Windows XP or Vista - How to disable network access

Sometimes, in the course of troubleshooting it is advisable to temporarily disable your computer's networking capability. The following procedure can be used to disable networking on computers running Windows XP or Windows Vista.

 


Windows XP:

  1. Close any open programs on your computer.
  2. Select the Start menu at the bottom-right of your screen.
  3. Choose Settings, then Control Panel.
  4. In the window that opens, double-click the control panel titled System. If there is no item titled System listed in the Control Panels window, click the link in the upper-left of the window titled Switch To Classic View. The System Control Panel should now be visible to the right. Double-click it to open the System Properties window.
  5. At the top of the System Properties window that opens, click the tab titled Hardware.
  6. Then click the button labeled Device manager. You will be presented with a list of all the components installed on your computer.
  7. Locate the item in the list titled Network Adapters. If there is a + symbol to the left of Network Adapters, click it. It will become a - symbol, and your computer's Network components will be listed below Network Adapters, sharing the same icon.
  8. Right-click the first item listed under Network Adapters and select Disable from the menu that appears. A pop-up window will appear with the message Disabling this device will cause it to stop functioning. Do you really want to disable it?
  9. Click Yes.
  10. Repeat this for all items listed under Network Adapters. Now all networking has been temporarily disabled on your computer.
If you are disabling your networking as part of a troubleshooting process, test your system now. If the problem you were experiencing has not been improved by disabling your networking, re-enable your networking by repeating the steps 1-7 above; then perform the following:
  1. Right-click the first item listed under Network Adapters and select Enable from the menu that appears.
  2. Repeat this for all items listed under Network Adapters. Now all networking has been re-enabled on your computer.
If the problem you were experiencing no longer occurs when your networking is disabled, then either your networking hardware, or a software program that utilizes your network is likely causing the problem.


Windows 7 or Vista:

  1. Close any open programs on your computer.
  2. Select the Start menu at the bottom-right of your screen.
  3. Choose Control Panel.
  4. In the window that opens, double-click the control panel titled System. If there is no item titled System listed in the Control Panels window, click the link in the upper-left of the window titled Classic View. The System Control Panel should now be visible to the right. Double-click it to open the System Control Panel.
  5. In the upper-left of the System Properties window, click the link titled Device manager. A pop-up window may appear with the message Windows needs your permission to continue. If it does, click Continue. You will be presented with a list of all the components installed on your computer.
  6. Locate the item in the list titled Network Adapters. If there is a + symbol to the left of Network Adapters, click it. It will become a - symbol, and your computer's Network components will be listed below Network Adapters, sharing the same icon.
  7. Right-click the first item listed under Network Adapters and select Disable from the menu that appears. A pop-up window will appear with the message Disabling this device will cause it to stop functioning. Do you really want to disable it?
  8. Click Yes.
  9. Repeat this for all items listed under Network Adapters. Now all networking has been temporarily disabled on your computer.
If you are disabling your networking as part of a troubleshooting process, test your system now. If the problem you were experiencing has not been improved by disabling your networking, re-enable your networking by repeating the steps 1-7 above; then perform the following:
  1. Right-click the first item listed under Network Adapters and select Enable from the menu that appears.
  2. Repeat this for all items listed under Network Adapters. Now all networking has been re-enabled on your computer.
If the problem you were experiencing no longer occurs when your networking is disabled, then either your networking hardware, or a software program that utilizes your network is likely causing the problem.

Popular

Latest Articles