Windows 10

How to disable Windows 10's Wi-Fi Sense password sharing

Wi-Fi Sense in Windows 10 takes the headache out of managing Wi-Fi networks, but some people have security and privacy concerns.

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Windows 10’s new Wi-Fi Sense feature is a powerful tool that takes the headache out of managing Wi-Fi connections on the run. With Wi-Fi Sense enabled, Windows 10 will automatically sign you into open Wi-Fi networks, as well as private networks that your Outlook.com, Skype, and Facebook contacts have logged into—so you won’t have to manually sign into the network when you visit your buddy’s house.

As convenient as Wi-Fi Sense is, however, not everyone’s thrilled with it. Windows 10 enables Wi-Fi Sense by default, but you can disable it. Here’s how.

How to disable Wi-Fi Sense in Windows 10

First, open the Start menu and head to Settings > Network & Internet > Wi-Fi > Manage Wi-Fi settings. In here, you basically want to disable every option you see, as well as tell Windows 10 to forget any Wi-Fi networks you’ve signed into in the past.

wi fi sense

The Wi-Fi Sense settings screen in Windows 10

That’s easy, and all well and good. But what if you don’t want your friends sharing the information about your network’s password with their friends? That takes some additional tinkering, and it’s not obvious. There isn’t a mere option toggle in Windows 10 itself.

Instead, you need to dive into your actual router’s settings and give your network a new name with “_optout” at the end. For example, a network called “WiFiSenseUgh_optout” wouldn’t be stored by Wi-Fi Sense, while one that’s just called “WiFiSenseUgh” would be usable with Microsoft’s sharing feature.

Yeah, it’s a pain, but if you don’t add “_optout” to your network and want to stay out of Microsoft’s Wi-Fi Sense database, you’ll need to manually enter your password on your friends’ devices when they pop by your house and make sure to uncheck Windows 10’s “Share network with my contacts” box when you do so.

This story, "How to disable Windows 10's Wi-Fi Sense password sharing" was originally published by PCWorld.

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