Among the many VPN connection issues and problems you may encounter on your Windows 11 or Windows 10 PC, the general error message may be Cannot connect to VPN With the full error message appearing as follows:
VPN connection Cannot connect to VPN connection Unable to establish connection to remote computer. You may need to change the network settings for this connection.
In most, if not all, cases, VPN connection issues are often software or browser related. So, basically, solving VPN problems or issues is mostly a removal process. Below are the most likely reasons why you might have VPN issues on your PC;
- VPN server is overloaded
- Running an old VPN
- Using the wrong VPN protocol
VPN connection, can’t connect to VPN connection error
If you get a file Cannot connect to VPN Error message on Windows 11/10 PC, no matter what VPN service provider or software you have installed, you can try the recommended and comprehensive general fixes as below to solve the problem on your system.
- Restart the VPN
- Check and update your VPN software and browser
- Check your internet connection
- Verify VPN login credentials
- Check your favorite VPN server connection
- Check your firewall
- Check your router settings
- Reinstall the latest version of the VPN software
- Change the VPN tunnel protocol
- Change the connection port
- Contact your ISP and/or VPN service provider
Let’s look at a description of the process involved with respect to each of the solutions listed. Keep in mind that the location of some of the settings you may need to configure varies depending on the VPN product, device, or operating system.
1]Restart the VPN software
You can first restart the VPN software, not just disable or disconnect the VPN server; Quit and restart the program. You can also restart browser plug-ins by completely closing and reopening your browser. Additionally, you may need to clear your browser’s cache for the plugin to work again.
2]Check and update VPN software and browser
Again, score one for outdated software or software installed on your device, where you are most likely to encounter problems. So, to eliminate the possibility of errors and to maximize performance, make sure your VPN software is updated by manually checking for updates under the VPN menu, but we recommend that you set your VPN to update automatically in the VPN settings. Likewise, to avoid common browser-related issues, use a browser supported by your VPN provider and make sure the browser is up to date.
3]Check your internet connection
You can check your internet connection by loading a few pages without a VPN connection and see if the pages open normally. If you cannot connect to the internet, you can fix network and internet connection issues to solve network connection issues on your end. You can also use the network reset feature or run the Internet Connections troubleshooter for Windows 11/10.
4]Check VPN login credentials
If you’ve checked all the boxes for a stable internet connection but you still can’t connect to the VPN, the next line of action is to check your VPN login credentials. So, if you run VPN software on your router, make sure you enter the correct credentials for the VPN account to be able to connect to the VPN server. Keep in mind that not having the correct or updated login credentials can prevent you from connecting to the VPN. So, if you are using a free VPN service, check the website to see if the credentials provided by the VPN service have changed or if your password needs to be updated.
5]Check your preferred VPN server connection
If you have verified that the VPN login credentials are correct but you are still unable to establish a connection, the problem may be with the infrastructure of the VPN provider, specifically the VPN server. So, first, check if your VPN is working, then check if the preferred server you are connecting to or trying to connect to is working. Some servers can reject new connections if they are overloaded. If you are using a premium VPN, you should have access to many servers. In this case, if you are struggling to connect to a VPN for a particular region, just try to disconnect and then select the region again – after doing that, you will be sent to a different VPN server, and that might fix the problem.
Read: How to Create a Public VPN Server on Windows
6]Check your firewall
You need to make sure that your firewall is not blocking VPN connections and you can do this by adding the VPN software to the exceptions list in your firewall settings. You can configure Windows Firewall to allow or block a program on your device. For third-party security software that is integrated with a firewall or dedicated firewall software, you can refer to the manual.
7]Check your router settings
When it comes to routers, some routers do not support VPN passthrough – a feature found on a router that allows traffic to pass freely to the Internet. So, check your router and personal firewall settings for these options on your home network. If any changes are needed, you may have to contact the router as an administrator (check your internet device’s instruction manual). The options that may be available to you depending on your router may be:
- An option in the security settings to enable IPSec or PPTP (two common types of VPN protocols) passthrough.
- The router’s firewall and any installed firewall software may need to forward specific ports and specific protocols. In particular, IPSec VPNs need to forward UDP port 500 (IKE) and open protocols 50 (ESP) and 51 (AH).
Read: Windows IPsec VPN Client: Security, Validation, and Administrative Guide
8]Reinstall the latest version of the VPN software
Another viable solution, assuming that if the current issue is not resolved, it may be that the VPN software itself has issues; It’s possible that there is a temporary glitch – in this case, you can reinstall the VPN software and see if that helps. You can use a third-party software uninstaller to uninstall the VPN software, then to get the latest package, go to the VPN provider’s website and download and reinstall the latest software package for your operating system or device. Make sure to uninstall any old packages first to make sure you start with a clean slate.
9]Change VPN Tunneling Protocol
For some VPN connection issues, the problem might be with the VPN tunneling protocol in use. In this case, you can go to the VPN or network settings and try to use different protocols: OpenVPN, L2TP / IPSec or IKeV2 / IPSec. Whenever possible, avoid using PPTP, as it is not considered secure.
10]Change the connection port
You may not know that some Internet service providers and networks block traffic on certain ports. So, be sure to check the VPN’s documentation to see if it recommends using a specific port number. If so, using a different port might fix the problem. For some VPN software to work, ports 443 and 1194 TCP and UDP must be open respectively. Your firewall or router should also allow pass through to the VPN as mentioned earlier, but note that some VPN services do not support port forwarding – all ports will be blocked except for those that your VPN software needs to work; Because open ports create a lot of security risk for your internet connection.
11]Contact your ISP and/or VPN service provider
If the VPN is still not connected, there may also be issues with your VPN settings. In this case, to see if the issue will be resolved, you can easily reset the VPN settings on the software to default. If the problem persists at this point, you need to contact your VPN provider for additional assistance – depending on your VPN software, you can do this via supports Inside the app and you can copy the connection history and send it to the technical team, which can be analyzed to help troubleshoot. Likewise, you may have to contact your ISP to rule out potential VPN software usage restrictions on their network.
Hope you find this post useful and informative enough!
Other common VPN errors that you may encounter on your device may be the following:
What does not being able to connect to a VPN mean?
If your VPN won’t connect, it may indicate a bug with your app, or its setting may be corrupt. Check this by removing or uninstalling your VPN, then downloading and reinstalling the latest version.
Why does my VPN say it is connected but not working?
One of the most common reasons for VPN connection but not working is DNS configuration issue. So, you can try to flush the DNS on your Windows 11/10 PC and see if that helps fix the problem for you.
Why does a VPN keep disconnecting from the internet?
The most likely reason for this particular issue could be that the VPN protocol you are using is banned in your country/region. You can try to change the VPN protocol and check if you are able to access the internet on your computer.
Can a VPN crash WiFi?
Depending on the device and configuration, a VPN can be set up either on its own or with other devices. In some cases, a VPN can cause connection issues. For example, WiFi may go down after connecting to a VPN.