HOW TO : Install Wireshark on Windows 7

[UPDATE] Wireshark works without any issues as of version 1.2.3. This release includes WinPcap 4.1.1, which has support for Windows 7 and 2008. Looks like the issue was with the drivers not being signed digitally.

I recently upgraded my laptop to Windows 7 RC from the beta version I was testing earlier. As part of installing my standard set of tools, I tried to install Wireshark (open source network capture tool), and ran into an error due to the UAC security settings. Essentially, Windows was blocking the install of WinPcap (network capture driver). I solved it by enabling compatibility mode on the install executable. Here are the steps to install Wireshark on Windows 7.

  • Download the install file from
  • Right click on the install file (I happened to download the 64 bit install) and click on properties
  • In the properties window, click on the compatibility tab and change the option for “Run this program in compatibility mode for” to “Windows Vista (Service Pack 2)” and click on OK. Here’s a screenshot for reference

  • Right click on the install and click on “Run as Administrator”
  • Make sure you choose the option to install the NPF as a service during the install prompts. This will allow all users on the machine to use Wireshark without admin privileges.

P.S : WinPCap is apparently going to come out with a new version soon that is compatible with Windows 7.