How do I uninstall/reinstall the PIA app on Windows?

Uninstalling and reinstalling the PIA VPN software can resolve a lot of issues with the VPN.  Please use the following instructions to do so.

Note: This must be done on a Windows Administrator user account; the elevated system changes involved in running a VPN requires full administrative privileges to run properly. 


Step 1 - Exit the VPN
  • Right click the PIA VPN App icon and click "Disconnect" (If applicable)
  • Next, right click the PIA App icon again and Click "Exit"
 
Step 2 - Uninstall the PIA VPN App from C:\Program Files
  • Press and hold the "Windows Key" on your keyboard and while holding it press "R" - (WinKey+R)
    • This will open the "Run" window with the "Open:" field
  • Type in "C:" and press "OK" or hit the "Enter" key on your keyboard
    • The Windows File Manager will then open
  • Double Click "Program Files" - (Note: NOT the one ending with "x86")
  • Locate the "pia_manager" folder
  • Right Click the "pia_manager" folder and click "Delete"
Note: DO NOT do this for any other folders or files in the "Program Files" folder.


Step 3 - Uninstall the TAP Adapters

  • Press and hold the "Windows Key" on your keyboard and while holding it press "R" - (WinKey+R)
    • This will open the "Run" window with the "Open:" field
  • Type in "devmgmt.msc" and press "OK" or hit the "Enter" key on your keyboard
    • The "Device Manager" window should appear
  • Click on "Network Adapters"
  • Right click "TAP-Windows Adapter V9 #2"
  • Click "Uninstall"
  • Check the box for "Delete the driver software for this device"
  • Click "OK"

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

Note: 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)


Step 4 - Power off the computer

  • 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.

Step 5- Reinstall a fresh copy of the PIA VPN App

You are finished! Good Job!


Now test the connection to ensure you are protected!

The easiest way to tell if you are fully protected by the VPN service, is to first connect to the VPN service, then visit our "What’s My IP" VPN testing page.

  • If it reports that "You are protected by PIA" great!  You are connected to our VPN!
  • If it reports that "You are not protected" or "Your private information is exposed" then you are not connect or some thing needs to be fixed.

You can also see if you are protected or not on our main site at the top of the page - https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/

If you are seeing that you "You are not protected" or "Your private information is exposed" please try correcting this with the articles in this knowledge base.


If you still need some help, please feel free to contact support at any time by submitting a ticket, and we will respond as soon as possible. 

Have more questions? Submit a request