Severity scale:  

Remove WinPcap (Removal Instructions) - updated Jul 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 Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego. 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 Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego. 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.

do it now!
Reimage Happiness
Intego Happiness
Compatible with Microsoft Windows Supported versions Compatible with OS X Supported versions
What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove virus damage using Reimage Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage Intego has a free limited scanner. Reimage Intego offers more through scan when you purchase its full version. When free scanner detects issues, you can fix them using free manual repairs or you can decide to purchase the full version in order to fix them automatically.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Reimage, try running SpyHunter 5.
Alternative Software
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.

  1. Click Start Control Panel Programs and Features (if you are Windows XP user, click on Add/Remove Programs). Click 'Start -> Control Panel -> Programs and Features' (if you are 'Windows XP' user, click on 'Add/Remove Programs').
  2. If you are Windows 10 / Windows 8 user, then right-click in the lower left corner of the screen. Once Quick Access Menu shows up, select Control Panel and Uninstall a Program. If you are 'Windows 10 / Windows 8' user, then right-click in the lower left corner of the screen. Once 'Quick Access Menu' shows up, select 'Control Panel' and 'Uninstall a Program'.
  3. Uninstall WinPcap and related programs
    Here, look for WinPcap or any other recently installed suspicious programs.
  4. Uninstall them and click OK to save these changes. Right click on each of suspicious entries and select 'Uninstall'

Eliminate WinPcap from Mac OS X system

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

  1. If you are using OS X, click Go button at the top left of the screen and select Applications. Cick 'Go' and select 'Applications'
  2. Wait until you see Applications folder and look for WinPcap or any other suspicious programs on it. Now right click on every of such entries and select Move to Trash. Click on every malicious entry and select 'Move to Trash'

Get rid of WinPcap from Internet Explorer (IE)

  1. Remove dangerous add-ons
    Open Internet Explorer, click on the Gear icon (IE menu) on the top right corner of the browser and choose Manage Add-ons. Click on menu icon and select 'Manage add-ons'
  2. You will see a Manage Add-ons window. Here, look for WinPcap and other suspicious plugins. Disable these entries by clicking Disable: Right click on each of malicious entries and select 'Disable'
  3. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Click on the gear icon (menu) on the top right corner of the browser and select Internet Options. Stay in General tab.
  4. Here, remove malicious URL and enter preferable domain name. Click Apply to save changes. Delete malicious URL, enter your desired domain name and click 'Apply' to save changes
  5. Reset Internet Explorer
    Click on the gear icon (menu) again and select Internet options. Go to Advanced tab.
  6. Here, select Reset.
  7. When in the new window, check Delete personal settings and select Reset again to complete WinPcap removal. Go to 'Advanced' tab and click on 'Reset' button. Now select 'Delete personal settings' and click on 'Reset' button again

Delete WinPcap from Microsoft Edge

Reset Microsoft Edge settings (Method 1):

  1. Launch Microsoft Edge app and click More (three dots at the top right corner of the screen).
  2. Click Settings to open more options.
  3. Once Settings window shows up, click Choose what to clear button under Clear browsing data option. Go to Settings and select 'Choose what to clear'
  4. Here, select all what you want to remove and click Clear. Select 'Clear' button
  5. Now you should right-click on the Start button (Windows logo). Here, select Task Manager. Open the start menu and select 'Task Manager'
  6. When in Processes tab, search for Microsoft Edge.
  7. Right-click on it and choose Go to details option. If can’t see Go to details option, click More details and repeat previous steps. Right-click 'Microsoft Edge' and select 'Go to details' Select 'More details' if 'Go to details' option fails to show up
  8. When Details tab shows up, find every entry with Microsoft Edge name in it. Right click on each of them and select End Task to end these entries. Find Microsoft Edge entries and select 'End Task'

Resetting Microsoft Edge browser (Method 2):

If Method 1 failed to help you, you need to use an advanced Edge reset method.

