Remove old Wireless networks in Windows 10

Martin Brinkmann
Feb 18, 2016
Updated • Oct 24, 2018
Windows, Windows 10

Whenever you connect to a wireless network using a device running Windows 10, a profile is saved to the computer.

That's useful if you need to connect to the network again in the future as it makes that operation easier, especially if the access password is saved as well.

While that is useful, wireless network profiles are not removed from the list of profiles after time has passed. Even if you have not connected to a network in two years, it is not removed from the operating system.

That may not be a big issue either, but if you like things tidy, or prefer to remove old information from the operating system, then you may want to remove these old network information.

It makes little sense to keep profiles around that you know you will never connect to again using the device. Examples are hotel wireless networks, wireless networks at airports, or a wireless network that is no longer available.

It may also help if you have connections problems and believe that it is profile related.

Removing old wireless networks in Windows 10

It is easy to forget wireless networks the device was connected to in the past using Windows 10. Here is what you need to do:

1. Use Windows-i to open the Settings application of Windows 10. It is the main location for network and Internet related settings in the Settings application including Wi-Fi.

2. Select "Network & Internet" when the app opens and there Wi-Fi from the sidebar. Note that Windows 10 displays Wi-Fi only if the device has wireless networking capabilities.

If you are connected to a wireless network, it is highlighted at the very top. You find several options listed there that you may want to configure if you have never done so, e.g. an option to define whether the online sign-up feature of Hotspot 2.0 is active.

Scroll down on the page until you find "manage Wi-Fi settings" listed on it.


3. Manage Wi-Fi Settings opens. You find a list of all known wireless profiles at the bottom of the page. Each profile is listed with the SSID identifier but no other information.

It would have been useful if Microsoft would have added the last connection date and time to the listing but that is unfortunately not the case.

manage wi-fi settings

4. Forget any of the profiles

To remove any profile from the machine, click or tap on it and select the Forget button afterwards. This deletes the information from Windows.

Please note that there is no confirmation dialog, and that the data is removed immediately. If you connect to the network again at a later point in time, you will be asked to enter a password if that is required to connect to it.

manage known networks

The Windows 7 way

Windows 7 shipped with options to remove wireless network profiles as well. The removal is handled in the Control Panel since the Settings application was introduced in Windows 8 by Microsoft.

  1. Click on the Start menu button and select Control Panel.
  2. Or, use Windows-Pause to open the Control Panel, and select Control Panel Home when the window opens.
  3. Select "Network and Sharing Center".
  4. On the page that opens, select "Manage wireless networks".
  5. All known wireless network profiles are listed on the page. You can use the controls at the top to add or remove profiles, to change the order of them, or open adapter properties.

The "all Windows versions" way

You can remove wireless profiles using the command line as well:

  1. Activate the Start menu.
  2. Type cmd.exe and select the result to launch a command prompt.
  3. Type netsh wlan show profiles to display the list of known wireless profiles.
  4. To delete a profile, run netsh wlan delete profile name="Name" where Name is the profile name that Windows displays when you run the show profiles command.
Remove old Wireless networks in Windows 10
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Remove old Wireless networks in Windows 10
Find out how to remove old wireless network profiles on a machine running Windows 10.
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  1. Dan Donx said on January 15, 2023 at 10:29 am

    What mental age of reader are you targeting with the first sentence? 10?

    Why not write an article on how to *avoid* upgrading from W10 to W11. Analogous to those like me who avoided upgrading from 7 to 10 for as long as possible.

    If your paymaster Microsoft permits it, of course.

  2. Dexter said on January 15, 2023 at 11:14 am

    5. Rufus
    6. Ventoy

    PS. I hate reading these “SEO optimized” articles.

    1. cdr said on January 15, 2023 at 3:32 pm

      I used Rufus to create an installer for a 6th gen intel i5 that had MBR. It upgraded using Setup. No issues except for Win 11 always prompting me to replace my local account. Still using Win 10 Pro on all my other PCs to avoid the bullying.

  3. sv said on January 15, 2023 at 6:40 pm

    bit pointless to upgrade for the sake of upgrading as you never know when you’ll get locked out because ms might suddenly not provide updates to unsupported systems.

    ps…. time travelling?
    written. Jan 15, 2023
    Updated • Jan 13, 2023

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 16, 2023 at 5:49 am

      This happens when you schedule a post in WordPress and update it before setting the publication date.

