Why Is My VPN Not Connecting? How to Troubleshoot VPN Failed to Connect Issue?

Why Is My VPN Not Connecting? How to Troubleshoot VPN Failed to Connect Issue? Vic Knott
Why Is My VPN Not Connecting? How to Troubleshoot VPN Failed to Connect Issue? 2022.02.23
How-to Guides
fix vpn not connecting issue

This is an easy guide on how to fix VPN won’t connect to the internet error. Please try the x troubleshooting steps one by one to finally figure it out easily by yourself.

VPN software has become a smash-hit in recent years as the demands for web privacy and security are increasing globally, especially during the coronavirus lockdown time. When authorities take measures to control internet access to social media platforms, political sites, torrent and alike disputable content, netizens have to leverage Virtual Private Network services to circumvent the web restrictions and enjoy geo-blocked resources as others do. Also, ISPs, schools, companies and other parties may ban distracting, traffic-eating and any other unwanted sites to keep people more focused on learning, working and guarantee a healthy growing-up of the youngsters. Social networks, streaming platforms, P2P torrents download sites, and porn sites are typical examples of common online censorship. Under these circumstances, only with the help of an IP altering tool like VPN can one bypass the access limitations and regain the ability to surf the web free.

For average users, as long as they don’t set up VPN by themselves, but cost some pennies for a handy VPN program, starting the VPN connection is as easy as ABC: launching VPN software -> picking a server location -> and one-click to connect to the server. However, the VPN not connectionissue may occur for various reasons. So this post will list troubleshooting methods to fix VPN won’t connect fast, with the possible reasons for this connection error alongside.

#1 Change different server or protocol to connect 

A mature VPN product usually has a large number of servers located all across the world, and even some regions with strict internet censorship are included like Russia. Back to the point then, since there are so many servers, it’s not weird that some of them suddenly get problems or the hot servers are quite overloaded, especially during the peak hours. Therefore, the very first method to solve VPN’s connection failure is to connect to some other servers, better from different locations. You can pay attention to the real-time ping value (ms) right near the server name (many offer this feature to help users find the fast server easily) and the lower, the less delay, the faster.

As to protocol, since the supported VPN protocols vary from programs and their performances also differ from place to place, in case the default protocol is not friendly with your current server and physical region, you can try to change the VPN protocol (e.g from OpenVPN to PPTP/WireGuard) under settings. If there’s no option for VPN protocol, please check the routing modes or choices to see if there’s items regarding OpenVPN (UDP/TCP), WireGuard, PPTP and IKEv2 and switch from one to another to try the VPN connection again.

VPN Protocols
VPN Protocols

If the VPN pops up an error message like “invalid port number”, please go to related settings and modify it to another one.

#2 Check whether there is a normal internet connection 

If there’s no internet connection at all, how can you run VPN normally? So if you fail to connect to all of the targets you are suggested to check the status of your internet connection. When the network is not connected, you can reboot your device, disconnect and re-connect the same (Wi-fi) network spot, check the router/networks settings, update computer firmware, or dial up your ISP for more tech help.

Even when the network status icon on your computer, tablet or mobile phone shows it’s successful, try some other applications or browse any new web pages to see if it’s really available.

#3 Make sure there’s a room for your connection (for multi-connection-available VPNs) 

If you use a premium VPN, it to a large degree supports multiple connections and now many services are starting to increase the default number of simultaneous devices and enable users to customize the device number as many as they need. If you share the VPN with your family, friends, or colleagues, there’s a possibility that it has reached the maximum connection limit or somebody else has disconnected your device from the account manager (if there is).

ExpressVPN warns “Connection Limit Reached” if there’s no place for you from the very beginning. PandaVPN pops up a “Your server has been disconnected” if your device is removed by another user with the same account. So pay attention to the error alert message if there is. Even if you fail to fix the VPN not connecting problem, it’s a useful message to have the tech support know your issue precisely.

#4 Close firewall or/and antivirus app (for computer users only) 

You may don’t know that the firewall (typically the third-party firewalls)  and antivirus software will block your VPN connection when they take the VPN as a threat to your machine when there are special geo-restrictions, network and security settings. If you trust the VPN, you can manually set the VPN as the antivirus & firewall exception and make it the whitelist member and disable the SSL/443  monitoring. When it’s done, you’d better reinstall the VPN.

Alternatively, you can simply quit them once you won’t really need them to secure your computer.

#5 Ensure your VPN is updated to the latest version 

Outdated VPN software versions may bring out unknown and bad user experience. If there’s a connection bug and you happen to encounter it, nothing else you can do to fix the connection bug but upgrade the app to the most recent version. 

If you run the newest version, you can still uninstall and reinstall the VPN to see whether the connection gets back to normal. As you may feel from time to time, things sometimes go ahead in incomprehensible ways. After the installation, you are suggested to restart your device to have everything ready.

#6  Wait for sometime to connect (esp. for free VPNs) 

It’s more suitable for getting around the free VPN not connecting matter. That’s because due to the lack of servers and maybe a large number of users, free VPNs seem to be powerless to meet all connection requirements. Even the hot servers of a first-in-class VPN may let a portion of users down, let alone that from a small or say limited free VPN. Hence the advice for free VPN usage is to try to avoid the rush hours. (>>SEE ALSO: Free vs. Paid VPN)

If you just fail to connect to any dedicated server for streaming services like Netflix, HBO, Hulu, iPlayer and Disney+, most probably the servers are banned by the system of streaming platform intentionally. This way,  you will have no way to fix it but to give feedback to the VPN’s tech support team and wait for them to renew the server as soon as possible.

#7 Try the manual connection if it’s allowed 

Some VPNs like ExpressVPN and NordVPN not only offer ready-made one-click server connection features, but also allow users to manually configure a VPN connection with system-supported protocol like the L2TP/IPsec for Windows and PPTP/L2TP/IPsec for Android. That said, you can set up a new VPN connection on your device by yourself within the VPN app. For more detailed instruction, go ahead to the official support center to search and learn.

#8 Contact the customer service for tech support 

Don’t ignore this step to work VPN nor working error out. The tech support team of a business provider may consist of multiple or up to a dozen of members to receive, and answer whatever questions from customers. You can send them connection error screenshots, software logs, ask for the fastest server and setting recommendations as you like. If all workarounds are invalid, they may send you a special internal  VPN version as an urgent solution.

#9 Pick a best VPN alternative to instead 

VPN not connecting to the server is a common problem that all VPNs must come across more or less. However, if your VPN facility often disappoints you with this connection trouble, well, you are proposed to throw it away and switch to another solid one like PandaVPN.


PandaVPN is an easy, stable, fast, safe and cross-platform virtual private network enjoyed by over 40 million users worldwide. With accelerated servers in 80 nations and over 170 locations, some of which are made especially for steaming, torrenting, and gaming, you can bypass geo-blocking easily and become anonymous online, with web privacy safeguarded tightly.

Get PandaVPN

Smart mode is designed to help newbies connect to the fastest server immediately. For advanced users, more routing modes are provided for preferred traffic routing, split tunneling feature is preloaded to enable or disable VPN connection with target applications/web domains, and also an ad-blocker tool is employed by iOS and Android devices to keep you away from annoying ads automatically. No-log policy, zero privacy leak, outside any organization for data collection and sharing, PandaVPN is a good choice for shielding your internet privacy and securing your personal data.

Hot searches: What affects VPN speed, How to choose a VPN

Vic Knott

A senior tech editor whose focus is diving into everything related to cybersecurity.

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