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Remove WinPcap (Removal Instructions) - updated Nov 2020

removal by Julie Splinters - -   Also known as Ads by WinPcap | Type: Adware

WinPcap – legitimate software involved in doubtful activities

A picture of WinPcap adware

WinPcap is a legitimate software that can be used for helping the network interface card to operate in hybrid mode. While its legitimacy is not questionable, cyber security experts[1] warn online community that this software belongs to adware and potentially unwanted program (PUP) categories. 

The main reason why cyber security researchers drew their attention to WinPcap app is related to doubtful distribution techniques that its developers employ. Lots of people reported this tool for installing on PCs without asking their permission. Stealthy installation happens with the help of free software packages and if you were tricked into installing this tool accidentally, we recommend people to uninstall Winpcap and related components from the system. Otherwise, they may run into various annoying and really unwanted activities, such as slow downs, redirects, annoying pop-up ads and similar issues.

In fact, that's the main reason why WinPcap adware has been involved to various discussions and why its name has been mentioned in various security forums. Many people call it a virus and an in-depth analysis of this tool explains why. As we have already pointed out, WinPcap virus is closely related to various freewares and can get into PCs without being noticed. 

In more technical terms, the distribution of unwanted apps along with freeware is called “bundling.” This method has become really popular among the developers of such programs as browser add-ons, extensions and plugins, so the only precautionary measure to block their installation is a careful installation of each freeware.

Showing WinPcap virus WinPcap is a legitimate tool that has been marked as PUP and adware due to stealthy installation technique and advertising campaigns that it may be involved to

Besides, another reason why WinPcap removal is a recommended action to initiate is related to the system's changes that it performs. It injects suspicious components to Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox and can start generating irritating advertisements, such as pop-ups, banners or hyperlinks. Note that those ads are not managed by the developer of this tool, but created and managed by unknown third-parties who may seek to increase traffic to shady web domains. 

Besides, this program may install tracking cookies[2] and may collect personally non-identifiable information. It does not target personal information like credit card details or logins and is hardly capable of collecting it. Nevertheless, it exposes information, such as browsing history,[3] search queries, email address, IP address, etc. at the risk of being leaked and violated. 

Finally, it may initiate problems when trying to remove WinPcap from the system. If you also can't do that, you should try using a reputable anti-spyware, such as ReimageIntego. Of course, you can also try eliminating it manually, but you should be very careful when performing steps that are given down below.

Adware developers prefer “bundling” distribution method

This misleading application can be downloaded from its official website or in a bundle with other free programs. In most of the cases, it spreads along with WireShark and similar tools. To prevent its infiltration, you have to keep your eye on every installation window of the software.

To avoid PUPs in general, you should stick to Advanced or Custom installation all the time. Besides, read End User License Agreement and other terms carefully. Also, don't miss additional offers that are marked by default. You have to uncheck all ticks saying that you agree to install extensions, add-ons or toolbars before clicking “Next.” Finally, if you suffer from continuous redirects on your browser, scan your PC with updated anti-spyware.

Removing WinPcap virus from the system

WinPcap remove is probably the most common search query related to this application. Due to the fact that is spreads via freeware bundles and hijacks web browsers silently such search queries are no longer surprising.

If you think that you PC is infected because you noticed WinPcap ads or started experiencing browser's redirects to unusual websites, you should perform a thorough system scan with a professional anti-malware tool. Nonetheless, since this app is not a severe computer infection, it can be deleted manually. The instructions below will show you how to do that. 

You may remove virus damage with a help of ReimageIntego. SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner and Malwarebytes are recommended to detect potentially unwanted programs and viruses with all their files and registry entries that are related to them.

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Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Intego, try running Combo Cleaner.

To remove WinPcap, follow these steps:

Uninstall WinPcap from Windows systems

Although it's not difficult to remove WinPcap virus from your PC, it's very important to delete all related components that may also do harm to your PC and your browsing experience.

To remove WinPcap from Windows 10/8  machines, please follow these steps:

  1. Enter Control Panel into Windows search box and hit Enter or click on the search result.
  2. Under Programs, select Uninstall a program.Uninstall from Windows 1
  3. From the list, find entries related to WinPcap (or any other recently installed suspicious program).
  4. Right-click on the application and select Uninstall.
  5. If User Account Control shows up, click Yes.
  6. Wait till uninstallation process is complete and click OK.Uninstall from Windows 2

If you are Windows 7/XP user, proceed with the following instructions:

  1. Click on Windows Start > Control Panel located on the right pane (if you are Windows XP user, click on Add/Remove Programs).
  2. In Control Panel, select Programs > Uninstall a program.Uninstall from Windows 7/XP
  3. Pick the unwanted application by clicking on it once.
  4. At the top, click Uninstall/Change.
  5. In the confirmation prompt, pick Yes.
  6. Click OK once the removal process is finished.

