Fix Windows Stuck in Airplane Mode in 60 seconds

Can’t turn off airplane mode Windows 10? Do this!

This is the fix for when you’re stuck and can’t turn off airplane mode in Windows 10 on your device, including on a Surface Pro, and you want to turn on the WiFi. I’ve found it can be a problem with the laptop or Surface Pro wireless controller rather than fight mode itself when the airplane mode won’t turn off and seems to be stuck. I’ve noticed that there seems to be two triggers, one where you’ve have a laptop or other device and have just installed windows 10, or one where your device has got too hot and it has affected the Surface Pro WiFi controller. The same step by step procedure may fix either problem cause.

First below is a quick fix procedure that may work in less than 60 seconds. If you’re lucky it will work and you’ll save time. Also provided further below and onto a second page is a complete step by step guide on how to turn off airplane mode when stuck on your Surface Pro (see How to Fix Windows Surface Stuck in Airplane Mode). The more complete guide has more details but both are pretty detailed and easy to follow with screen copies to help guide you. If you have a Surface Pro and it feels hot, make sure you follow the more complete procedure.

Quick Fix Procedure for Windows Stuck in Flight Mode

Step 1: Go to Device Manager

There are a few ways you can open the Device Manager. An easy way is to click on Cortana or the search interface in the Task Bar.

Then start typing the letters to spell out Device Manager. You can watch as you type because several suggested search item results will pop up, and as you type these will narrow down to the few available for the characters you have typed. See the screen capture below:

How To Fix Windows Stuck in Airplane Mode-Device Manager

The above example shows what you may see after having typed just the first three letters of ‘Dev’. Exactly what displays may depend on your Windows 10 device or Surface Pro. Keep typing enough until you see the Device Manager option come up, and then click on it.

If you have Cortana operating with voice recognition you can click on the microphone icon (circled in the screen shot below) next to the search entry box and say “Device Manager”.

How to disable airplane mode in windows 10

If you don’t see the Device Manager window, it might be behind some of your other open applications. Minimize any other open applications until you see the Device Manager window.

Step 2: Find and Select the Network Adapters

Search down the list for Network Adapters. You might need to click on the little grey side arrow to the left of it, to expand the list to see what is inside it. Or you can just double-click on the word itself (see below).


Step 3: Find Your Wireless Controller in the list

Find an item that has a name of something which indicates it is the Network Controller (under Network Adapters). Mine is highlighted in the screen shot below to give you an example.

How to fix it when you can't turn off airplane mode windows 10-NetworkAdapter

Step 4: Open your Network Controller and Disable it

Double click to open your network controller. It might say under the General tab something like “this device is working properly”. I have my doubts! It has always shown “working properly” message this whenever I’ve been troubleshooting this problem.

Then go to the Driver tab, then click “Disable” button as highlighted in the screen capture below.

windows 10 stuck in airplane mode-Disable Network Driver

You may get a warning that this action will disable your Network Controller. I suggest you just accept any warning you might receive. We’re going to be turning it right back again on anyhow.

Step 5: Enable the Network Controller

Wait for a moment or close and reopen the Network Controller. This time you will see the button says “Enable” in the same location that it said “Disable” before.

Click on “Enable” and wait a moment.

I know I mentioned a longer procedure for this problem when windows 10 airplane mode won’t turn off at the start of this quick fix procedure, so click here for a detailed procedure on How to Fix Windows Surface Stuck in Airplane Mode.

If it has worked, you will now have the option to turn off flight mode and WiFi will be available because the WiFi will not be being blocked by a problem with the Network Controller. Now you know fix Windows stuck in airplane mode fast!


  • Phil

    Reply Reply March 13, 2017

    GREAT solution!!! Thank you so much!!!

    I was totally dead in the water. SP3 running WIN 10 went into Airplane mode for some unknown reason and wouldn’t let me take it out. Grrr…..

    Tried multiple reboots, Network Troubleshooting tool, changing Adapter settings from Network and Sharing Center and wouldn’t let me access Adapter settings.

    Other online “solutions” of reloading Windows 10 sounded like way too much work and reported results were unsatisfactory. Not good.

    No Ethernet port on SP3, so I was totally toast.

    But this worked like a champ! Thank you TechMentor!!! You saved me!! Awesome!!!

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply March 13, 2017

      Good on you Phil, thank you for writing your success story in your comment here. Very glad to have been able to help you get unstuck from airplane mode. This procedure is certainly easier than reinstalling Windows 10!

  • brigette taylor

    Reply Reply April 1, 2018

    So I tried this but then I turned off the computer without first enabling the device and now it won’t turn on! Help!!!

    • Jeff

      Reply Reply April 1, 2018

      Hi Brigette, I think the device not turning on would not be related to turning off the network card. A surface pro device not turning on can happen so often we have another article for that. Possibly all the troubles you were having with your device (or possibly an unrelated cause) drained your battery. Just first try recharging for a good long time as per the article fix surface won’t turn on.

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