How can I make a Network Adapter I uninstalled from Device Manager stay dead (uninstalled)? (right now it reinstalls itself e.g. when I restart)

Example: I have a laptop with a physically broken wifi chip. I want (need) this device removed from windows forever (and I don't have a BIOS option). I don't want windows to ever do me the "favor" of re-installing this specific network adapter.


I have thought about removing it, thanks. Don't want to open this kind of laptop up. Less important, but I actually also have a broken LAN port that I would have to de-solder..


This question is not really solved, just patched. There are situations when your disabled network adapters get force-enabled by some other service, program, or Microsoft itself (e.g. after you've upgraded to a new major Windows update, M$ turns adapters on and connects to the internet on boot but before user logon).

  • Can't you just remove it? – user772515 Feb 5 '18 at 0:13
  • @MichaelBay If I right click on the network adapter, I have an admin option to Rename, and a grayed out admin Delete option. If I uninstall from Device Manager it gets reinstalled. – Spectraljump Feb 5 '18 at 20:49
  • There's the answer I would give. I meant physically remove it or, if possible, disable it at BIOS/UEFI. – user772515 Feb 6 '18 at 9:23

Hardware devices that are present in the system will always be detected and handled by Windows.

You have three options:

  1. Disable the WiFi in the BIOS, if possible, or physically remove the device from the computer.
  2. Let the drivers install, then “disable” the hardware in device manager.
  3. Leave the device active, and ignore it.

Other software (including windows self-configuration sometimes) can force enable all (disabled) network adapters. And when a wifi adapter is crappy and turned on, it will keep you from proper internet access, or circumvent your VPN.

  1. Option number 4:

As a temporary patch I have created a batch (.bat) script that keeps turning the network device off. But there must be a way to keep windows from autoinstalling crap on my PC.

Here's what I did, "stopAdapters.bat":

@echo on    
netsh interface set interface "Wireless Network Connection 2" DISABLED

And I am running this bat file on windows log off and on log on. Did this by going to gpedit.msc > User Configuration > Windows Settings > Scripts (Logon/Logoff). Clicked on Logon and Add and on Logoff and Add, adding Script Name: C:\Windows\System32\cmd.exe and Script Parameters: /C "D:\MyBatFiles\NetworkScripts\stopAdapters.bat".

Note that this only works on the versions of windows that have access to the Group Policy. But you can do a Task Scheduler event for on shutdown or boot, or place the bat file in system startup. But these will potentially run after other apps have already connected to the internet.

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