•   54 Comments post

Does your wifi disconnect often? Before you smash your laptop, here’s the fix…

Does this happen to you? Every time I pop open the laptop in a coffee shop and try to get some work done, I’m plagued by repeated disconnects. This would be far less irritating if I wasn’t always listening to streaming radio. It seems like it knows exactly the right track too… But I digress.

The other morning, I’m in a coffee shop.

It’s dead and wifi quality is “Good.” I’m on my old Latitude (replacing it with an EEE soon I hope…I don’t need anything fancy on the road) with the PCMCIA wifi adapter (yeah, I know). Open iTunes, open a couple documents, fire up the ‘Fox, and get cracking. Not 15 minutes later, the connection dumps. Then again. And again.

I have definitely Googled this problem before and came up empty-handed but it always makes me feel better to try. This time, I hit paydirt. It’s a question and answer from PCworld  and it goes a little something like this:

I use an 802.11g wireless connection, and I know that the Windows Zero Configuration applet searches for a new connection every 3 minutes. I have found that if this applet is disabled at boot-up, the wireless connection is not made, but if WZC is stopped shortly after a wireless connection is made, the connection stays active indefinitely, barring outside influences.

I have been using Services.msc to stop WZC (I have it in my start-up folder), but I have to scroll to the bottom of the Services window to access WZC to stop it. I would like to find a faster way to do this, perhaps in the form of a shortcut to a batch file that would start or stop the service, or a shortcut directly to WZC within the Services window. Can you tell me how to accomplish my goal?

Windows has these things called “services” that operate certain parts of the operating system. One of these services, the Wireless Zero Configuration (WZC), tries to find the best connection between your available connection and will drop you off of the network you’re on if it thinks it finds a better candidate (another preferred/automatic network). This works great for cell phones (this is actually how cellular services works, wireless hand-offs) because they know how to do it and keep the connection going (sometimes – dropped calls being the exception). Your wifi adapter, however, cannot do this so if you’re swimming in open networks and the connection you’re using isn’t the best, you might just get booted (by your own computer).

How to stop the wifi disconnect? Stop the service…

0) Make sure you’re connected to the right wireless network first. Once you disable the service, you can’t connect/disconnect unless you restart the service.

1) Start Menu > Control Panel > Administrative Tools for the Classic View (long list of items) or Start Menu > Control Panel > > Performance and Maintenace > Administrative Tools for Category View (colorful, big icons).

2) Double-click Services.

3) In this window, click the Name column header (where is says “Name”) to sort by the service name.

4) Scroll down to find Wireless Zero Configuration. Right-click this row and select Stop.

Turning off the wireless zero configuration service in Windows XP

5)  Close the window and relax.

I did this and it never disconnected for the rest of the morning… bliss.

The only problem with this, as mentioned above, is that you have to go through these steps every time you want to connect. If you turn off your computer and turn it back on, the service will remain stopped and you won’t be able to connect. It’s as simple as following the steps above and selecting  Start to restart the service but how annoying, right? The  PCWorld article has the answer:

Open Windows Explorer and navigate to C:WindowsSystem32 (or C:WinntSystem32 if you’re running Windows 2000). Locate the file net.exe. Right-drag it onto the desktop and choose Create shortcut(s) here when you drop it. Click twice slowly in the filename area and name the shortcut Stop WZC. Right-click on the shortcut, choose Properties, and click on the Shortcut tab. The Target field will probably show C:WINDOWSsystem32net.exe. Append a space to this, followed by ” stop wzcsvc” (don’t forget the space before stop). If you like, repeat these steps and create another shortcut to start the service; just replace “stop” with “start”.

Wonderful! thanks PCWorld

Authored by: Josh

Josh Cunningham is a life-time geek with a passion for creating great things on-line using standards-compliant, modern techniques and open source software. Josh spent the first 6 years of his career supporting, teaching and documenting mobile technology before moving out of state to pursue a degree in chemistry. He came to his senses before graduating, however, and starting learning WordPress and front-end engineering, building up a client base before he had received his degree. For the last 6 years, Josh has been teaching, learning, designing, building, and writing about the web.

