How to Hide Neighborhood Wireless Networks (SSID) on Your Computer?

When you click on the Wi-Fi icon in the Notification area, you’ll see the list of Wireless network broadcasts that are within your connection range. If you’re an apartment dweller, you’ll see many SSIDs from your neighborhood which are of absolutely no use to you. You can clear the clutter by hiding those unneeded SSIDs from the list.

list of ssid wi-fi networks

Hide Neighbourhood WiFi SSIDs Using the Netsh Tool

You have two options: Block and hide individual SSIDs (or) Block all SSIDs and then whitelist your own Wireless network(s).

Method 1: Block or Blacklist Unwanted Wi-Fi Network SSIDs

To hide the SSIDs KUKUKEKE and Aathikesh shown in the above screenshot, use the Netsh.exe command-line tool:

Open an Admin Command Prompt window and run these two commands:

netsh wlan add filter permission=block ssid=KUKUKEKE networktype=infrastructure
netsh wlan add filter permission=block ssid=Aathikesh networktype=infrastructure

netsh add filter permission block ssid

This removes the two items from the list of available Wi-Fi connections.

list of ssid wi-fi networks

If you plan to delete the filters in order to show those Wireless networks in the list again, use this command to undo the filter:

netsh wlan delete filter permission=block ssid=KUKUKEKE networktype=infrastructure
netsh wlan delete filter permission=block ssid=Aathikesh networktype=infrastructure

Method 2: Deny All Wi-Fi Networks & Allow (Whitelist) Your Wi-Fi Network(s)

By default, all Wi-Fi networks are allowed. You can configure Windows to block or deny all SSIDs (permission=denyall) so that none is displayed/allowed to be connected. And then, whitelist individual SSIDs using the permission=allow parameter as mentioned below.

Here is the command-line to deny all Wi-Fi networks:

netsh wlan add filter permission=denyall networktype=infrastructure

At this point, your existing Wi-Fi network will disconnect and none will show up in the list.

No Wi-Fi networks found

Now, add or whitelist your own Wi-Fi connection SSID (e.g. “Ramesh”), using this command:

netsh wlan add filter permission=allow ssid=Ramesh networktype=infrastructure

Likewise, you can add as many SSIDs to the “allow” list.

If you plan to remove the “deny all” filter in future, use this command-line:

netsh wlan delete filter permission=denyall networktype=infrastructure

Note that the filters are honored only by Windows. Third-party apps can see all Wi-Fi networks regardless of the Netsh filters. For example, here is a screenshot of WifiInfoView, a Wi-Fi network viewer software from Nirsoft.net.

wifiinfoview list of ssids
WifiInfoView utility: List of Wi-Fi networks and their details

Hide your own SSID from neighbors

For security reasons, you may also want to hide your SSID from neighbors. You can do it in the router settings page.

hide ssid in router settings
Disable SSID broadcast in Router configuration page

If you deselect the “Enable SSID Broadcast” checkbox, the wireless device will not broadcast its name (SSID) on the air. However, if someone knows the Wireless network name (SSID) and password already, they can still connect to your Wireless network. If you have the Wireless network credentials saved on your devices, then you may turn off SSID broadcast and switch it On only when needed.

About the author

Ramesh Srinivasan founded Winhelponline.com back in 2005. He is passionate about Microsoft technologies and has a vast experience in the ITeS industry — delivering support for Microsoft's consumer products. He has been a Microsoft MVP [2003 to 2012] who contributes to various Windows support forums.

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