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Windows 7: Meaning of "bars" icon in System Tray

12 Jul 2015   #1
perkinw

Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 
Meaning of "bars" icon in System Tray

I recently replaced an old Windows 7 desktop with a new more powerful Windows 7 desktop. My old machine was wired to a Gigabit Ethernet router, and so is the new one. Here's the difference: The new machine has wireless adapter, and when I look in the Notification Area, I see a "bars" icon. On the old machine, which did not have wireless, I saw a "wired connection" icon in the Notification Area. See attached screenshot.

When I first saw the "bars" icon, I thought the new machine was actually using the WiFi connection, rather than the (much faster) wired connection. But after poking around, I was convinced that traffic was going over the wire.

I would definitely prefer to see the "wired connection" icon in the Notification Area when the machine is using it. But when I choose "Customize" I do not see the icon. The "bars" icon is simply called "Network." I find that confusing. What happened to the wired icon?




Attached Images
Meaning of "bars" icon in System Tray-system-tray-icons.png 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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12 Jul 2015   #2
andrew129260

Windows 10 Pro
 
 

If you see the "bars" you are connected with wireless. It is also possible to be connected with both connections. You can click the "bars" icon and disconnect from the wireless, at which point you will see the little computer (wired) icon.

The bars will go up and down depending on signal strength. If you are connected via wired, disconnect the wireless by clicking the bars and choosing to disconnect.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jul 2015   #3
Berton

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit, Windows 8.1 64-bit, Mac OS X 10.10, Linux Mint 17, Windows 10 Pro TP
 
 

Or as I do if not wanting a Desktop to use the Wireless/Wi-Fi, disable the Wireless in Device Manager and/or Networking. It may also be possible to disable the adapter in the BIOS then Windows shouldn't see it.

If properly set up a Wireless Router should require entering a password/passphrase/pass code for a connection to be established using Wi-Fi. I have seen issues when there was also a Wi-Fi-capable printer in use.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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12 Jul 2015   #4
andrew129260

Windows 10 Pro
 
 

Yes you can also disable the wireless adapter by going into control panel-network and internet-view network status and tasks-change adapter settings. Right click wireless and choose disable.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jul 2015   #5
perkinw

Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

Why would Windows choose to use a Wireless connection when a much faster wired connection is available? And why would the traffic volume on the wired network be so high if it were using wireless (see attachment)?

I should have mentioned that, before posting here, I followed instructions I found elsewhere to tell Windows to prefer the wired connection:
Control Panel -> Network and Sharing Center -> Change adapter settings
Press Alt key to get the menu bar (menu bar is not shown otherwise)
Choose Advanced -> Advanced Settings.
Re-order your connections in that list.
I did this and moved "Local Area Connection" to the top (see attachment). But I still get the "bars" icon.

I will disable the wireless as some of you suggested, but I find it hard to believe that this step would be necessary.


Attached Images
Meaning of "bars" icon in System Tray-connection-status.png Meaning of "bars" icon in System Tray-advanced-settings.png 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jul 2015   #6
andrew129260

Windows 10 Pro
 
 

Hmm, that is quite odd.....Have you restarted recently? Perhaps a graphical glitch...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jul 2015   #7
perkinw

Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

I have restarted many times. As suggested, I disabled the wireless adapter and now I see the "wired" icon in the Notification Area. Odd indeed!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Meaning of "bars" icon in System Tray




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