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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

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Replies

Total: 72

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  1. Prakash Kamkhalia

    June 10, 2016 at 1:37 pm  •  Reply

    Prakash Kamkhalia says:

    i am using Window 10 x 32 bit professional. My Wi-Fi gets disconnected very often. Can you show me a fix in self explanatory way?


  2. Karim732

    May 26, 2016 at 10:46 pm  •  Reply

    Karim732 says:

    I have Lg g pro f240 Indriod phone but on the beginning when i connect wifi then it disconnect after some time and connect again, sometime connect for long time and sometime disconnect frequently but few days ago its not connected even when try to search wifi device, its unable to search…..
    Please help me…….. 092-0300-5605030


  3. Alec

    May 24, 2016 at 10:51 pm  •  Reply

    Alec says:

    Thanks you saved me big!


  4. Andy

    May 7, 2016 at 5:13 am  •  Reply

    Andy says:

    I am using win 8.1. I don’t have wireless zero configuration


  5. Rosemarie

    April 25, 2016 at 2:24 pm  •  Reply

    Rosemarie says:

    I don’t have wired zero config. I have wired auto config, wlan and wwan. What if a friend is letting you use their wifi and you don’t have a router of your own at all, and kkep getting limited access once a night around the same time? This friend says it happens to them as well. They have Windows 10 and I have Windows 7. What do they need to do to stop both of us from getting limited access? And yes, there are at least 8 devices connected to the service between them and me.


  6. Karola

    January 21, 2016 at 2:00 am  •  Reply

    Karola says:

    … And now, can we have the solution for the same problem in Windows 10 please, please, please …


  7. sneha

    December 20, 2015 at 8:02 am  •  Reply

    sneha says:

    i cannot find the option wireless zero connection

    • Praveen

      January 23, 2016 at 8:13 am  •  Reply

      Praveen says:

      You can try to remove the other wifi connections from the list. So that system would not try to connect to it automatically.. Hope this helps :)


  8. Tracy

    November 20, 2015 at 9:29 am  •  Reply

    Tracy says:

    Well I am Facing the issue with Windows 8 its get disconnected and get connects fast back… what is the issue can you please help


  9. st3fun

    November 15, 2015 at 5:39 am  •  Reply

    st3fun says:

    in device manager
    propeties of the wifi card
    advanced
    power saving mode –> CAM


  10. Dan

    August 23, 2015 at 2:26 pm  •  Reply

    Dan says:

    I have windows 10 and this worked a charm. My connection kept dropping out while downloading large files and was driving me crazy. This worked perfectly.
    Good tip! Thanks a bunch!


  11. amithvishal p

    August 3, 2015 at 10:04 am  •  Reply

    amithvishal p says:

    wireless zero configuration was not there in the list.. still i am facing the saem issues

    i am facing this issue ever since i updated my windows to 10


  12. Intertia

    July 2, 2015 at 8:05 pm  •  Reply

    Intertia says:

    Should be able to disable it from starting up in msconfig if I’m not mistaken, then use the shortcut to start it instead of end for conveniences sake.


  13. Chris

    May 22, 2015 at 3:24 am  •  Reply

    Chris says:

    I could not find the windows zero configuration in control panel since I am using windows 8.1 pro but by creating a shortcut – Stop wzc worked like charm , its been 2 days now and for not a single second wifi was showing error .
    Thanks a ton it works !

    • Karan

      July 17, 2015 at 2:42 am  •  Reply

      Karan says:

      How did you create shortcut for wzc??


  14. Alexey Otryakhnin

    March 3, 2015 at 1:13 pm  •  Reply

    Alexey Otryakhnin says:

    Hi, when I look in the place you have mentioned
    “Wireless Zero Configuration” is not there. I am using WIndows 8.1, is there any other area where that could be?

    • jay

      May 22, 2015 at 11:53 am  •  Reply

      jay says:

      WLAN AutoConfig


  15. Ara Karakuzu

    February 22, 2015 at 1:46 pm  •  Reply

    Ara Karakuzu says:

    Hello to everyone
    Here is my dilemma I got Asus X55C laptop with win.8 I did remove 8 and installed win.8 laptop works fine. No internet connection any solution?


  16. ck

    February 7, 2014 at 11:03 am  •  Reply

    ck says:

    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?


  17. uwe

    December 25, 2013 at 6:03 am  •  Reply

    uwe says:

    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


  18. Jeff

    November 15, 2013 at 1:49 pm  •  Reply

    Jeff says:

    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


  19. A.Dimov

    October 16, 2013 at 6:32 am  •  Reply

    A.Dimov says:

    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! :)


  20. Rohit Gathibandhe

    September 27, 2013 at 4:30 am  •  Reply

    Rohit Gathibandhe says:

    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…


  21. SPIRITEUS

    May 29, 2013 at 4:04 am  •  Reply

    SPIRITEUS says:

    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?


  22. Mehul

    May 14, 2013 at 8:56 am  •  Reply

    Mehul says:

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


  23. Aditya

    April 3, 2013 at 11:29 pm  •  Reply

    Aditya says:

    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.


