The Weekly Geek

I'm the Geek so you don't have to be!

The Weekly Geek random header image

Disabling IPv6 to speed up your computer and network

August 1st, 2012 · 2 Comments

With so many devices on the World Wide Web, a new protocol for the IP addresses was released, IPv6 (Internet Protocol Version 6). It will eventually replace IPv4. At this point, not many complete networks have a requirement for IPv6 which means you can safely disable it.

We currently and have been using IPv4, which gives your computer and devices numerical addresses like xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx or more realistically something like 192.168.1.101. It seems we are going to run out of number since these only go to 255, not 999 in each segment.

As for now, and in all offices that I work in and with, there is no need to run IPv6. If you don’t have all computers, switches, networked devices (NAS, Printers, Scanners …) and of course your router using IPv6, I only see it as an unneeded overhead on your computer and network. So let’s disable it!

IPv6 is enabled by default starting in Windows Vista and thus of course Windows 7.

You can disable IPv6 for each of your network interfaces (network cards), but doing so does not disable the protocol for the loopback and tunnel interfaces. I know these are geeky tech terms, just realize disabling via the network card (NIC) does not actually turn IPv6 off. To truly disable IPv6, you need to disable it through the Windows Registry also.

To disable IPv6 in your network card:

Click on the “Start” button then right-click on “Network” in the list (if you don’t have “Network” listed you click on “Start” then “Control Panel” then “”Network and Sharing Center” or “Start / Control Panel / Network and Internet / Network Sharing Center” all depending on how your settings are configured).

Windows Vista: Now you will click on the text “View Status” on the right side of the window.

A new pop up window labeled “Local Area Connection Status” will appear, click on the “Properties” button located in the lower left corner. Depending on UAC (for more on User Access Control, please check out my earlier articles) settings you may be asked to approve this by selecting “continue”, please do so.

Another pop up window will appear, in the middle of the window is “Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6)”, remove the check in the checkbox.

Windows 7: You will need to click on the blue text “Local Area Connection” that is pretty much in the middle of the screen.

A new window will appear, click on the “Properties” button located in the lower left corner. Depending on UAC (for more on User Access Control, please check out my earlier articles) settings you may be asked to approve this by selecting “continue”, please do so.

Another pop up window will appear, in the middle of the window is “Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6)”, remove the check in the checkbox.

In both versions, at this point select “OK” and then “Close” to close the two windows that you have been using, and “X” out of the Network Sharing Center window. Now you will need to edit the registry.

WARNING: Editing the registry is playing with the DNA of Windows, if you don’t follow the directions exactly as they are here things can go very badly. Remember the Mayan’s? You know how archaeologist don’t know what happened to their entire civilization, how they just disappeared. Well, in the IT community, we are quite sure that someone editing the registry of their calendar on a MS-DOS based system and, well as they say, the rest is history.

To disable IPv6 through the Windows Registry:
1.    Click the “Start” button in the lower left of the monitor and then type “regedit” and press Enter.
2.    Navigate and scroll the left column to “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SYSTEM \ CurrentControlSet \ Services \ TCPIP6 \ Parameters”.
3.    Right-click on “Parameters”, Select “New” and click on “DWORD (32-bit) Value”.
4.    Name the new value “DisabledComponents”, all one work and without the quoted, press Enter to continue.
5.    Right-click the new value you created (DisabledComponents) and select “Modify”.
6.    Set the value to “FFFFFFFF” (be sure “Hexadecimal” is selected under the “Base” section, now click “OK”. I believe it is 4294967295  in decimal.

All that is left is to restart your computer and IPv6 will be disabled on all interfaces.

If you have 20 or so devices on your network you should see a difference in your network speed. It should increase. Regardless, it will free up a small amount of resources on your computer.

Until we meet again, have a virus free week!

Tags: Networking

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Johnniedoo // Oct 24, 2014 at 5:15 pm

    I found the article informative, I know how to do all this but can not get any definitive position on /ip v6. I have my home network wired and wireless. there are a couple of sub nets, one only part time. I have kept v6 enabled in the properties for the nic.
    I do have a switch, NAS via ethernet and wireless, if needed with a printer/copy /scan/fax in a virtual usb. I tried to disable v6 a couple of yrs ago and ran into troubles but I did not have the network storage set up then.
    from what i get from this article, i should leave it enabled . of course, i am always changing things around and testing different configs of all things. I use linux windows and apple devices on or in the network, too. samba is running , i think, most of the time with one linux laptop i keep going, though suspend now and then.
    Thanks for this; has straightened out my thinking on ipv6 somewhat.

  • 2 Jim B // Oct 15, 2015 at 9:35 am

    There is no overhead in leaving IPV6 enabled in windows since its built in to the stack and can’t be “removed” to verify, notice that ping ::1 responds even when you “disable” ipv6

Leave a Comment