Home > Uncategorized > How to: Bypass a laptop wireless switch

How to: Bypass a laptop wireless switch

It’s happened to me multiple times at work, a client brings me a laptop saying their wireless isn’t working and it turns out to be the hardware switch for the wireless card on the laptop. You can fix these, but with a lot of new laptops, they are done through a circuit board, and for me it seems a bit excessive to be pulling apart half the laptop and re-soldering or potentially replacing the old circuit board.

If the laptop is using a mini-pci-e wireless adapter (Pretty much industry standards these days) then there is this neat little trick to automatically bypass the switch and keep the wireless card turned on.

If you place a small piece of tape over pin #20, it will completely bypass the laptops on/off switch.
Pin #20 is the second pin after the notch on the side with more notches, on the under side. (Side without antenna plugs)
Make sure your tape is only covering the correct pin and not others. Use electrical tape and not “sticky” tape. It is pretty hard to hard to cut such a small size, but definitely possible!

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  1. kivnul
    August 10, 2011 at 11:30 pm

    Thanks!

  2. Jasen
    September 8, 2011 at 4:05 am

    Dude you have just literally made my entire year. I have been looking for a repair for 6 months straight for my laptop, and this fix works great! I just used a bit of clear scotch tape, a razor blade, and a pair of needle nose pliers to remove the cut tape!

  3. Delwyn
    January 2, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    it didnt work for me….i have a half pcie card in my asus :(

    • January 2, 2012 at 12:33 pm

      Sorry to hear :( You can buy USB wireless adapters for around $20 these days too.

  4. ABZ
    January 18, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    THANK YOU SOOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH, UR A LIFESAVER

  5. F
    February 16, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    Thanks so much for the cool solution. Very helpful :)

  6. ghost2916
    June 10, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    Just tried this on my toshiba satellite. I used a dell wireless adapter to replace the toshiba adapter then the switch would not work. So using this tape method I avoided hours of headaches and frustration. Thanks!

  7. Cj
    June 10, 2012 at 11:21 pm

    Do I cover both sides of the card on that pin or just the side thats flush with the pins?

  8. ZG
    July 8, 2012 at 6:15 am

    Thanks for taking the time to share this. Just worked on my Sony Vaio. I covered the second to last pin on the long side before the groove, although it wasn’t 20 (I guess pins on wireless cards vary). Been pushing off getting something new until after the summer and this will hold me over until then.

  9. Scott Forbush
    June 5, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    Thank you so much! I was in disbelieve that this would work but you sir are a genius!!! The tape was difficult to cut but in the end it saved me money thank you again!!!

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