54 comments

  1. Bookmarks about Wifi commented on January 4, 2009   —   Link      Reply

    [...] – bookmarked by 1 members originally found by puffsgain on 2008-12-17 Does your wifi disconnect often? Before you smash your laptop … [...]

    • Lucas commented on May 4, 2013   —   Link      Reply

      or….

      In Device Manager right click on your network adapter and select Properties then Power Management and turn off the Allow to turn off to save power setting.

  2. Cecilio Aguirre commented on April 18, 2010   —   Link      Reply

    Tnx a lot man….this really helped me…God bless and more power!

  3. Abraham commented on November 13, 2010   —   Link      Reply

    It really did fix my problem, tks and appreciate the assistance. Cheers abe

    • Josh commented on November 14, 2010   —   Link      Reply

      More than happy to help… glad it worked out!

  4. Ryan commented on December 26, 2010   —   Link      Reply

    Hi, um.. I can’t find wireless zero configuration. I dont think my laptop has it but i still disconnect often. Any ideas?

    • Josh commented on December 27, 2010   —   Link      Reply

      What operating system are you using? This is for XP… not sure if it works on Windows 7 or not.

  5. Skidd-X commented on January 11, 2011   —   Link      Reply

    you can disalbe the service instead of stopping it…

  6. K commented on January 25, 2011   —   Link      Reply

    Tried it and it did not work. the moment i stop WZC – wireless disconnects. have to start WZC again, in order to reconnect

    • Josh commented on January 25, 2011   —   Link      Reply

      I’ve only tried this on Windows XP… is that what you’re using? Haven’t had the wifi disconnect, as far as I remember.

  7. Ted commented on June 28, 2011   —   Link      Reply

    I don’t have a wireless zero config. option, what do i do?

    • Josh commented on July 5, 2011   —   Link      Reply

      What OS are you using?

      • Pervez ahmed commented on May 7, 2013   —   Link      Reply

        I am using Windows 7 but could not find the zero configuration. What can i do please help me.

  8. Renjith commented on July 28, 2011   —   Link      Reply

    Sorry to say.. but it didn’t worked for me.. When i stopped this service my net connection is gone and when i started the service again it came back

    • Hassan Farooq commented on October 3, 2013   —   Link      Reply

      It happened to me too. internet is stopped when i try to do this solution. Josh please help us.

  9. Talib commented on August 13, 2011   —   Link      Reply

    Kindly suggest the solution for windows 7. It always shows that it is connected but actually it is not, i have to manually disconnect and connect it again…

  10. Mallik commented on August 25, 2011   —   Link      Reply

    I tried to stop the wireless zero configuration,the wifi got disconnected it never came back.Then i have re-started this service and now my wifi came back and is working fine.I hope this wont create any further probs.Thank you for the information

  11. kamal commented on September 3, 2011   —   Link      Reply

    thanks man do more help always………..

  12. dp commented on November 22, 2011   —   Link      Reply

    thanks mate.. your solution worked brilliant. i was facing this issue from a very long time. thanks again.

    • Josh commented on November 22, 2011   —   Link      Reply

      Good to hear!

  13. allam commented on December 24, 2011   —   Link      Reply

    there is no wireless zero configuration in my windows 2007

    • Josh commented on January 7, 2012   —   Link      Reply

      I’m not sure that this works for Windows 7

  14. Ilona commented on January 3, 2012   —   Link      Reply

    Hello!
    Thank you very much! Now I have wifi on all the time )))

    But I ahve question what should be in sortcut target? Whole text is:

    C:WINDOWSsystem32net.exe stop wzcsvc
    or
    C:WINDOWSsystem32net.exe “stop wzcsvc”

    • Josh commented on January 3, 2012   —   Link      Reply

      No quotes :)

  15. Shaun commented on February 17, 2012   —   Link      Reply

    For Windows 7, the service is incorporated into ‘WLAN AutoConfig’. Unfortunately, disabling this disables wireless services completely.

