What is TAP-Windows & How to Fix TAP-Windows 9.21.2 Adapter Errors

Every VPN user needs to know what TAP-Windows is as the issues associated with TAP-Windows 9.21.2 Adapter can be a bit worrisome. Many users have reported troubles in connecting to the internet while the TAP-Windows Adapter was enabled. You need not worry anymore as we will tell you how to manage the TAP-Windows Adapter in this article.

What is TAP-Windows Adapter?

If you have been using the Windows VPN to safeguard the personal data stored on the PC, you must be aware of the role of TAP-Windows Adapter V9. Essentially, the Adapter acts as a virtual network interface that lets the VPN clients fetch the desired VPN connection by making all the necessary functionalities available to it. The TAP-Windows 9.21.2 Adapter can be found as an installed program at the location C:/Program Files/Tap-Windows.

What is TAP-Windows Adapter

Many VPN software runs only after installing a specific network driver, which is known as TAP-Windows. You can find this Adapter mainly in the Device Manager once installed by any VPN client like SoftEther, Cyberghost, Hamachi, etc. The VPN suites mostly use it as a helping medium for establishing a private connection to any internet network nearby.

You will find two different types of driver versions of TAP-Windows that operate only on the specific Windows OS version running on the PC. The two types are:

  • The windows XP version uses the NDIS 5 driver for TAP-Windows and version 9.9.x
  • The windows 10/ 8/ 7/ Vista versions use the NDIS 6 driver for TAP-Windows and version 9.21.x
What is TAP-Windows Adapter

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Why would you need to remove TAP-Windows?

Whether you use TAP-Windows 9.21.2 or the other version, there are all chances that an error might happen in the drivers. Suppose you use the VPN with the help of the internet frequently and you have experience connectivity problems during that process when the VPN connection is running. In that case, there is a possibility that the driver associated with the TAP-Windows might have gone corrupted. You should better start with an investigation of the problem.

The major and best solution that will help you in this scenario would be to reinstall the TAP-Windows Adapter. Another situation might be where you have been using a VPN connection for a long time but have discontinued the usage in the present for a while. In this case, the leftover data from the TAP-Windows Adapter might be the potential culprit behind the internet connectivity issues. It may have gone corrupted in the time being and started causing trouble.

Why would you need to remove TAP-Windows

In both the cases mentioned above, removing the particular Adapter is the best fix to the occurring issue. A thing to note here is that if you decide not to uninstall the VPN software from the PC or laptop, then there are chances that the TAP-Windows Adapter will get reinstalled automatically.

If you see the following error message – “All TAP-Windows adapters on this system are currently in use,” then it is time that you will need to restart the Adapter of TAP-Windows fox fixing such issues.

Now that the air is clear on the possible issue that might happen. Let us take you through the methods for removing, restarting, and reinstalling the TAP-Windows Adapter altogether.

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Method for removing the TAP-Windows 9.21.2 Adapter V9

Like we have already discussed, removing the TAP-Windows Adapter is not as easy as it may seem once you have uninstalled it from the Device Manager. You may find the Adapter reinstalled into the Device manager as per the VPN software installed on the system. This will happen every time you boot the system. The main reason behind this is the startup service that is associated with some of the VPN programs. This service looks for the missing drivers and then automatically installs the required ones.

Once you decide to remove the driver associated with the TAP-Windows Adapter V9, follow the given steps:

  • Open the window of Program Files.
  • Navigate through and find the option of TAP-Windows.
  • Hit double-click over the option uninstall.exe. Now keep following the instructions as they keep appearing on the screen for finally deleting the driver from the system.
  • If you decide to terminate the process at this stage, then remember that the next time you start the device, the driver will return once again and get reinstalled upon opening the VPN software. You have to fully shut the software off the system for ensuring that the driver is barred from getting reinstalled on the PC. Follow the steps below for doing so:
  • Press the keys Windows + R together for launching the Run window. Enter the command appwiz.cpl into the box. Hit OK now. This will open the window of Programs and Features.
  • Find the relevant VPN client from the given list and then uninstall it.
Why would you need to remove TAP-Windows

Note that if you have been a user of more than one VPN solution previously, ensure that you d the same removal process with every other client that appears in the list. Make sure that there is no such software left that can cause trouble again and reinstall the TAP-Windows Adapter.

Method for restarting the TAP-Windows 9.21.2 Adapter V9

If you don’t wish to remove the Adapter altogether and think that there is a possible chance of its recovery by removal of any minor issue, then you may give it a try by just performing a restart of the Adapter. As we know that when the error message tells you that every Adapter is currently being used, restarting the TAP-Windows is a good option to try.

We will tell you how to do so in the steps given below:

  • Open the Control Panel of the PC.
  • Click the option of Network and Internet.
Method for restarting the TAP-Windows 9.21.2 Adapter V9
  • At this stage, hit the tab Change Adapter options.
Change Adapter options
  • In the next window of Network Connections, hit a right-click on the particular local area connection that is associated with your TAP-Windows Adapter V9. Then click on the tab Disable.
  • Wait for some time. Hit a right-click again on the same option and then click Enable.

Try running your VPN client once again and see if the error is resolved.

Method for reinstalling the TAP-Windows 9.21.2 Adapter V9

Suppose you face difficulties in establishing a connection with any VPN network (it doesn’t matter which program you are using). In that case, you may have to first start your troubleshooting operation by running a check on the TAP-Windows Adapter primarily. See if it was installed rightly, and if you come across any incorrect settings, then reinstall the Adapter from scratch.

The steps given below are going to be your guide to do so:

  • It would be best if you firstly terminated your VPN connection and shutting down the related program of the VPN client simultaneously.
  • Now press the keys Windows + R together for launching the Run window. Enter the command devmgmt.msc into the box. Hit Enter now. This will open the window of Device Manager.
  • In this window, navigate through the options and select the tab Network Adapters. Open the menu that drops down.
  • Now, find the option TAP-Windows Adapter V9. Look for an exclamation mark that might be appearing over the icon adjacent to the option. If the exclamation mark is there, then your next move would be to reinstall the particular driver that will fix the problem. For doing that, make a right-click over the icon and click the tab Uninstall device.
Method for reinstalling the TAP-Windows 9.21.2 Adapter V9
  • Once you successfully remove the TAP-Windows 9.21.2 Adapter V9 from the Device Manager, go back and open the VPN client once more. Now keeping in mind the VPN software that you use, you may have to face two situations over here. Either a prompt will emerge asking you for installing the Network Driver that is missing, or the Client will install the driver again automatically without asking for permission.

Note: If you happen to see a message like “missing driver error” on the VPN software when it has not reinstalled the driver automatically, then you may have to remove the VPN Client altogether. All the installation kits associated with the VPN client come along with the TAP-Windows Adapter. If you do not wish to reinstall the VPN client, then visit the website of OpenVPN. Scroll down and stop at TAP-Windows. Now download the right installer as per the windows version of the PC.

Go back and open Device Manager. Check if the exclamation mark is gone from the icon. If it is still there, you may have to resort to expert support from the VPN client or go for another VPN provider.


We hope this article dealt with all your queries related to TAP-Windows and the TAP-Windows 9.21.2 Adapter. We gave you a thorough guide to help you manage the Adapter better and disable it from hindering your internet connection.