Eliminate WinPcap from Mac OS X system

Mac OS X users can stop annoying activities on their web browsers by following these steps:

If your macOS is displaying some infection symptoms, proceed with the following guide:

Remove WinPcap from Applications folder:

  1. From the menu bar, select Go > Applications.
  2. In the Applications folder, look for WinPcap-related entries.
  3. Click on the app and drag it to Trash (or right-click and pick Move to Trash)Uninstall from Mac 1

To fully remove WinPcap, you need to access Application Support, LaunchAgents, and LaunchDaemons folders and delete relevant files:

  1. Select Go > Go to Folder.
  2. Enter /Library/Application Support and click Go or press Enter.
  3. In the Application Support folder, look for any dubious entries related to WinPcap and then delete them.
  4. Now enter /Library/LaunchAgents and /Library/LaunchDaemons folders the same way and terminate all the WinPcap-related entries.Uninstall from Mac 2

Get rid of WinPcap from Internet Explorer (IE)

Remove dangerous add-ons:

  1. Open Internet Explorer, click on the Gear icon (IE menu) on the top-right corner of the browser
  2. Pick Manage Add-ons.
  3. You will see a Manage Add-ons window. Here, look for WinPcap and other suspicious plugins. Click on these entries and select Disable.Remove add-ons from Internet Explorer

Change your homepage if it was altered:

  1. Open IE and click on the Gear icon.
  2. Select Internet Options.
  3. In the General tab, delete the Home page address and replace it by your preferred one (for example, Google.com).
  4. Click Apply and then select OK.Reset IE homepage

Delete temporary files:

  1. Press on the Gear icon and select Internet Options.
  2. Under Browsing history, click Delete…
  3. Select relevant fields and press Delete.Clear temporary files from Internet Explorer

Reset Internet Explorer:

  1. Click on Gear icon > Internet options and select Advanced tab.
  2. Select Reset.
  3. In the new window, check Delete personal settings and select Reset again to complete WinPcap removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Delete WinPcap from Microsoft Edge

Delete unwanted extensions from MS Edge:

  1. Select Menu (three horizontal dots at the top-right of the browser window) and pick Extensions.
  2. From the list, pick the WinPcap-related extension and click on the Gear icon.
  3. Click on Uninstall at the bottom.Remove extensions from Edge

Clear cookies and other browser data:

  1. Click on the Menu (three horizontal dots at the top-right of the browser window) and select Privacy & security.
  2. Under Clear browsing data, pick Choose what to clear.
  3. Select everything (apart from passwords, although you might want to include Media licenses as well, if applicable) and click on Clear.Clear Edge browsing data

Reset MS Edge if that above steps did not work:

  1. Press on Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open Task Manager.
  2. Click on More details arrow at the bottom of the window.
  3. Select Details tab.
  4. Now scroll down and locate every entry with Microsoft Edge name in it. Right-click on each of them and select End Task to stop MS Edge from running.Reset MS Edge

If this solution failed to help you, you need to use an advanced Edge reset method. Note that you need to backup your data before proceeding.

  1. Find the following folder on your computer: C:\\Users\\%username%\\AppData\\Local\\Packages\\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe.
  2. Press Ctrl + A on your keyboard to select all folders.
  3. Right-click on them and pick DeleteAdvanced MS Edge reset 1
  4. Now right-click on the Start button and pick Windows PowerShell (Admin).
  5. When the new window opens, copy and paste the following command, and then press Enter:

    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)\\AppXManifest.xml” -VerboseAdvanced MS Edge reset 2

Instructions for Chromium-based Edge

Delete extensions from MS Edge (Chromium):

  1. Open Edge and click select Settings > Extensions.
  2. Delete unwanted extensions by clicking Remove.Remove extensions from Chromium Edge

Clear cache and site data:

  1. Click on Menu and go to Settings.
  2. Select Privacy and services.
  3. Under Clear browsing data, pick Choose what to clear.
  4. Under Time range, pick All time.
  5. Select Clear now.Clear browser data from Chroum Edge

Reset Chromium-based MS Edge:

  1. Click on Menu and select Settings.
  2. On the left side, pick Reset settings.
  3. Select Restore settings to their default values.
  4. Confirm with Reset.Reset Chromium Edge

