A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a crucial tool for online privacy and security. However, there may be times when you need to remove a VPN, whether it’s malfunctioning or you want to switch to a different one. This guide provides step-by-step instructions for completely removing a VPN from your Windows or macOS computer.
Uninstalling Your VPN on Windows:
1. Use Revo Uninstaller:
- Revo Uninstaller for VPN removal
- Link: Revo Uninstaller
To ensure thorough removal, it’s best to use Revo Uninstaller, a free software tool. Unlike the built-in ‘Add or remove programs’ option in the Control Panel, Revo Uninstaller identifies and removes leftover files.
- Install Revo Uninstaller and launch it.
- Select the VPN you wish to remove and click ‘Uninstall.’
- When prompted, agree to scan for leftover files.
- Delete all additional files that Revo Uninstaller identifies.
2. Manual Deletion:
- If you installed the VPN manually or want to clean up after uninstalling, follow these steps:
- Navigate to the ‘Network and Sharing Center’ in your Control Panel.
- Click on ‘Change adapter settings’ on the left side.
- Right-click on the VPN you want to delete and select ‘Delete.’
3. Remove TAP Drivers:
- Windows users should avoid installing multiple VPNs as TAP drivers can clash and cause issues.
- To remove TAP drivers manually:
- Go to Control Panel > System and Security > System > Device Manager.
- Under ‘Network Adapters,’ right-click on the TAP drivers and select ‘Uninstall.’
- Restart your computer and reinstall your VPN; it will come with the correct TAP drivers.
Removing a VPN on macOS:
1. Use AppCleaner:
- AppCleaner for macOS VPN removal
- Link: AppCleaner
On macOS, AppCleaner is a recommended free app for removing your VPN. Simply follow the instructions, and it will uninstall the VPN software.
2. Manual Deletion:
- To manually remove leftover files:
- Open ‘System Preferences.’
- Click on the ‘Profiles’ tab.
- Locate the VPN you wish to uninstall and click the (-) symbol next to it.
- Enter your password, and the VPN server will be removed from your networks.
Note for macOS Users: Unlike Windows, you do not need to remove TAP drivers on macOS after uninstalling a VPN. TAP drivers do not affect the connection capability of your newly installed VPN on macOS.
Conclusion: Using a VPN is essential for online privacy and security, but there are times when you may need to remove one. Follow these step-by-step instructions to uninstall a VPN from your Windows or macOS computer, ensuring your device remains clean and secure. A VPN protects your online activities by hiding your IP address, making it a valuable tool for privacy-conscious users. If you plan to sell your computer, remember to completely delete and format your hard drive to prevent the recovery of login passwords.