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Windows - Uninstalling the PIA App Manually

Uninstall

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

Delete Application

Step 1: Exit Application

Right click on the PIA icon in the system tray or select the (3) three vertical dots located at the top right-hand side of the application menu, and click Quit or Exit

Step 2: Open Run Window

Press and hold the ‘Windows key’ followed by ‘R’ on your keyboard. This will open the "Run" dialog window.

Step 3: Program File Search

Within the Run dialog window type in %PROGRAMFILES% and click OK or hit the Enter key on your keyboard. The Program File Window Should then appear.

Step 4: Locate Client

If you are running our stable client (v1.0 or above) locate the C:\Program Files\Private Internet Access folder (if applicable)

  1. Once you have located the file right-click the file and select Delete

Important: Do not touch any other folder in this directory. This could seriously damage your system.

If you are running our legacy application(v82 or lower) locate the C:\Program Files\pia_managerfolder (if applicable)

  1. Once you have located the file right-click the file and select Delete

Important: Do not touch any other folder in this directory. This could seriously damage your system.

Delete TAP Adapter(s)

Step 1: Open Run Window

Again press and hold the ‘Windows key’ followed by ‘R’ on your keyboard. This will open the "Run" dialog window.

Step 2: Device Manager search

Within the Run dialog window type in devmgmt.msc and click OK or hit the Enter key on your keyboard. The Device Manager window should appear after a few seconds.

Step 3: Network Adapters

With in the Device Manager Window click on the > arrow next to the Network Adapters section.

Step 4: Application Adapters

Within this section locate and right click on one or each of the following adapters(s):

  1. Stable client: Private Internet Access Network Adapter

  1. Legacy Client: TAP-Windows Adapter V9 and or TAP-Windows Adapter V9 #2

Step 5: Select Uninstall Adapters

Once you have located the adapters right click on them and select Uninstall. A new window will appear.

Step 6: Confirmation Window

Within the Uninstall window you will need to check the box for Delete the driver software for this device

Step 7: Uninstall

Once ready you will then need to Click OK or Uninstall

Note: If there are any other "TAP" Adapters listed here please uninstall them in the same manner - Ex. TAP-Win32 Adapter.

If you do not see any "TAP" Adapters listed here please…

  • Look for "Other Devices" or "Unknown Devices" and click on it if present within the "Device Manager" window

  • Right click each "Unknown Device" and click "Properties" and check if it is a "TAP" device (If it is uninstall it)

When the changes above are complete, power off your computer completely (DO NOT USE RESTART). Wait at least 30 seconds, then power your computer back up.

The application should now be completely uninstalled. If you experience any issues, please reach out to the PIA Support Team via support ticket here.

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First published: 10/09/2019

Last updated: Sep 25, 2020 by Travis H