We review vendors based on rigorous testing and research but also take into account your feedback and our affiliate commission with providers. Some providers are owned by our parent company.
Learn more
vpnMentor was established in 2014 to review VPN services and cover privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.
Advertising Disclosure

vpnMentor was established in 2014 to review VPN services and cover privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.

IPVanish TAP Device Won't Install? Our Troubleshooting Tips

Ernest Sheptalo Published on 6th June 2024 Fact-checked by Ryan Jones Senior Writer

IPVanish is a reputable service, but even the most reliable VPNs can encounter occasional hiccups. Among the most common ones you might come across with IPVanish is the frustration of the TAP device refusing to install correctly. This can be particularly frustrating as it hampers the proper functioning of the VPN.

When the IPVanish TAP device isn't working as it should, it can lead to various problems. It might disrupt your VPN connection, potentially expose your data, or even leave your online activities vulnerable to cyber threats like hackers. To help tackle this, I've compiled a detailed guide addressing the root causes behind the TAP device error message, how to address them, and some other troubleshooting tips to try if you still have connection difficulties after that.

Short on Time? Here Are the Best Tips to Troubleshoot the IPVanish TAP Device Won’t Install Error

  1. Verify administrator privileges — Ensure you have administrative rights on your computer to install the TAP device.
  2. Try repairing your TAP device — Both Windows and IPVanish provide features that automatically attempt to fix TAP device errors.
  3. Disable conflicting software — Temporarily turn off third-party firewall or antivirus software that may interfere with the installation.
  4. Check network connectivity — Confirm that you’ve got a stable internet connection; if needed, restart your router.

Easy Fix: Use a Different VPN to Solve the IPVanish TAP Device Error

Since this is an issue with IPVanish, switching to a new VPN can eliminate the problem. If you're facing difficulties with the IPVanish TAP device error, consider making the switch to a more reliable service like ExpressVPN. This straightforward change can save you time and effort of trying out all the fixes below — so you can restore your online security without any unnecessary complications.

Vendor Logo of ExpressVPN
Easy-To-Use Apps Suitable for Beginners
DEAL: Save 49% + 30-day money-back guarantee
Editor's Choice for Ease Of Use
Our Score: 10.0
User-friendly interface to connect in seconds
Immediate responses from 24/7 customer support

Editors' Note: Expressvpn and this site are in the same ownership group.

4 Ways to Fix the IPVanish TAP Device Won’t Install Error

By following these steps, you can effectively resolve the IPVanish TAP device installation issue and ensure smooth VPN operation. However, please note that these solutions may not be universal or guaranteed to work in every case. If you still have issues with IPVanish even after fixing the TAP device error message, you might need to try some other methods as well.

1. Verify Administrator Privileges

Ensure that you have administrative privileges on your computer. Installing a TAP device typically requires full permissions. In some cases, Windows’ default User Account Control (UAC) settings can prevent access to necessary directories. You can usually fix this by right-clicking on the IPVanish installer and choosing Run as administrator to ensure the installer has the necessary access. However, if this fails, you’ll need to lower your UAC permissions.

By lowering your User Account Control (UAC) settings temporarily, you remove any blocks posed by the system. You can do this by searching for UAC in your Windows search bar and adjusting the slider to a lower level.

Screenshot of Window's UAC settingsOnly do this temporarily while installing IPVanish — lowering UAC settings can increase security risks

It's essential to keep in mind that lowering UAC settings reduces certain security protections on your computer. While this action can help resolve specific issues, it may make your system more vulnerable to certain types of malware and unauthorized changes. Therefore, it's advisable to revert your UAC settings to their original, higher level once you've addressed the TAP device problem.

2. Try Repairing Your TAP Adapter

Use Windows’ built-in network adapter repair tool. Open your network settings, right-click on the TAP adapter, and select Diagnose. Follow the prompts to repair any issues it finds.

