How to Prioritize Wi-Fi Networks on Mac, iOS and Android

Well, wiFi is pretty much the most sought after commodity these days, especially if you guys can bag it for free. It’s everywhere in today’s world, along with most places having more than one WiFi network available as well. That’s all great for connectivity, however, it does play the role of a double-edged sword. You guys see, having multiple WiFi networks also poses the question of which one you should connect to. Because one might have better coverage in just one area and weak in the other. Well, at my house, for instance, I actually have a separate network for the upper and lower floors, and I’d ideally want to connect to the network. That’s for the floor that I’m on because the signal strength is understandably better. Let’s now discuss How to Prioritize Wi-Fi Networks on Mac, iOS, and Android.

The problem

Strangely enough, the presence of such a large number of WiFi networks basically comes with its own downsides. Most of the time you guys discover that your laptop has connected to a weaker WiFi router. Rather than connecting to the ones that are nearer and have stronger signal strength. Just take a look at my example, I depend on my main router and a WiFi repeater at the farthest point of my house. Sadly enough my devices still connect to the main WiFi router rather than connecting to the repeater. Each and every time I need to switch the WiFi network only to find that it has switched back to the other router after some time actually.

The same problem also extends to a scenario wherein you guys have multiple ISP’s and want to use one for work however, the other is for entertainment purposes. Even in such cases, you guys don’t really have control over which Wi-Fi your device chooses, that is until now!

The Solution

Thankfully we can actually prioritize Wi-Fi networks across macOS, Android, iOS, and Windows. All we have to do is just follow the steps detailed below and be rest assured. That your device actually respects your priority whenever it comes to the WiFi network of choice.

How to Prioritize Wi-Fi Networks on Android

Well in spite of being lauded as one of the best mobile operating systems whenever it comes to customization. Android does not really offer a native feature in order to prioritize WiFi networks. Worry not we can still make use of a third-party app and instruct your Android smartphone in order to connect to the right network.

Before we proceed further, I would like to inform you that some of the custom Android Roms come with built-in WiFi network priority settings. The feature is mostly nestled in the WiFi settings menu. I personally use WiFi Prioritizer in order to set a Wi-Fi connection priority for Android devices. The app works via frequently monitoring the signal strengths and hence switching between the best available WiFi networks.

When you have installed the app, then make sure to toggle the “Enable Scheduled Job” option. Now you guys should be able to see a list of WiFi networks. The networks on the list also have the highest priority however, the ones on the lower half have a really lesser priority. Users can also set the priority by through simply dragging and rearranging the networks as desires. Remember the networks are arranged in descending order actually.

Plus, you can also change the Refresh Interval via heading over to the Settings. Tread carefully as lesser intervals will result basically in more battery drain so select accordingly. Users can also change the minimum signal strength in the same menu too. If you want to turn off the WiFi Prioritiser simply toggle the “Enable Scheduled Job” to Off position.

How to Prioritize Wi-Fi Networks on MacOS

How to Priorities Wi-Fi

Well, it has been a year since I shifted to a MacBook Air as my daily driver. The butter-smooth interface and no-niggles nature of the operating system have me sold actually. Unlike any other operating systems, macOS does offer a native feature in order to prioritize WiFi networks. Interestingly the feature has actually been around for quite some time and the same is carried over to the macOS Sierra and High Sierra as well. In other words, no matter which version of the macOS you guys are running you can still prioritize the WiFi networks without even the need for third-party software.

Tap on the WiFi icon on the upper left side of your menu bar. In the next step, just now tap on “Open Network Preferences”. Then choose WiFi from the left menu pane and then tap on the “Advanced” button at the bottom.

Well, now a window titled “Preferred Networks” should open. In this menu, you guys will find all the remembered WiFi network SSIDs that are stacked together. Needless to say, networks that are actually on the top of the list have the highest priority. And this also means that the network names are arranged in descending order of their priority as well. Move the network name via dragging and dropping the same. Lastly, you need to tap OK and your Mac will then save the settings and henceforth adhere to the same.

How to Prioritize Wi-Fi networks on iOS

Well, because I use my iPhone a lot around my house and thus it is really necessary for me to prioritize the WiFi network. But, I soon found out that Apple had not been thoughtful and hence does not really offer a WiFi prioritization feature on the iPhone. However, this might sound like a bummer, but it isn’t if you happen to own a laptop or rather any machine that is running macOS. Yes, the same WiFi priority setting on the macOS holds really good for the iPhone as well. One caveat though is that both, the machine running macOS and the iPhone should be logged on through the same Apple ID.

The same holds good for other Apple devices such as the iPad and the older iPods as well. That being said if you guys don’t happen to own an Apple laptop you are pretty much out of luck actually.

How to Prioritize Wi-Fi networks on your Windows Laptop

Well, I always have a habit of saving the best for the last. Windows is the most famous operating system and hence it makes sense in order to explain the WiFi prioritization option. To the best of my knowledge Windows Start to offering this feature only recently. In order to set WiFi priority on a Windows laptop, you just have to follow the steps detailed below,

Assign priority between LAN and Wireless adapters

  • Tap on Windows Key + X and select“Network Connections
  • In this step, you have to tap on the ALT key and click on Advanced followed by “Advanced Settings
  • Now you guys can set the priority through tapping the arrows

How to Priorities Wi-Fi

How to Prioritize Wi-Fi networks on Window

Unlike, Windows 7 (that included a graphical tool in order to manage your wireless network priority); Windows 8 and 10, want you to use a command prompt. So, let’s now just see how you can do it.

Wireless network connection priority

  • First, open up your cmd along with admin privileges or from the admin account.
  • Priority can also be assigned to a network through tapping on “connecting automatically”
  • Then type the following command in order to see a list of your saved Wi-Fi networks that you want to prioritize.

netsh wlan show profiles

  • In order to prioritize a Wi-Fi network, just run the following command, replacing “wifi-name” along with the name of the Wi-Fi network. “interface-name” along with the name of the Wi-Fi interface such as Wi-Fi or Ethernet as well, and “#” with the priority number that you want to place the Wi-Fi network at.
netsh wlan set profileorder name="wifi-name" interface="interface-name" priority=#

Such as, with the following command, I can actually connect my laptop to my home Wi-Fi network “Batcave” along with the highest priority i.e. 1.

netsh wlan set profileorder name="Batcave" interface="WiFi" priority=1

And that’s pretty much, if you guys again run the netsh wlan show profiles command. Then you can see the WiFi network name Batcave is on the top as well.


You are good to go. If you have any queries and issues related to this “How to Prioritize Wi-Fi” article then let us know in the comments section below.

Also See: How to Fix this Error “You Need Permission To Perform This Action”

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