Networking/Computing Tips/Tricks

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 Our Wireless custom profile for Wireshark
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There are several other articles that we have written on various Windows 10 WLAN/Wi-Fi commands that you can execute to perform various important wireless information gathering and management.  We will refer to them below.  Nevertheless, we wanted to provide a single article with all the pertinent commands and examples in one place.

We have not provided a detail of what every single output line is in every command response.  You can dig deeper into these commands and outputs at the the following sites:

That said, let's get started.

First, you will want to open a Command Line (Windows Start> Run> "cmd" - select run as Administrator, usually with a right click) or Powershell (Winodws key+X, the 'A') window.

Both examples shown below (we will continue in the CMD window).  Note that if properly run as Administrator, you will be at the C:\WINDOWS\system32> prompt!

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Displaying the WLAN/Wi-Fi Interfaces

This is easy:

netsh wlan show interfaces

Example output (I have two interfaces - Wi-Fi is my internal, and Wi-Fi4 is my external)

2020 01 02 11 37 14

Both my interfaces were connected to a wireless LAN.  If not connected, your output will be different. 

For more info on the meaning of signal level - look here:

WLAN/Wi-Fi Drivers

Now that we know the interfaces, what drivers are in play?  You find this out with the following command:

netsh wlan show drivers

Example output:

2020 01 02 11 44 38

We can see that the drivers begin to show the WLAN/Wi-Fi capabilities of our interfaces.

Displaying the Nearby WLAN/Wi-Fi Networks

Almost missed this one.  Youy can use netsh tpo display all the available networks around you.

Here is the command:

netsh wlan show networks mode=bssid

Here is an example output (I did this one in Powershell and I truncated it for space):

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WLAN/Wi-Fi Capabilities

We can however look further into the WLAN/Wi-Fi capabilities with the following command:

netsh wlan show capabilities

Example output:

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Windows WLAN/Wi-Fi Profiles

Every time you connect to a WLAN/Wi-Fi access point, Windows creates a "wireless network profile", and it's stored on your computer.

Storing these profiles is not necessarily a good idea.  You can read more on this here:

You can view all these profiles using the following command:

netsh wlan show profiles

Example output (obscured):

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Viewing WLAN/Wi-Fi Network Passwords

Now that you know the profiles, and you cannot remember your network security key to connect some other device to a particular Wi-Fi access point, you can use the following command to view your network security keys, but you can only query one profile at a time (replace the "profile_name" with the actual profile name in your list):

netsh wlan show profile name="profile_name" key=clear

Example output (again obscured):

2020 01 02 12 05 29

Now this raises some interesting issues.  All the WLAN/Wi-Fi access keys are actually on your Windows 10 computer! Plus, as discussed in the article mentioned above, this leads to you inadvertently probing for these networks which could lead to a Man In The Middle attack.

Exporting Profiles

Did you know you can save all the profiles and passkeys?!  Here is the command (replace "folder_path" with the path to where you want to save the file):

netsh wlan export profile key=clear folder="folder_path"

Example output (obscured):

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Note: the folder must exist for this to work.  The outputs are in XML format:

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How to Stop Probing for Saved Networks

You can turn off the automatic connection setting which stops sending probes with the following command (replace the "profile_name" with the actual profile name in your list):

netsh wlan set profileparameter name="profile_name" connectionmode=manual

How to Remove Profiles

Another thing you want to do is remove profiles, which will also remove the network password. 

Note: If you delete the current network you are connected to, your network connection will drop!

You do this with the following command to remove a particular profile (replace the "profile_name" with the actual profile name in your list):

netsh wlan delete profile name="profile_name"

Or you can remove them all:

netsh wlan delete profile *


We hope this helps Windows users.  Feel Free to paruse our other WLAN/Wi-Fi and Windows articles using the tags below.

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