Whenever I boot it connects. There is no option to disconnect it except to uncheck the "connect automatically" box, but it stays connected even if I reboot.

What is going on here?

Also, I cannot turn Windows Defender on. When I try, Windows tells me that antivirus protection is being performed remotely. This was not part of the contract when I purchased this laptop and my employer continually tells me that they are not the one who is connecting through the hidden network.

So, since my employer obviously doesn't see that this is a monumental security issue, I feel obligated to correct this problem before our network is compromised, infected, and my data is lost or corrupted.

I do suspect that my employer is lying through his teeth, but just in case he claims to know nothing and is not bothered by this issue, I want to simply take care of it since that's the right thing to do for every reason.

What can I do to delete this hidden network and lock anyone else out who may try to get back in?

Screenshot of problem

Here's a screenshot. When the machine boots it always shows that it is connecting a hidden network!

  • 2
    Can you please describe the basic symptoms? What do you see on the screen, as specifically as possible, that leads you to believe there is a hidden network that is continually connecting?
    – John Wu
    Aug 14, 2017 at 19:31
  • 2
    Gives us names, screenshots, ... You do not have enough reputation to include pictures, but just place them on a generic image hosting site and edit their links (with descriptions) into the question.
    – user13695
    Aug 14, 2017 at 19:42
  • 2
    The fact that you are an administrator on the laptop says a lot. Is this laptop on a domain or not? Aug 14, 2017 at 21:31
  • 2
    While not neccecarily a good first course of action, is reinstalling Windows an option in your case?
    – Οurous
    Aug 14, 2017 at 21:48
  • @NotNutz Do you use any other antivirus, if so, which one?
    – Vilican
    Aug 15, 2017 at 12:46

2 Answers 2


I would suspect some kind of Antivirus program is installed locally on the computer and is managing Windows defender remotely and has also connected the Hidden Network. Most likely it doesn't mean that it's connecting you to remote servers, although it may do that as part of its operations, rather that it has installed some kind of network adapter in order to route all traffic through the program to make sure nothing bad comes in the door.

There are two places to look for more information. One is to right-click on the wifi icon in the status bar and click Open Network and Sharing Center. The other is the network adapters page, which can be accessed from the network and sharing center. If you would post a screenshot of the Network and Sharing Center window, it would be helpful, but make sure you blank out the network name before posting. The network adapters page would also be good, just make sure you blank out any network names (but not adapter names).

If you do not wish to post these screenshots, that's fine. These two windows are where I would go to find more information like you are trying to figure out. Look for a blue link next to the label Connections on the Network and Sharing Center window and click on it. That will give you the adapter info window for that specific connection.


A firewall / network monitoring tool with blocking capabilities could maybe help you out.

For example:

NetLimiter : it wont allow any in/out-going connection to succeed unless you decide.

You can also try to capture the traffic with WireShark and find out more about what is really going on in the background... as they say : Information is power.

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