  1. Note: you need to backup your data before using this method.
  2. Find this folder on your computer: C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe.
  3. Select every entry which is saved on it and right click with your mouse. Then Delete option. Go to Microsoft Edge folder on your computer, right-click every entry and click 'Delete'
  4. Click the Start button (Windows logo) and type in window power in Search my stuff line.
  5. Right-click the Windows PowerShell entry and choose Run as administrator. Find Windows PowerShell, right-click it and select 'Run as administrator'
  6. Once Administrator: Windows PowerShell window shows up, paste this command line after PS C:\WINDOWS\system32> and press Enter:
    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register $($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml -Verbose}
    Copy and paste a required command and press 'Enter'

Once these steps are finished, WinPcap should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

Erase WinPcap from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

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

  1. Remove dangerous extensions
    Open Mozilla Firefox, click on the menu icon (top right corner) and select Add-ons Extensions. Click on menu icon and select 'Add-ons'
  2. Here, select WinPcap and other questionable plugins. Click Remove to delete these entries. Select 'Extensions' and look for malicious entries. Click 'Remove' to get rid of each of them
  3. Reset Mozilla Firefox
    Click on the Firefox menu on the top left and click on the question mark. Here, choose Troubleshooting Information. Click on menu icon and then on '?'. Select 'Troubleshooting Information'
  4. Now you will see Reset Firefox to its default state message with Reset Firefox button. Click this button for several times and complete WinPcap removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Remove WinPcap from Google Chrome

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

  1. Delete malicious plugins
    Open Google Chrome, click on the menu icon (top right corner) and select Tools Extensions. Click on menu icon. Select 'Tools' and 'Extensions'
  2. Here, select WinPcap and other malicious plugins and select trash icon to delete these entries. Look for malicious entries and delete each of them by clicking on the Trash bin icon
  3. Click on menu icon again and choose Settings Manage Search engines under the Search section. When in 'Settings', select 'Manage search engines...'
  4. When in Search Engines..., remove malicious search sites. You should leave only Google or your preferred domain name. Click 'X' to remove malicious URLs
  5. Reset Google Chrome
    Click on menu icon on the top right of your Google Chrome and select Settings.
  6. Scroll down to the end of the page and click on Reset browser settings. When in 'Settings', scroll down to 'Reset browser settings' button and click on it
  7. Click Reset to confirm this action and complete WinPcap removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

Uninstall WinPcap from Safari

  1. Remove dangerous extensions
    Open Safari web browser and click on Safari in menu at the top left of the screen. Once you do this, select Preferences. Click on 'Safari' and select 'Preferences'
  2. Here, select Extensions and look for WinPcap or other suspicious entries. Click on the Uninstall button to get rid each of them. Go to 'Extensions' and uninstall malicious add-ons
  3. Reset Safari
    Open Safari browser and click on Safari in menu section at the top left of the screen. Here, select Reset Safari.... Click on 'Safari' and select 'Reset Safari...'
  4. Now you will see a detailed dialog window filled with reset options. All of those options are usually checked, but you can specify which of them you want to reset. Click the Reset button to complete WinPcap removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

Access your website securely from any location

When you work on the domain, site, blog, or different project that requires constant management, content creation, or coding, you may need to connect to the server and content management service more often. It is a hassle when your website is protected from suspicious connections and unauthorized IP addresses.

The best solution for creating a tighter network could be a dedicated/fixed IP address. If you make your IP address static and set to your device, you can connect to the CMS from any location and do not create any additional issues for server or network manager that need to monitor connections and activities. This is how you bypass some of the authentications factors and can remotely use your banking accounts without triggering suspicious with each login. 

VPN software providers like Private Internet Access can help you with such settings and offer the option to control the online reputation and manage projects easily from any part of the world. It is better to clock the access to your website from different IP addresses. So you can keep the project safe and secure when you have the dedicated IP address VPN and protected access to the content management system.

Backup files for the later use, in case of the malware attack

Computer users can suffer various losses due to cyber infections or their own faulty doings. Software issues created by malware or direct data loss due to encryption can lead to problems with your device or permanent damage. When you have proper up-to-date backups, you can easily recover after such an incident and get back to work.

It is crucial to create updates to your backups after any changes on the device, so you can get back to the point you were working on when malware changes anything or issues with the device causes data or performance corruption. Rely on such behavior and make file backup your daily or weekly habit.

When you have the previous version of every important document or project you can avoid frustration and breakdowns. It comes in handy when malware occurs out of nowhere. Use Data Recovery Pro for the system restoring purpose.

About the author

Julie Splinters
Julie Splinters - Malware removal specialist

If this free removal guide helped you and you are satisfied with our service, please consider making a donation to keep this service alive. Even a smallest amount will be appreciated.

Contact Julie Splinters
About the company Esolutions


Removal guides in other languages

  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

Your opinion regarding WinPcap