Screenshot of Window's Network and Internet settingsYou can diagnose the TAP device in this window

Alternatively, you can use IPVanish’s Reinstall TAP driver feature, which can be accessed in the Protocol settings.

Screenshot of IPVanish Protocol settingsClick the cogwheel icon to access the IPVanish settings menu

Sometimes, a simple fix can be to reset your TAP adapter. Head over to Device Manager, find the TAP adapter linked to your VPN, and give it a right-click. Choose Disable device and confirm. Wait a bit, then right-click again and hit Enable device. After this quick toggle, restart your computer and try connecting to your VPN once more.

Screenshot of Windows' Network adaptersThis little trick often gets things back on track

3. Disable Conflicting Software

Certain third-party firewall or antivirus programs may disrupt IPVanish’s installation process. To address antivirus-related problems with IPVanish, you can either temporarily disable your security software (consult the software's documentation or support) or configure it to allow IPVanish to install and work without interruptions.

Screenshot of Windows Defender settingsOnce excluded, just close the window and reboot your device for the settings to take effect

If you’re using Windows Defender and would prefer not to disable it entirely, here’s how to allow IPVanish through it:

  1. Open the Windows Defender Firewall option.
  2. In the left sidebar, click on Allow an app or feature through Windows Defender Firewall.
  3. Click the Change Settings button for administrative privileges.
  4. Look for IPVanish in the list, and if it’s missing, click Allow another App and browse to the IPVanish exe file.
  5. Check both Private and Public boxes next to IPVanish.
  6. Click OK.

Similarly, antivirus software can sometimes interfere with IPVanish. Try temporarily disabling your antivirus or adding IPVanish as an exception. To do the latter, open your antivirus, go to its settings, find “exceptions” or “whitelist,” add IPVanish, and save the changes. If you instead choose to disable your antivirus entirely, remember to turn it back on after testing IPVanish.

If you have multiple TAP adapters installed due to using more than one VPN, another quick solution may be to identify and disable the TAP adapter not currently in use. You can do this through the Network Connections control panel on your computer. By right-clicking on the non-essential TAP adapters and selecting Disable, you can prevent conflicts without uninstalling them. This allows you to switch between VPNs as needed while maintaining system stability.

4. Check Network Connectivity

Confirm that your internet connection is stable and functioning correctly. A weak or disrupted connection can prevent the TAP device from being installed properly when you set up IPVanish.

To check your connection, see if you can access your usual websites and platforms when IPVanish is inactive. A good internet connection is crucial for the TAP driver installation as the installer might need to download some components from the web.

If you find that a bad connection may indeed be the problem, consider connecting your device to the internet via an Ethernet cable, if possible. Alternatively, switch to a different WiFi network to see if that resolves the issue. You can also use the Windows Troubleshooter to diagnose your network and see if it changes anything.

Screenshot of Windows' desktop displaying network diagnostics shortcut.This will launch the network troubleshooting wizard

If all else fails, restart your router or modem. Unplug the device, wait for about 30 seconds, and then plug it back in. Some routers also come with built-in restart buttons you can use to refresh your connection. This simple step often resolves connectivity problems.

Pro tip: When installing IPVanish, it usually automatically installs the necessary TAP drivers to facilitate a secure VPN connection. However, if this automatic process fails, possibly due to software conflicts or security settings, you can manually download and install these drivers from the OpenVPN website. This way, you ensure you are getting the correct and updated version of the drivers, which is important for both functionality and security. Simply uninstall the IPVanish client, download the TAP drivers, and reinstall the VPN.

Vendor Logo of ExpressVPN
Easy-To-Use Apps Suitable for Beginners
DEAL: Save 49% + 30-day money-back guarantee
Editor's Choice for Ease Of Use
Our Score: 10.0
User-friendly interface to connect in seconds
Immediate responses from 24/7 customer support

What Should I Do if IPVanish Isn’t Connecting After TAP Device Installation?

