How to control the state of wireless devices in Windows 8

Applies to: Windows 8Windows 8 EnterpriseWindows 8 Pro


In Windows 8, a new user interface (UI) lets you control the state of wireless devices, such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Mobile Broadband devices, from one location. We recommend that you use this UI to change the state of these devices.

More Information

A new UI for wireless PC settings is available under Change PC settings in Settings in Windows 8. This UI lets you turn wireless devices on or off. This UI also adds Airplane mode. Airplane mode enables you to turn off all wireless devices. 

We recommend that you use this UI to control the state of each device.

Independent software vendors (ISVs)

We do not recommend that ISVs create applications that directly change the software radio state of devices, because this could cause inconsistency between the Windows operating system managed settings and the actual radio state of the devices.

Hardware vendors

We do not recommend that hardware vendors control the radio states of hardware. Although the configuration is supported, we do not recommend any kind of radio switch on the PC. If such a switch is implemented, an HID driver must integrate with the Windows 8 radio control experience. A sample of an HID driver can be found here.


For more information about the new Windows Hardware Certification Program (formerly known as the Windows Logo program), go to the following Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) website:For more information about the Radio Management API, go to the following MSDN website:For more information about keyboard features and improvements, download the "Keyboard Enhancements in Windows 8" white paper from the following MSDN website.

Note Appendix 3 of this white paper includes information about hardware radio switches.