption” setting and select one of the available options:

    • Unencrypted only.
    • Encrypted only (DNS over HTTPS).
    • Encrypted preferred, unencrypted allowed.
  15. (Optional) In the “Alternate DNS” setting, specify the IP version 6 address of the secondary address to use with DNS encryption.
  16. Use the “Alternate DNS encryption” setting and select one of the available options.
  17. Click the Save option.

After you complete the steps, the wireless connection will transmit Domain Name System queries using the HTTPS protocol.

Confirm DNS encryption

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Network & internet.
  3. Click the Wi-Fi page on the right side.

    Open Wi-Fi settings

    Source: Windows Central

  4. Click the Hardware properties setting.

    Hardware properties

    Source: Windows Central

  5. In the IPv4 DNS servers property, you should now see the new address and the Encrypted status.

    Confirm DOH on Wi-Fi

    Source: Windows Central

  6. In the IPv6 DNS servers property, you should now see the new address and the Encrypted status (if applicable).

Once you complete the steps, if you see the “Encrypted” label, then it means DoH is working on Windows 11.

How to configure static IP address on Windows 11

If you have a computer providing files, media content, and printers over the work, it should be using a static Transfer Control Protocol Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) configuration instead of a dynamic configuration.

The reason is that a dynamic network configuration assigned by the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) server can always change. When they do, other devices in the network won’t be able to access the network resources. On the other hand, a static IP configuration doesn’t change, allowing the service to be always reachable.

Ethernet static settings

To set a static IP address configuration to an Ethernet adapter, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Network & internet.
  3. Click the Ethernet page on the right side.

    Open Ethernet Settings

    Source: Windows Central

  4. Click the Edit button for the “IP assignment” setting.

    Ethernet IP assignment

    Source: Windows Central

  5. Select the Manual option.
  6. Turn on the IPv4 toggle switch.
  7. In the “IP address” setting, specify the IP version 4 to assign the computer.

    Windows 11 static IP address

    Source: Windows Central

    Quick tip: The IP address should be within the network range, and it should be an address outside of the DHCP scope to avoid possible conflicts. For instance, if the network is in the 10.1.4.0 network and the DHCP assigns an address in the 10.1.4.10 through 10.1.4.100 range, a suitable static address could be 10.1.4.22.

  8. In the “Subnet mask” setting, specify the network mask — for example, 255.255.255.0.

    Quick note: If you are configuring the settings on a home or office network, the subnet mask is typically 255.255.255.0. However, it might be different if you are in a business environment.

  9. In the “Gateway” setting, specify the gateway address (usually the router address) — for example, 10.1.4.1.
  10. In the “Preferred DNS” setting, specify the network DNS address (usually the router address in home and office networks) – for example, 10.1.2.1.
  11. In the “Preferred DNS encryption” setting, select the Unencrypted only option.
  12. (Optional) In the “Alternate DNS” setting, specify a secondary DNS address that will be used in case the system can’t find the correct route with the primary address.
  13. In the “Alternate DNS encryption” setting, select the Unencrypted only option.
  14. Click the Save button.

After you complete the steps, the computer will start using the new static network configuration.

Wi-Fi static settings

To configure a static TCP/IP configuration for a wireless adapter, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Network & internet.
  3. Click the Wi-Fi page on the right side.

    Open Wi-Fi settings

    Source: Windows Central

  4. Click the Hardware properties setting.

    Hardware properties

    Source: Windows Central

  5. Click the Edit button for the “IP assignment” setting.

    Wi-Fi IP assignment

    Source: Windows Central

  6. Select the Manual option.
  7. Turn on the IPv4 toggle switch.
  8. In the “IP address” setting, specify the IP version 4 to assign the computer. For example, 10.1.4.23.

    Wireless set static IP address

    Source: Windows Central

  9. In the “Subnet mask” setting, specify the network mask — for example, 255.255.255.0.
  10. In the “Gateway” setting, specify the gateway address (usually the router address) — for example, 10.1.4.1.
  11. In the “Preferred DNS” setting, specify the network DNS address (usually the router address in home and office networks) — for example, 10.1.4.1.
  12. In the “Preferred DNS encryption” setting, select the Unencrypted only option.
  13. (Optional) In the “Alternate DNS” setting, specify a secondary DNS address that will be used in case the system can’t find the correct route with the primary address.
  14. In the “Alternate DNS encryption” setting, select the Unencrypted only option.

Once you complete the steps, the wireless adapter will start using the new static IP address configuration.

We are focusing this guide on IP version 4, but you can also refer to these steps to set up an IP version 6 configuration if your network supports it. You only need to turn on the IPv6 option on step 7 and provide the IPv6 addresses according to your network configuration.

How to configure dynamic IP address on Windows 11

If you have a computer with a static IP address, you can also change its configuration to allow the device to receive the network settings through the local Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) server.

Ethernet static settings

To change the IP address of an Ethernet adapter from static to dynamic, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Network & internet.
  3. Click the Ethernet page on the right side.

