Tips & Tricks

How to Remove a Network Adapter in Windows 11 and Windows 10

Learn how to delete an obsolete network adapter entry from your network connections in Windows 11 or Windows 10.

Your network adapter list is automatically updated by Windows. You’ll see it listed under Network Connections whenever you install a new one, whether it’s a new Bluetooth connection, Wi-Fi dongle, or virtual network adapter.

You might wish to remove an old network adapter from the list now and then to keep it tidy and maintain track of your active adapters.

So keep reading to find out how to uninstall a network adapter in Windows 10 and Windows 11.

A network adapter is a piece of hardware that allows your computer to communicate with other devices through the internet. On your laptop, for example, you probably have a wireless network adapter for Wi-Fi connections and possibly an Ethernet port for Ethernet connections. A Bluetooth network adapter, for example, may be used to allow Bluetooth connections.

Network adapters make it simple for our devices to interact, essentially automating the process of setting and managing active network connections across devices while also making troubleshooting simpler when things go wrong.

Although not mentioned in this article, network adapters are often referred to as a Network Interface Card (NIC), however this usually refers to a plugged-in expansion card, such as a PCIe Wi-Fi card.

1. Disconnect the network adapter from the network.

Network Connections is the first place to look in Windows to uninstall a network adapter. You’ll find all of your network connections in this window, which is a convenient method to manage your network adapters.

  1. To begin, open File Explorer.
  2. Press Enter after copying and pasting Control PanelNetwork and InternetNetwork Connections into the File Explorer address bar.
  3. Select Delete from the context menu of the network adapter you want to remove.

The network adapter will be uninstalled, and your system will be free of it. The Delete button, however, isn’t always available, as you can see in the screenshot. Move on to the next stage if the network adapter Delete button is greyed out.

2. Disconnect the network adapter from the computer. How to Use the Device Manager

After that, you can use Device Manager to try to delete the network adapter. The Device Manager is a Windows program that lets you see all of the devices that are attached to your computer, including your mouse, keyboard, graphics card, and network adapter.

In the Start menu search bar, type Device Manager and choose the best match.

  1. Using the arrow icon, scroll down and unfold Network adapters.
  2. Uninstall device by right-clicking the network adapter you wish to get rid of.
  3. Select Uninstall when the warning appears.
  4. As needed, repeat the process.

3. Uninstall the Network Profile. How to Use the Command Prompt

If the network adapter still won’t cooperate, you can use the Command Prompt to remove the network adapter profile from your machine.

In the Start menu search bar, type cmd, and then select Run as Administrator.

  1. Now type netsh lan show profiles if you want to remove an Ethernet (wired) connection.
  2. However, if you want to disconnect a Wi-Fi (wireless) connection, type netsh wlan show profiles.
  3. Have you received an error message stating that the Wired or Wireless Autoconfig Service is not operational? Type services in the Start menu search bar and select the Best match, then scroll down to Wired AutoConfig or WLAN Autoconfig, right-click, and select Start.
  4. If you got the warning notice, go back to step two or three and enter the previous commands.
  5. Make a note of the interface name found at the top of each profile and locate the network adapter you want to delete from the list.
  6. To remove a wired network adapter interface, type the following command: interface=”InterfaceName” netsh lan remove profile
  7. To remove a wireless network adapter interface, use the netsh wlan delete profile interface=”InterfaceName” command.

You should be able to remove the network adapter from the Network Connections window or the Device Manager now that you’ve removed the network adapter profile from Windows.

4. Delete Network Adapter Preferences Using the Registry in Windows

Another method is to use the Windows Registry to remove the network adapter settings. But first, look over the details of the adapter you wish to get rid of.

  1. Enter ipconfig in the Command Prompt. Keep the Command Prompt window open while you locate the network device you wish to remove. Make a note of the IPv4 Address.
  2. Now type regedit into the Start menu search box and choose the best match.
  3. Go to HKEY LOCAL MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetServicesTcpipParametersInterfaces in HKEY LOCAL MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetServicesTcpipParametersInterfaces.
  4. Compare the interface DhcpIPAddress to the IPv4 address in the Command Prompt as you go through the list of interfaces. You’ve located the corresponding network adapter when you find a match.
  5. In the Windows Registry, right-click the network adapter interface name (the long alphanumeric string) and select Delete.

This, like the Command Prompt fix, does not remove the network adapter totally from your system. The network adapter must still be removed using the Network Connections window or the Device Manager.

Is it Beneficial to Remove Old Network Adapters?

You don’t have to get rid of all of your old network adapters. When you upgrade or modify your hardware setup, Windows may sometimes take care of it for you, but this might also result in a list of obsolete network adapters appearing on your machine.

Furthermore, if the host software hasn’t automatically cleaned up, you may wish to deactivate virtual network adapters for obsolete virtual machines you no longer need. Virtual machine software in my case generated almost 20 different virtual network adapters, filling the entire window with possibilities.

It should just take a minute to clean out your network adapter list, and it will make it easier to figure out which connection is having problems when the time comes. If the Network Connections box just contains one or two options, you’ll be able to pinpoint which connection is having problems.

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