Why does my computer default to wireless when I’m wired in?

I’ve always wonder why Windows 7 computers configured with a wireless connection would always seem to have slower connections to the network and internet. I found my answer while helping a client with their wireless speeds. They have 100Mbps and which is pretty darn fast. Desktops would always get 80 to 95 Mbps but laptops would get 5 to 10.

What’s happening is that all their laptops are configured to connect to the wireless network and even when docked Windows would put the wireless connection ahead of the wired connection. This caused their wireless network to get so bogged down it would almost become useless.


Hidden in the Network and Sharing Center is a setting that allows you to prioritize the network connections. Mac’s make it easier in the Network system preferences screen. You can move the connection up or down on the main screen. Microsoft has buried this setting.

Here’s how you do it. Open up the Network and Sharing Center. Click on “Change adapter settings” on the upper left of the window that pops open.

To get to the secret location, press the Alt key and you’ll see a hidden menu bar. Tip: Alt in most windows brings up the hidden menu for that window.

Click on Advanced then on Advanced Settings.

Find your Local Area Network or Ethernet under Connections. Highlight it and move it to the top using the green arrow on the right. Click OK.

You’re done.

Advanced Network

Network Adapter Advanced Settings

So if you have laptops that use wireless and wired connections, do yourself a favor and give the wired connection the highest priority.

Hope this helps!