Airplane Mode in Windows 10

What is Airplane Mode in Windows 10? Learn how to turn off or on Airplane Mode in Windows 10 or turn on individual Networks. What do you do if the Airplane Mode switch is stuck, grayed out or not working, and you cannot turn it on or off? This post discusses this all.

Airplane Mode lets you turn off all wireless signals going to and from your Windows 10 device, like Surface Book, Dell XPS or anything that runs Windows 10 OS. When in Airplane Mode, you cannot connect to any external network like the Internet, WLAN, or Bluetooth etc.

Airplane Mode in Windows 10

According to Microsoft, all of the following services are disabled when you turn on Airplane Mode:

  1. Internet
  2. Bluetooth
  3. Cellular data
  4. GPS
  5. GNSS
  6. NFC (Near field communications)

How to Turn on/off Airplane Mode in Windows 10

If your circumstances or surroundings require you to turn off all networks and wireless signals emitting from your Windows 10 device, you can do so using the following methods.

[A] Use hardware switch

Many devices have a hardware switch to turn on or off the airplane mode. You can use that button or switch to turn off all the wireless signals from your device. However, Microsoft says that using a hardware switch may not necessarily disable all the wireless communications. Some Windows Store apps have the ability to bypass the hardware switch to connect to GPS or cellular data. The best method, according to Microsoft, is to use the Airplane Mode button available via Notifications in System Tray.

[B] Use Notifications shortcut

To toggle the state of airplane mode in Windows 10, click on Notifications icon. Scroll down to see the options. Click on the button saying Airplane Mode to turn it on or off.

Airplane Mode in Windows 10

The notifications method is the quickest method and is reliable compared to a hardware switch as it makes sure all wireless networks are turned off. It also makes that no apps try to bypass airplane mode as the operating system will keep in the airplane state as long as you do not instruct it to turn it off. To turn airplane mode off, just click on Airplane icon in your system tray and click on Airplane Mode button.

[C] Use Windows 10 Settings

If the notifications menu does not appear for some reason, you can use Settings to turn the airplane mode off or on in Windows 10. Follow these steps:

  1. Open Start Menu
  2. Click on Settings
  3. Click on Network and Internet to open related settings
  4. In the left pane, you can see Airplane Mode as second option
  5. Click on Airplane Mode in left pane and then move the switch, in right pane, to right so that it shows OFF under Airplane Mode; the pane also displays all the available wireless networks, including Bluetooth and WiFi, that are now turned off automatically and greyed out

Airplane Mode in Windows 10

You will see airplane icon in your system tray when the airplane mode is on. Click on it or on the Notifications icon to get to the hot commands and turn off the airplane mode.

Turn on Individual Networks in Airplane Mode

You may sometimes want to turn on a particular network on even after turning on the airplane mode. For example, you are in airplane mode but you wish to use Bluetooth for some reason, you can do it using the Airplane Mode option in Settings. In step 5 above, I mentioned that the right pane will show all the wireless networks that your device is compatible with. You can turn on individual networks on by dragging the related switch to ON state.

Airplane Mode switch is stuck, grayed out or not working

If Windows 10 is stuck in Airplane Mode, here are few things you may want to try if you face issues. Before you begin, make sure that if your device has a physical Wi-Fi On/Off button or switch, it is set to the On position.

1] Try pressing the Fn+Radio Tower key. On my Dell, it’s between the F12 and the PrtScr key.

key

2] Maybe something is interfering with its functioning. Restart Windows 10. Do not log in. At the login screen, you will see a Wi-Fi icon in the lower right side of your screen. Click on it and see if you can turn on/off Airplane Mode.

3] Unplug everything, including the cables, power cord, USB, etc. Remove the Battery. Power down the device. Wait for a minute. Put the battery back, power it on and see it has helped.

4] Open Device Manager. Under Network adapters, see if any WAN Mininiport has a yellow mark against it. If so uninstall and reinstall it again.

5] Type regedit in Taskbar search. Right click on the result and select Run as administrator. Navigate to the following key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class

Right click on Class and press Find. Search for RadioEnable. Make sure its value is 1. If not, change its value to 1. If RadioEnable does not exist it, create it.

Restart Windows 10.

Hope you find the post useful.

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Anand Khanse is the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.