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Reinstall TAP Adapter


If you are experiencing an error message concerning our applications Network Adaptor while either the application is fully operational or during the installation process, please follow the below instructions to address this error message:

Note: This guide is specific to users experiencing TAP Adapter issues while using our OpenVPN Protocol.

In-Application Error Message

Step 1: Reinstall Adaptor through application

If you encounter the error message “The virtual network adapter is not installed” when attempting to connect to the VPN.

Select the Reinstall hyperlink located under the Connection power button or navigate to the applications Help Settings tab and select Reinstall OpenVPN Network Adapter.

Step 2: Security Confirmation

Windows will then prompt you with a security confirmation (User Account Control Window) asking to allow the PIA application to make changes to your OS by reinstalling the applications OpenVPN Network Adapter. Click Yes to continue.

The application will then be successfully reinstalled. Select OK within the confirmation prompt.

If you continue to see the error message concerning our application Network adapter. Please change the connection protocol to WireGuard.

Step 3: Change Protocol

To change the Connection Protocol open the application advanced settings and select the Connection tab. Then select the protocol WireGuard.

If you continue to experience issues with our applications Network adapter after changing protocols please continue to follow the below instructions.

Error Message During Installation or In application error still occuring

Step 4: Reboot the computer into Safe Mode with Networking

1: Navigate to Start > Settings.

2: Click on Update & Security.

3: Click on the Recovery tab.

4: Click on Restart now.

5: Click on Troubleshoot.

6: Click on Advanced options.

7: Click on Startup Settings.

8: Click on Restart.

9: Press 5 for Enable Safe Mode with Networking.

Step 5: Open Device Manager

  1. Press and hold the "Windows key", followed by "r" on your keyboard. This will open the "Run" dialog window.

  1. Type in devmgmt.msc and press "OK" or hit the Enter key on your keyboard. The Device Manager window should appear after a few seconds.

Step 6: Locate PIA Network Adapter

Within your Device Manager window locate the Network Adapter Section and select the drop down “>” arrow to find our applications adapter as listed as “Private Internet Access Network Adapter”

Step 7: Uninstall PIA Network Adapter

  1. Once you have located the adapter right-click on the adapter “Private Internet Access Network Adapter” and select Uninstall Device.

  1. Within the uninstall window make sure to check the box for “Delete the driver software for this device”. Then select Uninstall.

Note: If you do not see any "TAP" Adapters listed here, look into the "Other Devices" or "Unknown Devices" sections in case any TAP adapters are there. If you cannot see any TAP adapter in any of the sections within this window, it is safe to assume you do not have the TAP adapter installed and you can safely reinstall our applications TAP adapter.

Step 8: Reinstall TAP Adapter

Once the application has been fully removed you can now manually reinstall the TAP adapter by opening your Command prompt and run the following prompt:

"C:\Program Files\Private Internet Access\pia-service.exe" tap reinstall

Or you can fully reinstall the application after a complete reboot of your OS.

Once Completed power down your computer completely (DO NOT USE RESTART). Wait 30 seconds and then power your computer back up and the application should be fully functional. If you are still having issues with our application or with any of the above instructions please contact our PIA Support Team here.

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First published: 19/06/2020

Last updated: Jun 19, 2020 by Kaneesha Davis