Npcap OEM: What Is It and Should I Uninstall It

Everything you need to know about the network monitoring software

by Matthew Adams
Matthew Adams
Matthew Adams
Windows & Software Expert
Matthew is a freelancer who has produced a variety of articles on various topics related to technology. His main focus is the Windows OS and all the things... read more
Reviewed by Alex Serban
Alex Serban
Alex Serban
Windows Server & Networking Expert
After moving away from the corporate work-style, Alex has found rewards in a lifestyle of constant analysis, team coordination and pestering his colleagues. Holding an MCSA Windows Server... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • Npcap OEM is a third-party driver that usually works with network monitoring software.
  • If you’re concerned about malware, you should know that this driver can’t harm your PC.
  • Assuming that you’re using network monitoring tools, then Npcap is needed for the software to work properly.
npcap oem

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Some users have posted on Microsoft’s support forum about Npcap OEM. They have noticed Npcap listed in Apps & features and wonder what exactly it is.

That’s not surprising, as unrecognized apps/programs can sometimes be viruses, and users always have the urge to uninstall them. So, in this guide, we’ll look closely at what Npcap OEM is used for.

Why is Npcap installed?

The Npcap OEM is a tool for packet capture and network analysis. It has so many benefits, and below are some of its features:

  • Helps to facilitate the capture of raw packets
  • Filters captured packets according to specified rules
  • Gathers statistical information on your network traffic
  • Compatible with WinPcap
  • Can be installed automatically with software that needs it

What is Npcap OEM?

option

Npcap OEM is a third-party packet-sniffing driver (or library) for Windows platforms. This driver enables software to find the network adapter on your PC.

That library is needed for data capturing (intercepting data packets) on networks for packet analysis. Npcap OEM is available for download at the NMAP.org website.

A free/demo version of the Npcap library and Npcap OEM come with commercial support, regular updates, and redistribution rights. The Npcap OEM license packages are primarily for commercial organizations.

You can download the latest version of the Npcap OEM using the link below.

Get Npcap

Is Npcap OEM safe?

Npcap is not a virus but can still get installed on PCs without users knowing about it. That’s because the Npcap library gets installed with software that needs it.

Therefore, some users might not recognize Npcap when they see it listed in apps.

What software needs Npcap?

Network protocol (or packet) analyzers are the software requiring the Npcap packet-sniffing library. Those applications enable users to monitor network data because they come with Npcap.

With a proper network analyzer tool, users can capture traffic and analyze it with reports and charts.

Wireshark is an example of one network protocol analyzer utility. That open-source software comes with the latest Npcap library version, which gets installed.

Wireshark needs Npcap to capture live traffic on a network. Our packet sniffer software guide provides details for the best network analyzer tools, so be sure to check it.

Is it OK to uninstall Npcap?

If you need to utilize network protocol analyzer software on Windows 10, you should not uninstall Npcap. However, users who don’t need to capture and analyze data packets don’t need Npcap.

So, you can uninstall Npcap if you don’t need any network protocol analyzer software manually or using an uninstaller software.

How do I uninstall Npcap?

  1. Press the Windows key + R hotkey, type appwiz.cpl, and select OK.
    appwiz
  2. Then, right-click Npcap and click Uninstall.
    uninstall npcap oem
  3. Now, press the Windows key + X and select Device Manager.
    device manager
  4. Double-click the Network adapters option and right-click the Npcap Loopback Adapter.
  5. Select the Uninstall device.
    uninstall npcap oem
  6. Finally, check the box for Delete the driver software for this device and click the Uninstall button.
    uninstall button

We have reached the end of this guide. Don’t be alarmed if you notice Npcap OEM on your desktop or laptop. You can easily remove the tool if you don’t need a data packet-sniffing library.

However, make sure not to remove it if you still need any network analyzer tools installed on your computer.

If you are looking for another network performance management software, check our detailed guide for the top options available.

Feel free to share your experience with the Npcap tool with us in the comments below.

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