Network Protocol missing in Windows 10 [STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE]

Ivan Jenic
by Ivan Jenic
Troubleshooting Expert
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  • Any network consists of at least two computers that are linked in order to share resources. This simple definition of networking applies to any OS and any OS version, thus Windows 10 makes no exception.
  • If protocols do not work as intended or worse if they're missing, there is not much left to do with the network. Introducing one of the most annoying network related errors: Network Protocol missing.
  • Not only does this pesky error hinder the sharing process, but in some cases it can also prevent computers from accessing the internet altogether. As inconvenient as it may sound, there are ways to fix this and we have gathered the best possible solutions in the article below.
  • Eager to know more about Windows 10 errors and how to solve them? Find out everything there is to know in our dedicated section.
Network missing protocol error windows 10

Networking is a huge part of the Windows 10 experience, and one of the most annoying network problems is the one where Network Protocols are missing. This error sounds serious, so let’s see if there’s a way to fix it.

Users report that they are unable to share files between network computers, and some are even unable to access the internet. As you can see, this problem can cause a lot of inconveniences, but there are a few solutions available.

How can I fix Network Protocol missing error in Windows 10?

Besides the Network protocol missing error, there are a few other issues that could be caused by the same culprits. For example:

  • Windows sockets registry entries required for network connectivity are missing
  • One or more network protocols are missing on this computer
  • Could not add the requested feature
  • Network protocols missing error Windows 10
  • One or more network protocols are missing on this computer WiFi

So, no matter the error code, you can apply the solutions from below, and (hopefully), you’ll solve the problem.

Table of contents:

Solution 1 – Temporarily disable your antivirus software

Although it’s not a good idea to disable your antivirus software, some users report that after disabling Kaspersky Internet Security their issues have been resolved.

So if you are using Kaspersky Internet Security, you might consider disabling it temporarily or switching to a different antivirus software. In addition, reinstalling antivirus software could also be helpful.


Don’t expose yourself to unnecessary risks. Find out why Windows Defender is the only malware barrier you need!


Solution 2 – Restore network protocols to default settings

Another thing we’re going to try is resetting network protocols to default settings. We’re going to do this by resetting the TCP/IP stack. In case you’re not sure how to do that, just follow the instructions:

  1. Open Command Prompt as administrator.
  2. When Command Prompt opens enter the following lines:
    • netsh int ip set dnsWindows sockets registry entries required for network connectivity are missing
    • netsh winsock reset
  3. Close Command Prompt and check if the issue is resolved.

If you’re having trouble accessing Command Prompt as an admin, then you better take a closer look at this guide.


Solution 3 – Disable NetBIOS

  1. Go to Control Panel > Network and Internet > Network Connections.
  2. Right click your network adapter and select Properties.
  3. Highlight IP v4 (TCP/IP) and choose Properties.
  4. Click Advanced.
  5. Next go to the WINS tab, and in NetBIOS settings section select Disable NetBIOS over TCP/IP.missing network protocols windows 10 1
  6. Click OK to save your settings.

Some users also claim that this issue is resolved by using obtaining IP address automatically instead of using a static IP. To change this setting just follow the first three steps from this solution.

As soon as you open IPv4(TCP/IP) Properties you should see the option that allows you select whether you want to use static IP address or to obtain one automatically.

You can’t open Control Panel? Take a look at this step-by-step guide to find a solution.


Can’t access IPv4 proprieties on Windows 10? Check out this guide and solve the problem in no time.


Solution 4 – Use Command Prompt

  1. Run Command Prompt as administrator. To do so, in the search bar type Command Prompt, right click Command Prompt from list of results and choose Run as administrator.
  2. When Command Prompt starts, type netcfg -d and press Enter to run it.missing network protocols windows 10 2
  3. Wait for the process to complete. After the process has been completed your computer should restart and the issue should be resolved.

In addition, some users suggest using the netsh int ipv4 install command. Just start the Command Prompt as administrator like in Step 1, type netsh int ipv4 install into Command Prompt and press Enter to run it.

