What is Microsoft Virtual WiFi Miniport Adapter? How to Disable It?

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Microsoft Virtual WiFi Miniport Adapter Meaning

Microsoft Virtual WiFi Miniport Adapter or Microsoft WiFi Direct Virtual Adapter, as the name suggests, is a virtual adapter that splits your primary network into two or acts as a ‘virtual’ bridge for a wireless hotspot.

Now, how does this work? Suppose you have a PC that you’re connecting to your only ethernet port. You gain Internet access on your PC, but what if you want to connect more of your devices to the same Ethernet (since a network card has a limitation of connection to only one network at any given time)? This is where the Microsoft Virtual WiFi Miniport Adapter comes in. When you enable this feature on the PC that is connected to the Ethernet port, it will split the primary network card into two through virtualization, therefore making your PC act as a wireless hotspot for other devices to connect to.

When the network card is split into two, the physical one will connect to the Ethernet, while the virtualized/ simulated one (that the Microsoft Virtual WiFi Miniport Adapter just created) will connect to another device you want to connect to the Ethernet port, therefore acting as a WiFi hotspot.

Microsoft Virtual WiFi Miniport Adapter is available on all versions of Windows from 7 and above, and it can easily be accessed and employed on any device that has a functioning WiFi card.

 

How to disable the Microsoft Virtual WiFi Miniport Adapter?

As a virtual adapter, Microsoft Virtual WiFi Miniport Adapter only needs to have its configuration changed to disable or remove it. To disable or turn off Microsoft Virtual WiFi Miniport Adapter on your Windows, follow these steps:

  • Open the Command Prompt using Windows key + X or enter cmd in the Search Box, then tap on Command Prompt in the search results that pull up.
  • Type the following command and press ENTER.
    netsh wlan stop hostednetwork
  • Now, type in the following command
    netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=disallow
  • Press Enter, and the Microsoft Virtual WiFi Miniport Adapter will now be disabled.

To know if it is properly disabled from your PC, check for Microsoft Virtual WiFi Miniport Adapter under the ‘Network Connections’ tab. If it does not show, then it is successfully disabled.

How to re-enable the Microsoft Virtual WiFi Miniport Adapter?

If you have only disabled the Microsoft Virtual WiFi Miniport Adapter, you will easily be able to re-enable it. Here is how:

  • Open the Command Prompt using Windows key + X or enter cmd in the Search Box, then tap on Command Prompt in the search results that pull up.
  • Type the following command and press ENTER.
    Netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=allow

This will enable Microsoft Virtual WiFi Miniport Adapter on your Windows again.

 

Can you remove Microsoft Virtual WiFi Miniport Adapter?

Yes, you can remove it from your Windows. We suggest removing the Microsoft Virtual WiFi Miniport Adapter only if you are sure you would not need it later. If you do not really use your PC as a WiFi hotspot or bridge to connect other devices, you would be just fine without the feature anyway. It has a small battery and performance overhead, which means it slows down your Windows performance, however only by a little. Therefore, removing or uninstalling it permanently is a viable option.

How to remove the Microsoft Virtual WiFi Miniport Adapter?

Here is how you can remove it:

  • Open the Command Prompt using Windows key + X or enter cmd in the Search Box, then tap on Command Prompt in the search results that pull up.
  • Type the following command and hit ENTER
    net start VirtualWiFiService
  • Now open the Control Panel and Network and Sharing Center.
  • Right-click on Microsoft Virtual WiFi Miniport Adapter and then tap on ‘Properties’ from the options on display.
  • Upon tapping on ‘Properties,’ you’ll find the option ‘Uninstall’ at the bottom. Tap on the same.
  • Now, back in the Command Prompt, type
    Net stop VirtualWiFiService
  • Hit ENTER, then type in another command
    VirtualWiFiSvc.exe -remove
  • Hit ENTER, and Microsoft Virtual WiFi Miniport Adapter is not only disabled but the executable is also removed.

 

What is Microsoft Virtual WiFi Miniport Adapter driver?

The Microsoft Virtual WiFi Miniport Adapter driver is similar to any other network adapter. The main function of the Microsoft Virtual WiFi Miniport Adapter driver is to allow communication between your network connection and your desktop/laptop. Since the virtual adapter driver ensures wireless communication between your PC and network available, if the driver goes missing or is not up to date, Microsoft Virtual WiFi Miniport Adapter may (and does) face issues and errors.

How do you know if you need to update your Microsoft Virtual WiFi Miniport Adapter driver?

To know if your Microsoft Virtual WiFI Miniport Adapter driver needs updating, run a Drivers scan by using a third-party driver update tool or by simply going to the ‘Settings’ on your Windows and then click on ‘Updates and Security and then click on ‘Check for Updates. Windows will now scan your device for updates, and if your Virtual WiFi Adapter needs updating, you’ll find it under the list of updates available.

