Windows 10

Windows 10 Network Protocol Error: Missing Windows Sockets Registry Entries

By October 5, 2020No Comments

My colleagues work computer running Windows 10 began to lose Internet access from time to time (once in 2-3 days with the Limited connection status in the tray). When running the Network Diagnostics wizard (started by clicking the icon of the network connection with an error or from Settings -> Update & Security -> Troubleshoot -> Run the Internet Connections troubleshooter), a typical error appears: One or more network protocols are missing on this computer.

Windows Sockets registry entries required for network connectivity are missing.

 network protocols are missing . Windows Sockets registry entries required for network connectivity are missing windows 10

My colleague usually solved this problem by restarting Windows, after which he could access the Internet for some time. But in a couple of days the issue came back. Recently he has asked me for help to fix the missing network protocol error.

If such a floating problem occurs, it is usually recommended to start with the simple things: reset TCP/IP and Windows Sockets settings. If you have set the IP address manually instead of using DHCP, the following commands will reset your network settings. So write down your current IP address, subnet mask, gateway and DNS server settings for your LAN connections.

netsh winsock reset

netsh winsock reset
Sucessfully reset the Winsock Catalog.
You must restart the computer in order to complete the reset.

netsh interface ipv4 reset

netsh interface ipv4 reset - reset network settings
Resetting Compartment Forwarding, OK!
Resetting Compartment, OK!
Resetting Control Protocol, OK!
Resetting Echo Sequence Request, OK!
Resetting Global, OK!
Resetting Interface, OK!
Resetting Anycast Address, OK!
Resetting Multicast Address, OK!
Resetting Unicast Address, OK!
Resetting Neighbor, OK!
Resetting Path, OK!
Resetting Potential, OK!
Resetting Prefix Policy, OK!
Resetting Proxy Neighbor, OK!
Resetting Route, OK!
Resetting Site Prefix, OK!
Resetting Subinterface, OK!
Resetting Wakeup Pattern, OK!
Resetting Resolve Neighbor, OK!
Resetting , OK!

These commands will reset the TCP/IP settings of all network adapters and all processors (Winsock Layered Service Providers) to the default state. Thus, you will delete all third-party handlers that were built in your Winsock stack by any third-party software. The most often antivirus software, sniffers, firewalls or even some viruses integrate their handlers into Winsock network stack.

After you have run all these commands, reboot your computer and check your Internet connectivity.

If the problem persists, delete the current Windows Sockets settings from the registry.

  1. Open the Registry Editor (regedit.exe) and go to the registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\WinSock. Backup this registry key by exporting it to a REG file (right-click it -> Export);
    save current Winsock settings
  2. Delete the Winsock reg key (right-click it -> Delete);
    windows 10 - clear Winsock setting in registry
  3. Do the same for the registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Winsock2.

Then you have to manually reinstall the TCP/IP protocol components.

  1. Open the properties of your network adapter in the Network Connection management panel (ncpa.cpl) and click Install;
  2. Select Protocol in the list of components to be installed (Select Network Feature Type);
  3. Then specify that you want to install the component from the disk and specify the path to the folder: C:\Windows\INF;
    install protocol in windows
  4. Select Internet Protocol version 4 (TCP/IPv4) in the list of available network protocols and reboot your computer.
    install Internet Protocol version 4 (TCP/IPv4)

When reinstalling TCP/IP components, I came across this error:

Network Connections
Could not add the requested feature. The error is: This program is blocked by group policy. For more information, contact your system administrator.
Network Connections ould not add the requested feature. The error is: This program is blocked by group policy

To fix it, you must manually import the following registry keys: HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Winsock and HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Winsock2 from another computer running the same OS version and build number and apply them on the problem PC.

Import these REG files to the registry and restart your computer. Now try to re-install the TCP/IP protocol. (If there is no other way, you can use your winsock registry key backed up earlier, but it is better to use clean ones.)

In the properties of your network connection, check if it is configured to get the dynamic IP address and DNS server settings or specify the IP address and DNS servers manually (in my case, static IP settings are cleared after reset). You can use the following static Google DNS server addresses for a home computer: 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4.

set static ip addess and dns settings in windows 10

Click on the Advanced button here and in the WINS tab disable LMHOSTS lookup and NetBIOS over TCP/IP. These network protocols are outdated and you do not need them in modern networks.

disable netbios on windows 10

After that the error of “one or more network protocols are missing” disappeared in Windows 10. If it did not help you, I would recommend to reinstall (update) your NIC drivers. They may also cause this problem.

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