  24. VietHuong

    March 3, 2013 at 6:38 am  •  Reply

    VietHuong says:

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


  25. Esai

    January 3, 2013 at 5:23 am  •  Reply

    Esai says:

    Well addressed! Will try this at home :-)


  26. Arijit

    September 27, 2012 at 8:16 am  •  Reply

    Arijit says:

    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

      September 27, 2012 at 9:58 am  •  Reply

      Josh says:

      Great to hear Arijit, glad to help


  27. Joe

  28. boipu

    August 28, 2012 at 5:44 am  •  Reply

    boipu says:

    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

      August 29, 2012 at 5:55 pm  •  Reply

      Josh says:

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


  29. Silas

    August 25, 2012 at 11:24 pm  •  Reply

    Silas says:

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

    • Josh

      August 26, 2012 at 10:09 am  •  Reply

      Josh says:

      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.


  30. Geortom

    July 20, 2012 at 12:39 am  •  Reply

    Geortom says:

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


  31. AZZM14

    July 1, 2012 at 12:34 am  •  Reply

    AZZM14 says:

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


  32. MURALI

    May 5, 2012 at 12:53 am  •  Reply

    MURALI says:

    Thanks a lot mate!… its awesome trick :)


  33. nedjay

    May 1, 2012 at 10:20 pm  •  Reply

    nedjay says:

    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


  34. Skipp

    April 2, 2012 at 3:57 pm  •  Reply

    Skipp says:

    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

      April 2, 2012 at 4:43 pm  •  Reply

      Josh says:

      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.


  35. Skipp

    April 2, 2012 at 3:41 pm  •  Reply

    Skipp says:

    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

      April 2, 2012 at 3:43 pm  •  Reply

      Josh says:

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

      • jay

        May 22, 2015 at 11:43 am  •  Reply

        jay says:

        ditto to skipps comments above. I have been soooo frustrated with my wifi for months. Tried several things to no avail. Yesterday was the closest I came to smashing my laptop against the wall. Now its like a miracle. Thanks VERY much josh


  36. Nabin

    March 23, 2012 at 7:56 am  •  Reply

    Nabin says:

    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.


  37. Kristina

    February 27, 2012 at 6:53 pm  •  Reply

    Kristina says:

    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.


  38. Shaun

    February 17, 2012 at 11:22 am  •  Reply

    Shaun says:

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

    • Josh

      February 26, 2012 at 12:51 pm  •  Reply

      Josh says:

      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.


  39. Ilona

    January 3, 2012 at 2:57 am  •  Reply

    Ilona says:

    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

      January 3, 2012 at 8:58 am  •  Reply

      Josh says:

      No quotes :)


  40. allam

    December 24, 2011 at 5:51 am  •  Reply

    allam says:

    there is no wireless zero configuration in my windows 2007

    • Josh

      January 7, 2012 at 3:35 pm  •  Reply

      Josh says:

      I’m not sure that this works for Windows 7


  41. dp

    November 22, 2011 at 5:26 am  •  Reply

    dp says:

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

    • Josh

      November 22, 2011 at 7:53 am  •  Reply

      Josh says:

      Good to hear!


  42. kamal

    September 3, 2011 at 2:30 am  •  Reply

    kamal says:

    thanks man do more help always………..


  43. Mallik

    August 25, 2011 at 5:08 pm  •  Reply

    Mallik says:

    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


  44. Talib

    August 13, 2011 at 4:53 am  •  Reply

    Talib says:

    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…


  45. Renjith

    July 28, 2011 at 8:51 pm  •  Reply

    Renjith says:

    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

      October 3, 2013 at 12:52 pm  •  Reply

      Hassan Farooq says:

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


  46. Ted

    June 28, 2011 at 6:16 pm  •  Reply

    Ted says:

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

    • Josh

      July 5, 2011 at 8:44 pm  •  Reply

      Josh says:

      What OS are you using?

      • Pervez ahmed

        May 7, 2013 at 9:43 pm  •  Reply

        Pervez ahmed says:

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


  47. K

    January 25, 2011 at 5:54 am  •  Reply

    K says:

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

    • Josh

      January 25, 2011 at 1:11 pm  •  Reply

      Josh says:

      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.


  48. Skidd-X

    January 11, 2011 at 8:22 pm  •  Reply

    Skidd-X says:

    you can disalbe the service instead of stopping it…


  49. Ryan

    December 26, 2010 at 7:32 am  •  Reply

    Ryan says:

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

    • Josh

      December 27, 2010 at 7:10 pm  •  Reply

      Josh says:

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


  50. Abraham

    November 13, 2010 at 8:02 am  •  Reply

    Abraham says:

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

    • Josh

      November 14, 2010 at 10:57 pm  •  Reply

      Josh says:

      More than happy to help… glad it worked out!


  51. Cecilio Aguirre

    April 18, 2010 at 9:29 am  •  Reply

    Cecilio Aguirre says:

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


  52. pingback  •  January 4, 2009 at 9:29 pm  •  Link

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

    • Lucas

      May 4, 2013 at 2:43 pm  •  Reply

      Lucas says:

      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.

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