After that, restart your computer and see if the issue is fixed.

Solution 5 – Use Command Prompt and sc.exe

This is a temporary solution, and you might have to revert the changes after a new Windows 10 update, if the problems start occurring. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Open Command Prompt as administrator.
  2. Type the following lines, and after each line press Enter to execute it:
    • sc.exe config lanmanworkstation depend= bowser/mrxsmb10/nsiOne or more network protocols are missing on this computer
    • sc.exe config mrxsmb20 start= disabled

After entering these lines into Command Prompt, the issue should be resolved. If you start to have troubles after a Windows 10 update, you might want to restore the default settings. To do so, follow these instructions:

  1. Open Command Prompt as administrator.
  2. Enter these lines and after each line press Enter to run it:
    • sc.exe config lanmanworkstation depend= bowser/mrxsmb10/mrxsmb20/nsiCould not add the requested feature
    • sc.exe config mrxsmb20 start= auto

Solution 6 – Import Winsock keys from a different computer

We have to mention that this is an advanced solution, and if you’re not careful, or you don’t know how to modify a registry, don’t do it, because you can cause damage to your operating system.

However, should you decide to proceed, you’ll need a different computer that doesn’t have problems with Network Protocols. You don’t necessarily have to use a Windows 10 computer. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. On the working Windows open Registry Editor and find the following keys:
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESystemCurrentControlSetServicesWinsock
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESystemCurrentControlSetServicesWinsock2
  2. Export these keys and move them to a USB flash drive.
  1. Switch to a Windows 10 computer that has issues with Network Protocols.
  2. Uninstall network driver.
  3. Open Registry Editor and find the following keys:
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESystemCurrentControlSetServicesWinsock
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESystemCurrentControlSetServicesWinsock2
  4. You can export them, in case you need backup. After exporting them, delete both keys.
  5. Restart your computer.
  6. When your computer restarts insert the USB with Winsock keys from a different computer.
  7. Go to Registry Editor again.
  8. Go to the location where those keys were (HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESystemCurrentControlSetServices)
  9. If Winsock2 key is back, delete it again.
  10. Import the following keys from your USB:
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESystemCurrentControlSetServicesWinsock
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESystemCurrentControlSetServicesWinsock2
  11. Close Registry Editor.
  12. Open Command Prompt as administrator and run netsh winsock reset command.
  13. Restart your computer.

If you can’t edit your Windows 10’s registry, read this handy guide and find the quickest solutions to the issue.


Can’t access the Registry Editor? Things aren’t as scary as they seem. Check out this guide and solve the issue quickly.


Solution 7 – Restore your router and check the cable

If none of the steps above managed to solve the problem, try resetting your router. Turn it off first, and then switch it back on after a few minutes.

Additionally, you can use a different LAN cable to connect your computer to the router.

And finally, reset your router to factory settings by pressing the small button on the back (actually, the position of the reset button depends on your router).

Solution 8 – Reinstall your Network Adapter

After completing the steps from above, you might as well want to reinstall your Network Adapters. Here’s how to do that:

  1. Hold the Windows Key and press R.
  2. Type hdwwiz.cpl in the input field and click OK.
  3. Expand the Network Adapters, right click on your Ethernet card, and choose Uninstall device.
  4. When the confirmation dialog appears, click on Uninstall.Network protocols missing error Windows 10
  5. Reinstall your network adapter using the driver accompanying the hardware.

Windows can’t automatically find a driver for your network adapter? Count on us to solve the problem.


Solution 9 – Use Network Troubleshooter

If you’re running Windows 10 Creators Update (or later), you have a new troubleshooting tool, provided by Microsoft. This troubleshooting tool is designed to deal with various issues within the Windows operating system, including various network errors.

If you don’t know how to run this troubleshooter, just follow these instructions:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Now, head over to Updates & security > Troubleshoot
  3. Choose Internet ConnectionsOne or more network protocols are missing on this computer WiFi
  4. Follow further on-screen instructions, and wait for the wizard to finish the process
  5. Restart your computer

If the problem remains unresolved, you can try with the Network Adapter option, instead of Internet Connections.

