FIX: Failed to initialize connection subsystem in Cisco AnyConnect error in Windows

Elsie Otachi By: Elsie Otachi
3 minute read
failed to initialize connection subsystem in Cisco AnyConnect

Home » FIX: Failed to initialize connection subsystem in Cisco AnyConnect error in Windows

Cisco AnyConnect is more than just a virtual private network, as it empowers your workforce to be able to work from any location, on any device, and at any time.

It simplifies secure endpoint access while providing the security you need to keep your business safe and protected.

Some of its salient features and benefits include highly secure access to the network enterprise from any location and device, greater visibility into user and endpoint behavior across the enterprise, comprehensive protection against threats regardless of where they are, and simplified management and usability across devices both on and off premise, with a single agent.

While all these features and benefits are amazing, you may encounter some common troubleshooting problems when trying to connect with Cisco’s AnyConnect.

One such common problem is when you get the failed to initialize connection subsystem in Cisco AnyConnect error, especially is using the Windows operating system.

This issue occurs when the following conditions hold true:

  • You run Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client app to establish VPN connections in Windows 8.1, RT 8.1, or Windows Server 2012 R2.
  • You installed Windows update 3023607 on your computer

Microsoft has confirmed that the failed to initialize connection subsystem in Cisco AnyConnect error is in Microsoft products such as Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter, Standard, Essentials and Foundation, Windows 8.1 Enterprise and Pro, Windows 8.1, and Windows RT 8.1.

Check out some solutions that can help you workaround this error and resolve it on your computer.

Failed to initialize connection subsystem in Cisco AnyConnect error

  1. Go to Microsoft Update
  2. Run compatibility troubleshooter on Cisco AnyConnect
  3. Disable Internet Connection Sharing
  4. Edit the registry

1. Go to Microsoft Update

Microsoft Update will help you to install the most recent cumulative security update for Internet Explorer or Vulnerability in SChannel could allow security feature bypass: March 10, 2015 (MS15-031).

If you download and install updates manually, check the Affected Software table in Microsoft’s Security Bulletin MS15-018 for download links.

If this doesn’t help, try the next solution.

2. Run compatibility troubleshooter on Cisco AnyConnect

The failed to initialize connection subsystem in Cisco AnyConnect error usually has to do with a recent Windows Update, so you can run compatibility troubleshooter to resolve the issue by taking the steps below:

  • Close Cisco AnyConnect window and the taskbar mini-icon
  • Go to the Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client folder – you can check in C:\Program Files (x86)\Cisco\Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client
  • Right click vpnui.exe
  • Click Run compatibility troubleshooter
  • Select Try recommended settings
  • Select what the wizard suggests (Windows 8 compatibility)
  • Click Test Program to open the program
  • Close

Note: For vpnagent.exe – the local service that supports the client user interface – you may need to repeat these steps.

Did this fix the failed to initialize connection subsystem in Cisco AnyConnect error? If not, try the next solution.

3. Disable Internet Connection Sharing

Sometimes the failed to initialize connection subsystem in Cisco AnyConnect error could happen because the Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) is enabled on your LAN.

Here’s how to resolve this:

  • Click on Start
  • Select Settings

failed to initialize connection subsystem in Cisco AnyConnect

  • Click Network and Internet 
  • In the search box, type Local

failed to initialize connection subsystem in Cisco AnyConnect

  • Select View Local Services

failed to initialize connection subsystem in Cisco AnyConnect

  • Right click on Internet Connection Sharing

failed to initialize connection subsystem in Cisco AnyConnect

  • Select Properties

failed to initialize connection subsystem in Cisco AnyConnect

  • Go to General tab

failed to initialize connection subsystem in Cisco AnyConnect

  • Go to Startup Type

failed to initialize connection subsystem in Cisco AnyConnect

  • Click the drop down arrow and select Disabled

failed to initialize connection subsystem in Cisco AnyConnect

  • Click OK

4. Edit the registry

If you have the failed to initialize connection subsystem in Cisco AnyConnect error, you can fix it by making a small edit to the registry using the steps below:

  • Right click Start
  • Select Run

failed to initialize connection subsystem in Cisco AnyConnect

  • Type regedit
  • Press Enter
  • Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Win
  • Create a new key called GlobalOfflineUser
  • Give it 1 as the value
  • Restart your computer and load the VPN

Check whether you are able to connect.

Did any of these solutions fix the failed to initialize connection subsystem in Cisco AnyConnect error for you? Let us know by dropping a comment in the section below.

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