Automating "6to4" Adapter Removal in Windows

Posted 5/19/2010 10:44:28 PM

Update as of 1/4/2011: A reader has submitted the 64-bit version of the devcon tool. It can be downloaded from Here

If you ever find your self having issues getting connected to a network, one of the more obscure but common causes may lie within the Microsoft "6to4" adapter devices. These are hidden devices that assist in connecting to networks that use both IPv4 and IPv6 addressing (at least from everything I have read and heard, although I have not yet found a definite answer on their true purpose). They seem to cause problems in some cases, and they can accumulate quite quickly in your Device Manager, causing potential problems while booting the machine and while trying to connect to a network. I have seen a machine with over 156 of these useless devices sitting in the Device Manager! In this article, I will show you how to find and remove these devices, and how to automate the removal process if you have a large number of them.

Step 1: Viewing the 6to4 Adapters in Device Manager

In order to determine if the 6to4 adapters are causing problems, you must first identify if you have any of them on your system. In order to do so, you must open the Device Manager, and then set it to show you the hidden devices. If you already know how to open the device manager, then you may skip to # to see how to view the hidden devices.


How to Open the Device Manager and view Hidden Devices:

  1. Click on the Start button and then right click on "Computer" (My Computer in Windows XP)
  2. Select "Properties"
  3. In Windows Vista or 7, Click on "Device Manager" in the panel on the left. For Windows XP, click the "Hardware" Tab and then click the "Device Manager" button
  4. In Device Manager, click on the "View" menu and select "Show Hidden Devices"
  5. Expand the "Network Adapters" option, and you should see all Network Adapters, if you have any 6to4 adapters, they will be there listed as "6to4 Adapter or Microsoft 6to4 Adapter"

Step 2: Removing the 6to4 adapters

Once you have viewed the hidden 6to4 adapters in the Device Manager, you may want to remove them if they are causing problems. From my experience and things I have read, this will have no adverse effect on your connection unless you are on a purely IPv6 network and have a network driver that does not support IPv6 (with a newer computer, this is highly unlikely).

How to Remove the 6to4 Adapters from Device Manager

  1. Right click on the desired 6to4 adapter
  2. Select "Uninstall"
  3. Click "Yes" to remove the device from the System
  4. Repeat for every 6to4 adapter in the list

Step 3: Automating the removal (If there is a long list)

Update as of 1/4/2011: A reader has submitted the 64-bit version of the devcon tool. It can be downloaded from Here In some cases, there may be many of these 6to4 adapters on your system. Removing them one by one can be tedious and time consuming. Fortunately, I have found a way to quickly and effectively remove these using a tool from Microsoft called "DevCon." DevCon is a command line Device Manager that is useful for removing many devices at once. Follow these steps to download and use it to remove the 6to4 adapters:
  1. Download the file from http://support.microsoft.com/kb/311272
  2. Run the program and extract the files somewhere you will remember, I usually use my desktop
  3. Simple Method: Download my 6to4remover batch file and place it in the same folder as the devcon.exe program for your system. If you are on a 32-bit machine, place it in the "i386" folder. If you are on a 64-bit machine, place it in the "ia64" folder. Run the batch file and it will remove the 6to4 adapters for you. If you are worried about what the batch file does, you can right click on it and select "Edit" to view the source.
  4. If you want to perform the process manually, open up an administrator command prompt window and navigate the the devcon folder appropriate to your system (see number
  5. Execute the following command: "devcon remove *6to4mp" (without the quotes)
  6. The devcon program will remove the 6to4 adapters for you

Conclusion:

In this post, I have shown you how to remove those pesky 6to4 adapters that may be screwing up your network connection. If you have any questions or comments, make sure to leave them below!

-Ryan

Comments for "Automating "6to4" Adapter Removal in Windows"

