FIX: ExpressVPN won’t install in Windows

Milan Stanojevic
by Milan Stanojevic
Deputy Editor
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  • ExpressVPN has plenty of servers, strong encryption, and versatile plans at your disposal.
  • All these don’t seem to matter that much when you cannot install it in Windows, so check out some quick troubleshooting tips below.
  • Whenever you face similar issues, you can find more handy tips on VPN Errors & Solutions.
  • Bookmark our VPN Guides Hub for further reference when looking for the best VPN solutions.
ExpressVPN install issue

ExpressVPN is one of the best and most popular VPN services available in the privacy software market today.

It comes with thousands of servers globally, excellent customer support, fast speeds, and the ability to unblock content sites like Netflix.

When ExpressVPN won’t install on your computer, then it is hard to enjoy these otherwise amazing features, and led by frustration, you may think of installing a different VPN.

Occasionally, when you try to install or even activate your ExpressVPN software, you may get errors, or you can even get stuck on the activating screen.

Nevertheless, there are well-known workarounds that will get the client working on up to Windows 10 before you even think of abandoning it altogether.

This article looks at how to troubleshoot when ExpressVPN won’t install either because you cannot activate it, or you can’t install it due to incomplete uninstall.

The same applies to those times when you’re stuck on the activating screen, or get a .net error when installing the application.

What can I do if ExpressVPN won’t install?

1. Uninstall and reinstall ExpressVPN

  1. Right-click Start and select Programs and Features.
    ExpressVPN won't install
  2. Find ExpressVPN from the list of programs and select Uninstall.
  3. In the SetUp Wizard, click You’ll get a notification after a successful uninstall.
  4. Click Close to exit the wizard.
  5. If the ExpressVPN is still listed as available after uninstalling it, right-click Start and select Run.
    ExpressVPN won't install
  6. Type ncpa.cpl and press Enter to open the Network Connections window.
  7. Under Network Connections, right-click on the WAN Miniport labeled ExpressVPN.
  8. Select Delete.
  9. Click Start and select Settings.
  10. Click Network & Internet.
  11. Select VPN. If you see ExpressVPN as available, delete it.
  12. Once deleted, reinstall the app from the official site.

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You can uninstall the app, then make sure you grab the official version and confirm the issue is gone for good.

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2. Unable to install ExpressVPN due to incomplete uninstall

  1. Right-click Start and select Run.
  2. Type regedit and press Enter then give permissions by pressing yes or typing your password.
  3. Under Registry Editor, go to Computer and double click on HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE.
  4. Find ExpressVPN directly beneath Software (you can also go to SoftwareClassesExpressVPN).
  5. Right-click on ExpressVPN and select Delete. After deleting, you won’t see ExpressVPN under Wow6432Node.

When this happens, you’ll get an error message in your installer log that says:

Error 1721: there is a problem with this Windows Installer Package. A program required for this install to complete could not be run. Contact your support personnel or package vendor.

Use the above steps to solve it. If it is still listed, do the following:

  1. Right-click Start and select Run.
    ExpressVPN won't install
  2. Type ncpa.cpl and press enter to open the Network Connections Window.
  3. Right-click on WAN Miniport labeled ExpressVPN and select Delete.

3. If you’re stuck on the Activation screen

  1. On the taskbar, right-click on ExpressVPN and select Quit ExpressVPN.
    ExpressVPN won't install
  2. Launch ExpressVPN again.

If you get stuck on the Activating, please wait… screen, do the following to resolve the issue, and install ExpressVPN over again.


4. You get a .Net error when installing ExpressVPN app

  1. Click Start and select Control Panel.
  2. Select Programs.
    ExpressVPN won't install
  3. Click Turn Windows features on or off.
    ExpressVPN won't install
  4. Find .Net Framework 3.5 and expand to view the associated components.
    ExpressVPN won't install
  5. Check each box, including .NET framework 3.5 and click OK.
  6. Restart your computer.
  7. Ensure you uninstall existing versions of ExpressVPN then reboot to refresh the system cache.
  8. Install ExpressVPN again.

Some users may get the error: Could not load file assembly sorttbls.nlp or one of its dependencies. The system cannot find the file specified.

This is caused by an issue with your .Net framework, as the file sorttbls.npl or its dependencies is missing or it is corrupted.

.Net Framework should be enabled on your machine, so complete the procedure described above.

If ExpressVPN won’t install after trying these steps above, you can contact their support team with your specific issues.

Otherwise, do let us know in the comments section whether any of these helped you.

FAQ: Learn more about ExpressVPN

  • Is ExpressVPN free?

No, ExpressVPN isn’t free. There’s though a free trial on mobile devices and a generous 30-day money-back guarantee if you happen to experience buyer’s remorse within this period.

  • Is ExpressVPN legal?

Rest assured that using ExpressVPN is perfectly legal. However, using it for any kind of illegal activity isn’t allowed and you risk facing the consequences.

  • Does ExpressVPN hide your IP address?

Yes, this VPN lets you replace your IP address with a different one from the 160 available locations.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in February 2018 and has been since revamped and updated in May 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.