Microsoft has made Airplane mode more accessible over the years, but it’s getting a nice functional upgrade in Windows 11 version 22H2.
This feature emulates the identically named feature on smartphones: it disables all of the wireless radios in your PC—Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, typically, but also broadband Internet, GPS, and NFC if present—for those times when you will be offline for an extended period, as on an airplane. Enabling Airplane mode will typically improve battery life, too, since the relevant radios won’t be constantly looking for connections.
To date, Airplane mode has been a dumb toggle: when you enable it, all of the available radios are disabled, and when you disable it, all of them are re-enabled. But one could manually enable individual radios while in Airplane mode. For example, you could enable Bluetooth to use wireless earbuds.
With Windows 11 version 22H2, Airplane mode is getting its first substantial functional upgrade since its first appearance in Windows 7, and it’s a good one. Now, when you enable your Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connection while in Airplane mode, Windows will remember that and leave it enabled the next time you use Airplane mode.