Installing and Configuring a Loopback Adapter

What is a Loopback adapter and why might I want one?

A Loopback adapter is a network interface that can be used to route network traffic from one application to another on the same computer, but does NOT send that traffic to any other device on the network.  In many cases, when you need to allow two or more applications on one PC to exchange network information you can use one of your computer’s existing network adapters, whether wired or wireless. However if one application attempts to take exclusive control over a network endpoint, other applications may be unable to access that same endpoint and will not be able to receive data.  Or you may want to avoid sending large amounts of data out onto your home or office network if that data is only needed on one computer. A loopback adapter solves both of these problems while appearing to the computer system and the applications running on it like a real network adapter.

Installing a Loopback Adapter

  1. Open Device Manager and select Action -> “Add legacy Hardware”.  If you don’t see this option, click anywhere in the device tree and try again.

  2. The “Add Hardware” Wizard will appear. Click “Next”

  3. Select “Install the hardware that I manually select from a list (Advanced)” and then click “Next”

  4. Under “Common hardware types” scroll down, select “Network adapters”, and then click “Next”

  5. Under “Manufacturer” select “Microsoft”, then under “Model” select “Microsoft KM-TEST Loopback Adapter”, then click “Next”

  6. Click “Next” to confirm the installation

  7. Once the installation completes, click “Finish”

  8. The loopback adapter will now be listed along with your other network adapters under Network Connections.  You can rename this adapter by right clicking on it and selecting “Rename”, and you can configure its IP address and other settings just like a standard network adapter

    Your loopback adapter should now be ready to use, although some applications may need to be restarted before they will be able to use it.

    You can install multiple loopback adapters if necessary, in which case be sure to name them so that you can tell them apart.

Removing a Loopback Adapter

  1. To remove a previously installed loopback adapter, open Device Manager, and locate the “Microsoft KM-TEST Loopback Adapter” in the device tree under “Network adapters”. Right click on it, and select “Uninstall device”

  2. Click “Uninstall” to confirm and remove the adapter from your system