In rare cases, reinstalling the IPVanish TAP device can cause further connectivity issues. Or, you might find that the TAP device wasn’t properly installed. If you're experiencing problems getting IPVanish to work or even connect, here are some steps to troubleshoot it:

Try a Different Server

Switch to a different server within the IPVanish app. If a specific location doesn't work after TAP driver installation, you may just be facing a server issue. Sometimes servers can go down or undergo maintenance — check the VPN’s official site to see if there have been any announcements about server problems.

Trying a different location (or disconnecting and then reconnecting) can help you find one that works. The Quick Connect feature is useful as it automatically chooses the optimal server for establishing a VPN connection. It takes into account aspects such as server load and proximity to guarantee a stable connection.

Change Your Protocol From UDP to TCP

Switching your VPN protocol can help resolve connectivity problems. Many services typically use UDP (User Datagram Protocol) for efficient data transmission due to its lower overhead. However, the protocol can have issues with instability, causing frequent disconnections or reduced performance.

In certain device configurations, TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) may be a better fit. TCP offers greater stability by effectively handling packet loss, ensuring a more consistent connection. Here's how you can switch to TCP:

  1. Open the IPVanish VPN client. Log in to your IPVanish account.
  2. Navigate to Protocol Options. Pick VPN Protocol and select TCP (Transmission Control Protocol).
  3. Save the changes and reconnect to IPVanish. This changes your VPN connection from UDP to TCP.

Troubleshoot Authentication Issues

Double-check your IPVanish account credentials. The Authentication Failed error message is a clear indication of an issue with your login credentials or the authentication process itself. Here's a detailed breakdown of how to address this problem:

  • Check your login credentials. Make sure your IPVanish username and password are entered correctly and free of any typos. If you've forgotten your password, the Forgot Password feature can reset it. Check that your current email is linked to your IPVanish account.
  • Test different devices. To pinpoint whether the authentication error is device-specific or not, try logging in from multiple devices.
  • Verify your account status. Ensure your subscription remains active and current to prevent authentication issues. An expired or suspended account can result in an authentication error message.

Reinstall the IPVanish App

Reinstalling the IPVanish application entirely can resolve lots of problems. A fresh installation erases your previous settings and user data, often addressing any issues.

Start by opening the Control Panel, go to Programs, and then Uninstall a Program. Find your VPN application in the list, select it, and choose Uninstall. If you see an entry like “MyVPNName network TAP” in the list, uninstall that as well. After everything is uninstalled, restart your computer. Download the latest version from the official website and follow the installation instructions to complete the process.

Once installed, restart your PC again. Finally, launch the VPN application to check if your connection issues have been resolved. This thorough reset can often fix lingering connectivity problems.

Try a Different VPN

If connectivity problems continue to persist, it may be worth trying a different VPN and seeing if the issue continues. ExpressVPN is a highly reliable VPN that works well with all popular devices, and it even offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try it without risk. If it connects just fine, it may be that IPVanish is currently experiencing issues or it just doesn’t work well with your system.

Vendor Logo of ExpressVPN
Easy-To-Use Apps Suitable for Beginners
DEAL: Save 49% + 30-day money-back guarantee
Editor's Choice for Ease Of Use
Our Score: 10.0
User-friendly interface to connect in seconds
Immediate responses from 24/7 customer support

Contact IPVanish Support

When all else fails, don't hesitate to reach out to IPVanish customer support. Their team of experts is available to offer personalized assistance and guide you through the troubleshooting process.

Best IPVanish Alternatives in 2024

  1. ExpressVPN — The best overall VPN I’ve tested, offering reliable performance, fast speeds, military-grade security, and strong privacy features.
  2. CyberGhost — Another reliable service with optimized servers for torrenting, streaming, and gaming that don’t compromise your privacy or speeds.
  3. Private Internet Access — A dependable service with highly customizable security settings.

