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Safe Mode Reinstallation - Knowledgebase / Technical / Troubleshooting / Installation - PIA Support Portal

Safe Mode Reinstallation

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Booting into Safe Mode and reinstalling the VPN client will help you narrow down issues that may impede the functionality of the VPN client. In order to get your device into Safe Mode w/ Networking, use the following steps: 

  • Click/Tap the Windows Start button. 

  • Open Settings, and click/tap on the Update & security icon 

  • Click/tap on Recovery on the left side, and click/tap on Restart now under Advanced startup on the right side 

  • Click/tap on Troubleshoot 

  • Click/tap on Advanced options 

  • Click/tap on Startup Settings 

  • Click/tap on Restart 

  • When your computer restarts press the 5 or F5 key 

Once you are in Safe Mode, uninstall all app files using the following instructions: 

  • Right-click on the PIA icon again, and click 'Exit' 

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

  • Type in %PROGRAMFILES% and press OK or hit the Enter key on your keyboard. 

  • Right-click the Private Internet Access folder (if there) 

  • Click Delete (**Important:** Do *not* touch any other folder in this directory. This could seriously damage your system.) 

  • Right-click the C:\Program Files\pia_manager folder (if there) 

  • Click Delete (**Important:**Do *not* touch any other folder in this directory. This could seriously damage your system.) 

Uninstall the TAP driver from the device manager: 

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

2. 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.
 
3. Click on the > arrow next to the Network Adapters section.
 
4. Right-click on any adapter listed as Private Internet Access Network Adapter, TAP-Windows Adapter V9, TAP-Windows Adapter V9 #2
 
5. Click Uninstall
 
6. Check the box for Delete the driver software for this device
 
7. Click OK **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, 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 sections of this window, it is safe to assume you do not have the TAP adapter installed and you can safely continue to the next section.8. Power off the computer
 
9. When the changes above are complete, power off your computer completely. ***DO NOT USE RESTART***
 
10. Wait at least 30 seconds, then power your computer back up. Once you have completely uninstalled the PIA app, please select either the 32-bit or 64-bit VPN client version and download the installer for our software. After the installer is downloaded, right-click it and select "Run as administrator". Once this is done, click your Start button, click Control Panel, click Network and Sharing Center, click Change adapter settings, and delete any VPN connections listed here. Do not delete the Private Internet Access Network Adapter. You can find a guide for installation here if you require step-by-step assistance. After the above is complete, reboot your computer normally, and try connecting with the app. 

You have now successfully re-installed the VPN client onto your device. If the issue you were combating persists, please reach out to our CS Team and we would be more than happy to assist with sorting things out!