  1. Juan says:
    Thanks Ryan! Your solution worked perfectly...I had around 270 6to4 adapters... save me a lot of time...
    Posted: 8/18/2010 10:31:21 AM
  2. Gary says:
    Ryan, Thanks for the post and the .bat file. Saved me alot of time.
    Posted: 9/17/2010 10:17:19 AM
  3. Andy says:
    Amazing! You made my day! Or my week, even. I've spent two days trying to find the evil doer in my system. The 6to4 adapter was it and your little .bat file saved me hours of precious time!
    Posted: 9/27/2010 10:51:56 AM
  4. Vicor says:
    Finally solved! Thank you very much. This batch file saved me a lot of time!
    Posted: 10/7/2010 5:32:41 PM
  5. John says:
    Win 7 64 bit - I had to run the 32 bit .bat....all worked fine. super thanks. 247 adapters manually would have taken years to delete.
    Posted: 11/3/2010 9:07:32 PM
  6. nut says:
    thank U very much!It helps me a lot!
    Posted: 11/6/2010 1:04:33 PM
  7. Tony says:
    I've had these 6to4 adapter errors in the device manager since I got this computer and couldn't fix it. Stumbled here somehow and with the devcon program and your bat file it's fixed! Thanks!!
    Posted: 11/8/2010 1:22:27 PM
  8. Allen says:
    The exe listed here is for computers with itanium processors. look for the exe that is not ia64.
    Posted: 12/4/2010 12:55:21 PM
  9. ATechGuy says:
    Brilliant!
    Posted: 11/23/2010 11:28:38 AM
  10. Stuart says:
    Thank you Ryan. This problem had us banging our heads against the wall until we found your solution!
    Posted: 12/7/2010 1:48:59 AM
  11. Vincent says:
    Hey how to make it works in Windows 7 64-bit, the devcon seem not compatible in windows 7 64-bit......and i got about 300 6to4 adapter in device manager.....
    Posted: 11/14/2010 1:59:57 AM
  12. James says:
    Good effort Ryan - this issue was becoming a major pain!
    Posted: 11/24/2010 12:15:27 AM
  13. nick says:
    doesn't work in win7 64bit -.- says ROOT\*6TO4MP\0062 :REMOVE FAILED except for all 100 of them
    Posted: 11/25/2010 4:32:06 PM
  14. Pasi says:
    Ahh finally a solution after few months of pain not being able to access network drives or printers... Thank you a lot, was actually a big money-saver too!
    Posted: 1/4/2011 3:06:30 AM
  15. JC says:
    The windows driver kit Rich mentioned turns out to be the program Power2Go! Still not able to use Devcon on the 64 bit windows. Any other ideas?
    Posted: 1/15/2011 4:11:59 PM
  16. Name says:
    Many thanks Ryan, saved my day too. Please not, the batch file removed the majority of the adapters on my Win 7 Pro x64 but not all. However issuing the command manually as explained in Step 3: .6 removed the remaining stubborn ones :). Here's another great link re: http://www.techlikes.com/2010/09/devcon-problem-in-windows-7-solved.html#
    Posted: 1/16/2011 6:14:09 AM
  17. RGill says:
    Not working for my windows 7 64 bit system
    Posted: 1/21/2011 6:52:24 AM
  18. Mayhn says:
    Thank you Ryan. You saved me a lot of time You own :)
    Posted: 1/21/2011 7:27:27 AM
  19. Kranach says:
    Great article, finally a sensible solution to get rid those 367 6to4 annoying parasites: Tips for Win7 x64 users: 1) download the right devcon.exe (for x64) 2) remember to run it in Administrator Mode (set it in devcon.exe settings, or open command line in "Run as Administrator" mode if you are goint to execute it from cmd). I forgot about this and spent 15 minutes wondering why I have "remove failed" message...
    Posted: 2/2/2011 10:35:36 AM
  20. mulat says:
    Thx! Thats great!
    Posted: 2/4/2011 4:51:10 AM
  21. Ben says:
    There is an error in step 5. The command should be "devcon remove *6to4mp" This is correct in the batch file. Thanks!
    Posted: 2/4/2011 7:37:25 AM
  22. Ben says:
    Thank you very, very much!!! I had around 920(!!) 6to4 adapters and it was making my laptop a train wreck. Now, it runs smoothly again. I owe you big time! Greetings from Belgium!
    Posted: 2/5/2011 5:28:06 AM
  23. casualsmile says:
    I just got to this site from a link of a random forum google dropped out. I must say this post was very helpful, I got rid of all those adapters! Thank You!
    Posted: 2/17/2011 6:51:04 PM
  24. gangtom says:
    Thank you very much. You saved my day. :)
    Posted: 2/6/2011 1:32:08 PM
  25. christian says:
    Thank you very much, you made my day. I had some 600+ of this adapters in the device manager your tool made it much easier for me.
