How To Fix Network Protocol Missing Problem?

How To Fix 'Network Protocol Missing' Problem On Windows 10 

The word protocol is derived from the Greek "protocollon", meaning a leaf of paper glued to a manuscript volume that describes the contents. Network protocols are something we use via computer systems every day, maybe every minute, even if we are not sure exactly what they are. Network protocols are procedures and formats that define communication between two or more devices over a network. They include mechanisms for devices to identify and make connections with each other, specifying how data is packaged into messages sent and received. Network protocols must be confirmed and installed by both sender and receiver to ensure network or data communication. There are many protocols in use extensively in networking, and they are often implemented in different layers. Without network protocols, instant messages would not be delivered to your friends, emails would not reach their destinations, and websites would not appear on your screen.

When a network protocol (or more that one protocol) is missing from your computer, an error such as "One or more network protocols are missing on this computer" error occurs when running Windows Network Diagnostics. This appears when your system cannot connect to the Internet and you click the "Diagnose" button. This might be a fault of your Internet Service Provider, but if other devices on the same network are working properly (and connecting to the Internet), then it is probably an issue with your computer. If a network protocol is missing, you will probably be unable to share files or data between network computers, or unable to access the Internet at all. In this article we show how you can recover your Internet connection.

how to fix network protocol missing problem

Table of Contents:

Restore Default Settings

One option is to reset network protocols to their default settings by resetting the TCP/IP stack. The TCP/IP stack is a complete set of networking protocols. To reset it, use commands within Command Prompt. Firstly, to open Command Prompt, type "command prompt" in Search and right-click on the result. Select "Run as administrator" from the drop-down menu to run it with administrator privileges.

restore default settings step 1

Now, type these two commands (pressing Enter after each): "netsh int ip set dns" and "netsh winsock reset". Then, exit Command Prompt by typing "exit" and pressing Enter, or simply close the Command Prompt window and check if this has helped to solve the problem.

restore default settings step 2

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Reinstall Your Network Adapter Driver

You may get the "Network protocol is missing" error due to a faulty network driver. You can try to uninstall the network adapter driver and then let your Windows 10 operating system reinstall it automatically the next time you start Windows. To uninstall your network adapter driver, to go to Device Manager. Type "device manager" in Search and click the "Device Manager" result.

reinstall network adapter driver step 1

In the Device Manager window, find "Network adapters", expand it, right-click on your network device, and then choose "Uninstall" from the drop-down menu.

reinstall network adapter driver step 2

You will be asked to confirm the uninstallation. Click "OK". Mark the "Delete the driver software for this device" checkbox if you see one.

reinstall network adapter driver step 3

You will need to restart your PC for the changes to take effect. Restart your computer and see if this has helped to solve the problem.

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Restore Network Components

This may be the easiest way to fix the "Network protocol is missing" problem by executing commands in Command Prompt. First, open Command Prompt by typing "command prompt" in Search and right-click on "Command Prompt". Select "Run as administrator" to run it with administrator privileges. In the Command Prompt window, type "ipconfig /release" and press Enter to execute. Then, type "ipconfig /flushdns" and "ipconfig /renew" commands, pressing Enter after each.

restore network components step 1

Then, exit Command Prompt by typing "exit" and pressing Enter or simply close the Command Prompt window. Check if this has helped to solve the problem.

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Disable NetBIOS

NetBIOS is an acronym for Network Basic Input/Output System. It provides services related to the session layer of the OSI model, allowing applications on separate computers to communicate over a Local Area Network (LAN). It is possible that disabling NetBIOS will fix the "Network protocol is missing" issue on your computer. First, open Control Panel by typing "control panel" in Search.

disable netbios step 1

In the Control Panel window, click "Network and Internet".

disable netbios step 2

Once you are in the Network and Internet window, select "Network and Sharing Center".

disable netbios step 3

You will see your Internet access type and connection near the top-right corner. Click on it.

disable netbios step 4

You will see your connection status window. Click on "Properties".

disable netbios step 4

In the network connection Properties window, find "Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)". Select (highlight) it and click "Properties".

disable netbios step 5

In the Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) Properties window, click "Advanced".

disable netbios step 6

In the Advanced TCP/IP Settings window, click "WINS" tab and select "Disable NetBIOS over TCP/IP". Click "OK" to save these changes and check if the problem is solved.

disable netbios step 7

You can also attempt to resolve the "Network protocol is missing" problem by choosing to obtain IP addresses automatically, rather than using a static IP address. You can manage this following identical steps. In the Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) Properties window, select the "Obtain and IP address automatically" option if it is not already set to this.

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Import Winsock Keys

For this solution, you must use a computer that does not have the same connectivity problem. If you are using Windows 10 on a computer with a network problem, you do not need to have Windows 10 on the other machine (it can be earlier versions of Windows such as Windows 8 or Windows 7).

This solution includes modifying the system registry. The Microsoft Registry Editor (regedit.exe) enables you to view, search for, and change settings in your system registry, which contains information about how your computer runs. Follow these steps carefully to avoid damaging your operating system. Open Registry Editor on the computer that does not have the "Network protocol missing" error. To open Registry Editor, type "run" in Search.

import winsock keys step 1

In the Run dialog box type "regedit" and click OK to open Registry Editor.

import winsock keys step 2

Once Registry Editor is opened, follow this path: "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/System/CurrentControlSet/Services/", expand Services catalog to find "Winsock" and "Winsock 2", and right-click on both to export them by selecting "Export" from the drop-down menu. Name the registry files and locate where you wish to save them. Then, copy or move them onto your USB drive.

import winsock keys step 3

When registry files are copied into your USB drive, access the computer that has network issues. Uninstall the network driver from, open Registry Editor again, and then look for "Winsock" and "Winsock2" catalogs under "Service" catalog using the same path as we mentioned before ("HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/System/CurrentControlSet/Services/"). Delete these two catalogs by right-clicking on both and selecting "Delete" from the drop-down menu. In case you need these original registry keys, back them up by exporting. Restart your computer when finished.

import winsock keys step 4

When your operating system is restarted, go to the "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/System/CurrentControlSet/Services/" location and import the keys stored on your USB drive into this location, and then close Registry Editor. Open Command Prompt by typing "command prompt" in Search and right-click on the "Command Prompt" result. Select "Run as administrator" to run it with administrator privileges.

import winsock keys step 5

In the Command Prompt window, type in the following command: "netsh winsock reset" and press Enter on your keyboard to execute it. Close Command Prompt and restart your computer. Check if this has helped to solve the "Network protocol missing" problem.

import winsock keys step 6

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Restart Your Router

In none of the above steps help you to solve the problem, try restarting your router. Simply turn it off, and then on again. You can also try resetting your router - this will restore your router to the factory settings. Use the "Reset" button on your router to do this (usually on the back).

We hope that these methods resolved your network problem and you are now able to access the Internet.

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About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an editor for since 2010. Follow me on Twitter to stay informed about the latest tech news or online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

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