Erase WinPcap from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

Resetting web browser is a crucial part when dealing with PUPs:

Remove dangerous extensions:

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser and click on the Menu (three horizontal lines at the top-right of the window).
  2. Select Add-ons.
  3. In here, select plugins that are related to WinPcap and click Remove.Remove extensions from Firefox

Clear cookies and site data:

  1. Click Menu and pick Options.
  2. Go to Privacy & Security section.
  3. Scroll down to locate Cookies and Site Data.
  4. Click on Clear Data…
  5. Select Cookies and Site Data, as well as Cached Web Content and press Clear.Clear cookies and site data from Firefox

In case WinPcap did not get removed after following the instructions above, reset Mozilla Firefox:

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser and click the Menu.
  2. Go to Help and then choose Troubleshooting Information.Reset Firefox 1
  3. Under Give Firefox a tune up section, click on Refresh Firefox…
  4. Once the pop-up shows up, confirm the action by pressing on Refresh Firefox – this should complete WinPcap removal.Reset Firefox 2

Remove WinPcap from Google Chrome

To eliminate WinPcap from Google Chrome, you have to reset its settings to default:

Delete malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

  1. Open Google Chrome, click on the Menu (three vertical dots at the top-right corner) and select More tools > Extensions.
  2. In the newly opened window, you will see all the installed extensions. Uninstall all the suspicious plugins that might be related to WinPcap by clicking Remove.Remove extensions from Chrome

Clear cache and web data from Chrome:

  1. Click on Menu and pick Settings.
  2. Under Privacy and security, select Clear browsing data.
  3. Select Browsing history, Cookies and other site data, as well as Cached images and files.
  4. Click Clear data.Clear cache and web data from Chrome

If the above-methods did not help you, reset Google Chrome to eliminate all the WinPcap-components:

  1. Click on Menu and select Settings.
  2. In the Settings, scroll down and click Advanced.
  3. Scroll down and locate Reset and clean up section.
  4. Now click Restore settings to their original defaults.
  5. Confirm with Reset settings to complete WinPcap removal.Reset Chrome 2

Uninstall WinPcap from Safari

Remove unwanted extensions from Safari:

  1. Click Safari > Preferences…
  2. In the new window, pick Extensions.
  3. Select the unwanted extension related to WinPcap and select Uninstall.Remove extensions from Safari

Clear cookies and other website data from Safari:

  1. Click Safari > Clear History…
  2. From the drop-down menu under Clear, pick all history.
  3. Confirm with Clear History.Clear cookies and website data from Safari

Reset Safari if the above-mentioned steps did not help you:

  1. Click Safari > Preferences…
  2. Go to Advanced tab.
  3. Tick the Show Develop menu in menu bar.
  4. From the menu bar, click Develop, and then select Empty Caches.Reset Safari

Protect your privacy – employ a VPN

There are several ways how to make your online time more private – you can access an incognito tab. However, there is no secret that even in this mode, you are tracked for advertising purposes. There is a way to add an extra layer of protection and create a completely anonymous web browsing practice with the help of Private Internet Access VPN. This software reroutes traffic through different servers, thus leaving your IP address and geolocation in disguise. Besides, it is based on a strict no-log policy, meaning that no data will be recorded, leaked, and available for both first and third parties. The combination of a secure web browser and Private Internet Access VPN will let you browse the Internet without a feeling of being spied or targeted by criminals. 

No backups? No problem. Use a data recovery tool

If you wonder how data loss can occur, you should not look any further for answers – human errors, malware attacks, hardware failures, power cuts, natural disasters, or even simple negligence. In some cases, lost files are extremely important, and many straight out panic when such an unfortunate course of events happen. Due to this, you should always ensure that you prepare proper data backups on a regular basis.

If you were caught by surprise and did not have any backups to restore your files from, not everything is lost. Data Recovery Pro is one of the leading file recovery solutions you can find on the market – it is likely to restore even lost emails or data located on an external device.

About the author
Julie Splinters
Julie Splinters - Malware removal specialist

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  1. Mayank Sharma says:
    July 21st, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    Earlier i uninstalled the older version of winpcap. But when i again installed the new version of winpcap, it gives a message which is shown below.

    “A previous version of WinPcap has been detected on this system and cannot be
    removed because in use by another application. Please close all the
    WinPcap-based applications and run the installer again.”

    Plz help me in order to completely remove the older version of winpcap.

    my e-mail :myk121093@gmail.com

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