    Posted: 2/18/2011 1:43:31 PM
  26. christian says:
    Thank you very much, you made my day. I had some 600+ of this adapters in the device manager your tool made it much easier for me.
    Posted: 2/18/2011 1:43:56 PM
  27. Chris says:
    It did not work in my version of win 7 64 pro using the .bat file but the manual instructions worked.
    Posted: 2/21/2011 7:04:21 PM
  28. Chris C says:
    Thanks Ryan your bat file worked like a charm! I'm glad I found your website
    Posted: 2/21/2011 11:18:00 PM
  29. Rufus says:
    That was beautiful. I removed 224 devices from my Windows 7 (32-bit system). Now... I will see if I can map a drive again.
    Posted: 3/3/2011 12:11:17 PM
  30. Bill says:
    The devcon utility seems to not work in Windows 7 64-bit. As of now, I'm stuck with removing each one manually!
    Posted: 10/8/2010 6:20:30 AM
  31. Ben says:
    My mistake the * looks like a " Ben
    Posted: 2/4/2011 7:39:21 AM
  32. ResoL says:
    Thanks! Great tool!
    Posted: 3/14/2011 1:29:03 AM
  33. Ruben says:
    Thanks, thanks, thanks, thanks . I was really handful
    Posted: 3/22/2011 8:22:18 AM
  34. Ruben says:
    Thanks, thanks, thanks, thanks . I was really handful
    Posted: 3/22/2011 8:22:30 AM
  35. Micah says:
    Oh God!! This seems to do the trick! Currently removing 700+ darn 6to4 adapters right not. Glad to have stumble upon this site. Very very helpful. Thanks.
    Posted: 4/16/2011 1:22:46 AM
  36. Pengy says:
    thanks Ryan your script help me a lot
    Posted: 3/23/2011 9:37:11 PM
  37. Alan says:
    Very interesting article. I have been having boot problems on my Dell Inspiron 530 for over two years, and among around 50 possible causes, I have always suspected these 6to4 adaptors. Have had major problems over the past few days, and found around 300 hidden 6to4 adaptors. No such problems on my Acer laptop.
    Posted: 4/20/2011 12:22:09 PM
  38. Martina says:
    Thanks a lot no my computer is working well :-)
    Posted: 4/21/2011 6:33:01 AM
  39. Ken says:
    A Real Time saver thanks. 300 adapters removed while I played with my child !
    Posted: 4/30/2011 7:31:36 PM
  40. Pradeep says:
    Thanks so much Ryan! What a godsend! Seriously, I was able to remove 65 adapters and my machine is booting up a lot faster!
    Posted: 5/4/2011 1:51:45 AM
  41. Explosiveamber says:
    All I can say is "Great". I'm following your blog by ages if not decades and didn't imagine an old friend to lend me an hand to get out of another MS hell hole: thank you Ryan! :) Ivan
    Posted: 5/8/2011 6:38:26 PM
  42. Jimmy says:
    Mines also says remove failed for each device
    Posted: 5/13/2011 2:34:52 PM
  43. Greg says:
    One laptop out of a couple would not connect to a local NAS which it had in the past - finally came across this article and it worked like a charm and deleted ~207. Don't you just love these obscure MS "errors" that are like a Chinese puzzle to solve. Thanks Ryan.
    Posted: 5/15/2011 4:47:20 PM
  44. Lynn says:
    Didn't work on 64-bit Windows 7 machine. Followed all of the instructions, made sure it was the 64-bit version referenced. Like so many others "remove failed."
    Posted: 5/30/2011 8:42:49 PM
  45. Lynn says:
    Booted into Safe Mode & ran the 64-bit version and it worked. Thanks, Ryan! I had 484 of the lil' darlings making life miserable.
    Posted: 5/30/2011 8:53:54 PM
  46. henk olietenk says:
    THANKS!!!! SAVED MY LIFE!
    Posted: 6/21/2011 5:51:23 AM
  47. Prashant says:
    Thanks Solution work fine,I have more than 200 6to4 adapters.
    Posted: 7/3/2011 9:29:10 PM
  48. thanhnv says:
    It works in my case, thanks :)
    Posted: 7/11/2011 12:56:56 AM
  49. Steven says:
    great app! saved me loads of time (more then 800 needed to be deleted... ) thx for the post
    Posted: 8/3/2011 2:09:31 PM
  50. Charles says:
    Thanks a lot. I've removed 76 adaptors
    Posted: 8/9/2011 2:25:38 PM
  51. Ryan Victory says:
    Hey Everybody, I realize the 64 bit devcon is not for x64 processors, I will be looking for the most current one that works with x64 soon. -Ryan
    Posted: 12/5/2010 7:07:39 PM
  52. Mamaasif says:
    Thanks Ryan.. Before I found this solution, we resolved this problem by reinstalling the PC/Notebook. Your solution is really helpful..Thanks again.
    Posted: 12/9/2010 7:18:15 AM
  53. Rich says:
