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How To Toggle Between 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi in Windows 10

It is common public knowledge that the 5GHz Wi-Fi band is faster than its counterpart 2.4GHz; what isn’t is how to switch between the two in Windows 10, or rather, how to upgrade to a 5GHz band from the default 2.4GHz.

Moreover, many believe that the only way to truly use 5GHz is via changing settings by logging into the router or contacting the ISP (Internet Service Provider).

This post is here to show that one can easily switch between the two Wi-Fi frequencies without having access to a router or wasting hours talking to a customer service representative from your ISP.

How To Upgrade to a 5GHz Wi-Fi Band From a 2.4GHz in Windows 10

The only fundamental knowledge required is knowing the exact name of your Wi-Fi adapter in use, as you’d need that info on hand for tweaking things.

To get the name of your Wi-Fi adapter, head over to “Network Connections” first. You can search for network connections in the start menu and open the control panel settings. Once there, divert your attention to the Wi-Fi adapter name in use and jot down its name somewhere — as you’d need that later, as mentioned.

Do not confuse this with your Wi-Fi name; we want the adapter name. See the screenshot below for visual reference.

wi-fi network adapter name in Windows 10

Step-by-Step Instructions on Switching to a 5GHz Wi-Fi From a 2.4GHz One

To modify your Wi-Fi Band, you need to go to the device manager and then make the adjustment. Follow the instructions below to know how.

Step 1: Go to Device Manager

There are a couple of ways to head over to the device manager in windows 10. Either you can press Windows key + R and type “devmgmt.msc” (without the quotes), or press Windows key + X to pop up the quick access menu and then select Device Manager.

going to device manager from the quick access menu in Windows 10
The Device Manager option is inside the Windows 10 quick access menu.

Step 2: Right-Click on Your Wi-Fi Network Adapter Name and Choose the Properties Option

This is the step where knowing what your Wi-Fi network adapter name comes in handy.

In any case, when Device Manager opens, expand the “Network adapters” dropdown arrow, look for your Wi-Fi adapter name, right-click, and select properties.

going to a Wi-Fi network adapter properties
As shown, click on the properties option for the applicable Wi-Fi network adapter name.

Step 3: Set Preferred Band Value To “Prefer 5GHz Band”

From the properties window, navigate to the Advanced tab first. Afterward, inside the left column, left-click on preferred band, and lastly, set its value to “prefer 5GHz band.”

forcing Windows 10 to prefer a 5GHz Wi-Fi band
The last & final step to switching from a 2.4GHz to a 5GHz Wi-Fi band in Windows 10.

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Wrapping It All Up

We learned how to instruct Windows 10 to always prefer a 5GHz Wi-Fi over the 2.4GHz. Knowing what we know now, it isn’t a complicated process at all.

Technically though, it’s not that you’re entirely switching over the band. It’s more so you’re forcing the operating system to choose the faster option.

At the end of the day, call it what we want; what’s discussed here is the workaround approach towards switching / forcing / toggling Wi-Fi frequency bands in Windows 10.

To use 2.4GHz, simply elect to go with the “prefer 2.4GHz band” instead of the 5.4GHz option, by following the same guidance detailed in this post. And while 2.4GHz is slower, it does have a longer range.