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How to create a Kill Switch in Windows 10

How to create a Kill Switch in Windows 10

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Knowing how to create a lock key in Windows can (ironically) prove to be a lifesaver, should something fishy start happening on your internet-connected computer.

“Kill Switch” is not an official term for Windows, but many VPN services offer a feature with this name. This automatically takes you offline when you lose your encrypted connection to the VPN server, so you are not left unprotected.

On a Windows PC, turning on a dedicated kill switch can instantly disconnect if you think your device is under attack. It may have started downloading malware, showing pop-up ads, or even being used as part of a botnet.

The kill switch also has harmless uses: you can use it, for example, to prevent a large file from being uploaded or an embarrassing email being sent, or to cancel an inconvenient update.

Think of it as a panic button that saves you from having to pull network cables or turn off your router to disconnect from the network.

In our guide below, we will explain how to create a lock key in Windows using a special shortcut. This can be activated with a single mouse click or by pressing a keyboard shortcut, to take you offline instantly if the need arises. You can also create a shortcut to get back online once the panic is over.

How to Create a Kill Switch in Windows: Create a Shortcut

There is no built-in Windows option to create a lock key. However, you can get around this by creating a shortcut that disables the network adapter and disconnects the computer from the Internet. Heres how to do it.

1. Open the Windows 10 Settings app, either by clicking the Start button and clicking the Settings cog icon, or by pressing Windows Key + I on your keyboard.

2. When the settings window opens, Click on “Network and Internet”. In the Network Status section on the left, note the . file Network adapter name It is currently connecting your computer to the Internet.

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For wired connections, this should be “Ethernet,” For wireless devices “WIFI,” Although the name of your adapter may vary.

(Image credit: Microsoft)

3. Close or minimize the settings box and Right-click on an empty area of ​​the desktop. Select New, then Shortcut.

(Image credit: Microsoft)

4. When the Create Shortcut box opens, Copy and paste the following into the location box next to the Browse button. However, Replace “XXXX” with the name of your network adapter from step 2:

C:WindowsSystem32netsh.exe interface group interface name=”XXXX” admin = disabled

For example, for an Ethernet connection, enter:

C:WindowsSystem32netsh.exe Interface Group Interface Name = Ethernet Administrator = Disabled

If Windows is not installed on drive “C”, you will need to change that drive letter as well.

(Image credit: Microsoft)

5. Click {Next And Change the name of the Kill Switch shortcut to something easily recognizable, like “Internet Off”, “Disconnect” or plain old “Kill Switch”.

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Click Finish to confirm and create the shortcut, which will appear on your desktop. Don’t click it yet!

How to set up a Kill Switch in Windows: Customize the shortcut

Once you create a Kill Switch shortcut, you can customize it to look and work the way you want. This will make it easier to search and run when disaster strikes, and prevent you from accidentally activating them. Here’s what to do.

1. Right-click on the new shortcut And Choose Properties from the context menu. When the properties box opens, Click Change Icon.

(Image credit: Microsoft)

2. You will now see a message that the file contains no icons. Click OK to dismiss this and the Change Icon box will open.

Select an appropriate symbol to use for the Kill Switch shortcut, such as the shutdown button or the no-entry sign, then click OK.

(Image credit: Microsoft)

3. Back in the properties box, you can Create a keyboard shortcut For the lock key, in case you can’t click its icon when a panic occurs.

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Click inside the “Shortcut key” box and press the keys you want to use. Note that Windows may try to complete the shortcut for you. Click Apply To save your selected key combination.

(Image credit: Microsoft)

4. Finally, since turning off the network adapter requires administrator privileges, you will need to modify the kill switch accordingly. Click the “Advanced” button And Check the box for “Run as administrator,” and then Click OK.

(Image credit: Microsoft)

5. Click OK to save changes to the lock key. you can now Drag and pin the shortcut to the taskbar For easy one-click access.

However, refrain from clicking it – you will first need to create a “reconnect” toggle.

How to set up a Kill Switch in Windows: Create a reconnect switch

Once you use the kill switch to disconnect from the Internet, you will then need to know how to reconnect after the emergency is over. Prepare for that by creating another shortcut that will bring you back online. We’ll explain how below.

1. Repeat steps 1 through 3 in the first section above. When you get to the “Create Shortcut” stage in step 4, Copy and paste the following In the location box:

C:WindowsSystem32netsh.exe interface group interface name=”XXXX” admin=enabled

repeatedly, Replace “XXXX” with the name of your network adapter, along with the hard drive letter if necessary.

(Image credit: Microsoft)

2. Name the shortcut “reconnect”, “turn on the Internet” or something similar that can be recognized, and then Click Finish to create it.

3. As described in the previous section, you can customize the shortcut icon through Right-click on it and choose Properties, then “Change Icon”. choose Convenient icon like play button or green check mark.

You can also set up a keyboard shortcut for the redial key, in the same way as before. Don’t forget to grant administrator access as well by clicking on Advanced and selecting this option.

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(Image credit: Microsoft)

Click OK to save your settings Exit the properties box and optionally pin the new shortcut to the taskbar.

How to set up a Kill Switch in Windows: Test the Kill Switch

Finally, you must make sure that the lock switch is working properly, so that you can disconnect the Internet immediately after a disaster. Here’s how to test the shortcut, as well as how to quickly get back online if the Reconnect shortcut fails.

1. To test that your lock key works as well Double-click the icon on the desktopAnd Click its icon on the taskbar (if you installed it there) or Use your chosen keyboard shortcut.

2. The User Account Control prompt will open, asking if you’re sure you “want to allow this app to make changes to your device”.

This warning adds an extra step to the lock switch, but also prevents you from accidentally triggering it. Click Yes to continue.

(Image credit: Microsoft)

3. The Kill Switch will now disable the network adapter And Terminate your internet connection.

(Image credit: Microsoft)

To enable the adapter again, Just Click or double-click the redial icon, or use its keyboard shortcut.

4. If something goes wrong and you can’t connect again using the shortcut, don’t panic. just go to Settings, “Network and Internet,” and select “Change adapter options.”

Double-click the network adapter to re-enable it And reconnect to the Internet.

(Image credit: Microsoft)

You are now all set to quickly disconnect from the Internet when something alarming happens to your computer.

More Windows 10 Tips

How to enable God Mode in Windows | How to change the color of the command prompt in Windows | How to use Enhanced Search Mode in Windows 10 | How to force quit smoking in Windows | How to change your Windows username

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