How to Disable Active Internet Probing (NCSI) in Windows

When you connect your Windows PC to any network whether through a LAN cable or through a WiFi adapter, it shows if the network has an active internet connection or not. If the computer is able to access the internet through an existing network to which it is connected, then Windows shows a normal networking icon in the system tray. If there is no active internet access available, then the network icon is shown with a yellow exclamation icon. The magic behind it is that Windows keeps probing some of the Microsoft servers to check if internet is reachable or not. In the process, it checks the IPv4 and IPv6 address of dns.msftncsi.com (the servers of Microsoft NCSI – network connectivity status indicator) and matches them with the hardcoded values. It also tries to read a small text file “ncsi.txt” from the msftncsi.com servers that contains the text “Microsoft NCSI”. Upon success of these operations, it declares an active internet connection else thinks that Windows has no internet access.

Disable Microsoft NCSI in Windows

If you do not want Windows to probe the Microsoft server every time you connect to a network, then you can easily disable it using the following steps:

  1. Press the Win+R hotkey to bring up the Windows’ Run dialog. In the Run dialog, type regedit and press Enter. This will open the Windows Registry Editor.
  2. In the Windows Registry Editor window, navigate to
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\NlaSvc\Parameters\Internet
  3. Find the value named EnableActiveProbing, double-click on it and change its value from 1 to 0.Disable Microsoft NCSI in Windows
  4. Close the Windows Registry Editor. Try reconnecting to the internet (by replugging the ethernet cable or restarting the router). Now Windows will no longer probe Microsoft NCSI servers.

Alternatively, if you do not want to go through all these manual steps, then you can download disable-msft-ncsi.zip, extract the files to a folder and double-click on disable-network-probing.reg and proceed with prompts. Similarly, the enable-network-probing.reg file is meant to restore the default values for NCSI.

7 thoughts on “How to Disable Active Internet Probing (NCSI) in Windows

  1. Well. I had to disable this because, for some reason, Windows kept opening that URL in my _browser_ when connecting. No idea why, but, pretty dumb…

  2. Actually, there are some major programs that become disrupted by disabling this. If you are in a business environment, MS Office internet functionality will cease to function. This is all programs within the Office suite. The ability to pull down images for word, excel, powerpoint, or publisher will no longer function. The error will come up with a “No internet connection”.

  3. Are there any potential adverse effects by disabling this? Will programs that rely on an internet connection stop working properly because they aren’t able to detect a connection? Any other such symptoms?

    1. No, other programs can still access the internet. It is just to let the user know which of the connections visible in the Control Panel can be used to access the Internet.

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