Networking/Computing Tips/Tricks

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:

2020 01 02 12 36 05

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.

Also, feel free to comment below as well.





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