    • Josh commented on February 26, 2012   —   Link      Reply

      That’s unfortunate. Are you having a lot of trouble with Win7 and wifi? It’s only my desktop that runs Windows, my main computer, a laptop, is OSX and it’s well-behaved with wifi, for the most part.

  16. Kristina commented on February 27, 2012   —   Link      Reply

    I have Windows 7 as well and, as Shaun said, disabling WLAN AutoConfig disconnects you from the wireless signal you are already on. Has anyone heard of a way to stop it from searching for new networks after it is already connected? I, for one, would love to watch a movie on netflix and not have to reconnect every three minutes.

  17. Nabin commented on March 23, 2012   —   Link      Reply

    Check your power settings. It may be in power saver mode and disabling the access point frequently. I had similar problems. Configure your wireless driver. Check the Power management.

  18. Skipp commented on April 2, 2012   —   Link      Reply

    I LOVE YOU FOR THIS THANK YOU THANK YOUTHIS THANK YOU THANK YOUTHIS THANK YOU THANK YOUTHIS THANK YOU THANK YOUTHIS THANK YOU THANK YOUTHIS THANK YOU THANK YOUTHIS THANK YOU THANK YOUTHIS THANK YOU THANK YOU

    • Josh commented on April 2, 2012   —   Link      Reply

      Best comment I’ve ever gotten… who knew it would be about Windows?

  19. Skipp commented on April 2, 2012   —   Link      Reply

    im sorry Mr.Joshsh, the comment still stands but, it just started again to happen, i did exactly how it says… it looks like this…plz tell me its wrong

    C:WINDOWSsystem32net.exe stop wzcsvc

    and this is in XP Profesional SP2..plz help me cus its killing me…thank you

    • Josh commented on April 2, 2012   —   Link      Reply

      Yes, that’s what I used:

      C:WINDOWSsystem32net.exe stop wzcsvc

      I think I was SP3 at the time but I don’t imagine that would make a difference. Make sure the file in the shortcut is there.

  20. nedjay commented on May 1, 2012   —   Link      Reply

    please am using windows vista….and my network disconnects when my pals own remains on online..please how do i rectify this cos its affecting my work.thank you

  21. MURALI commented on May 5, 2012   —   Link      Reply

    Thanks a lot mate!… its awesome trick :)

  22. AZZM14 commented on July 1, 2012   —   Link      Reply

    yeah…work for win 7?i use it at win 7…:)

  23. Geortom commented on July 20, 2012   —   Link      Reply

    Thnxx a lot dude…..Works well…!! :)

  24. Silas commented on August 25, 2012   —   Link      Reply

    It’s not my laptop but my iPad. When I am on face book it keeps jumping. Wonder if you could help? Thanks.

    • Josh commented on August 26, 2012   —   Link      Reply

      I don’t seem to have that problem with my iOS devices. You could try going to Settings > WiFi and select a default network or turn off “auto-join” so you always select a particular network.

  25. boipu commented on August 28, 2012   —   Link      Reply

    this is finally working for me.. thanks alot. i searched high and low over the internet for over 2 months on how to fix this issue. i am using win 7 and though there isnt a windows zero configuration in it.there is a WLAN auto configuration. i had always tried to keep it started and in automatic mode but never got the idea of stopping it!!!!!!!!!! but now that i have stopped it,its not disconnecting any longer. thanks a lot

    • Josh commented on August 29, 2012   —   Link      Reply

      Hey, glad it worked for you! I like to help, as you can probably tell :)

  26. Joe commented on September 5, 2012   —   Link      Reply

  27. Arijit commented on September 27, 2012   —   Link      Reply

    I have been facing this issue since a long time. Have been searching for a solution and have tried various things but nothing worked. A little while back found your solution and have applied this. The connection hasn’t got disconnected though I am downloading a heavy file. This normally happens for me while downloading large files. Hope it stays this way and works fine. Thanks for the solution

    • Josh commented on September 27, 2012   —   Link      Reply

      Great to hear Arijit, glad to help

  28. Parveen commented on October 11, 2012   —   Link      Reply

    Hey Thanks! It worked infact created files Start.bat and Stop.bat which contains
    C:WINDOWSsystem32net.exe start wzcsvc and C:WINDOWSsystem32net.exe stop wzcsvc respectively and kept on the Desktop.

