VPN is an essential tool when it comes to keeping your online privacy and security safe. However, sometimes a VPN might not be working as intended. You might also feel you no longer need to connect to a VPN server whenever you go online. Whatever the reason might be, removing VPN from your PC can prove troublesome at times. That’s because uninstalling a VPN can sometimes leaves behind logs or records related to different activities in the registry or the system files. Here, we are going to show you how you can get rid of such unwanted logs or records staying on your machine. The process of uninstalling a VPN is quite similar to that of any other program with just a few additional steps.
Remove VPN from Windows PC – First Step
Before performing the usual process of uninstalling a VPN program, it is important to figure out the location of the program.
To find out the location of your VPN program, you need to perform the following steps:
- Press the ‘Ctrl + Shift +Esc’ key combination to display the Windows Task Manager window.
- Locate your VPN process under the ‘Processes’ tab. Sort all processes by using the given header for names, and locate the VPN with the relevant name and the ‘.exe’ extension at the end.
- Right-click the program and select the ‘Open File Location’ option to display a window containing the .exe file of the VPN.
- Note down or copy the path appearing in the address bar into a notepad file.
Uninstall VPN from PC – Second Step
Once you have located the VPN program, perform the following steps to uninstall it:
- Navigate to Control Panel > Programs and Features > Uninstall or change a program.
- Locate the relevant VPN in the list and uninstall the program.
After uninstalling the VPN program, you may also locate and uninstall TAP Driver, which is a virtual network adapter for a VPN client. To locate the virtual network adapter for your VPN, you need to sort the list of installed programs in an alphabetical order. Then, you may be able to see a program that has a name like “TAP-‘VPN name here’” on the list. Once found, right-click the program and uninstall it.
If you are not able to locate your VPN in the list of installed software, go to the location where we found its .exe file through the steps mentioned above. And locate and run a uninstall.exe file.
After you have uninstalled the VPN program and other programs associated with it, you can restart the PC to finish the process.
So far, you have done what 90% people are able to do when uninstalling a VPN. However, to ensure that there are no traces of the uninstalled VPN program remaining in your PC, you need to keep reading.
How to Eliminate VPN Records Completely from Your PC?
Go back to the location of the VPN program that we found out earlier. Use the steps mentioned above for locating the program, if needed. If you are unable to find the location now, it means that you have successfully uninstalled the program. There are a few programs, however, that do leave behind other unwanted files or records. Thus, it is possible that you may discover something at the location.
A few VPNs tend to create log files containing information, such as latest VPN connections and IP address on your machine. To ensure that there no files remaining after the uninstallation, you need to search for files having a similar name. Those files may appear in the following places:
- Program Files (x86)
- Program Files
- Program Data
Delete all those files that you find VPN-related. When you are uncertain, perform a quick Google search to check if others found the same occurrences during the uninstallation of that particular VPN.
Check the Registry
Like other software programs, VPN clients tend to store a few settings in the Windows Registry. Therefore, to be certain of your VPN uninstallation, you need to go into the Registry and remove whatever relevant entries you find.
It is important to note that deleting a wrong entry from the Registry can cause a great damage to your PC. Therefore, you need to be cautious while deleting the entries.
Open the Registry and navigate to the following sets: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE, and HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE.
Look carefully into both the sets of keys to find anything VPN-related. To be extremely safe, you can even delete these keys provided that you are fully sure of their function. However, it is advisable to do a Google search to find relevant information about what you are deleting before actually deleting anything.
To operate, VPN clients set up virtual network adapters for other programs to use. These adapters tend to stay on your machine after the uninstallation of the client, leading to needless clutter and impacting your network settings negatively.
To delete such adapters, perform the following steps:
- Go to Device Manager and expand ‘Network Adapters’ to see the current adapters on your machine. A VPN-related adapter would generally have a name related to the VPN client that you uninstalled.
- Right-click the adapter, and select the Uninstall Device option in case you are sure that you do not require the adapter anymore.
How to Remove VPN from Windows PC – Final Thoughts
Hopefully, the guide above has provided you with all the necessary steps you need to follow in order to completely remove VPN from your Windows PC. Have you tried uninstalling VPN from your laptop using these instructions? Did you run into any issues? Let us know by leaving a comment below.