Windows – Remove an unused/hidden network connection so that an existing name can be reused

network-adapterwindows 10windows-registry

How can I safely remove a network connection that is no longer visible in Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Network Connections on Windows 10?

I want to reuse the name of a previously existing connection, "USB Ethernet", so that I can programmatically find this connection on multiple PCs if it exists.

When I try to rename one of the connections I get the following error message: "Cannot rename this connection. A connection with the name that you specified already exists. Specify a different name."

Example error

There are no hidden adaptors in Device Manager: https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb/help/315539/device-manager-does-not-display-devices-that-are-not-connected

Other posts mention editing the registry and removing the GUID that represents that specific connection under:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Network

However, this connection may be referenced in other places within the registry. How can I safely remove the connection and all its references?

There are many unused/hidden connections on my machine according to the registry: Local Area Connection* 11, Local Area Connection* 2, Local Area Connection* 7 etc.

Best Answer

Remove hidden adapter: Proposed solution:

Steps:

1) Remove adapter from: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\NetworkSetup2\Interfaces

2) use https://github.com/jschicht/RunAsTI to grand needed permissions