FIX: Cisco VPN not working on Windows 10

Aleksandar Ognjanovic
by Aleksandar Ognjanovic
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Cisco VPN not working on Windows 10

The Cisco VPN solution is working rather nice on Windows 10 if we look at the reports. The most prominent issues appear only after the major updates which tend to break the application. These are not common, but then again, they seemingly render the VPN client completely unusable. At least that was the case with Fall Creators Update and April Update.

However, there’s no need to worry. We found some applicable steps and enlisted them below so make sure to check them out.

How to fix Cisco VPN issues on Windows 10

  1. Repair the installation
  2. Allow VPN to freely communicate through Firewall
  3. Tweak the Registry
  4. Perform a clean reinstallation

1: Repair the installation

Let’s start by repairing the installation. Lots of third-party applications tend to break after a major update is administered. That’s why is always recommended to reinstall them after the update is installed.

Even better, if you want to avoid one of the numerous update/upgrade errors, uninstalling is a viable choice. However, if you’ve not uninstalled Cisco VPN prior to an update, instead of reinstallation, you should try out repairing the present installation first.

If you’re not sure how to repair the Cisco VPN, follow the steps we provided below:

  1. In the Windows Search bar, type Control and open Control vpn windows 10 not working
  2. Click “Uninstall a program” in the bottom left vpn windows 10 not working
  3. Click on the Cisco System VPN client and choose Repair.
  4. Follow the instructions until the installation is repaired.

2: Allow VPN to freely communicate through Firewall

System updates can, quite frequently, change the system settings and preferences to default values. This misdeed, of course, can affect Windows Defender settings as well. If that’s the case, chances are that lots of third-party apps that require free traffic through the Firewall won’t work. Including the Cisco VPN client.

That’s why we encourage you to check the settings and confirm that the app is indeed allowed in Windows Firewall settings. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. In the Windows Search bar, type Allow an app and open “Allow an app through Windows Firewall“.
  2. Click Change settings.
  3. Make sure that Cisco VPN is on the list and it’s allowed to communicate through Windows Firewall. If that’s not the case, click “Allow another app” and add vpn windows 10 not working
  4. Check both Private and Public network boxes.
  5. Confirm changes and open the Cisco VPN.

3: Tweak the Registry

Like many other integrating VPN solutions, Cisco VPN comes with the specific associated Virtual Network Adapter. The failure of this device is another common occurrence and it’s accompanied by the error code 442. The first thing you can do if this error occurs is checking the Virtual Adapter driver in the Device Manager.

This is where to find it:

  1. Right-click on the Start button and open Device Manager.
  2. Expand Network adapters
  3. Right-click on Virtual Adapter and update it.
  4. Restart your PC.

Now, if that fails to resolve the issue, you can try a Registry tweak which seems to address it fully. This requires administrative permission, in order to make changes to Registry. Furthermore, we strongly suggest treading carefully since untaught meddling with Registry can result in a system failure.

Follow these steps to tweak Registry and repair Cisco VPN:

  1. Type regedit in the Windows Search bar and open Registry Editor.
  2. Copy-paste the following path in the address bar:HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetServicesCVirtAcisco vpn windows 10 not working
  3. Right-click on the DisplayName registry entry and choose Modify.
  4. Under the Value Data section, make sure that the only body of text which stands is the Cisco Systems VPN Adapter. For the 64bit version, the text is the Cisco Systems VPN Adapter for 64-bit Windows.
  5. Save changes and try running Cisco VPN again.

4: Perform a clean reinstallation

Finally, if none of the previous solutions got Cisco VPN to work, the only remaining solution we can suggest is performing a clean reinstallation. Ideally, this will require a clean slate install where you’ll clear all remaining associated files from your PC prior to installing Cisco VPN again.

Follow these steps to perform a clean reinstallation and fix Cisco VPN on Windows 10:

  1. Navigate to Control Panel and open Uninstall a program.control panel
  2. Uninstall the Cisco Systems VPN client.
  3. Run Ashampoo Uninstaller (or any other 3rd-party cleaner).
  4. Navigate to the system partition and delete everything Cisco-related from the Programs folder.
  5. Download the Cisco VPN client, here.
  6. Install the client and try running it.

If Cisco VPN is still not working on Windows 10, try contacting the support as they would more likely assist you in the best manner.

That’s it. If you have any alternative solutions you care to share with us, feel free to do so in the comments section below.