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How to remove a network adapter in Windows

What are network adapters for?

Before explaining how to eliminate them, let’s talk about what the operation of the network adapters. Basically we can say that it is a physical device that we have connected to the computer and that it will allow us to establish a network connection.

These devices can be both internal and external. The network card may be integrated into the motherboard itself, but also that we connect it through a USB port. The latter is very common in laptops, especially smaller ones, which do not always have an integrated Ethernet card. Also to be able to use a Wi-Fi adapter with a higher capacity and thus have better coverage to be able to connect other devices regardless of the distance, since they usually have a better antenna.

But besides these physical adapters, we can also have virtual network adapters. This is what happens if we use a virtual machine, such as VMWare. Therefore, sometimes we see more adapters in Windows than we actually have physically. Sometimes we do not know why this happens and this may be the reason.

This makes it interesting or even necessary remove adapters of our team to solve certain problems or make the connection work better. Sometimes conflicts are created with the drivers or with an installation that has been caught. This forces us to reinstall them, but we can also eliminate them so that there are no problems with others or if we are not going to use them directly.

Steps to remove a network adapter in Windows

Removing network adapters in Windows is very easy. The reasons may be several. We have talked about the example of a conflict with the drivers. But we may also simply want to have our equipment “cleaner” and not showing network adapters that we do not use or that are even virtual. For example, if we have bought a USB Wi-Fi adapter to have more power than the one that is integrated into the motherboard and we want to eliminate the latter.

Use Device Manager

The first option we have is to use the Device administrator. From there we can manage all the adapters that we have configured in a computer, update the drivers, uninstall them … We can also directly eliminate them.

For this we have to go to Start, we write Device Manager and, once inside, we go to Network adapters. There we will see all the ones that we have configured and we will see which one or which we want to delete. We have to click with the second mouse button on top of the corresponding one and we click Uninstall.

This process is very simple and fast. We will have to repeat it as many times as necessary to erase all network adapters, whether physical or virtual, that we want to remove from Windows. If in the future we are interested in them being available again, we will have to install them again.

Remove the network adapter from Settings

Another option that we have available is to remove network adapters directly from the System configuration. There, as in the previous case, we can find all those that we have added and remove those that do not interest us.

In this case we have to go to Start, we enter Settings, we go to Network and Internet and there we click on Change adapter options, within the Advanced network configuration section that we will see in this window.

Windows Settings

Once we enter Change adapter options, we have to click with the second mouse button on the adapter that we want to delete. On many occasions, it does not allow us to eliminate it directly, as we can see in the image below in the case of this virtual adapter. Therefore, what we would have to do is click on Deactivate. You have to accept the dialog box that appears.

Remove network adapter from settings

Use the command line

A third option that we have available to eliminate Windows network adapters that are not available is through the Command line. It is a characteristic of the system itself with which we can carry out changes of this type.

This option is somewhat more complex, since it requires a series of steps and is not as fast as the previous two. However, we explain everything that needs to be done to remove both Ethernet and Wi-Fi adapters. The process is similar, but we will have to change the command.

We have to go to Start, we write Symbol of the system and we execute it. We can also use Windows PowerShell for this. In this way we can execute the necessary commands to remove the adapters.

The first thing to do is to know the network interface name. To do this, we must execute one of these two commands, depending on whether we want to remove an Ethernet (LAN) or Wi-Fi (WLAN) adapter:

  • netsh lan show profiles
  • netsh wlan show profiles

When we have done this, we will have to see the network card that we want to remove and note the corresponding name. This is necessary for the next step, be it Ethernet or Wi-Fi. You have to run one of these two commands:

  • netsh lan delete profile interface = »InterfaceName»
  • netsh wlan delete profile interface = »InterfaceName»

In short, these are the options we have to remove a network adapter in Windows, either physical or virtual. We have seen different alternatives, although any of them would be useful for our objective. If we see that an adapter does not work, that it creates some kind of conflict, we can always eliminate it. Also if we are simply interested in having the equipment cleaner and that certain virtual or physical adapters that we never use do not appear.

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