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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.

Resetting your network adapter in Windows 7

Network shell (Netsh) is a tool an administrator can use to configure and monitor network devices on Windows based computers at a command prompt. A common use of Netsh, is to reset the TCP/IP stack back to default settings.

But not only will Netsh reset the TCP/IP stack, but it can also completely reset your network adapter(s). It will also reset the Windows Firewall in Windows 7 too.

Using Netsh in Windows 7

To use Netsh, you will need to open a Command Prompt as an administrator. There are two ways to do this:

  • Click the Start button, then All Programs, then Accessories, then right-click Command Prompt, and then click Run as administrator. If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
  • or

  • Click the Start button. In the search box, type Command Prompt, and then, in the list of results, right-click Command Prompt, and then click Run as administrator. If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

Netsh commands in Windows 7

The following is a list of the Netsh commands you can use to reset your Windows 7 network adapter:

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 notconfigured and deletes all connection security and firewall rules.netsh advfirewall reset

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

Resets TCP/IP and related components to a clean state.netsh int ip reset c:\resetlog.txt

Resets IPv6 configuration state.netsh int ipv6 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.netsh winsock reset

Resetting your network adapter in Windows Vista

Network shell (Netsh) is a tool an administrator can use to configure and monitor network devices on Windows based computers at a command prompt. A common use of Netsh, is to reset the TCP/IP stack back to default settings.

But not only will Netsh reset the TCP/IP stack, but it can also completely reset your network adapter(s). It will also reset the Windows Firewall in Windows Vista too.

Using Netsh in Windows Vista

To use Netsh, you will need to open a Command Prompt as an administrator. There are two ways to do this:

  • Click the Start button, then All Programs, then Accessories, then right-click Command Prompt, and then click Run as administrator. If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
  • or

  • Click the Start button. In the search box, type Command Prompt, and then, in the list of results, right-click Command Prompt, and then click Run as administrator. If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

Netsh commands in Windows Vista

The following is a list of the Netsh commands you can use to reset your Windows Vista network adapter:

Resets interface informationnetsh int reset all

Resets TCP/IP and related components to a clean state.netsh int ip reset c:\resetlog.txt

Resets IPv6 configuration state.netsh int ipv6 reset

Resets firewall configuration to default. Restoring the default settings will delete all Windows Firewall settings that you have changed. For example, if you have allowed certain programs through the firewall those programs will be blocked again.netsh firewall 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.netsh winsock reset

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