This content is part of the Essential Guide: Windows 10 security guide to fortify your defenses

How do I disable Wi-Fi Sense?

Wi-Fi Sense is a feature in Windows 10 that lets users share network passwords with their contacts. Disable the feature to stop unauthorized users from accessing the corporate Wi-Fi.

Wi-Fi Sense in Windows 10 poses a big risk to an organization's security, because it allows others to connect to your Wi-Fi network. Luckily, there's a way IT administrators can disable the feature.

When users have Wi-Fi Sense enabled, Windows shares Wi-Fi passwords with the contacts in their Outlook, Skype and Facebook accounts. If a user's contact comes near the corporate Wi-Fi network, Windows will automatically share the Wi-Fi password with that person. The person's computer is provided with the Wi-Fi password, but the password is never revealed to them.

There are several different ways IT administrators can disable Wi-Fi Sense, but the best option is to disable it at the Group Policy level. To do this, make sure all Windows 10 machines run Windows 10 version 1511 or higher. On computers that run older versions of Windows 10, open the Registry Editor and navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WcmSvc\wifinetworkmanager\config\AutoConnectAllowedOEM. Then, set the DWORD value to 0. Keep in mind that editing the registry is dangerous, and systems should be backed up prior to attempting a registry modification.

For systems that run Windows 10 version 1511 or higher, open the Group Policy Object Editor and navigate through the console tree to Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Network\WLAN Service\WLAN Settings\. Disable the "Allow Windows to automatically connect to suggested open hotspots, to networks shared by contacts and to hotspots offering paid services" setting. Disabling this setting prevents Windows from automatically connecting to open hotspots and networks shared by contacts, and it stops users from sharing networks with their contacts.

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