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Enable Windows to Soft Disconnect a computer from a Network

In a move to make Windows 10 computers notify an application to stop using a specific network interface, a new Group Policy setting was added. It was named Enable Windows to soft-disconnect a computer from a network. The setting determines how Windows should disconnect a computer from a network when it finds it is no longer be connected to the network. So, if you are interested in enabling or disabling this setting from Windows 10, then this post will help you.

Enable Windows to Soft Disconnect a computer from a Network

When the setting is enabled, Windows will soft-disconnect a computer from a network – not immediately or abruptly though. As opposed to this, if the setting is disabled, Windows will disconnect a computer or a PC from a network immediately. You have two ways to configure Soft Disconnect a computer from a Network in Windows 10:

  1. Tweaking the Registry Setting
  2. Changing the Group Policy setting

Please note that if the setting is not configured, the default behavior is soft-disconnect.

1] Tweaking the Registry Setting

Press Win+R in combination to bring up the ‘Run’ dialog box.

In the empty field of the box, type ‘regedit’ and hit the ‘Enter’ key.

When the Registry Editor opens, navigate to the following path address –

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESoftwarePoliciesMicrosoftWindowsWcmSvcGroupPolicy

If you do find such entry then, create it.

Now, create a new 32-bit DWORD value SoftDisconnectConnections and configure its value as follows:

  • 0 = Disable Soft Disconnect
  • 1 = Enable Soft Disconnect

Enable Windows to Soft Disconnect a computer from a Network

You can simply choose to delete the SoftDisconnectConnections value to restore the system defaults.

When done, close the Registry Editor and restart your computer to allow the changes to take effect.

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2] Changing the Group Policy Setting

Press Win+R in combination to bring up the ‘Run’ dialog box.

In the empty field of the box, type ‘gpedit.msc’ and hit the ‘Enter’ key

Now, when the Local Group Policy editor app opens, or launch it for all users except Administrator, or for a specific user.

Next, navigate to the following folder:

Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Network > Windows Connection Manager.

Switch to the right-pane and double-click on the ‘Enable Windows to soft-disconnect a computer from a network’ option.

Enable Windows to Soft Disconnect a computer from a Network

This policy setting determines whether Windows will soft-disconnect a computer from a network.

If this policy setting is enabled or not configured, Windows will soft-disconnect a computer from a network when it determines that the computer should no longer be connected to a network.

If this policy setting is disabled, Windows will disconnect a computer from a network immediately when it determines that the computer should no longer be connected to a network.

When soft disconnect is enabled:

  • When Windows decides that the computer should no longer be connected to a network, it waits for traffic to settle on that network. The existing TCP session will continue uninterrupted.
  • Windows then checks the traffic level on the network periodically. If the traffic level is above a certain threshold, no further action is taken. The computer stays connected to the network and continues to use it. For example, if the network connection is currently being used to download files from the Internet, the files will continue to be downloaded using that network connection.
  • When the network traffic drops below this threshold, the computer will be disconnected from the network. Apps that keep a network connection active even when they’re not actively using it (for example, email apps) might lose their connection. If this happens, these apps should re-establish their connection over a different network.

This policy setting depends on other group policy settings. For example, if ‘Minimize the number of simultaneous connections to the Internet or a Windows Domain’ is disabled, Windows will not disconnect from any networks.

Set the policy to ‘Disabled’ to disable the feature.

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You can also leave it as Not configured or set it to ‘Enabled’.

That’s all!


  • Tags: Group Policy, Network

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