Solve the Error: One or More Network Protocols Are Missing on This Computer

You may run across this error when you attempt to get on the Internet or you may even be online and suddenly pages stop opening. You probably already ran the built in Windows Network Troubleshooter, and this error appeared. It can be very frustrating trying to determine the cause of this error and fix it especially without an Internet connection. However, there are several methods of resolving the issue below.

What Causes the One or More Network Protocols Are Missing Error?

Usually, you see this error when Windows Socket entries are missing. In some cases, this can occur after an update. Since these entries are necessary registry entries that enable your computer to connect to the Internet, the error appears. If more than one device is struggling to connect to the same ISP, then the problem probably stems from you Internet Provider. If you are only having trouble connecting one device and have not already run the Windows 10 Network Troubleshooter on that device, you should run it to confirm missing protocols are the cause.

How to Run the Windows 10 Troubleshooter

If you already did this, feel free to skip down to solving the error. If you have not run the Troubleshooter, it should be your first step to resolving Internet connection issues.

Step #1

Type “Troubleshoot” into the Start menu without the quotation marks and choose “Troubleshoot System Settings.”

troubleshoot system settings

Step #2

Click on “Internet Connections” and then choose “Run the Troubleshooter.”

run the troubleshooter

When the Troubleshooter finishes, see if you get the missing protocols message. If you do, continue reading to resolve it.

Fixing the One or More Missing Network Protocols Error

As with many computer problems, the reason for the problem affects how it needs to be fixed. You can try one or all of the following methods to fix this error.

Restart the Router

This is the simplest and least invasive way to fix the issue. However, it will only work if the router itself is causing the error.

Step #1

Shut down your computer by clicking the Power icon on the Start menu and holding the [Shift] key down while you select “Shut down.” Then shut off your router.

shutdown the computer

Step #2

Unplug your router and wait two minutes before you plug it back into the power outlet. Wait another two minutes after plugging the router back into the power outlet. Turn the router on again.

Step #3

Once your router is back on, turn on your computer.

If the issue is resolved, but happens again multiple times in the future and resetting the router fixes it temporarily, you should consider getting a new router. If you use a Powerline network, you need to look at the owner’s manual that came with it and follow the instructions there to reset it when you unplug your router in Step #2 above.

Make Sure Windows Is Up-to-date

Another quick way to deal with this issue is to make sure your Windows 10 OS (operating system) is up-to-date. Although a faulty update can cause the problem, in some cases the update failed to load properly. In other cases, Microsoft has issued a fix but your connectivity issues may be playing a role in the continuing error. To update Windows 10 manually, follow the steps below:

Step #1

Click on the “Settings” icon in the Start Menu.

settings icon in start menu

Step #2

In the Settings window, choose “Updates & Security.”

Update and Security on Window Settings

Step #3

Choose “Windows Update” from the list that appears on the right. On the left, click the button that says “Check for updates.” You can find it under “Update status.”

check for updates under update status

Step #4

If updates are installed, you must restart your computer before they will go into effect. To do this, click on the Start menu “Power” icon and select “Restart.”

restart your computer

Continue on if you are still not connected.

Disable the Bluetooth

Your Bluetooth feature sometimes is set to use the same band as the Wi-Fi. If both are active, it can cause a conflict that leads to this error message.

Step #1

Click on the Start menu “Settings” icon.

settings icon

Step #2

Choose “Devices.”

devices on Windows Settings

Step #3

Click on “Bluetooth & other devices” and then slide the Bluetooth to the “Off” position.

bluetooth slide to off

Check to see if your connectivity issue has been resolved.

Disable the Proxy Server

Sometimes proxy servers are set that are interfering with the protocols. Disabling them will resolve the issue.

Step #1

Click on the Start menu “Settings” icon.

settings icon

Step #2

Choose “Updates & Security.”

Update and Security on Window Setting

Step #3

Click on “Proxy” and then slide the Manual Proxy Setup “Use a proxy server” to the “Off” position.

Use a proxy server slide to off

Check to see if your missing protocols issue has been resolved.

Restart Network Adapters

Sometimes restarting the network adapters allows the computer to fix the issue.

Step #1

Click on the Start menu “Settings” icon.

settings icon

Step #2

Choose “Network & Internet.” Then select “Ethernet” on the left and “Change adapter settings” on the right.

change adapter settings

Step #3

Choose the network that is giving you problems and right-click on it. Choose “Disable” from the drop-down menu that appears.

disable network connection problem

Step #4

Right-click the same network. This time, choose “Enable” from the drop-down menu. You can always repeat Step #3 and Step #4 with all the options if you are unsure which one is the culprit.

enable the same network connection

Return the Network Components to Their Original State

Sometimes resetting the network components will clear up the issue.

