Easy Steps to Uninstall Private Internet Access VPN

If you’ve decided that Private Internet Access (PIA) VPN no longer meets your needs, you’re probably wondering how to properly uninstall it from your device. Whether it’s about freeing up space, troubleshooting, or simply moving on to a different service, removing PIA doesn’t have to be a headache.

I’ve been there, and I know that a clean uninstall is crucial to ensure your device runs smoothly. That’s why I’m going to walk you through the steps to remove PIA without leaving any traces behind. Let’s dive into the best way to say goodbye to this VPN service.

Reasons to uninstall Private Internet Access

Sometimes you might find yourself asking, “How do I uninstall Private Internet Access?” There are several reasons why you may need to completely remove this VPN software from your device.

One common reason is the necessity for an upgrade. Like most software, VPNs receive updates that improve security features and usability. Installing the latest version of PIA may require you to first uninstall the previous one, ensuring a clean slate for the new installation.

Performance issues can also prompt a removal. You may experience a slower internet connection or frequent disconnections. In such cases, it’s beneficial to uninstall Private Internet Access to diagnose if it’s the source of the problem.

Lastly, technical glitches or failures in the software may lead you on the journey of figuring out how to completely uninstall Private Internet Access, especially on Windows, where leftover files can sometimes interfere with system performance.

Knowing how to exit Private Internet Access promptly and efficiently is crucial. When it’s time for the VPN to go, you want to make sure it leaves no trace.

Preparing to uninstall Private Internet Access

Before I dive into how to completely uninstall Private Internet Access from my device, it’s critical to prepare adequately to ensure that the process is smooth and leaves no remnants behind. Firstly, make sure all PIA processes are terminated; this can often be achieved by right-clicking the PIA icon in the system tray and selecting ‘Exit’. This is essential; otherwise, the uninstallation might not go as planned.

Next, I’ll take a moment to backup any essential VPN profiles I might have customized within PIA. While I’m removing the application from my device, there’s no reason to lose my settings if I decide to reinstall or migrate to a different device in the future.

It’s also important to have my admin credentials at hand since uninstalling software typically requires administrative rights. Having this information ready will streamline the removal process.

Additionally, I’ll check that I have the latest version of my operating system installed, especially if I’m performing the how to completely uninstall Private Internet Access Windows procedures. This ensures compatibility and may prevent any technical issues.

By following these preliminary steps, I’m paving the way for a thorough removal of Private Internet Access from my system. Moving forward, I’ll walk you through the exact steps to take Private Internet Access off your machine, no matter the device.

Step 1: Disconnect from the VPN

Before I dive into how to completely uninstall Private Internet Access from Windows or any other operating system, it’s essential to disconnect from the VPN service. Keeping the connection active during the uninstallation process could cause issues and prevent a clean removal. Here’s my step-by-step process for a trouble-free disconnection:

  • I start by locating the PIA icon on the taskbar (Windows) or menu bar (macOS).
  • Next, I click on the icon to open the Private Internet Access application interface.
  • I then find the large power button within the app – it’s hard to miss.
  • A simple click on this button will disconnect me from the VPN server.

Disconnecting ensures that none of the PIA processes are running when I begin the uninstallation. I make sure to wait for a confirmation that the VPN is fully disconnected before progressing. If I encounter issues disconnecting, I’ll use the ‘how to exit Private Internet Access’ steps, which typically involve ending the PIA task via the task manager or force quitting on macOS.

Step 2: Cancel subscription and backup data

Before I dive into how to completely uninstall Private Internet Access on Windows, it’s pivotal that I cancel my subscription. This prevents any unexpected charges after I’ve removed the software. To cancel, I navigate to the PIA website, log in to my account, and follow the prompts to cancel my subscription. It’s straightforward, and I ensure that I receive a confirmation email before proceeding.

With the subscription out of the way, I turn my focus to backing up my data. It’s always better to play it safe, so I back up any important VPN profiles or settings. I look for the specific files that contain my VPN configurations and copy them onto a separate storage device. This way, if I ever decide to reinstall or switch to a different VPN provider, I won’t have to start from scratch.

Once my data is secure and my subscription is canceled, I’m ready to move on to the actual uninstallation process without worrying about loose ends.

Step 3: Uninstall Private Internet Access on Windows

If you’re wondering how to completely uninstall Private Internet Access (PIA) from a Windows machine, I’ve got you covered. The process is straightforward, but it’s important to follow the steps carefully to ensure that the application is fully removed from your system. I’ll guide you through an efficient method that’s worked for me.

Firstly, make sure you exit Private Internet Access before initiating the uninstall process. To do this, right-click on the PIA icon in the system tray and select ‘Exit’. This ensures that all PIA services are terminated and won’t interfere with the uninstallation.

Next, access the ‘Control Panel’ by searching for it in the Start menu or typing ‘Control Panel’ in the run dialog box (Win + R). In the Control Panel, head to the ‘Programs and Features’ section, where you’ll find a list of all the applications installed on your machine. Look for Private Internet Access in the list and select it.

It’s time to actually uninstall the application. With PIA selected, click on ‘Uninstall’ or ‘Change/Remove’ to begin the removal process. The system will prompt you with a series of steps or confirmation dialogs. Make sure to follow these, confirming that you want to completely remove PIA.

During this phase, how do I ensure every component of PIA is deleted? Keep your admin credentials handy, as you might need them to authorize the changes. After you’ve carried out these steps, the uninstaller should take care of removing all traces of the VPN.