If you’re having trouble opening the Setting app, take a look at this article to solve the issue.


If the Troubleshooter stops before completing the process, fix it with the help of this complete guide.


Solution 10 – Restore network components

You can also try with resetting the following network components:

  1. Open Command Prompt as administrator.
  2. When Command Prompt starts, enter the following commands, and press Enter after typing each command:
    • IPconfig /release
    • IPconfig /flushdns
    • IPconfig /renew

If you can’t flush the DNS, take a look at this step-by-step guide to solve the problem quickly.

Solution 11 – Update BIOS

And finally, some users reported that updating BIOS actually solves the problem. But before you go all in and flash your BIOS, we have to warn you that it could be a risky action, as one wrong move can render your motherboard unusable.

Only do it if you know what you’re doing.


Updating BIOS seems scary? Make things way easier with the help of this handy guide.


That’s about it, at least one of these solutions should solve your problem with Network Protocols in Windows 10. If you have any questions, or comments, just reach for the comment section below.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in October 2017 and has been since completely revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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  • netcnfg -d hit the spot for me. It also inexplicably solved the wrong screen resolution I had been struggling with for a few days now

  • i dont think this program is helpful at all. you basically just have to reset the protocols on your computer not download more crap to fix it. shame on you all :/ to reset protocols pull up cmd, right click on cmd click run as administrator. type in netsh winsock reset catalog-hit enter it will tell you if this works. then next row type in: netsh int ipv6 reset reset.log hit enter restart your computer. also this problem didnt occur til i upgraded to windows 10 so you all tell me why i have to keep resetting the protocols when my computer updates?

  • solution 3 and disabling the anti virus worked for me.. i also used the anti virus to update / clean the registry entries.. thanks a lot was frustrated and bought a new USB wifi dongle as this was just not getting resolved

  • This helped me immensely I had tried to use a program called “recovery android” when I uninstalled it the whole network wireless went down computers and phones that had nothing to do with what I was doing could not connect to the internet only one that was hardwired still worked (thank god) nothing was working until I tried this pages tips I think it was the antivirus as as soon as I temporarily disabled it pooof up came one laptop I repeated on another laptop and it worked again after that the cellphones worked too. THANK YOU!!!

  • I had this issue. I tried every possible method online. The one that ended up working for me was rather simple!
    Right click the start menu and select device manager.
    Click on network adapters, right click on the one you use for the internet, hit uninstall select ‘remove driver software’ and hit ok. then restart the computer and it should be good to go

  • I tried each of these except copying the winsock files from another computer. This issue happened with the newest Windows ten update. It is NOT a problem with my laptop or my modem or router. It is a Windows ten issue that occurred with the latest update. That being said, once hte issue occurred it caused me issues with every device i tried to connect to the internet. I had to go back to my windows ten laptop and go back to a restore point prior to the newest updates and then every computer i tried to connect with worked fine.

    • I ended up going back to a restore point prior to the latest update to get it to work. Of course my computer redownloaded new updates so I might have to do it again. I will leave my laptop to sleep instead of shutting it down for a couple days to see if Microsoft sends a better or at least fixed update. If not I will see about copying the winsock files and leave a link on here for them.

  • Thank you so much. I tried the netcfg -d option having tried most other things including system restore without success and it worked! Once again thank you thank you!

  • In my case, I can’t find even Administrator Command Prompt on the screen, I can find Command Prompt, though. If someone knows how to solve this, Please give us advice.

    • I had the same issue. Hit windows + X and you will get a list of options, one of which is cmd prompt as admin

  • Nothing worked for me, I can connect to every wifi,but not to my office wifi. protocols still missing, it happened suddenly, Before wifi was working fine.

  • I’m kind of weary of trying these since I’ve mostly tried every fix I’ve come across on the internet including solution 2 and 3 every time I start my PC my internet connection is knocked out on all my devices and now that its shut down it seems to be working fine I hope that there will be an update that will fix this because I don’t want to risk messing up my PC just to fix a mistake windows did.