Microsoft Loopback Adapter In Windows

For Which Purpose do we Need it?

A Microsoft Loopback adapter is useful during home lab creation. If you study for any networking exam such as Cisco, then you may need to emulate subnets in order to see how end points communicate with each others across routing or firewalling devices. That is exactly what I am doing in my eve-based home lab. If you read my older posts, all the subnets you see are based on Microsoft Loopback adapters.

Creating a Microsoft Loopback Adapter

Here is a method to create a Microsoft loopback network adapter in Windows. I executed this process on Windows 7. Therefore, I don’t know what it would look like in Windows 10.  

Go to Control Panel –> Device Manager


In the Device Manager menu, right click on the icon that has your computer name and select Add Legacy Hardware


In the Add Hardware Wizard, accept the warning and click Next:


Select the second radio button that says Install the hardware that I manually select from a list (Advanced) and click Next:


In the Add Hardware window, select Network adapters:


In the left pane called Manufacturer, select Microsoft. After that, in the right pane called Network Adapter, select Microsoft Loopback Adapter:

install-loopback-adapter-windows--2016-01-03 06_31_43

After Windows completes the installation, the loopback adapter appears in the Device Manager window:

install-loopback-adapter-windows--2016-01-03 06_32_06

Here’s another method to launch the Add Hardware Wizard: type on the keyboard CTRL-R then in the Run window type the command hdwwiz:

install-loopback-adapter-windows--2016-01-03 06_52_13


Once the loopback adapter is created, it behaves like any normal ethernet interface. In other words, you can activate and deactivate it, and you can give it an IP address.

How are you using microsoft loopback adapters on your computer or network?

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