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I did "ipconfig" today and found about 10 network interfaces, most of them disconnected.

How can I diagnose this? Where can I remove them?


The extra network appear like this:

Tunnel adapter Local Area Connection* 16

Tunnel adapter Local Area Connection* 17

Tunnel adapter Local Area Connection* 18


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Are you running any Virtual Machines? Do you have VPN connections set up to the workplace etc? –  Joe Taylor Dec 4 '10 at 9:31
might very well be due to VPN indeed. I've seen pcs with over hundred of these, not sure why, must be a bad configuration. –  stijn Dec 4 '10 at 9:35
@Joe, @stijn, No special VPN configuration that I'm aware of –  ripper234 Dec 4 '10 at 10:00
You probably should change the title something like: How to remove unwanted tunnel adapter connections? Since the real question is about removing the connection? Instead of why are they there. –  SgtOJ Dec 4 '10 at 14:29
@Brian - done, thanks. –  ripper234 Dec 4 '10 at 15:05

3 Answers 3

How to remove the unwanted Tunnel Adapters via Device Manager:

(This solution has been tested and confirmed to work)

  • Open Start Menu
  • Type In: Device Manager
  • Select Device Manager
  • Click the View menu from the top
  • Select Show Hidden Devices (Must be check before continuing)
  • Scroll down and expand Network Adapters
  • Right-Click a duplicated Microsoft 6to4 Adapter or Microsoft ISATAP Adapter
  • Select Uninstall
  • Click OK for the pop-up warning message
  • Repeat and repeat for each of the unwanted duplicated adapter
  • Close Device Manager when finish

Credit: Microsoft Answer's Moderator Nicholas Li per this post.

Warning: It's always a good idea to create system restore point before making any systems changes.

So what is tunnel adapter?

Tunneling is how to do secure communications across an untrusted network such as the internet. If you look at "description" of each connection, via ipconfig /all, it will probably the contain either ISATAP or 6over4. Find information about Tunnel Adapters at Wikipedia.

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I don't see "Network Connections" link from Network and Sharing Center. Also, I only see two wireless networks from "Manage Wireless Networks", and one of them I use at work. –  ripper234 Dec 4 '10 at 9:22
See my edit about Tunnel adapter –  ripper234 Dec 4 '10 at 9:23
I updated my answer. I also fix the step to Manage Network Connections. –  SgtOJ Dec 4 '10 at 10:30
Yeah, but how do I remove them? –  ripper234 Dec 4 '10 at 11:06
Answer updated. I have tested it and confirmed that this works. –  SgtOJ Dec 4 '10 at 22:39

These adapters are part of the Microsoft implementation of the iPv6 TCP/IP address protocol. You will find you have quite a lot of them, at least one per each defined network adapter. You also probably have VMware player installed, which adds several network adapters potentially used by virtual machines.

These dummy adapters are called "Automatic Tunneling Pseudo-Interface" for encapsulating IPv6 packets with an IPv4 header so that they can be sent across an IPv4 network. This probably means that your local network is at the moment both iPv4 and iPv6, and these adapters are created "just in case".

If you are working on a local network, you have no need of iPv6, since 4-byte TCP/IP addresses are quite sufficient for the number of computers. To get rid of these dummy adapters do:

  1. Open up Control Panel -> Network and Sharing Center.
  2. For each network connection :
    • Click "View status", then Properties.
    • Uncheck the mark next to "Internet protocol version 6 (TCP/IPv6)".
    • Click OK, then Close.
  3. When all adapters are done, reboot.

This will leave only iPv4 interfaces defined on your computer, and will only work if you do not have any pure-iPv6 device on the local network. If you do have such a device, you will need to allow iPv6 at least on the one network adapter on which it communicates.

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ipconfig /all should give a description of each "Tunnel adapter Local Area Connection", my Windows 7 64bit install only has one tunnel adapter with a number ID of 11, the rest have a guid. Read the descriptions sections for each to learn what they are, Google any you don't understand.

Tunnel adapter Local Area Connection* 11:

   Media State . . . . . . . . . . . : Media disconnected    
   Connection-specific DNS Suffix  . :
   Description . . . . . . . . . . . : Microsoft 6to4 Adapter
   Physical Address. . . . . . . . . : 00-00-00-00-00-00-00-E0
   DHCP Enabled. . . . . . . . . . . : No
   Autoconfiguration Enabled . . . . : Yes
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