If you are not using the WiFi Direct feature, you can easily disable or remove Microsoft WiFi Direct virtual adapter. Here's how.
If you have a WiFi-enabled PC or laptop, as long as the system supports, it is very likely that Microsoft automatically installs the WiFi Direct Virtual Adapter. Once the virtual adapter is installed, you can use the WiFi Direct feature with just a few clicks. In case you are wondering, this feature is used to create WiFi hotspot. A WiFi hotspot shares your internet with other devices or lets you connect two devices via WiFi for quick and easy file transfer.
Though WiFi Direct is a great feature, not everyone needs it. This is especially true for desktop PCs. Not only that but these WiFi Direct virtual adapters will appear like any other adapter in other applications. This can cause confusion when configuring. Not to mention, the WiFi Direct virtual adapter might also interfere with other networks and devices.
So, if you've decided that you don't need it, here are the steps to remove Microsoft WiFi Direct virtual adapter in Windows.
Note: The steps shown below can be followed in Windows 7 and 8 too.
1] via Device Manager
The Device Manager provides the easiest way to disable Microsoft WiFi Direct virtual adapter.
1. First, open the start menu, search for "Device Manager" and click on the first result to open the Device Manager.
2. After opening the Device Manager, expand the "Network adapters" section. Now, find the "Microsoft WiFi Direct virtual adapter" option, right-click on it and select the "Disable device" option.
If you have multiple WiFi Direct adapters, disable all those in the same manner.
3. After disabling all the WiFi Direct adapters, close the Device Manager and reboot Windows.
As you can see, the Device Manager method is pretty simple and straightforward. If this did not work or if there is no "Microsoft WiFi Direct virtual adapter" option in the Device Manager, I recommend you follow the second method.
If you want to enable WiFi Direct adapter again, follow the same steps but select the "Enable device" option in step 2.
2] Command to Remove Microsoft WiFi Direct Virtual Adapter
If the first method did not work for some reason, you can use the PowerShell command to remove Microsoft WiFi Direct virtual adapter.
1. First, open an elevated PowerShell window. To do that, search for PowerShell in the start menu, right-click on the result and select "Run as administrator".
2. In the PowerShell window, execute the below command. It will first stop the running virtual adapter. You need to do this first to disable it fully.
netsh wlan stop hostednetwork
3. After stopping the WiFi Direct virtual adapter network, execute the below command to disable it. Once the adapter is disabled, you will not see it in other applications or devices.
netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=disallow
4. Generally, you don't have to reboot Windows. However, if you are not seeing the changes instantly, reboot Windows.
That is it.
To enable WiFi Direct virtual adapter again, execute the below commands one after the other.
netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=allow netsh wlan start hostednetwork
I hope that helps. If you are stuck or need some help, comment below and I will try to help as much as possible. If you like this article, do check out how to change network priority in Windows and how to create network adapters shortcut in Windows.