Step #1

Type “Command Prompt” into the Start menu. Right-click on the “Command Prompt” option and choose “Run as administrator.” You will need to click “Yes” to continue to the Command Prompt window.

type command prompt

command prompt run as administrator

Step #2

In the Command Prompt, enter “ipconfig /release” without quotation marks. Press [Enter].

enter ipconfig release

Step #3

In the Command Prompt, enter “ipconfig /flushdns” without quotation marks. Press [Enter].

enter ipconfig flushdns

Step #4

In the Command Prompt, enter “ipconfig /renew” without quotation marks. Press [Enter].

enter ipconfig renew

Step #5

Now type “exit” without quotation marks. Press [Enter].

type exit

Now, restart your computer, and see if you can connect. If you are still having trouble, continue to the next method.

Run a System Scan in Safe Mode

If you scan for corrupt files in Safe Mode, your computer may be able to repair them itself.

Step #1

Press the [R] key and the [Windows] key together to open the Run box. Type in “msconfig” without quotation marks and click “OK.”

type misconfig in run box

Step #2

The System Configuration window will open. Go to the “Boot” tab. Mark the box next to “Safe Boot,” and choose “Minimal” underneath it. Now click “Apply” and then “OK.”

safe boot minimal

Step #3

Windows should ask if you want to restart your computer now. Click “Restart.”

system configuration restart

Step #4

Once you have restarted in Safe Mode, press the [X] key and the [Windows] key together. On the menu that appears, select “Windows PowerShell (Admin).”

select windows powershell(admin)

Step #5

When the PowerShell opens, type in “sfc /scannow” or cut and paste the command. Then, press [Enter].

type sfc scannow on powershell window

Step #6

The scan may take a while. When it is finished, close the PowerShell window, and press the [R] key and the [Windows] key together again to open the Run box. As before, type “msconfig” into it and click “OK.”

type misconfig in run box

Step #7

Return to the “Boot” tab and uncheck the box next to “Safe Boot.” Click “Apply” and then “OK.” Restart your computer using the Power icon on the Start menu.

uncheck safe boot

Reset the TCP/IP

If the Internet Protocol settings on your computer are not correctly configured or if they are corrupted, it could cause this error. This is another quick fix, but you should try some of the other methods first. Make sure you create a system restore point before doing this method.

Step #1

Open the Command Prompt again by typing “Command Prompt” without quotation marks into the Start menu. Right-click “Command Prompt” and choose “Run as administrator.” Click “Yes” to allow the app to make changes to the computer.

command prompt run as administrator

Step #2

Type “netsh winsock reset catalog” without quotation marks into the prompt. Press [Enter].

type netsh winsock reset catalog on cmd

Step #3

You should see confirmation that the Winsock Catalog was reset and that you need to restart the computer. Ignore that for now and type in “netsh int ipv4 reset reset.log” without quotation marks. Press [Enter].

type netsh int ipv4 reset reset.log

Step #4

Finally, type “netsh int ipv6 reset reset.log” without the quotation marks, and hit [Enter]. Another list will populate.

type netsh int ipv6 reset reset.log

Step #5

Close the command prompt and restart your computer using the power icon on the Start menu.

restart your computer

Check to see if you can connect to the Internet. If you are still having problems, continue reading.

Uninstall a Third-Party Antivirus

If you are using a third-party antivirus, it is possible that the antivirus is interfering with some components of Windows—including the protocols. Since Windows 10 comes with Windows Defender, first make sure Windows Defender is deactivated if you are running a third-party antivirus. Running two antivirus programs at the same time can cause problems because the programs interfere with each other. To find out how to deactivate Windows Defender, click here.

Virus and threat protection

Since each antivirus is different, the instructions below are general and not specific to any one antivirus program.

Step #1

After you disable Windows Defender, if you still see the Critical Error message, you need to uninstall your antivirus software. Press the [X] and [Windows] keys at the same time. Choose “Settings” from the list.

settings on the list

Step #2

Click “Apps” in the Settings window. In the “Apps & Features” submenu, scroll down until you find your antivirus program. Click on it, and then click the “Uninstall” button.

uninstall antivirus

Step #3

Click on the Start menu Power icon and restart your computer.

restart your computer

Step #4

If the problem is not resolved, reinstall your antivirus and move on to the next method. If the problem is resolved, you can try reinstalling the third-party antivirus in case a Windows update corrupted it. If the problem reappears when you reinstall the antivirus, you will need to uninstall it and find another third-party antivirus or turn on Windows Defender and use that.

Install Network Protocols

Yes, the network protocols should already be installed since you once had Internet access. However, if you follow these steps, they will insure the protocols are there and the error exists somewhere else.

