Windows 10 – Change Network Adapter Priorities

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This article explains how to change the priority of the network adapter in Windows 10 so that they follow a specific order. If you have multiple network connections, you can change the priority so the network you prefer will be the first one to use instead.

The Powershell Method

  • First thing you need to do is open a new elevated PowerShell prompt.
  • Open windows search, type powershell, right click on the Windows PowerShell icon and “Run as Administrator”.
  • This opens an elevated PowerShell prompt. Note that you may also launch PowerShell from an elevated command prompt window by typing powershell.

Windows 10 - Change Network Adapter Priorities

The screenshot above shows a basic example of Get-NetIPInterface and Set-NetIPInterface cmdlets (Powershell):

  • The first command that you want to run is Get-NetIPInterface. This displays all network adapters, their interface index number, and the interface metric.
  • The index is a unique number of each adapter, the metric the priority of that adapter. Also, it lists all adapter known by Windows at that point in time.
  • To change the priority of an adapter, look at the InterfaceMetric column. Windows lists the priority of the adapter, and priorities of all other adapters.
  • Run the command Set-NetIPInterface -InterfaceIndex “Index of the adapter you want to change the priority for” -InterfaceMetric “new priority of the adapter”.
  • Example: Set-NetIPInterface -InterfaceIndex “13” -InterfaceMetric “10”.
  • This changes the priority of adapter 13 to the value 10, which according to the metrics in the screenshot, will make Ethernet2 priority.
  • Adapters with a lower InterfaceMetric number are prioritized over adapters that have a higher number.
  • Use the command Get-NetIPInterface to list the adapter information table again to verify the change.
  • Once verified, restart the machine.

The Interface Method

If you prefer to use a graphical user interface, you can do that as well.

Unlike previous versions, Windows 10 automatically orders connections based on connection speed. It’s not recommended to change the order unless there is a problem with how Windows 10 is selecting your default connection.

The general procedure is the following:

  • Open the Network and Sharing Center > Change Adapter Settings.
  • Right click the connection whose priority you wish to modify then click Properties.
  • Scroll down and click Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4), then click Properties.
  • In the bottom of the properties window, click Advanced.
  • On the bottom of the Advanced Settings window, uncheck the box next to Automatic Metric.
  • In the Interface Metric text box, enter the priority number for this connection.

NOTE: the lower the number, the higher the priority the connection will have. Enter any number that is 2 or greater, depending on your preference for this connection.

Now let’s see another approach with screenshots support: note that it requires quite a bit of clicking, and is not as straightforward as the PowerShell method.

The main reason for that is that you don’t get an overview of all network adapter priorities in the graphical user interface.

While you can in theory check the value for each adapter individually, this would mean even more clicking and is not recommended. We suggest you run the PowerShell command Get-NetIPInterface to get a reading on those directly.

  • Tap on the Windows-key, type ncpa.cpl and hit the Enter key to get started. This opens the Network Connections listing.
  • Right-click on the adapter that you want to modify the priority for, and select Properties from the context menu. This opens the properties window of the adapter.

Windows 10 - Change Network Adapter Priorities

Locate Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4), select it, and click on the Properties button.

If you are using on your network IPv6 protocol then select Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6) instead.

Windows 10 - Change Network Adapter Priorities

Locate the Advanced button on the next window that opens and click on it.

Windows 10 - Change Network Adapter Priorities

There you find Interface metric near the bottom. Remove the checkmark from the Automatic metric box, and enter a new custom Interface metric number. Make sure you select a value of 2 or higher, as 1 is reserved for the loopback adapter.

Windows 10 - Change Network Adapter Priorities

Click Ok, and repeat the process for any other network adapter you want to change the priority for.

We suggest you verify the priorities using the PowerShell command used above.

Windows 8.1 and Windows 7

  • Open the Network and Sharing Center > Change Adapter Settings.
  • While in the Network Connections window, press the Alt key on your keyboard to make a menu appear at the top.
  • From the top menu, click Advanced, then from the drop down menu click Advanced Settings.
  • You will be prompted to enter an administrative username and password to open this window.
  • Under Connections, click Local Area Connection and click the green up arrow until Local Area Connection is at the top of the list.
  • Click OK to save the settings.

From the Command Line (pre-Windows 10)

Unfortunately there is no out-of-the-box command line interface for these Advanced settings described above.

Luckily, there are two ways to set the priorities from the command line. The more difficult way is to set metrics for each network adapter (using netsh). The much easier way (easier to manage too) is to use nvspbind made by Microsoft. If you set the priorities using nvspbind, the effects can also be seen in the Advanced settings in ncpa.cpl. Here is how you use nvspbind:

The nvspbind tool can be found at the following link (or here on Heelpbook): http://archive.msdn.microsoft.com/nvspbind.

Extract the nvspbind.exe and copy it to the target machine and run, for example, the following commands:

nvspbind.exe /++ “Wireless Network Connection” ms_tcpip
nvspbind.exe /++ “Wireless Network Connection” ms_tcpip6
nvspbind.exe /++ “Local Area Connection” ms_tcpip
nvspbind.exe /++ “Local Area Connection” ms_tcpip6

And that’s it! You’re done. This will set the priorities (IPv4 and IPv6) first to the LAN (because it is the last command to be executed) and as second (lower) priority the WLAN (Wifi) adapter.