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SolarWinds Port Scanner Quick Reference Guide

SolarWinds® Port Scanner is a standalone free tool that allows users to scan TCP and UDP ports. It provides three possible port status results: open, closed, or filtered. Port Scanner can also resolve ping results, hostnames, MAC addresses, and operating systems. You can run Port Scanner from the spiffy-looking GUI or the CLI. Scan results can be exported as csv, xlsx, or xml file formats.

Installation requirements



Operating System

Windows 8, 8.1, 10

Windows Server 2012 R2

Windows Server 2016


.NET 4.5

Additional software (Port Scanner will automatically install these on 1st run if not available)

Npcap 0.78 r5

Microsoft Visual C++ 2012 Redistributable (x86)

Microsoft Visual C++ 2013 Redistributable (x86)

Download and run the tool for the first time

  1. Download SolarWinds Port Scanner:
  2. Unzip it.
  3. Run portscanner.exe
  4. Accept the terms and conditions of the license agreement
  5. The tool will then check if all of the installation requirements have been met. If Npcap 0.78 r5, Microsoft Visual C++ 2012 Redistributable (x86), or Microsoft Visual C++ 2013 Redistributable (x86) are missing, it will install it automatically. A dialogue box will appear that says: “Preparing Application for first use.”

Configure your scan settings

  1. Set your hostnames and IP address ranges
    1. - will scan six IPs (from 100 to 105)
    2. will scan 256 IPs (from 0 to 255)
    3. myhostname will scan two IP addresses and one hostname
    4.;;myhostname same as c)
    5.,,myhostname same as c)
    6. Or, create a combination of any of the above
  2. Set your port ranges
    1. 1–100 will scan range of 100 ports
    2. 1,5,8,50,100 will scan five specified ports
    3. 1 5 8 50 100 will scan same as b)
    4. 1;5;8;50;100 will scan same as b)
    5. Or, create a combination of any of the above
  3. Protocol – select this option to scan only TCP ports, only UDP ports, or both
  4. Ping Response
    1. If this box is checked, the scanner will try to resolve MAC addresses, DNS, and show TCP/UDP ports only for devices that responded with status “Success” to the ping
    2. If the box is unchecked, the scanner will scan all devices for all selected data
  5. Resolve DNS
    1. If this box is checked, the scanner will try to resolve hostnames using a DNS set in the local machine settings (default network adapter settings)
    2. If the box is unchecked, the scanner will not resolve hostnames
  6. Use-Specific DNS – define the IP address of a DNS server for hostname resolution; if this field is empty, the scanner will use the DNS set in the local machine settings (default network adapter settings)
  7. Resolve MAC – the scanner will try to resolve MAC addresses
  8. Detect OS – the scanner will try to detect the OS version used on the destination host
  9. SCAN button – triggers the scan action

Save/Load your scan profile

Once you’ve configured all of the settings, you can save your scan profile using the Profile drop-down list.

Scan profiles are also available via the CLI interface.


Hint: Create a scan profile from the UI. Run the app from the CLI, and load the saved profile using a command line switch.

Review scan results

Scan results will be displayed in the middle column of the tool. By default, it shows all defined hosts. The tool offers the option to filter only active hosts (hosts where the scanner has found additional info). You can also sort the list of results by, either, IP address, or hostname.


By clicking on a row within the results list, you’ll get details about scanned ports. The scanner defines 3 port statuses:

  • Open – the application is actively accepting TCP connections or UDP datagrams on this port
  • Closed – the port is accessible, but there is no application listening to it
  • Filtered – the scanning engine cannot determine if the port is open or closed (for example, due to filtering in the form of a dedicated firewall)


The yielded list of port results includes IANA port names, which are configurable in the service-port-numbers.csv file, located in the setting subfolder of Port Scanner’s main folder.

SAVE scan results

You can save scan results into xlsx, csv, or xml file formats.

You have the option to save either only active hosts (hosts where the scanner was able to find additional information), or all hosts (all hosts or IP addresses defined within the scan configuration).


SolarWinds Port Scanner lets you define actions (commands that prompt external programs to run via Windows CLI). You can define these actions via the Manage Actions screen. You can use the parameters $IP or $hostname for these actions.


Actions can be executed by clicking on a row within the IP addresses / Hostnames result list, and by clicking on the Action drop-down list.


Port Scanner CLI

SolarWinds Port Scanner gives you the ability to run scans and save results without user interaction. Once you’ve accepted the terms and conditions within the license agreement, and have prepared the application for the 1st run, the command line interface will become available.

All available switches can be viewed using the following command: > portscanner.exe –help or portscanner.exe –info



I may be missing something here...but this doesn't run.

Can you elaborate here a bit, what doesn't run and do you get any errors, etc.?  What environment did you install on?

This application runs and discovers really well. I love the ability to add other actions with Manage Actions.

It took me a bit to find where to change the amount of items shown on the screen, and the max is 100. I'm scanning /24 and /25 networks, and it's always beneficial to see a list of everything on one page. Are you limiting this for a specific reason?

I think the optimum max, if you need to set one, would be 255 so you can see an entire /24.

Another enhancement that would make this application better, would be to decrease the table row padding, as it's very large, as it only shows 10 items at a time. I don't know if this is what is throwing off all your alignment, but nothing in this row is on the same level. The padding is all over the place.


Then adding some type of color if the port is open or closed. Make the (x Open) ellipses be a green or blue. The gray Not Open icon would pop out to the user if it was red, amber, yellow, etc. There is way too much white and gray. Having those colors being user configurable would be even better.


I have problems running this too.  It just sits on the "Preparing application for first use..." for hours.  I am running it as an Administrator on a Windows 10 build.

Sorry, I just saw's working now

i have the same problem, "preparing application for first use, i am also running it as an administratior on a Windows Server 2012 R2

Version history
Revision #:
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Last update:
‎05-29-2017 10:14 AM
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