NordVPN not connecting: Best solutions to fix it now

Matthew Adams
by Matthew Adams
Windows & Software Expert
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Affiliate Disclosure

  • NordVPN is one of the popular choices among users looking for a VPN service that is fast and focused on the user's privacy.
  • If connection issues appear, we suggest you check your account, reset TAP adapter or other firewall or antivirus that might be blocking the connection. Finally, you can switch to a recommended alternative service.
  • Similar articles can be found in the VPN errors section, which we encourage you to check often for updates.
  • If you are looking for common VPN issues and guides to fix them, visit the VPN Error Fixing Hub on our website.
fix NordVPN connection

NordVPN is a highly rated VPN provider, owned by Tefincom & Co., S.A, for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS platforms. Connecting to that VPN server is usually straightforward enough, but some NordVPN users might still need to fix connectivity issues.

NordVPN not connecting can be due to conflicting software, corrupted adapters, misconfigured network configurations, and more besides. Some of the resolutions below might fix NordVPN connections.

How to fix NordVPN connections issues

  1. Check Your NordVPN Account
  2. Use PIA – alternative premium solution
  3. Try Connecting to Alternative NordVPN Servers
  4. Restart the TAP Adapter
  5. Reinstall NordVPN
  6. Turn Off Windows Defender Firewall
  7. Clean Boot Windows
  8. Flush the Network Stack
  9. Adjust the DNS Server Configuration for NordVPN
  10. Switch the IP Protocol From UDP to TCP

1. Check Your NordVPN Account

First, check that you still have an active NordVPN account. Users can check their NordVPN accounts by clicking My Account on the NordVPN website.

Enter the login details to open the account dashboard. The account dashboard includes an expires on date for your VPN subscription. Contact NordVPN support to renew the subscription if the VPN account is no longer active.

2. Use PIA – alternative premium solution

Private Internet AccessAnother privacy-focused VPN service is Private Internet Access. This premium alternative to NordVPN has been around since 2010, consistently providing good security and constantly upgrading their servers and expanding the network.

They were acquired in 2019 by Kape Technologies to boost it’s capabilities and becoming one of the major VPN companies.

The plans for the developers are to continue working on the product and to maintain the very good reputation they have for protecting online confidentiality and not store user data.

The key features that PIA users enjoy are:

  • good support for many types of strong encryption protocols
  • port forwarding option as well as split-tunneling
  • DNS and IPv6 leak protection
  • it accepts Bitcoin, has a no-logs policy and unlimited bandwidth
Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access

PIA is a great alternative to NordVPN, and it is now available at a discount price for a limited time only!
$2.85/mo. Buy now

3. Try Connecting to Alternative NordVPN Servers

There are thousands of NordVPN servers. So users should try connecting to a few alternative NordVPN servers. Users can select alternative VPN servers within a country on the NordVPN map. Alternatively, users can click Countries within NordVPN‘s window to select another server to connect to from a list.

4. Restart the TAP Adapter

  • If any kind of TAP adapter error message pops up, restarting the TAP adapter might fix the NordVPN connection. To do that, press the Windows key + R keyboard shortcut.
  • Input ‘ncpa.cpl’ in Run and click OK to open the Control Panel applet shown directly below.

  • Then right-click the TAP-NordVPN Windows Adapter and select Disable.
  • Thereafter, right-click the same NordVPN Windows Adapter and select Enable.
  • Then try connecting with the NordVPN client software again.

5. Reinstall NordVPN

Reinstalling NordVPN will reinstall the TAP adapter. Thus, reinstalling the software could fix the connection if there’s a corrupted TAP adapter. That resolution will also ensure users have the most update version. This is how users can thoroughly uninstall NordVPN with the freeware Advanced Uninstaller PRO 12 and then reinstall the VPN client package.

  • Click the Try for free button on the Advanced Uninstaller PRO webpage.
  • Then install Advanced Uninstaller Pro with its setup wizard.
  • Launch the Advanced Uninstaller PRO software, and click General Tools > Uninstall Programs.

  • Select the NordVPN software on the Uninstall Programs window.
  • Then click the Uninstall button.
  • Click the Use leftover scanner option on the dialog box window that opens.

  • Press the Yes button to uninstall NordVPN.
  • Thereafter, a window will open that shows a list of leftover files and registry entries. Select all the files and registry items listed there and click Next to erase them.
  • Restart Windows after uninstalling the VPN client.
  • Next, click Download on the NordVPN download page. Then users can reinstall the NordVPN client with the setup wizard.

6. Turn Off Windows Defender Firewall

VPN connection errors can often be due to firewalls blocking them. So turning Windows Defender Firewall off might fix NordVPN not connecting. Follow the guidelines below to turn off WDF.

  • Right-click the Start button and click Run to open that accessory’s window.