  4. Anonymous said on January 16, 2023 at 8:24 am

    Anyone willing to downgrade to this awful OS must like inflicting themselves with harm.

  5. basingstoke said on January 16, 2023 at 11:18 am

    I have become convinced now that anybody who has no qualms with using Windows 11/10 must fit into one of the following brackets:

    1) Too young to remember a time before W10 and W11 (doesn’t know better)

    2) Wants to play the latest games on their PC above anything else (or deeply needs some software which already dropped W7 support)

    3) Doesn’t know too much about how computers work, worried that they’d be absolutely lost and in trouble without the “”latest security””

    4) Microsoft apologist that tries to justify that the latest “features” and “changes” are actually a good thing, that improve Windows

    5) Uses their computer to do a bare minimum of like 3 different things, browse web, check emails, etc, so really doesn’t fuss

    Obviously that doesn’t cover everyone, there’s also the category that:

    6) Actually liked W7 more than 10, and held out as long as possible before switching, begrudgingly uses 10 now

    Have I missed any group off this list?

    1. Heinz Strunk said on September 19, 2023 at 3:57 pm

      You have missed in this group just about any professional user that uses business software like CAD programs or ERP Programs which are 99% of all professional users from this list.

      Linux doesn’t help anyone who is not a linux kid and apple is just a fancy facebook machine.

  6. ilev said on August 24, 2023 at 7:34 pm

    Microsoft has removed KB5029351 update

    1. EP said on August 24, 2023 at 9:21 pm

      only from windows update though
      KB5029351 is still available from the ms update catalog site

  7. Anonymous said on August 24, 2023 at 11:05 pm

    1. This update is labaled as PREVIEW if it causes issues to unintelligent people, then they shouldn’t have allowed Preview updates ot install.

    2. I have installed it in a 11 years old computer, and no problems at all.

    3. Making a big drama over a bluescreen for an updated labeled as preview is ridiculous.

    This is probably another BS internet drama where people ran programs and scripts that modified the registry until they broke Windows, just for removing stuff that they weren’t even using just for the sake of it.
    Maybe people should stop playing geeks and actually either use Windows 10 or Windows 11, but don’t try to modify things just for the sake of it.

    Sometimes removing or stopping things (like defender is a perfect example) only need intelligence, not scripts or 3rd party programs that might mess with windows.

  8. john said on August 24, 2023 at 11:17 pm

    Windows 11 was a pointless release, it was just created because some of the Windows team wanted to boost sales with some sort of new and improved Windows 10. Instead, Microsoft cannot support one version well let alone two.

    1. John G. said on August 25, 2023 at 12:08 pm

      Windows 11 is the worst ugly shame by Microsoft ever. They should release with every new W11 version a complete free version of Starallback inside just to make this sh** OS functionally again.

  9. EP said on August 25, 2023 at 3:10 pm

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released a statement regarding the “unsupported processor” blue screen error for their boards using Intel 600/700 series chipsets & to avoid the KB5029351 Win11 update:–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–Error-Message-of-Windows-11-Update-KB5029351-Preview-142215

  10. EP said on August 29, 2023 at 7:32 pm

    check out the following recent articles:

    Neowin – Microsoft puts little blame on its Windows update after UNSUPPORTED PROCESSOR BSOD bug:

    BleepingComputer – Microsoft blames ‘unsupported processor’ blue screens on OEM vendors:

  11. Leonard Britvolli said on August 30, 2023 at 10:33 pm

    While there may be changes or updates to the Windows 10 Store for Business and Education in the future, it is premature to conclude that it will be discontinued based solely on rumors.

  12. sembrador said on September 5, 2023 at 9:32 pm

    My advice, I left win 15 years ago. Now I’m a happy linux user (linuxmint) but there is Centos, Fedora, Ubuntu depending on your needs.

  13. EP said on September 6, 2023 at 11:55 am

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released new BIOS/firmware updates for their Intel 600 & 700 series motherboards to fix the “UNSUPPORTED_PROCESSOR” problem (Sept. 6):–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–caused-BSOD-on-MSI-s-Intel-700-and-600-Series-Motherboards-142277

  14. Raphael Benzo said on September 24, 2023 at 9:52 pm

    I try to disable the Diagnostics Tracking Service (Connected Devices Platform User Services) but it wont let me disable it, any help will be greatly appreciated.
    Tank you for your help

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