Remember, after you’ve uninstalled PIA, it’s wise to restart your computer. This helps in clearing out any residual files that might still be lurking in your system. A fresh boot serves as the system’s way of tidying up post uninstallation.

The goal here is to ensure that PIA is not only disconnected but eradicated entirely, leaving no leftovers that could affect your system’s performance or security.

Step 4: Uninstall Private Internet Access on macOS

After ensuring Private Internet Access is fully exited on my Mac, it’s time to remove the program completely. Here’s how I do it:

  1. Open Finder and click on the ‘Applications’ folder.
  2. Scroll through to find the Private Internet Access application.
  3. Once found, I either drag the PIA icon to the Trash or right-click (control+click) on the app and select ‘Move to Trash’.

Remember, simply moving the app to Trash doesn’t completely remove all its components. To ensure that no residual files remain, I follow these additional steps:

  • Open Finder again and in the menu at the top, click Go and then ‘Go to Folder’.
  • I type in ~/Library/ and sift through Application Support, Caches, and other library folders associated with PIA.
  • Anything with ‘Private Internet Access’ or ‘PIA’ in the name goes right into the Trash.

Lastly, to completely uninstall Private Internet Access from my macOS, I make sure to empty the Trash. This step is vital as it eliminates any leftovers of the program from my system. It’s important to remember that administrative credentials might be required during this process.

Step 5: Uninstall Private Internet Access on Android

Uninstalling Private Internet Access (PIA) on an Android device is a breeze if you know the steps to follow. After ensuring that all VPN connections are terminated and necessary data is backed up, it’s time to remove the app from your device. To start, find the PIA app icon on your home screen or app drawer. I usually keep mine handy for quick access, but even if it’s buried in a folder, it’ll take just a few taps to locate it.

Next, I press and hold the app icon until a menu pops up. For newer Android versions, look for the ‘App Info’ option, sometimes indicated by an ‘i’ in a circle. Tapping this will lead you straight to the application’s specifics. Scroll down to find the ‘Uninstall’ button; it’s hard to miss.

Tapping ‘Uninstall’ will prompt a confirmation dialog. Here, don’t hesitate; just tap ‘OK’ or ‘Uninstall’ to confirm your action. It’s crucial to remember how to completely remove Private Internet Access from your Android device, as leaving traces behind can cause clutter or potential security vulnerabilities.

Once the uninstallation process completes, I usually restart my device to ensure that any remaining pieces of the app are wiped clean from the system. While Android is efficient at cleaning up after app deletions, a reboot helps freshen up the device’s performance after removing software.

Step 6: Uninstall Private Internet Access on iOS

To ensure I completely remove Private Internet Access from my iOS device, I start by opening the Settings app. I tap “General,” then scroll down to where it says “VPN & Device Management.” Tapping on it reveals the VPN configurations and profiles installed on my device. I look for Private Internet Access within this list to proceed with the uninstallation.

Next, I select the Private Internet Access profile. This screen presents me with all the details and an option to remove the VPN configuration. A prompt for my passcode or Touch ID might appear to approve the deletions, confirming my intent to uninstall Private Internet Access. Once authenticated, the profile deletion process begins. It’s essential to ensure that any VPN profiles related to PIA are no longer present. With the profile successfully removed, the PIA app itself is next on my list.

I return to the Home screen and locate the PIA app icon. Holding down the icon until it jiggles, I tap the ‘X’ that appears. Another confirmation is required here to delete the app. After selecting “Delete,” I’ve effectively removed Private Internet Access from my iOS device.

Post-uninstall, I check my device for any lingering signs of the VPN to make sure it’s entirely gone. Checking my Wi-Fi settings to see if any VPN notifications pop up is a good practice. This helps confirm the absence of the VPN service, making it clear how to exit Private Internet Access and ensuring there are no hidden components left behind on my iOS system.

Step 7: Remove leftover traces of Private Internet Access

After I’ve navigated through the standard steps to uninstall Private Internet Access (PIA) there’s an imperative task left: to ensure all traces of PIA are completely removed from my system. This is where a thorough sweep is beneficial to avoid any remnant files or registry items that might compromise my device’s performance.

I start by checking the Program Files on my Windows machine for any remaining PIA folders. If there’s anything left, I make sure to delete it. In case I’m wondering how to completely remove Private Internet Access, I may require additional software. There are several reputable third-party applications designed to dig deeper and clean out leftover data. These tools scan for and clean any residual files associated with PIA.

Next, I open the Windows Registry Editor to find and remove any PIA entries manually. How to exit Private Internet Access from my registry involves searching for “Private Internet Access” or “PIA” within the editor and deleting any entries related to the program.

For macOS users, I recommend checking both the Library Folder and the Application Support folder for any remnants that need to be cleared out. It’s crucial to be cautious here, as making the wrong changes in system directories can affect other applications.

Whether it’s on a Windows or macOS machine, ensuring that how to completely uninstall Private Internet Access Windows or how to exit Private Internet Access from any operating system becomes a clean, clutter-free experience is my top priority.


I’ve walked you through the necessary steps to seamlessly uninstall Private Internet Access from your device. By following the detailed instructions, you’re now equipped to remove the VPN without leaving a trace. Whether you’re making a switch or simply taking a break from VPN services, you can rest assured that your system is PIA-free and running smoothly. Remember to restart your device for a final clean-up and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with a decluttered digital space. If you ever decide to revisit VPN solutions, you’ll be starting fresh, with no complications from past installations.