Manage Wi-Fi Sense in your company

Applies to:

  • Windows 10
  • Windows 10 Mobile

Learn more about what features and functionality are supported in each Windows edition at Compare Windows 10 Editions.

Wi-Fi Sense learns about open Wi-Fi hotspots your Windows PC or Windows phone connects to by collecting information about the network, like whether the open Wi-Fi network has a high-quality connection to the Internet. By using that information from your device and from other Wi-Fi Sense customers' devices too, Wi-Fi Sense builds a database of these high-quality networks. When you’re in range of one of these Wi-Fi hotspots, you automatically get connected to it.

The initial settings for Wi-Fi Sense are determined by the options you chose when you first set up your PC with Windows 10.

Note
Wi-Fi Sense isn’t available in all countries or regions.

How does Wi-Fi Sense work?

Wi-Fi Sense connects your employees to open Wi-Fi networks. Typically, these are the open (no password required) Wi-Fi hotspots you see when you’re out and about.

How to manage Wi-Fi Sense in your company

In a company environment, you will most likely deploy Windows 10 to your employees' PCs using your preferred deployment method and then manage their settings globally. With that in mind, you have a few options for managing how your employees will use Wi-Fi Sense.

Important
Turning off Wi-Fi Sense stops employees from connecting automatically to open hotspots.

Using Group Policy (available starting with Windows 10, version 1511)

You can manage your Wi-Fi Sense settings by using Group Policy and your Group Policy editor.

To set up Wi-Fi Sense using Group Policy

  1. Open your Group Policy editor and go to the Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Network\WLAN Service\WLAN Settings\Allow Windows to automatically connect to suggested open hotspots, to networks shared by contacts, and to hotspots offering paid services setting.

    Group Policy Editor, showing the Wi-Fi Sense setting

  2. Turn Wi-Fi Sense on (enabled) or off (disabled), based on your company's environment.

Using the Registry Editor

You can manage your Wi-Fi Sense settings by using registry keys and the Registry Editor.

To set up Wi-Fi Sense using the Registry Editor

  1. Open your Registry Editor and go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WcmSvc\wifinetworkmanager\config\

  2. Create and set a new DWORD (32-bit) Value named, AutoConnectAllowedOEM, with a Value data of 0 (zero).

    Setting this value to 0 turns off Wi-Fi Sense and all Wi-Fi sense features. When turned off, the Wi-Fi Sense settings still appear on the Wi-Fi Settings screen, but can't be controlled by the employee and all of the Wi-Fi Sense features are turned off. For more info, see How to configure Wi-Fi Sense on Windows 10 in an enterprise.

    Registry Editor, showing the creation of a new DWORD value

Using the Windows Provisioning settings

You can manage your Wi-Fi Sense settings by changing the Windows provisioning setting, WiFISenseAllowed.

To set up Wi-Fi Sense using WiFISenseAllowed

  • Change the Windows Provisioning setting, WiFISenseAllowed, to 0.

    Setting this value to 0 turns off Wi-Fi Sense and all Wi-Fi sense features. When turned off, the Wi-Fi Sense settings still appear on the Wi-Fi Settings screen, but can't be controlled by the employee and all of the Wi-Fi Sense features are turned off. For more info, see the Windows Provisioning settings reference topic, WiFiSenseAllowed.

Using Unattended Windows Setup settings

If your company still uses Unattend, you can manage your Wi-Fi Sense settings by changing the Unattended Windows Setup setting, WiFiSenseAllowed.

To set up Wi-Fi Sense using WiFISenseAllowed

  • Change the Unattended Windows Setup setting, WiFISenseAllowed, to 0.

    Setting this value to 0 turns off Wi-Fi Sense and all Wi-Fi sense features. When turned off, the Wi-Fi Sense settings still appear on the Wi-Fi Settings screen, but can't be controlled by the employee and all of the Wi-Fi Sense features are turned off. For more info, see the Unattended Windows Setup Reference topic, WiFiSenseAllowed.

How employees can change their own Wi-Fi Sense settings

If you don’t turn off the ability for your employees to use Wi-Fi Sense, they can turn it on locally by selecting Settings > Network & Internet > Wi-Fi > Manage Wi-Fi settings, and then turning on Connect to suggested open hotspots.

Wi-Fi Sense options shown to employees if it's not turned off

Important
The service that was used to share networks with Facebook friends, Outlook.com contacts, or Skype contacts is no longer available. This means:

The Connect to networks shared by my contacts setting will still appear in Settings > Network & Internet > Wi-Fi > Manage Wi-Fi settings on your PC and in Settings > Network & wireless > Wi‑Fi > Wi‑Fi Sense on your phone. However, this setting will have no effect now. Regardless of what it’s set to, networks won’t be shared with your contacts. Your contacts won’t be connected to networks you’ve shared with them, and you won’t be connected to networks they’ve shared with you.

Even if you selected Automatically connect to networks shared by your contacts when you first set up your Windows 10 device, you still won’t be connected to networks your contacts have shared with you.

If you select the Share network with my contacts check box the first time you connect to a new network, the network won’t be shared.