How to Make Windows Choose Between Wired and Wi-Fi Networks

I have a HP Docking station with laptop with Windows 7. When I seat the laptop to the docking station it doesn't change to Ethernet connection but it keeps running on the WIFI.

Can you advice?
mallonyIT TechnicianAsked:
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Go to the properties of the Network Cards (Wired, Wi-Fi) and then to the Properties of IPv4 (IPv6), click on Advanced on the General Screen and change the Metric for the Wired Card to be higher than the Wireless. Default is Automatic.

Does the switch work properly  out of the dock. Any machine I have / had would change to Ethernet if I plugged in an Ethernet Cable. Maybe there is a an issue with the dock.

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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Above ("set the metric for Wired higher than Wireless") forces Wireless. To force Wired, set the wired metric lower .   Lower numbers take priority over higher numbers .
Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
Hi mallony,

John is absolutely right that the metric should work. Here's a Microsoft article that discusses it:

And another thread at the MS forum that also talks about it:

This states that you may force Windows to use a specific network connection by assigning a metric value to all of the connections, giving the lowest (best) value to the desired connection. However, my personal experience (and that of other members here at EE) is that Windows doesn't always get it right, and I sometimes found it using the wireless connection even when it had a (faster) wired connection (btw, I also have an HP laptop — the 8460w — on a dock). So I've taken to disabling the wireless connection when I'm wired. A simple way to do it is to put a shortcut to the wireless adapter on your Start Menu and/or taskbar and/or desktop as follows:

Control Panel
Network and Sharing Center
Change adapter settings
Right-click on the wireless adapter and select Create Shortcut

It will say that it can't create the shortcut there and ask if you want it on the desktop Yes. You may then copy/paste the shortcut onto your Start Menu and/or pin it to the taskbar (or cut/paste if you don't want to leave it on the desktop).

This shortcut will act as a toggle for the wireless adapter. When the wireless adapter is enabled, this shortcut will bring up a dialog box with a disable button...simply click it to disable the wireless. When the wireless adapter is disabled, this shortcut will automatically enable it. Very simple, and always works — unlike the metric. Regards, Joe
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
@mallony - Thanks and I was happy to help.
mallonyIT TechnicianAuthor Commented:
Sorry John just an little question about Metrics. When you say "unlike the metrics" - What does it mean when you refer to metrics word here.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
I think your question was addressed to Joe, and he was offering an alternative to using the method of higher / lower metric in the NIC advanced properties.

We are using Metric the same way which is Microsoft's word for setting NIC priority.
mallonyIT TechnicianAuthor Commented:
excellent from both of you!
Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
Hi John,
Thanks for jumping in on that — much appreciated! I was away from my machine at the time — rare, but it happens. :)

Hi mallony,
Happy to help, and thanks for the kind words — nice to hear!

Regards, Joe
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