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Wireshark's 'No Interface Found' Error & Feasible Solutions

The free source packet analyzer's most occurring error is the 'no interface found, and we're here to provide you with feasible solutions.

Updated: September 28, 2021 By Ozair Malik

Wireshark's 'No Interface Found' Error & Feasible Solutions

Image source – bleepingcomputer.com

This thought is not outdated, as out of 100, around 80 people get worried when they see the 'no interface found' while trying to capture network packets in Wireshark. This small error bothers them a lot, and they tend to Google it to develop a clear understanding.

Wireshark gives diverse capabilities like import, export, open, display, and clear out data packets. It has remained an enterprise well-known over time within the subject of network packet analysis. Many expert agencies use this tool to tune and troubleshoot their network.

It is not that usual, but when Wireshark initializes the process, the device must undergo a sequence of procedures. The initial procedure ends with Wireshark scanning for the available networks on your computer.

When it fails to do so, the ‘No Interface Found’ error shows up. But you are here to capture network traffic packets, and for that, you need to find a network first. The packet capture phase seems impossible if the software fails to locate any network.

Well, despite the confusing 'No Interface Error' bothering you by its presence in your software, I will tell you about the reasons behind its existence and how you can efficiently deal with it until it stops bothering you.

Why & how this error appears in Wireshark?

What, why and how, are the questions that come to a person's mind when they witness the “no interface found” for the first time as it seems like a strange fellow hiding inside the software.

So, let us look to understand what it is and why is it hiding inside our software?

  • The primary purpose of Wireshark is to capture network packets and sniff network traffic
  • The tool undergoes series of procedures at starting up
  • By the end of the start-up, the software scans your PC for network connections, and if initially, it fails to find a network-attached, the 'no interface found' error shows up
  • To capture network traffic, you need to select one of the networks in the list of available networks
  • But this is the place where the error message appears
  • If the tool cannot find any networks, you cannot progress to the packet capture phase

Wireshark's 'No Interface Found' Error window

Image source –wireshark.org

It’s the initial phase anyone going through this error in their software would face. This error shows up due to different reasons in different computers, these includes:

  • Compatibility issues
  • Installation issues
  • Absence of WinPcap
  • Controls trigger issues
  • Network card errors
  • Errors in Firewall

How to solve 'no interface found' on different operating systems?

The possibility of reasons due to which the error occurs in Wireshark is numerous. If the software shows a' no interface found' error, it means that no network was detected by it.

Packets don't lie!

Laura Chappell, a Wireshark Network Analysis

Reasons causing the said error may be due to the operating system it is installed in.

Windows

Using Windows for Wireshark does not require administrator network privileges for access to network functions. The Wireshark system only acts the way any common program employing a network would behave. It merely needs an entry to the network, available to ordinary users and not just the admin.

WinPcap

The part of Wireshark that does need administrator network privileges is WinPcap, a tool that automatically installs with Wireshark. It is a packet capture tool that can provide low-stage networks and includes commands that help track barely visible networks.

It is to be used with supervision by an expert, so your data remains safe. Can find it in the control panel's program section. Installing it again makes it run on system start-up so it can include the admin rights.

WinPcap

Image source – theverge.com

NPcap

NPcap is the same thing as WinPcap. It is a driver with more advanced features and safety systems. It also accumulates packets and is highly suited to WinPcap.

NPcap

Image source – nmap.org

Linux

In Linux operating system, the inability to access the network can be solved by running up some commands. To remind you again, Wireshark does not need to run root anywhere, but some elements such as WinPcap need to be rooted. On Linux, dumpcap needs to be rooted. Some of the commands that can use are as follows:

dumpcap setuid root
setcap ‘CAP_NET_RAW+eip CAP_NET_ADMIN+eip’ /usr/sbin/dumpcap
setcap ‘CAP_NET_RAW+eip CAP_NET_ADMIN+eip’ /usr/bin/dumpcap

Other reasons

The inability to access the network in Wireshark occurs due to several reasons.

Compatibility issues

The version of Wireshark that you have installed and the performance of your PC might become an issue if this error occurs. In this case, the software is to be uninstalled completely from the PC, and a fresh copy is to be installed from the official website of Wireshark.

The newly installed software runs in compatibility mode for Windows 10 properties before running it as the administrator.

Installation issues

As mentioned in the last topic, the version of Wireshark that is to be installed on the PC should be checked before installing. In case of this error, the procedure mentioned above should be followed.

Absence of WinPcap

Ideally, WinPcap is installed with the installation of Wireshark, but in case it does not, you will have to install it on your own. Go to winpcap.org for the installation of WinPcap. Set its compatibility to Windows 10 and run it as an administrator.

Control trigger issues

The software might show no user interfaces located on Windows. A reason for this may be the errors in the control trigger. It is necessary to search for cmd in the taskbar and search for the command prompt. Run it as an administrator and input sc stop npf code in code prompt windows.

The Wireshark software should also be restarted again.

Network cars errors

Another way to solve the error is to test the network card. Even if you have your Wi-Fi turned off or your settings in airplane mode, Wireshark should still show available networks. The software is the same as other network-based software on your PC, and if it doesn't get any access, then no additional software should.

If the other software requiring networks is getting through, the issue doesn't lie in the physical network card. A support specialist should be contacted to get the errors fixed.

Errors in Firewall

Firewalls work to protect your PC from any external program. However, it does not prevent processes from going into the networks. In this case, you need to close Wireshark and turn the firewall off. If the problem is in the firewall, the software will restart and will detect networks.

Conclusion

Any problem you face during communication when opening Wireshark will make you confused and stressed.

The knowledge for the problem is necessary and knowing it does not originate from the software itself. It is essential to be aware of the external offerings to solve the problem because they directly connect with network interfaces.

WinPcap, NPcap, and dumpcap contact the network interfaces directly. If the network is blocking Wireshark, it must block other software that uses network interfaces. The network interface would affect all the applications.

It’s why you should consider the possibility of error in WinPcap, NPcap, or dumpcap because they are responsible for the data capturing process.

I hope you enjoyed reading this article, and it gave you a deep understanding of Wireshark's underlying. There are many more ways to eradicate the 'no interface found' error from Wireshark.

If you want us to do more articles on the solutions, please let us know in the comments!

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Technology
Author
Ozair Malik
A passionate Cyber Security researcher and writer with a keen interest in Digital Forensics. A community worker running a insta blog to raise cybersecurity awareness among laymen.

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