On Windows 10, if you have a device with more than one network adapter (such as Ethernet and Wi-Fi), each interface receives a priority value automatically based on its network metric, which defines the primary connection that your device will use to send and receive networking traffic.

Although, for the most part, Windows 10 does a pretty good job selecting an optimal connection to access the network, sometimes you may need to configure the order of the network adapters manually. For example, if you want to use a Wi-Fi over an Ethernet interface when both adapters are connected to the network.

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You could disable those adapters you don't use, but it may not be the best solution as you may need them as backups. Instead, a more straightforward solution is to adjust the interface metric to specify in which order your device should use each network adapter, which you can do using Control Panel and PowerShell.

In this Windows 10 guide, we'll walk you through the steps to change the network adapter priorities to stay connected using your prefered adapter when using multiple interfaces.

How to change network adapter priorities using Control Panel

If you want to change the order in which Windows 10 uses network adapters, do the following:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Network & Internet.
  3. Click on Status.
  4. Click the Change Adapter options item.

  5. Right-click the network adapter you want to prioritize, and select Properties.

  6. Select the Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) item.
  7. Click the Properties button.

  8. In the "General" tab, click the Advanced button.

  9. Clear the Automatic metric option.
  10. In the "Interface metric" field assign a priority value for the adapter.

    Quick Tip: The lower the metric number means higher priority, and a higher number indicates lower priority.

  11. Click the OK button.
  12. Click the OK button again.
  13. Click the Close button.

Once you've completed the steps, Windows 10 will prioritize the network traffic depending on your configuration.

The only caveat using the Control Panel experience is that depending on your network setup, you may need to adjust the metric for the Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6) as well, if that's the protocol you're using. (Usually, you will be using the TCP/IPv4 protocol.)

At any time, you can revert the changes using the same instructions, but on step No. 9, make sure to check the Automatic metric option.

How to change network adapter priorities using PowerShell

Alternatively, you can change network adapters priorities on a device with multiple interfaces using PowerShell with these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for Windows PowerShell, right-click the top result a select Run as administrator.
  3. Type the following command to identify the current interface metric and interface index number and press Enter:

    Get-NetIPInterface

  4. Type the following command to change the priority order of the network adapter and press Enter:

    Set-NetIPInterface -InterfaceIndex 21 -InterfaceMetric 10

    In the command, make sure to change the -InterfaceIndex value to reflect the network adapter you want to prioritize and change the -InterfaceMetric value to assign a priority. Also, remember that a lower metric number means higher priority, and a higher metric number means lower priority.

  5. Type the following command to see the new metric applied to the network adapter and press Enter:

    Get-NetIPInterface

After completing the steps, Windows 10 will prioritize the network traffic depending on your configuration when multiple network adapters are connected to the network.

At any time, you can go back to the previous behavior allowing Windows 10 to decide the network adapter priority using these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for Windows PowerShell, right-click the top result a select Run as administrator.
  3. Type the following command to identify the current interface metric and interface index number and press Enter:

    Set-NetIPInterface -InterfaceIndex 21 -AutomaticMetric enabled

    In the command, make sure to change the -InterfaceIndex value with the correct number of the network adapter you want to apply an automatic metric.

More Windows 10 resources

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

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