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When I start up Wireshark, why do I see this message?

"The NPF driver isn't running. You may have trouble capturing or listing interfaces."

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2 Answers

up vote 11 down vote accepted

You need to run Wireshark with administrator privileges.

  1. Exit Wireshark.
  2. Find Wireshark on the Start Menu.
  3. Right-click on it.
  4. Select "Run as administrator",
  5. Click "Yes" in the user account control dialog.
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It's really best not to run Wireshark as Administrator. See here for an explanation - bugs in the dissector can do a lot more damage when it runs as administrator. A better solution (offered here) is the following:

  • Open a command prompt (cmd.exe) using the "Run as administrator" option
  • Run the command sc qc npf
    You will see output similar to this:

    C:\Windows\system32>sc qc npf
    [SC] QueryServiceConfig SUCCESS
    SERVICE_NAME: npf
        TYPE               : 1  KERNEL_DRIVER
        START_TYPE         : 3   DEMAND_START
        ERROR_CONTROL      : 1   NORMAL
        BINARY_PATH_NAME   : system32\drivers\npf.sys
        LOAD_ORDER_GROUP   :
        TAG                : 0
        DISPLAY_NAME       : NetGroup Packet Filter Driver
        DEPENDENCIES       :
        SERVICE_START_NAME :
  • If it looks like this, you will need to start the service using sc start npf
    so that it displays STATE : 4 RUNNING.

  • To start the service automatically in future, use sc config npf start= auto
    (that space after the equals sign is important)

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