How to disable Wi-Fi Sense to avoid connecting to random hotspots on Windows 10

If your computer is randomly connecting to wireless networks, it probably because of Wi-Fi sense — Here's how to disable Wi-Fi Sense on Windows 10.

Disable Wi-Fi Sense on Windows 10

On Windows 10, Wi-Fi Sense is a feature to connect automatically to wireless hotspots, but you can disable it if you don’t want to connect to random networks. You probably noticed that when you reboot your Wi-Fi router, or you’re far away from your house, your laptop quickly connects to a random open wireless network. Your Windows 10 computer may even try to connect to those secure Wi-Fi networks provided by ISPs like Comcast, Optimus, Verizon, AT&T, and others.

While this isn’t a problem as you’re intending to connect to a different network, you probably thought that this was a default behavior on Windows 10. However, it’s not, automatically trying to connect to a wireless hotspot is the work of Wi-Fi Sense.

What’s Wi-Fi Sense on Windows 10?

When you sign-in with a Microsoft account to your computer or Windows 10 Mobile device, Wi-Fi Sense collects information about the networks you connect. Then this information is combined with other Wi-Fi Sense customer’s data to build a database. Then this information is used to connect you quickly to the best wireless network available.

The problem is that many times you’ll connect to suggested hotspots without you even knowing, and this can be a security risk.

It can be a security risk, because connecting to an open network means that other people can connect to it, and other people might be able to see your personal information, such as when you buy online or when you’re checking your bank.

It can also be annoying sometimes restarting your laptop or tablet, or having issues with your Wi-Fi router, will connect you to different wireless networks. These networks may also require authentication, and it may look as if you’re connected, but opening the web browser won’t get you anywhere.

In this guide, you’ll learn a simple configuration to turn off Wi-Fi Sense from connecting your device to different wireless networks you didn’t intend to on Windows 10.

How to turn off Wi-Fi Sense on Windows 10

To disable Wi-Fi Sense to stop your PC from randomly connecting to open wireless networks, do the following: 

  1. Use the Windows key + I keyboard shortcut to open the Settings app.

  2. Click Network & internet.

  3. Click Wi-Fi.

  4. Under Wi-Fi Sense, turn off the “Connect to suggested hotspots” option to disable the feature.

    Connect to suggested open hotspots

Once you disabled the feature your computer will no longer connect automatically to suggested wireless networks. However, even with Wi-Fi Sense off, you can still connect to any other wireless network as always.

If you don’t see the Wi-Fi Sense option on the settings page, you’re probably not running the Windows 10 Anniversary Update. If this is your case, you’ll find the option under “Manage Wi-Fi settings” page.

Do you have Wi-Fi Sense on or off on your Windows 10 device? Let us know in the comments below.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].