    If anyone's interested, the windows driver kit (http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=36a2630f-5d56-43b5-b996-7633f2ec14ff&displaylang=en) contains a version of devcon that works fine on 64 bit windows.
    Posted: 12/18/2010 1:58:37 AM
  54. Nic says:
    You are the man. Thanks.
    Posted: 7/8/2011 9:43:45 PM
  55. Jo says:
    Thanks! This saved me so much time and my fingers from RSI. Apparently this is caused by a bug in Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2 that shuts down the Plug and Play service before allowing the 6to4 adapter to be enabled for future use. There is a hotfix at Microsoft Knowledge Base 980486 http://support.microsoft.com/KB/980486. I have applied the hotfix, but don't know if it works yet.
    Posted: 8/12/2011 5:39:33 AM
  56. hakan says:
    thank you!
    Posted: 8/15/2011 12:00:01 AM
  57. Matt says:
    I could not bare to uninstall 287 of them manually, thanks
    Posted: 11/5/2011 2:07:33 PM
  58. Pablo says:
    I had 606 of these pests. I'm doing the solution. Hope I can finally connect to the Internet.
    Posted: 11/13/2011 6:01:55 PM
  59. George says:
    Excellent! Saved a lot of time. Thank you.
    Posted: 12/18/2010 10:58:36 AM
  60. hfrmobile says:
    Looks useful and executed it. Claimed it has removed all (71!) 6to4 adapters (which is true since they're disappeared from DeviceManager (view hidden devices)) but the "tunnel adapters" remain (even restarted the machine). Output: Beginning devcon No devices removed. What else I should do in order to remove the 71 tunnel adapters? Thanks a lot, Harald-René Flasch (aka hfrmobile)
    Posted: 6/14/2011 12:48:49 PM
  61. smilingrasta says:
    it's located in this cab: \WDK\setuptools_x64fre_cab001.cab so you don't have to install all that stuff just to get the file. ;) open the cab with windows explorer, right click on _devcon.exe_00000 and chose "Extract". After extracting, rename the file to devcon.exe and there you go.
    Posted: 1/19/2011 12:01:12 PM
  62. Juliano Ballarini says:
    Thanks man... ive got more than 500 adapters on my system... save a lot of time!
    Posted: 5/17/2011 7:52:15 AM
  63. Eli says:
    Man, this changed my life right here. I was dealing with those bothersom 604-whatevers in my device manager, and this just got rid of them all. Seems like my internet is even going faster =) Thanks, RyanVictory =)
    Posted: 2/7/2011 1:42:27 PM
  64. Quidam says:
    Thanks, it works great. But where did they come from in the first place? Grz
    Posted: 8/22/2011 1:26:32 PM
  65. Denes says:
    Thank you very much, this was the best and most usable article I found on the web. It solved my problem, deleted 60 useless tunnel adapters!! :)
    Posted: 2/14/2011 3:00:27 AM
  66. Alan says:
    Doesn't work for me: it lists every adapter and says "remove failed" Any more suggestions?
    Posted: 2/14/2011 9:36:55 AM
  67. Cheryl says:
    Thanks a lot
    Posted: 2/15/2011 4:34:19 PM
  68. Tony says:
    I ran on my machine with Run as Administrator and received "remove failed" for each connection.
    Posted: 5/16/2011 6:35:22 PM
  69. LabJab says:
    How I made mine work in Windows 7 64bit: 1. Download the batch and the DevCon file listed at the *top of the page* and put both files in the same folder 2. Right-Click the devcon.exe and select Properties. Under the Compatibility tab, check "Run this program as Administrator" 3. Put your batch in the same folder as DevCon. Right-Click on the batch and select "Run as Administrator" Voila! The "remove failed" errors are gone. ;)
    Posted: 6/2/2011 2:49:18 PM
  70. Sam says:
    Thanks for this post!! It really helped me.
    Posted: 6/9/2011 4:20:36 AM
  71. Lalu says:
    Thank you very much, I had about 90 of these, there was no way I could see first lines in ipconfig /all (the only ones I cared about actually :))). Thanks again.
    Posted: 6/13/2011 5:36:10 PM
  72. Philipp says:
    First of all: Thanks you very, very much for your detailed explanation! For Windows 7 64bit there is a new release of devcon. It is part of the new WDK. http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/hardware/gg487463 If you have difficulties, using the old devcon, use the one in the link. Download it and find the right version in the cab-file setuptools_x64fre_cab001. Don't forget to rename it (just remove the zeroes in the end). Good luck!
    Posted: 9/5/2011 3:17:30 AM

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