Turn the Internet connection on or off

Martin Brinkmann
Jun 18, 2012
Updated • Jun 18, 2012
Software, Windows, Windows software

Sometimes you may want to turn off your Internet connection in an instant, for instance if you have noticed that malware is running on a system to avoid it leaking information or data. A switch to turn off the Internet can be useful in other situations as well, like during software installations to block applications from phoning home, or cutting off all network traffic to have those resources available for other more important tasks on the system. Lastly, you could also use it to avoid distractions during work by turning of the connection.

While you could use a firewall for most of those tasks, depending on what you want to achieve, it may not be the easiest thing to configure.

Turn Internet Off is a free application for the Windows operating system that you can use to quickly turn the Internet off or on again. All you need to do is install the application on your system and start it up afterwards. It automatically starts minimized in the system tray area, from where you can turn off the Internet with two clicks of the mouse button.

turn off the internet

The application furthermore displays the current status of the Internet connection in the window that pops up after you click on the program's system tray icon. If you click on the button you will notice that all Internet traffic is automatically blocked, and that all applications that try to interact with resources on the Internet will not be able to do so. You may see error messages or other behavior as a result.

When you are ready to turn on the Internet connection again, you have the option to turn it on permanently, or for a limited amount of time ranging from 5 minutes to an hour.

Closing Words

InternetOff can be useful in a variety of situations, of which a few have been mentioned in the opening paragraph. If you are looking for a tool that allows you to quickly cut off the Internet connection, then this one is offering exactly what you are looking for.

Update: Alex send me an email about another option that you have to turn your Internet connection on or off with the click of a button. Instead of using a program to do so, Windows users can also create two batch files to turn the connection on or off. To do that, create a file on your desktop and name it on.bat, and another off.bat.

Right-click each file and select edit from the context menu. Now add the following two lines to each file (first on.bat, then off.bat).

@echo off

netsh interface set interface "Wireless Network Connection" disabled

@echo off

netsh interface set interface "Wireless Network Connection" enabled

Please note that this turns the wireless network connection on or off. If you do not use a wireless connection, replace "wireless network connection" with the name of the network adapter that you use to connect to the Internet.Control Panel\Network and Internet\Network Connections. You find the name of the adapter under network connections in the Control Panel. (thanks Alex for the tip)

Update 2: Alex was nice enough to submit a batch script that switches between two states, so that you only need to click on one to turn the connection off and on again.

@echo off

netsh interface show interface | find "Connected" > nul

if errorlevel 1 goto #

netsh interface set interface "Wireless Network Connection" disabled

goto end


netsh interface set interface "Wireless Network Connection" enabled


Again, if you do not use a wireless connection, replace Wireless Network Connection with Local Area Connection.


Tutorials & Tips

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  1. Martin said on March 12, 2023 at 3:05 pm

    An even quicker way to open Task Manager is by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Esc.

  2. archie bald said on March 12, 2023 at 4:32 pm

    Win+Pause used to be the goto shortcut for me since… W95… Ms recently hijacked it and you now get Sysinfo. Device manager is still accessible this way: the second to last link at the bottom.

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