  • Input ‘firewall.cpl’ in the Open text box, and press the OK button.
  • Click Turn Windows Defender Firewall on or off to open further settings.

  • Select both the Turn off Windows Defender Firewall options, and click the OK button.

If turning off WDF fixes the NordVPN connection, users can switch off that firewall whenever they need to utilize NordVPN. Alternatively, users can add NordVPN to Windows Defender Firewall’s exclusions. To do that, users need to set up three inbound and three outbound rules for nordvpn.exe, openvpn-nordvpn.exe, and nordvpn-service.exe with Windows Firewall with Advanced Security.

Users can open Windows Firewall with Advanced Security in Windows 10 by clicking the Cortana button and entering ‘Windows Firewall’ in the search box. Select Windows Firewall with Advanced Security to open the window shown directly below.

Users can set up the six NordVPN rules by clicking Inbound Rules or Outbound Rules and selecting New Rules. Select Program on the Rule Wizard window, and click This Program Path to select the NordVPN software. Then select Allow the connection as the action.

7. Clean Boot Windows

Some antivirus utilities also include their own firewalls. Thus, they can also block VPN connections. To ensure there are no conflicting software, clean boot Windows. That will remove antivirus utilities and services from the Windows startup along with other software. Users can clean boot Windows as follows.

  • Open Run with the Windows key + R hotkey.
  • Enter ‘msconfig’ in Run, and press the OK button. The System Configuration window shown directly below will then open.

  • First, click the Selective startup radio button on the General tab.
  • Select Use original boot configuration and Load system services options if they’re not already selected.
  • Deselect the Load startup items check box, which removes programs from the system startup.
  • Click the Services tab shown directly below.

  • Select the Hide all Microsoft services check box to exclude those services from the list.
  • Then press the Disable all button to turn off the remaining third-party services listed.
  • Click the Apply button, and then select the OK option. Then the window shown below might open.

  • Select the Restart option on that window to reboot Windows.
  • Then try connecting to NordVPN. If the connection then works, there was a conflicting third-party program or service. That will most probably be an antivirus utility.

8. Flush the Network Stack

Resetting the network stack in Windows can fix numerous connection issues. Users can reset the network stack by entering a series of Command Prompt commands. Follow the guidelines below to flush the network stack in Windows 10 and 8.

  • Open the Win + X menu by pressing the Windows key + X hotkey.
  • Click Command Prompt (Admin) to open window in the snapshot directly below.

package manager

  • Then you’ll need to input each of these commands (press the Return key after entering each one) into the Command Prompt:

ipconfig /release
ipconfig /flushdns
ipconfig /renew
netsh winsock reset
netsh interface ipv4 reset
netsh interface ipv6 reset
netsh winsock reset catalog
netsh int ipv4 reset reset.log
netsh int ipv6 reset reset.log

  • Thereafter, close the Command Prompt and restart Windows.

9. Adjust the DNS Server Configuration for NordVPN

  • Adjusting NordVPN’s DNS server configuration might also fix its connectivity. To do so, open the Run accessory.
  • Input ‘ncpa.cpl’ in the Run text box, and press the OK button.
  • Right-click TAP-NordVPN Windows Adapter V9 and select Properties on the context menu.
  • Select IPv4 and press the Properties button to open the window shown below.

  • Select the Use the following DNS addresses option if that’s not currently selected.
  • Then enter 103.86.96.100 and 103.86.99.100 in the DNS server boxes.
  • Press the OK button to close the window.

10. Switch the IP Protocol From UDP to TCP

NordVPN users can select either a UDP or TCP IP protocol. UDP might be faster, but TCP is more reliable as it includes error correction. As such, switching the IP protocol from UDP to TCP might help fix NordVPN connectivity.

To do that, click Settings on the NordVPN window. Scroll down to the bottom of the Settings tab and click Advanced Settings. Then select the TCP protocol if UDP is selected.

The above resolutions will probably fix NordVPN connectivity for most users. In addition, resetting the NordVPN client software (via its Diagnostic section) could fix its connectivity. The tips in this article might also come in handy for fixing a NordVPN connection.


FAQ: Learn more about NordVPN connection issues

  • Why is my NordVPN not connecting?

If NordVPN is stuck on connecting, you should log out, reboot the device and log back in again. If it’s still stuck, follow the steps in this guide.

  • Can’t connect to NordVPN?

In case the client is giving a Connection timed out message, open the NordVPN app, go to Advanced Settings and Diagnostics to run diagnostics and perform a Network Flush. Then restart the computer and the client should be able to connect to any server.

  • Why Internet is not working when VPN is connected?

If you are connected to NordVPN but you have no Internet, the first thing to do is check your DNS configuration. See information from the provider on what values you should have for best results.

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