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How to reset your network adapter in Windows 10

Has your Internet connection gotten slower over time? Maybe you had a virus and now your Internet connection isn't running properly? It may be time to clean up your network connection. Here's how to reset your network adapter in Windows 10.

How to reset your network adapter in Windows 10

Windows 10 has a command line utility called Netsh (Network Shell) that allows you to display and modify the network configuration of your computer. The most common use of Netsh is to reset the TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol / Internet Protocol) stack back to default. Since Netsh is a command-line tool, you will need to use a Command Prompt with Administrative privileges.

How to open a Command Prompt with Administrator privileges in Windows 10 (link will open in separate window)

Netsh commands for resetting your network adapter in Windows 10

Netsh commands run in a Command Prompt with Administrative privileges
Netsh commands run in a Command Prompt with Administrative privileges

Note: This section is intended for advanced computer users. If you are not comfortable with advanced troubleshooting, ask someone for help. Follow these steps to reset the Windows Firewall, TCP/IP stack and Winsock manually. You will have to restart your system to complete the reset.

The following is a list of the Netsh commands with descriptions that you can use to reset your network adapter in Windows 10:

netsh advfirewall reset

Restores the Windows Firewall with Advanced Security policy to the default policy. The current active policy can be optionally exported to a specified file. In a Group Policy object, this command returns all settings to not configured and deletes all connection security and firewall rules.

netsh int ip reset

Removes all user configured IPv4 (Internet Protocol version 4) settings. Restarting computer is required before the default settings will take effect.

netsh int ipv6 reset

Removes all user configured IPv6 (Internet Protocol version 6) settings. Restarting computer is required before the default settings will take effect.

netsh winsock reset

Resets Winsock Catalog to a clean state. All Winsock Layered Service Providers which were previously installed must be reinstalled. This command does not affect Winsock Name Space Provider entries.

3 things you can do to restore network connectivity

One of the most frequent issues I get doing computer repair is loss of internet connectivity. Yes, a good portion of can be attributed to viruses / malware. But there are times when something, plain and simple, goes wrong. A couple of bad settings and/or corrupt software and you're not getting on the internet any time soon. Here are three things you can do to restore network connectivity.

Reset the TCP/IP stack and Winsock

If you recently installed or uninstalled software before losing your network connection, it could be some of your TCP/IP settings had been changed. TCP/IP is the internet protocol suite used for the internet and other networks. Resetting them back to default is easy; it just requires using an administrator command prompt to do it.

Reset the TCP/IP stack and Winsock interface using an administrator command prompt
Reset the TCP/IP stack and Winsock interface using an administrator command prompt

The command syntax and accessing an administrator command prompt is different for each version of Windows, so just click on the link below for your version of Windows. And make sure you reset Winsock too while you're at it. Winsock defines the interface between applications and the TCP/IP stack. Remember to restart Windows after you reset the TCP/IP stack and Winsock.

Resetting your network adapter in Windows XP
Resetting your network adapter in Windows Vista
Resetting your network adapter in Windows 7
Resetting your network adapter in Windows 8

Check security software

Quite often the problem can be caused by security software that has become corrupt. Most of them have some type of network monitoring and if it stops working correctly, it could block network access. To check if the problem is with your security software, just open it up, disable it and then try your network connection. If you now have network connectivity, you know that there is something wrong with the software. Try resetting it back to default settings and then enable it. If after you reset it you still cannot get network access, then reinstalling it may be the way to go.

If when you open your security software and all you get is a blank white box, is has become corrupt. Same is true if it doesn't open up at all. At this point, uninstalling and reinstalling it is the best thing to do. And if you find that it will not uninstall, most anti-virus software vendors have removal tools for their products. Using another computer and a flash drive, do a search for the 'name of the product' + 'removal tool' (example: bogus security removal tool) and download it to the flash drive. Remember to restart your computer after you have run the removal tool.

Reinstall the network adapter(s)

Sometimes the settings for the network adapter, wired or wireless, may get corrupted and cause a loss of network connectivity. Uninstalling and then reinstalling the driver(s) will reset it back to manufacture defaults. Just go into Device Manager and expand the network adapters section. From there, right click on the adapter you want to reinstall and select Uninstall.

Do not delete the driver when reinstalling the network adapter
Do not delete the driver when reinstalling the network adapter

When the Confirm Device Uninstall prompt comes up, make sure the 'Delete the driver software for this device' box is unchecked, as you want to keep the driver. Exit Device Manager and restart Windows. When Windows restarts, it will discover the network adapter and automatically install the driver(s) for it.

Resetting your network adapter in Windows 8

Is your network connection running slow? Or maybe your Internet browser isn't allowing you to go to specific websites? Installing / uninstalling applications or viruses / malware / spyware can add unwanted entries into the network protocol. If so, it may be time to reset your network adapter inside of Windows 8.

Command Prompt with administrator privileges in Windows 8
Command Prompt with administrator privileges in Windows 8

Windows 8 has a built-in administrator tool, Network Shell (Netsh), that allows you to configure and monitor network adapters on your Windows 8 computer. Netsh can completely reset your network adapter back to it's default state. It can also reset the Windows Firewall in Windows 8 too. All you need is a Command Prompt with administrator privileges.