 

How to fix Microsoft WiFi Direct virtual adapter error codes:

Here are a few common errors associated with Microsoft WiFi Direct Virtual Adapter and how you can solve them:

Error Code #31:

This error can be caused due to multiple issues that are preventing your OS from loading the drive for a specific hardware device. The message thrown up on the screen is:
“This device is not working properly because Windows cannot load the drivers required for this device. (Code 31)”

Here are 4 methods we can use to troubleshoot the error code:

Method #1: Disable and Enable Microsoft Virtual WiFi Miniport Adapter

  • Open the Command Prompt as an administrator and type the following command, and hit ENTER: netsh wlan stop hostednetwork
  • Now, type in the following command and hit ENTER: netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=disallow
  • Once the virtual adapter is disabled, type the following command to enable it and see if the error is solved: netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=allow

Method #2: Update Windows (ignore if Windows is up-to-date)

Open Settings (Windows Key + I) and click on Update and Security.
Click on Windows Update>Check for updates. If there is the latest version available, it will be shown on the screen. Click on ‘Update’.

Method #3: Run the Hardware troubleshooter

Press Windows Key and type ‘troubleshooting.’
From the list of options, tap on Troubleshooting>Hardware and Sound.
Run the troubleshooter and see if this solves the issue.

Method #4: Update Microsoft Virtual WiFi Miniport Adapter Drivers

  • Open Run or press Windows Key + R.
  • Type devmgmt.msc and hit Enter. This will open the Device Manager on display. Scroll down until you see ‘Network Adapters’, then expand it.
  • Now, right-click on Microsoft Virtual WiFi Miniport Adapter and select Update Driver Software.
  • From the options given, you can either select “Search automatically for updated driver software” or select “Browse my computer for driver software.” The former automatically updates the drivers, while the latter is a viable option if the issue is still not fixed.
    Note: If you select the latter option, uncheck ‘Show compatible hardware and then select the virtual adapter, then click ‘Next.’
  • This will install the driver when asked, and your Microsoft Virtual WiFi Miniport Adapter Drivers will be updated.
  • Reboot your OC and check if the error is solved or still persists.

 

Error Code #45:

Error Code 45 is regarded as one of the most common issues that Windows users encounter. It occurs whenever Windows fails to recognize a device connected to it and will display the “This hardware device is not connected to the computer (Code 45) on your screen”.

Here is a simple and easy solution to fix this error:

Method: Manually uninstall and reinstall your device driver

  • Press the Windows button and X simultaneously, and open Device Manager
  • Locate the device that is showing error 45 in the Device Manager.
  • Right-click on the device and select Uninstall device.
  • Tick the checkbox for Delete the driver software for this device and click Uninstall. In Device Manager, click Action on the menu bar and select Scan for hardware changes. This should refresh the system, then reinstall the device and its corresponding driver.
  • Reboot your PC, go to the Device Manager to check if the error is fixed or not.

 

Error Code #56:

Windows is still setting up the class configuration for this device. (Code 56) Error on Windows 10 is due to the following reasons:

  • Third-party VPN. Mostly the error is caused due to a third-party VPN installed on your device. The issue pops up as the VPN conflicts with the network adapter.
  • Windows Update: Certain Windows updates might reset the network settings, which can cause this Code 56 error.

Method #1: Network Troubleshooter

Troubleshooting is the first and foremost thing that you should do. It looks for network adapter drivers and third-party applications that are conflicting with it. Here are the steps for Network troubleshooting:

  • Press Windows Key + I to open Settings.
  • Go to Network and Internet.
  • Click ‘Network troubleshooter’ to execute it.

Method #2 Network Reset

If the problem persists even after troubleshooting, then a Network Reset can help. It will reset all Network settings and configuration to default. Here’s how to do it:

  • Press Windows Key + I to open Settings.
  • Go to Network and Internet.
  • In the Status panel, scroll down to locate network reset click it.
  • Finally, on the new window, hit ‘Reset now’ and wait for it to complete.

Method #3: Uninstall Windows Update

If you have encountered the error Code 56 after a Windows update, then uninstalling the Update might fix the issue. Here’s how to do it:

  • Press Windows Key + I to open Settings.
  • Go to Update and security.
  • Click on View update history and then select ‘Uninstall updates.’
  • A new window will pop up, locate the Windows update you are trying to uninstall and then double-click it.

Method #4: Reset Bios

  • Resetting the Bios can also be helpful. In order to do so, follow the steps below.
  • Restart your computer and press the “F12” or “F9” or the “Del” key to get into bios.
  • There should be a button allocation on the screen to reset the Bios.
  • Usually, it is “F9,” so press that and accept the next prompts.
  • This will reset the Bios.

Method #5: Uninstall VPN

  • If you are facing the issue after installing a VPN, then you must uninstall the VPN program. Here are the steps to follow:
    Navigate to Control Panel > Programs and Features > Uninstall or change a program.
  • Locate the relevant VPN in the list and uninstall the program.

 

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