    Strange thing which I found today was Wifi Device itself stopped working. It was not starting even using switch available my laptop to start or stop WiFi. Any relation to WZCSVC for the same.

  29. Esai commented on January 3, 2013   —   Link      Reply

    Well addressed! Will try this at home :-)

  30. VietHuong commented on March 3, 2013   —   Link      Reply

    So nice! Now, I can relax with my wireless connection.
    Special thanks! :)

  31. Aditya commented on April 3, 2013   —   Link      Reply

    Dear All,

    I am using Karbonn A7+ android 2.3 gingerbread phone, and connect my Compaq Presario Windows XP laptop with this phone by wireless connection.

    The connection establishes successfully, but after 6-7 seconds, it disconnects automatically. Then, I have to disable the connection , and re-connect again. But it still disconnects after a few seconds.

    I also tried to STOP Wireless Zero Configuration, but still the problem persists.

    I tried hard to find out the cause, but i couldn’t. I have bored of this issue.

    Please give me a solution of this proble.

  32. Mehul commented on May 14, 2013   —   Link      Reply

    Thanks Josh this information is awesome and i was frustated from wifi this helps me so much thanks once again ……;)

  33. SPIRITEUS commented on May 29, 2013   —   Link      Reply

    i still got problems using that method. after some several minutes, i got disconnected again and restart the method over again. my desktop Windows XP was very annoying, can plz tell me if there’s more i need to check?

  34. Rohit Gathibandhe commented on September 27, 2013   —   Link      Reply

    Hi Guys…

    I have been facing the similar problem, but so far have got no solution.

    Everytime I download anything or watch online video, the WIFI on my XP laptop gets disconnected. As a result of which, I really cant do anything on my laptop.

    I tried updating the wifi card driver, but still, no resolution. Followed the above mentioned process, still no resolution..

    I am just tired of doing experiments with my laptop, but still there is no clear solution..

    Guys, please help…

  35. A.Dimov commented on October 16, 2013   —   Link      Reply

    Having lost one year in experimenting every kind of fix, I found the answer in http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_7-networking/windows-7-occasionally-drops-the-wireless/e834b67f-12ae-4b3c-aa13-af27553350bd?page=4

    The problem is merely the WMM feature (advanced settings of wireless adapter), that doesn’t work well on Win 7 64bit. It disconnects the WiFi when you watch video through Flash player schreen.

    Uncheck the WMM in the routers configuration and that it is! :)

  36. Jeff commented on November 15, 2013   —   Link      Reply

    Here’s a link for how to do it in Windows 8, in case anyone is interested.

    http://www.inf.aber.ac.uk/advisory/faq/965/#win8

  37. uwe commented on December 25, 2013   —   Link      Reply

    thanks a lot for this article. pointed me in the right direction for troubleshooting. I had a network drom my old router in the windows config. same SSID but different wpa settings. . windows obviously thought it is still there somehow. maybe just because it has the same SSID,disconected my current (working) connection and tried then to connect with the wrong wpa credentials which lead to a permanent disconnect until I disabled the wifi adapter and enabled it again.This happened without anycorrelation to the stuff I did on the laptop. so it seemed purely random until I read this. after removing this old network I didn’t experience any more disconnects. had not even to disable the service. Thanks again. Weird problem and hard to troubleshoot/track down if you don’t know about this detail

  38. ck commented on February 7, 2014   —   Link      Reply

    I tried this and the icon in the system tray still showed that I was connected to wireless (which is good, of course), but when I tried to load web sites, it didn’t work, just like I was disconnected. I restarted the service, and voila, the pages once again would load. Any idea what to do?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comments are held for moderation