How to Install WinPCap for Wireshark on Windows 8


WinPCap 4.1.3 is required by Wireshark, but is difficult to fully install on Windows 8 or 8.1.  Installation may give an error that it cannot be installed on this version of Windows (or may install without error but not actually work).  This message is misleading and inaccurate.  WinPCap can be installed on Windows 8.

The error message is a common Windows message and the common resolution is to change the application compatibility mode to Windows 7 or Windows XP SP3.  Another common resolution is to use Run As to run the installer as Administrator.  Unfortunately, this neither of these are sufficient to install WinPCap.  Both of these are required, but you will often find that you still can’t install WinPCap.  The real problem is a change to Windows 8 that makes driver installations more restrictive.


To install WinPCap on Windows 8 you MUST be logged into Windows as a local machine administrator.  Using Run As is not good enough to install drivers. Since some people (especially early adopters of Windows 8) run their system as a local administrator, the original instructions accidentally work for them.

Don’t forget that you ALSO need the compatibility mode set to Windows XP SP3.

We have found that this resolution applies to all installations that install drivers, in particular the Android ADB driver.  When doing any driver installation, actually login as an Administrator on the Windows 8 machine.

Now you can use Wireshark on Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012.