How to remove ghosted NICs in Windows

Table of Contents

Case #

There are cases in which you have a duplicate IP address in your network and you cannot determine which other machine has registered the IP you are currently trying to use. In these cases you should search for potential ghosted network interface cards (NIC) in other systems or in the system where you are trying to setup the IP address. A ghosted NIC is a NIC which has been disabled or deleted but is still present in the operating system configuration. Having ghosted NICs in a computer may create a series of issues in your TCP/IP stack connectivity, with the most usual one being the case of a duplicate IP.

This article provides step-by-step guidance on how to remove ghosted NICs in Windows.

Solution #

Run the following command in an elevated Windows command prompt or Powershell window.


This will launch the device management Microsoft Management Console (MMC). Inside the device manager you find need to ensure that the hidden devices are also setup to be visible. Follow the steps below.

  • Click on “View” and then “Show Hidden Devices”.