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Enable or Disable Airplane Mode on a Laptop

This article explains how to turn airplane mode on or off on a laptop and other devices using Windows 11, 10, and 8.1. Scroll down for separate Win 8.1 instructions.

How to turn airplane mode on or off

There are two ways to enable or disable Airplane mode on a Windows 10 or 11 PC.

Use the Network icon in the taskbar

The easiest way is to use thenetwork icon from the taskbar (that thin strip at the bottom of your screen where the Start button exists and program icons appear). Simply place the mouse over this icon and select it. From there, select Airplane mode.

How to turn airplane mode on or off

Access Airplane Mode Using the Home Button

You can also use the Windows Start button. Follow these steps:

1.Click on Start > Settings.

Click Settings

2.Click on Network and Internet.

Click on Network and Internet

3.Select Airplane mode. There are also options that allow you to fine-tune this and disable only WiFi or Bluetooth (and not both). If you don’t use Bluetooth, you might as well turn it off to prevent Windows from scanning for available devices.

Enable or disable airplane mode

4. To turn airplane mode off, follow these steps again.

In Windows 10, the airplane mode icon is at the bottom of the list. It’s gray when you turn Airplane mode off and blue when it’s on.

When you enable Airplane Mode, you’ll also notice the Wi-Fi icon change from blue to gray, as will the Mobile Hotspot option, if they were initially enabled. This happens because starting Airplane mode immediately disables all of these features. If your computer is a desktop PC, it may not have wireless networking hardware. In this case, you will not see these options.

How to Enable or Disable Airplane Mode in Windows 8.1

In Windows 8.1, you start Airplane mode using a similar process. You will select thenetwork icon in the taskbar. However, in this case there is a slider for Airplane mode (not an icon). It’s a toggle and it’s either off or on. Like Windows 10, enabling this mode also disables Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

In Windows 8, follow these steps:

  • Click on Settings or use the key Windows + vs..
  • To select Change PC settings.
  • To select Wireless. If you don’t see Wirelessclick on networks.

Reasons to enable airplane mode

There are many reasons to enable Airplane Mode beyond the captain of an aircraft requesting it. Using airplane mode will increase the remaining battery charge of a phone, laptop, or tablet. If you don’t have access to a charger and your battery is low, this is a good place to start as only a few plans have power outlets.

You can also turn on Airplane mode if you don’t want to be disturbed by phone calls, text messages, emails, or internet notifications, but still want to use your device. Parents often turn on airplane mode when their child is using their phone. It prevents children from reading incoming text messages or being disturbed by internet notifications or phone calls.

Another reason to enable airplane mode on a smartphone is to avoid cellular data roaming charges in a foreign country. Just keep Wi-Fi on. In larger cities, you’ll often find free Wi-Fi anyway, and you can message your contacts over Wi-Fi using apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and email.

Finally, if you can get to Airplane Mode fast enough, you may be able to prevent unwanted messages from being sent. Let’s say for example that you write some text and include an image, but just as it starts sending, you realize it’s the wrong image! If you can turn Airplane mode on fast enough, you might be able to stop it from sending. That’s when you’ll be really happy to see the “Failed to send message” error.

Note: Finally, if the phone or device does not transmit its location (or even its existence), you will be more difficult to locate. If you’re feeling particularly vulnerable and want to make sure your phone won’t betray you, turn on airplane mode.


If you have any questions or suggestions, let us know in the comments. Also consult this guide if you want to learn how to turn on bluetooth in windows 11.

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