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MacOS - Uninstalling/Reinstalling the PIA App using the Mac Terminal


Sometimes, there are instances where it is not possible to uninstall the PIA App with the in-app uninstaller. In these cases, we recommend uninstalling the app manually through the Terminal using the instructions below:

Step 1: Quit the App

Ensure that you have Disconnected and quit the application so that the application is no longer running. You can do so by right-clicking the application icon in the system tray and select ‘Quit’ or by selecting the (3) three vertical dots within the application menu and selecting ‘Quit”.

Step 2:  Move App

Move Private Internet Access application from the Applications folder into the Trash, then empty the trash.

Step 3:  Terminal

Next you will need to open the Terminal. To open the Terminal, you will need to go into your Applications folder and locate the Utilities folder.

Within the Utilities folder you will find the Terminal.

Step 4:  Commands

Once you have opened the Terminal, you must type each of the following commands and press enter. DO NOT ADD ANY EXTRA SPACES. These commands must be typed exactly as they are typed here. Any failure to type it incorrectly could VERY EASILY RESULT IN DATA LOSS. It may even be best to copy and paste the following lines into Terminal (using right click; ctrl+v does not work in the terminal).

sudo launchctl unload /Library/LaunchDaemons/com.privateinternetaccess.vpn.daemon.plist

sudo rm -rf /Library/LaunchDaemons/com.privateinternetaccess.vpn.daemon.plist

sudo rm -rf /Applications/Private Internet

Step 5:  Command's count.

After entering the first command, the Terminal will prompt you for a password, this will be your MacOS Admin/Sudo password (Not your PIA password).

Once you start entering in your Admin/Sudo password, no text will appear; that's okay this is normal. Finish typing the password and press Return.

Note After each command is successful you will not see any confirmation, simply a new line to enter a new command again.

Step 6:  Exit Terminal

Once you have completely removed the PIA application and all of its configurations via the process above, you can exit the Terminal.

Step 7:  Power down

Power down your computer, wait 60 seconds, and power it back up, and all traces of the application should now be removed from the system.

The application should now be fully uninstalled and you can now continue with reinstalling a fresh copy of the PIA App by going to our Downloads Tab here. If you require more detailed instructions on how to install the app, please take a look at our installation guide here.

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First published: 18/05/2019

Last updated: Mar 17, 2021 by Kaneesha D