With the incredibly long list of features that Microsoft provides embedded in the Windows operating system, it is quite normal to forget about a few of them. One such feature is to create a PC Wi-Fi hotspot, similar to our mobile devices, to share its internet connection with nearby users. This feature is called Hosted Network and is automatically installed on all Wi-Fi-enabled desktops & laptops. It was first introduced in Windows 7 but is now included with the Netsh command-line utility tool in Windows 10. The command-line tool with the OS creates a virtual wireless WiFi Direct adapter to share internet connection or transfer files rather quickly between the two devices. While useful, Hosted Network rarely experiences any action and serves merely as an inconvenience for most users as it can interfere with your network connection. Also, it can cause confusion because it gets listed with other adapters in applications and configuration settings. Once disabled, it results in improved network performance. So, if you seldom or never use your device as a Wi-Fi hotspot, knowing how to disable Microsoft WiFi Direct Virtual Adapter in Windows 10 computers can be quite beneficial. Thus, read below!
How to Disable Microsoft WiFi Direct Virtual Adapter in Windows 10 PC
There are two well-known and straightforward ways to disable Microsoft WiFi Direct Virtual Adapter in Windows 10 viz via Device manager or an elevated Command Prompt or PowerShell window. However, if you are looking to permanently delete the Wi-Fi Direct adapters instead of just temporarily disabling them, you will need to modify the Windows Registry Editor. To learn more, read What is WiFi Direct in Windows 10? here.
Method 1: Disable WiFi Direct Through Device Manager
Long-time Windows users might be aware of the built-in Device Manager application that allows you to view and control all the hardware devices both, internal and external, connected to the computer. Device Manager permits the following actions:
- update device drivers.
- uninstall device drivers.
- enable or disable a hardware driver.
- check device properties and details.
Here are the steps to disable WiFi Direct in Windows 10 using Device Manager:
1. Press Windows + X keys simultaneously to open Power User Menu and select Device Manager, as shown.
2. Once the Device Manager launches, expand the Network adapters label by double-clicking on it.
3. Right-click on Microsoft Wi-Fi Direct Virtual Adapter and select Disable device from the ensuing menu. If your system contains multiple Wi-Fi Direct Virtual Adapter, go ahead and Disable all of them in the same manner.
Note: If you do not find the Wi-Fi Direct Virtual Adapter listed here, click on View > Show hidden devices, as illustrated below. Then, follow step 3.
4. Once all the adapters have been disabled, select Action > Scan for the hardware changes option as depicted below.
Note: If anytime in the future, you wish to enable the Wi-Fi direct device again, simply navigate to the respective driver, right-click on it, and select Enable device.
Method 2: Disable WiFi Direct Through CMD/ PowerShell
Alternatively, you can also disable Windows 10 WiFi Direct from an elevated PowerShell or Command Prompt window. The commands are the same irrespective of the application. Just, follow the given steps:
1. Click on Start and type command prompt in Windows search bar.
2. Then, select Run as administrator to launch the Command Prompt with administrative rights.
3. Type the given command to turn off the active hosted network first and press Enter key:
netsh wlan stop hostednetwork
4. Disable WiFi Direct Virtual Adapter by executing the given command:
netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=disallow
Note: To re-enable the adapter and restart a hosted network in the future, run the given commands one after the other:
netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=allow netsh wlan start hostednetwork
Also Read: Fix Device Not Migrated Error on Windows 10
Method 3: Delete WiFi Direct Through Registry Editor
Reports suggest that the above methods only disable the Wi-Fi Direct Adapters temporarily and a computer restart will bring them back to life. To permanently delete the Wi-Fi Direct Adapters, users need to reset the existing settings in the Windows registry and thus, prevent new adapters from being automatically created on computer startup.
Note: Please be careful when changing the registry values as any mistake can prompt additional issues.
1. Launch the Run command box by pressing Windows + R keys simultaneously.
2. Here, type regedit and click on OK to launch the Registry Editor.
3. Type the following path in the navigation bar and hit Enter.
4. In the right-pane, right-click on HostedNetworkSettings and select Delete, as shown.
5. Confirm pop-up that appears to delete the file and Restart your PC.
Note: You can execute netsh wlan show hostednetwork command in CMD to check if the hosted network settings were indeed deleted. Settings should be labeled Not configured as shown highlighted.
If you would like to learn how to use Microsoft WiFi Direct Virtual Adapter, read What Is Microsoft Virtual WiFi Miniport Adapter & How To Enable It?
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q1. How do I turn off a WiFi-Direct connection?
Ans. To turn off Wi-Fi Direct, open CommandPprompt as administrator. Type the given command and hit Enter: netsh wlan stop hostednetwork.
Q2. How do I uninstall the Microsoft Virtual Wi-Fi Miniport adapter?
Ans. To permanently uninstall Wi-Fi Miniport Adapter, delete the HostedNetworkSettings value stored in the Windows Registry Editor by following Method 3 of this guide.
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We hope that you could learn how to disable WiFi Direct in Windows 10. Let us know which method worked for you the best. Let us know your queries and suggestions in the comments section below.
Pete is a Senior staff writer at TechCult. Pete loves all things technology and is also an avid DIYer at heart. He has a decade of experience writing how-tos, features, and technology guides on the internet.