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what is tap windows complete guide

What is Tap Windows?

Tap Windows is a term that you should be familiar with if you’re a Windows VPN user. Tap Windows is a Windows adapter that behaves like a virtual network interface to assist a VPN client for creating a VPN connection. 

Yet, it’s not always as convenient as it sounds, many users experience internet connectivity issues while having Tap Windows enabled. Therefore, this blog post aims to explain to you what Tap Windows is and how to uninstall and reinstall Tap Windows. 

What is Tap Windows Adapter?

Various VPN software run a specific network driver called Tap Windows. Once you install a VPN client onto your device, you can see this driver adapter in the Device Manager. It’s mostly used by VPNs for a private internet connection. 

What’s the Purpose of  Tap Windows Adapter?

The Tap Windows Adapter is a special network driver. Its purpose is to establish a VPN connection on the servers provided by the VPN client/provider. Without it, you won’t be able to use a VPN client on your device. Therefore, if you ever see a Tap Windows program on your computer while using a VPN client, don’t panic because it’s a totally safe and crucial element of a VPN client. However, users who use VPN browser extensions never encounter this program.

Versions of Tap Windows Adapter

There are two Windows Tap Driver versions that operate and run on a specific Windows version. 

  • On Windows XP – NDIS 5 driver (tap-windows, version 9.9.x)
  • On Windows Vista / 7 / 8 / 10 – NDIS 6 driver (tap-windows, version 9.21.x)

Where is Tap Windows 9.92 Located?

You can find TAP Windows Adapter in your Apps and in the features list. Since, it’s a driver so you can also find it in the Device Manager. However, it installs into the C:/Program Files/Tap-Windows folder by default. 

Tap Windows Hard Drive C

TAP Windows Adapters have different versions that work on different Windows versions. For instance, you will find NDIS 6 driver (TAP-Windows, version 9.21.x) on Windows 7, 8,9 and 10. 

How Safe Are Tap Windows V9 Network Adapters?

Tap Windows V9 Network Adapters are completely safe and secure to continue. It’s a significant driver used by VPN software to establish a private VPN connection. 

When to Remove, Reinstall and Restart Tap Windows Adapter?

If you’re facing too many connectivity issues while using a VPN, your Tap Windows driver might be corrupted and will need a reinstall. Moreover, if you had configured a VPN in the past, and are no longer using it, you have to remove the Tap Windows adapter. 

Note: It’s possible that your Tap Windows Adapter automatically gets reinstalled in case you haven’t uninstalled the VPN software out of your device. 

Lastly, if you see the error “All Tap-Windows adapters on this system are currently in use” then you should restart the Tap Windows adapter to resolve the error. 

How to reinstall TAP-Windows Adapter9.21.2?

Tap Windows is a necessary VPN driver, therefore it’s crucial to reinstall it to avoid all the possible connectivity issues. You can reinstall Tap-Windows adapter following the quick and easy steps below: 

  • Disconnect all VPN connections and close your VPN app 
  • Click on the search icon 
  • Type “Device Manager” 
  • In the device manager, search for Network Adapters and click the forward-pointing arrow to get the drop-down menu

Network Adapter drop down menu

  • Now, Find Tap-Windows Adapter V9, and click right on the driver to select “Uninstall”

Network Adapter Driver option

  • After successfully uninstalling TAP-Windows Adapter 9.21.2, open your VPN client 
  • Depending on your VPN, you will be prompted to install missing Network Driver, or reinstall the TAP-Windows Adapter 9.21.2 automatically
  • After installing the network driver, you can test your connectivity. 

How to Restart Tap Windows 9.212

When you see an error that says “All Tap-Windows adapters on this system are currently in use”, it’s high time to restart your tap windows adapter to fix the error and here’s how to do it: 

  • Head to control panel
  • Click network and internet
  • Select Change adapter options
  • In the network connections window, right-click on local area connection associated with TAP-Windows Adapter V9 and disable it
  • Wait for a few seconds, then right-click on the local area connection again and enable it
  • Launch your VPN client

How to Remove Tap Windows Adapter V9

 Some VPN clients automatically install missing drivers. However, you can remove the Tap Windows driver easily with the steps below: 

  • Go to Program Files
  • Click where you see Tap Windows 
  • Double click “exe” and follow the prompted steps to remove the driver 

Don’t stop here as it gets the tap windows driver back to your system once you boot the system or launch the VPN client. To avert the automatic installation of the driver, remove the entire VPN  program. 

  • Open Run Window with the shortcut keys (Windows Key + R)
  • Enter appwiz.cpl command and click Ok to get to the Programs and Features

Run Window

  • Now, you will see a list, find and uninstall your VPN client. 

Note: Users with multiple VPN programs have to remove every VPN software to prevent Tap Windows driver from reinstalling. 


There you have it! Hopefully with this guide you have understood that the Tap Windows adapter is a driver needed to run your VPN client successfully on your system. You can reinstall this driver if your internet speed is affected. Also, it’s possible to delete or uninstall the driver when needed.

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