Editors' Note: Intego, Private Internet Access, CyberGhost and Expressvpn are owned by Kape Technologies, our parent company.

FAQs on the IPVanish TAP Device Won’t Install Error

What is a TAP device?

It's a virtual network adapter that connects a computer to a VPN server. It’s compatible with Windows, Android, and Linux systems but unnecessary for iOS and macOS due to their different networking architectures. A TAP device plays a crucial role in VPN services by establishing a secure connection and directing internet traffic through an encrypted tunnel. However, TAP devices can sometimes encounter malfunctions.

If you’re experiencing TAP-related errors, such as “TAP device not installed” or “an error occurred installing the TAP device driver”, you’ll need to find a fix right away because IPVanish won’t work without it. TAP devices ensure secure data transmission, safeguarding your privacy and online security.

Why won't IPVanish install on my PC?

There could be several reasons for this issue. If IPVanish isn’t installing on your PC, make sure you give the installer administrator privileges. If that doesn’t work, try these solutions instead:

  • Check the system requirements. Make sure your PC meets the system requirements for IPVanish. Ensure that your operating system is supported and that your computer has sufficient resources (RAM, disk space, etc.).
  • Disable your antivirus/firewall. Temporarily disable these security programs and try installing IPVanish again. Remember to re-enable them afterward.
  • Change your DNS settings. Flushing your DNS cache can help resolve issues by clearing stored data and fetching new information. On Windows, open Command Prompt, type “ipconfig /flushdns”, and press Enter. Once done, try reconnecting to IPVanish.
  • Turn off other VPN services. Using more than one VPN service simultaneously can lead to conflicts. If you have additional VPN software on your device, consider deactivating these before starting IPVanish.

Can I use a free VPN if my IPVanish TAP device won't install?

It’s not recommended, as free VPNs often have worse security risks than TAP device issues. If you want to try a different service instead of fixing IPVanish, it’s safer and more reliable to use a tried-and-tested low-cost alternative. Free VPNs have to make money somehow, and they often do this by logging what you do online and selling that data to marketers. At worst, some free VPNs hide malware or spyware.

Conclusion

These troubleshooting tips should help you resolve IPVanish’s TAP device problem. Ensuring the proper functioning of the TAP device is essential for the VPN to work, as it establishes a secure connection for protecting your online privacy and security.

However, if the problem persists and you're unable to resolve the TAP device installation issue, you may want to consider trying a different VPN service to ensure your online safety needs are met.

Privacy Alert!

Your data is exposed to the websites you visit!

Your IP Address:

Your Location:

Your Internet Provider:

The information above can be used to track you, target you for ads, and monitor what you do online.

VPNs can help you hide this information from websites so that you are protected at all times. We recommend ExpressVPN — the #1 VPN out of over 350 providers we've tested. It has military-grade encryption and privacy features that will ensure your digital security, plus — it's currently offering 49% off.

Visit ExpressVPN

We review vendors based on rigorous testing and research but also take into account your feedback and our affiliate commission with providers. Some providers are owned by our parent company.
Learn more
vpnMentor was established in 2014 to review VPN services and cover privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.

About the Author

Ernest Sheptalo is a Senior Writer at vpnMentor, and an expert in the field of VPNs. Ernest creates detailed reviews, comparisons, and guides that assist people in navigating the web safely, protecting their online data from theft.

Did you like this article? Rate it!
I hated it! I don't really like it It was ok Pretty good! Loved it!
out of 10 - Voted by users
Thank you for your feedback

Please, comment on how to improve this article. Your feedback matters!

Leave a comment

Sorry, links are not allowed in this field!

Name should contain at least 3 letters

The field content should not exceed 80 letters

Sorry, links are not allowed in this field!

Please enter a valid email address

Thanks for submitting a comment, %%name%%!

We check all comments within 48 hours to ensure they're real and not offensive. Feel free to share this article in the meantime.