To make configuring the proxy settings for WinHTTP-based applications easier, WinHTTP now implements the Web Proxy Auto-Discovery (WPAD) protocol, often referred to as autoproxy. This is the same protocol that web browsers implement to automatically discover the proxy configuration without requiring an end-user to specify a proxy server manually.

Web Proxy Auto-Discovery protocol Microsoft's Internet Explorer supports two mechanisms for automatically configuring it to download PAC scripts, under the banner of the Web Proxy Auto-Discovery (WPAD) protocol, which is described in detail here. With both mechanisms, Internet Explorer automatically determines the URL of the PAC script, without Troubleshooting Web Proxy Auto-Discovery (WPAD) issues When a web browser has its proxy setting set to "Automatically Detect Settings", the WPAD protocol is used to find a web server that will serve up a configuration script called wpad.dat Each web browser can do this differently. How to disable automatic proxy caching in Internet Explorer Apr 17, 2018

WinHTTP Web Proxy Auto-Discovery Service constantly using 26% CPU After the laptop goes out of sleep, WinHTTP Web Proxy Auto-Discovery Service uses 26% CPU and only reboot helps. I also unchecked "Automatically detect settings" in proxy settings.

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The Web Proxy Auto-Discovery (WPAD) Protocol is a method used by clients to locate the URL of a configuration file using DHCP and/or DNS discovery methods. Once detection and download of the configuration file is complete, it can be executed to determine the proxy for a specified URL.

Jul 28, 2016 Web Proxy Auto-detection Configuration [ClearOS Documentation] Jan 19, 2019