Step #1

Click on the “Settings” icon in the Start Menu.

settings icon

Step #2

Choose “Network & Internet” from the Settings menu. Then select Ethernet. On the right, choose “Change adapter settings.”

change adapter settings

Step #3

Choose the network that is giving you problems and right-click on it. Choose “Properties” from the drop-down menu that appears.

click properties of network

Step #4

In the Properties window, click the “Install” button.

click install on properties window

Step #5

Click on “Protocol” and then click the “Add…” button.

add protocol

Step #6

Choose the protocol to install, and click “OK.”

install network protocol

You should restart your computer after installing any new software. If this did not resolve your problem, continue reading.

Reinstall the Network Adapter

This method will resolve the issue if the Network Adapter is the source of the corruption.

Step #1

Press the [R] key and [Windows] key at the same time. In the Run box that opens, type “devmgmt.msc” without the quotations and press [Enter].

type devmgmt.msc on run box

Step #2

When the device manager window opens, click “Network adapters” to expand it. Right click on the first device listed under “Network adapters,” and first choose “Properties.” Under the “General” tab, write down the name of the device and the Manufacturer. If you have an Internet connection, you can download the drivers for the device from the manufacturer’s website and store them on a USB drive. If you don’t have an Internet connection, you can use a different computer to do this.

device name and manufacturer

Step #3

Close that window, and right-click the same network adapter again. This time, choose “Uninstall device” from the drop-down menu.

click uninstall device

Step #4

The uninstall device warning box will appear. Make sure “Delete the driver software for this device” has a checkmark in the box, and click the “Uninstall” button.

uninstall driver software for this device

Step #5

Now, restart the computer. The device should automatically reinstall. If it doesn’t, install the drivers from the USB you made. Repeat the steps above until you have reinstalled all your network adapters or until the Missing Network Protocols error is gone.

Disable the Ipv6 Protocol

Some networks have trouble with the IPv6 protocol. If this is the reason for the error, simply disabling the IPv6 protocol will resolve the error.

Step #1

Start by clicking on the “Settings” icon in the Start Menu. Choose “Network & Internet” from the Settings menu, and select “Ethernet” on the left and “Change adapter settings” on the right.

change adapter settings

Step #2

Pick the network that is giving you problems and right-click on it. When the drop-down menu appears, choose “Properties.”

click properties of network

Step #3

In the Properties window, make sure Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/Ipv6) does not have a check mark next to it. Click “OK.”

Internet Protocol Version 6 uncheck

Step #4

Finally, do a full system shut down by opening the Start menu, clicking the Power icon, and holding the [Shift] button down on your keyboard while clicking the “Shut down” option. Release the [Shift] key and your computer should shut down. Wait two minutes before restarting your computer.

Disable NetBIOS

The NetBIOS allows multiple applications from separate computers to communicate on the same network. Disabling this ability will prevent outside chatter that may be interfering with your connection.

Step #1

Click on the “Settings” icon in the Start menu.

settings icon

Step #2

Choose “Network & Internet” from the Settings menu. Then select “Change adapter settings” on the right.

change adapter settings

Step #3

Choose the network that is giving you problems and right-click on it. Choose “Properties” from the drop-down menu that appears.

click properties of network

Step #4

In the Properties window, select Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/Ipv4) and click the “Properties” button.

Internet Protocol Version 4 properties

Step #5

When the Properties window opens, click “Advanced” near the bottom-right corner.

click advanced in Internet Protocol Version 4 properties

Step #6

Choose the WINS tab in the TCP/IP advanced settings window. Choose “Disable NetBIOS over TCP/IP.” Now, click “OK” and see if you still have connection problems.

disable NetBIOS over TCP IP

Perform a System Restore

You had to manually create a system restore point before you began having connection issues to do this method. This method will cause you to lose some of your information, but it should fix the error. If you want to learn more about turning system restore on, there is a post on how to turn the System Restore feature on and create a restore point here.

Step #1

Press the [X] and [Windows] keys at the same time. Choose “Settings” from the menu that appears.

settings on the list

Step #2

Click “Update & Security.” When the Update & Security window opens, click on “Recovery” on the left side menu. You should see “Advanced Start-up” on the right. Click “Restart now” underneath that.

advanced startup restart now

Step #3

Windows will now restart and display the “Choose an Option” menu. Select “Troubleshoot” then “Advanced Options.”

troubleshoot advanced options

Step #4

Choose “System Restore.”

advanced options system restore

That is it. Your computer should return to the same settings it had before the problem occurred. Sometimes the computer may try to reinstall updates that have been applied. Make sure you do not interrupt these updates since that could cause the 1 or More Missing Networks error to reoccur.