    Open Ethernet Settings

    Source: Windows Central

  4. Click the Edit button for the “IP assignment” setting.

    Ethernet IP assignment

    Source: Windows Central

  5. Select the Automatic (DHCP) option.

    Enable Ethernet dynamic IP

    Source: Windows Central

  6. Click the Save button.

Wi-Fi static settings

To set a dynamic IP address for a wireless adapter, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Network & internet.
  3. Click the Wi-Fi page on the right side.

    Open Wi-Fi settings

    Source: Windows Central

  4. Click the Hardware properties setting.

    Hardware properties

    Source: Windows Central

  5. Click the Edit button for the “IP assignment” setting.

    Wi-Fi IP assignment

    Source: Windows Central

  6. Select the Automatic (DHCP) option.

    Windows 11 enable automatic IP configuration

    Source: Windows Central

  7. Click the Save button.

After you complete the steps, the Ethernet or Wi-Fi adapter will configure its IP address automatically through its Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) server.

How to configure network data limits on Windows 11

Windows 11 also comes with the ability to set data limits for a specific network adapter. As you get closer to the limit, the system will send you a warning to help you stay under your data limit.

To configure data limit on Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Network & internet.
  3. Click the Advanced network settings page on the right side.

    Advanced Network Settings

    Source: Windows Central

  4. Under the “More settings” section, click the Data usage setting.

    Windows 11 data usage

    Source: Windows Central

  5. Click the Enter limit button.

    Data limit

    Source: Windows Central

  6. Select the limit type:

    • Monthly.
    • One time.
    • Unlimited.
  7. Specify the monthly reset day or days until the data expires.

    Data limit settings

    Source: Windows Central

  8. In the “Data limit” setting, specify the data allowance.
  9. Confirm the data unit, including megabytes (MB) or gigabytes (GB).
  10. Click the Save button.

Once you complete the steps, Windows 11 will notify you when the limit is getting closer to help you stay under the data limit.

How to reset network adapter on Windows 11

When your laptop or desktop computer has connectivity issues, the reset feature will remove and install all the network adapters and reset all the configurations to their defaults to fix the most common problems.

To reset all the network adapter configurations, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Network & internet.
  3. Click the Advanced network settings page on the right side.

    Advanced Network Settings

    Source: Windows Central

  4. Click the Network reset setting.

    Windows 11 network reset

    Source: Windows Central

  5. Click the Reset now button.

    Windows 11 fix network problems

    Source: Windows Central

  6. Click the Yes button.

After you complete the steps, the feature will remove and reinstall all the network adapters and will reset all the network configurations to their defaults, hopefully fixing any Ethernet or Wi-Fi problems. If you also had a wireless connection, you may need to re-enter the authentication to connect to the network.

How to view network data usage on Windows 11

To view data usage per network adapter and apps on Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Network & internet.
  3. Click the Advanced network settings page on the right side.

    Advanced Network Settings

    Source: Windows Central

  4. Under the “More settings” section, click the Data usage setting.

    Windows 11 data usage

    Source: Windows Central

  5. Review the device data usage.

    Data Usage Statistics

    Source: Windows Central

Once you complete the steps, you will better understand the network data usage on your computer.

How to view network adapter properties on Windows 11

On Windows 11, you can find the network configuration information within the adapter’s properties or through the Advanced network settings page.

Ethernet properties

To find out the IP address and other network settings of the Ethernet adapter, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Network & internet.
  3. Click the Ethernet page on the right side.

    Open Ethernet Settings

    Source: Windows Central

  4. Confirm the networking settings at the bottom of the page.

    Ethernet Network Configuration

    Source: Windows Central

Wi-Fi properties

To determine the properties of the wireless adapter, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Network & internet.
  3. Click the Wi-Fi page on the right side.

    Open Wi-Fi settings

    Source: Windows Central

  4. Click the Hardware properties setting.

    Hardware properties

    Source: Windows Central

  5. Confirm the networking settings at the bottom of the page.

    Wireless Network Configuration

    Source: Windows Central

Ethernet and Wi-Fi properties

To view the network information for the adapters installed on Windows 11, use steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Network & internet.
  3. Click the Advanced network settings page on the right side.

    Advanced Network Settings

    Source: Windows Central

  4. Click the Hardware and connection properties setting.

    Hardware Connection Properties

    Source: Windows Central

  5. Confirm the networking settings at the bottom of the page.

    Ethernet and Wi-Fi Network Configuration

    Source: Windows Central

After you complete the steps, you will be able to determine many networking configurations, such as link speed, IPv4 and IPv6 addresses, DNS server, driver version and manufacturer, MAC address, and more.

More Windows resources

For more helpful articles, coverage, and answers to common questions about Windows 10 and Windows 11, visit the following resources:

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https://www.windowscentral.com/how-manage-network-adapter-settings-windows-11

Erlando F Rasatro

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