We help IT Professionals succeed at work.

Ethernet Adapter for Windows 10 on Surface Pro is disabled

My Surface Pro is connected to the internet through its ethernet adapter.  After that connection sits for a while the ethernet adapter is disabled and a wifi connection is made.  I want to stay connected to the ethernet adapter at all times unless there is not ethernet available.  Where there is no wired connection then the usage of wifi is perfect.

I would appreciate help in stopping the machine from disabling the ethernet adapter and in setting up the configuration I have in mind.

The machine operates on Windows 10 and all updates have been run

In my research, I saw a reference to an adapter troubleshooter.  It yields nothing.  I have also found references to a power adjustment tab for the adapter, in the Device Manager, through the properties selection there, I have no such tab.

Watch Question

Hello ThereSystem Administrator
Distinguished Expert 2018

I would start with this:
Open Network And Sharing Center -> Change Adapter Settings -> press the ALT + F key on your keyboard to bring up the menu bar -> "Advanced" -> "Advanced Settings" -> In the "Advanced Settings" window you will see the "Adapters and Bindings" tab and under "Connections" you will see the order they are in, you can use the arrows to the side to move the connection priority up and down.
If this doesn't work for you, I would do Network Reset. Open Settings -> Network and Internet -> Status -> Network Reset.
Here are the settings that need to be changed.

      1. Right click on the windows icon in the bottom left corner (or press win+x) and select "Network Connections"
      2. Double click on "Surface Ethernet Adapter" then click on "properties"
      3. Click on "Configure" then go to the "advanced" tab change these options to "disabled"
      5. Energy Efficient Ethernet – disabled
      6. Selective Suspend- disabled click "OK"

Go to your power settings
      1. Left click windows button on bottom left corner (or press win key) and go to "settings"
      2. Click on "system" then click on "power & sleep"
      3. Make sure PC "Never" goes to sleep when plugged in
      4. There are some other settings you may want to activate as well, "stay connected to network while asleep", make sure it does not hibernate (under additional power settings/change plan settings/change advanced power settings/sleep/hibernate after)

Even with sleep turned off it will still go into a lower power state/sleep after being idle for a long time and turn certain devices off like the Surface Ethernet Adapter. That’s why it’s important to turn off "selective suspend".