How to open a Command Prompt with administrator privileges in Windows 8

To use Netsh, you will need to open a Command Prompt with administrator privileges. There are a few of ways to do this:

    Using a mouse
  1. Go to the Start menu.
  2. Right click the Start menu background to bring up the app commands.
  3. Select 'All apps'.
  4. Right click 'Command Prompt' tile to bring up the app commands.
  5. Select 'Run as administrator'. If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
    Using a keyboard
  1. Go to the Start menu
  2. Press the Windows logo key Windows logo key + Z to open the app commands.
  3. Press Enter to select 'All apps'.
  4. Use the arrow keys to navigate to the 'Command Prompt' tile.
  5. Press the Application key Application key to bring up the app commands.
  6. Use the arrow keys to navigate to 'Run as administrator' and press Enter. If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
    Using touch
  1. Go to the Start menu.
  2. Swipe up from the bottom of the Start menu to bring up the app commands.
  3. Select 'All apps'.
  4. Scroll to the 'Command Prompt' tile and press and hold it to bring up the app commands.
  5. Select 'Run as administrator'. If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

Netsh commands for resetting your network adapter in Windows 8

The following is a list of the Netsh commands you can use at a Command Prompt with administrator privileges to reset your network adapter in Windows 8.

netsh advfirewall reset Restores the Windows Firewall with Advanced Security policy to the default policy. The current active policy can be optionally exported to a specified file. In a Group Policy object, this command returns all settings to not configured and deletes all connection security and firewall rules.

netsh branchcache reset Resets the BranchCache service. Flushes the local cache. Every configuration parameter of BranchCache will be reset to its default value.

netsh int ip reset Resets TCP/IP and related components to a clean state.

netsh int ipv6 reset Resets IPv6 configuration state.

netsh winsock resetResets Winsock Catalog to a clean state. All Winsock Layered Service Providers which were previously installed must be reinstalled. This command does not affect Winsock Name Space Provider entries.

How to reset Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) in Windows 7

One of the components of the Internet connection on your computer is a built-in set of instructions called TCP/IP. TCP/IP can sometimes become corrupted. If your connection to the Internet is really slow or you cannot connect to the Internet and you have tried all other methods to resolve the problem, TCP/IP might be causing it.

Because TCP/IP is a core component of Windows, you cannot remove it. However, you can reset TCP/IP to its original state. If you have any custom settings (default gateway, DNS server, etc.) you will need to manually set these again.

Use a manual method to reset TCP/IP

Note This section is intended for advanced computer users. If you are not comfortable with advanced troubleshooting, ask someone for help. In Windows Vista, a reset command is available in the IP context of the NetShell utility. Follow these steps to use the reset command to reset TCP/IP manually. You will have to restart your system to complete the reset.

  1. To open a command prompt, Click on the Start button, then All Programs, then Accessories, then click on Command Prompt.

  2. At the command prompt, copy and paste (or type) the following command and then press ENTER:

    netsh int ip reset c:\resetlog.txt

    Note: If you do not want to specify a directory path for the log file, use the following command:

    netsh int ip reset resetlog.txt

When you run the reset command, it rewrites two registry keys that are used by TCP/IP. This has the same result as removing and reinstalling the protocol. The reset command rewrites the following two registry keys:

SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Tcpip\Parameters\
SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\DHCP\Parameters\

To run the manual command successfully, you must specify a file name for the log, in which the actions that netsh takes will be recorded. When you run the manual command, TCP/IP is reset and the actions that were taken are recorded in the log file, known as resetlog.txt in this article.

The first example, c:\resetlog.txt, creates a path where the log will reside. The second example, resetlog.txt, creates the log file in the current directory. In either case, if the specified log file already exists, the new log will be appended to the end of the existing file.

How to reset Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) in Windows Vista

One of the components of the Internet connection on your computer is a built-in set of instructions called TCP/IP. TCP/IP can sometimes become corrupted. If your connection to the Internet is really slow or you cannot connect to the Internet and you have tried all other methods to resolve the problem, TCP/IP might be causing it.

Because TCP/IP is a core component of Windows, you cannot remove it. However, you can reset TCP/IP to its original state. If you have any custom settings (default gateway, DNS server, etc.) you will need to manually set these again.

Use a manual method to reset TCP/IP

Note This section is intended for advanced computer users. If you are not comfortable with advanced troubleshooting, ask someone for help. In Windows Vista, a reset command is available in the IP context of the NetShell utility. Follow these steps to use the reset command to reset TCP/IP manually. You will have to restart your system to complete the reset.

  1. To open a command prompt, Click on the Start button, then All Programs, then Accessories, then click on Command Prompt.
  2. At the command prompt, copy and paste (or type) the following command and then press Enter:

    netsh int ip reset c:\resetlog.txt
    Note: If you do not want to specify a directory path for the log file, use the following command:
    netsh int ip reset resetlog.txt

When you run the reset command, it rewrites two registry keys that are used by TCP/IP. This has the same result as removing and reinstalling the protocol. The reset command rewrites the following two registry keys:

SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Tcpip\Parameters\
SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\DHCP\Parameters\

To run the manual command successfully, you must specify a file name for the log, in which the actions that netsh takes will be recorded. When you run the manual command, TCP/IP is reset and the actions that were taken are recorded in the log file, known as resetlog.txt in this article.

The first example, c:\resetlog.txt, creates a path where the log will reside. The second example, resetlog.txt, creates the log file in the current directory. In either case, if the specified log file already exists, the new log will be appended to the end of the existing file.

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Geeks in Phoenix is an IT consulting company specializing in all aspects of Computer Repair / PC Repair / Laptop Repair. Since 2008, our expert computer repair technicians have been providing outstanding Computer Repair, Virus Removal, Data Recovery, Photo Manipulation and Website Support.

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