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Do you ever plug in your wired network card while your wireless card is still enabled? Ever wonder how Windows chooses which one to use? Here’s how to see the default priority—and how to change it if you want.

Note: there’s almost never any reason to change this, as Windows does a good job of choosing the right connection. Still, if you want windows to work differently with it, this is how you would do it.

How to Change the Network Card Priority

To change the priority, head into Network and Sharing Center and click on the Change adapter settings link on the left-hand side—or you can quickly open the network connections list by typing ncpa.cpl into the Start Menu search box.

How to Change the Priority of Network Connections in Windows

From here on there are two ways to change this…

Method 1:

  • press the ALT key on the keyboard,
  • Then click the “Advanced” menu
  • Choose “Advanced Settings”.
  • In the window that pops up, use the arrows on the right side to move the Local Area Connection above the wireless connections.
  • Click OK.

That's It.

Method 2:

Now that we’re in change adapter settings…

Choose the network card that you want to change the priority for, right-click it, and choose Properties from the menu.

How to Change the Priority of Network Connections in Windows 7

Now select the Internet Protocol Version 4 item in the list, and click the Properties button.

Change the Priority of Network Connections in Windows

Now click the Advanced button at the bottom of this window…. getting tired of clicking yet?

And now, finally, we’re at the place where you can make the change. Uncheck the box for Automatic Metric, and then type a number into the Interface Metric textbox. You can consult the list that we found in the command prompt earlier to know what metric to assign—you’ll probably want to assign it something higher than 1, since that’s used for the loopback adapter.

You may want to go ahead and change the priority for your other card as well, just to be sure that it is assigned the proper priority.

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