FIX: OpenVPN not working on Windows 10 (6 solutions)

Elena Constantinescu
by Elena Constantinescu
VPN Expert & Privacy Advocate
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  • OpenVPN is one of the most popular VPN protocols, thanks to its superior security and connection speed. You can also use an official OpenVPN client for free.
  • Many users report that OpenVPN is not working on their Windows 10 PCs. If you're one of them, discover our easy workarounds, like adding an exception to the system firewall.
  • Learn everything about OpenVPN to master this VPN protocol and client.
  • Visit our VPN Troubleshooting Hub whenever you need a VPN quick fix.

OpenVPN is an open-source VPN client and VPN protocol with immense popularity, thanks to high security and excellent connection speed.

You can separately download and install the OpenVPN client on all popular devices for free if you want to create a secure tunnel to the web.

Or, you can turn to a commercial VPN provider that adopts OpenVPN.

However, OpenVPN may stop working on Windows 10 computers, due to various issues. If you’re encountering this scenario, here’s what you need to do.

How can I fix OpenVPN not working on Windows 10?

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Add an exception to the firewall

  1. Press the Win key, type firewall, and open Firewall & network protection
  2. Click Allow an app through firewall
  3. Click Change settings (you need admin rights)
  4. Search for OpenVPN in this list and check its boxes for Private and Public
  5. If it’s not in this list, click Allow another app to browse and select it

It’s possible that your firewall didn’t whitelist OpenVPN when you installed the client. In that case, you have to manually add an exception for it in the system firewall.

If another application is responsible for your computer’s firewall, make sure to adjust the above settings accordingly.

To quickly test this theory, you can temporarily disable the firewall and check if OpenVPN works properly on Windows 10 now.

But don’t forget to turn it back on since you risk exposing your home network to vulnerabilities.

Whitelist OpenVPN in your antivirus

disable antivirus to fix outlook

If your anti-malware application throws errors when you try to use OpenVPN on Windows 10, it could mean that it’s blocking the client or protocol.

However, it’s a false positive. In that case, make sure to add OpenVPN to the whitelist to prevent your antivirus from blocking your VPN.

As in the previous solution, you can quickly test it by temporarily deactivating the real-time detection engine of your anti-malware tool.

But we suggest turning it back on as soon as you finish the test and not leave your computer exposed to malware attacks.

If you’re interested in an anti-malware tool with built-in VPN functionality, check out our best picks.

Use a reliable VPN client with OpenVPN support

PIA

If you’re trying and failing to get the OpenVPN to work on Windows 10, consider getting a commercial VPN app that supports the OpenVPN protocol.

And we can’t think of a better option than Private Internet Access (PIA). It automatically makes changes to the system firewall, installs its own TAP adapters, and doesn’t get flagged by anti-malware solutions.

PIA supports the OpenVPN protocol with up to 256-bit military-grade encryption so that you’ll never have to worry about your computer getting hacked.

More about PIA:

  • OpenVPN and WireGuard protocols
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  • Private DNS servers and DNS leak protection
  • 24/7 live chat support
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Reset the TAP adapter

uninstall TAP drivers from Device Manager
  1. Right-click the Start button and select Device Manager
  2. Expand the Network adapters menu
  3. Look for any TAP drivers, right-click and select Uninstall device
  4. Open the Action menu and select Scan for hardware changes

The OpenVPN client requires a TAP driver to work properly. If its functionality is broken, it could be the reason why OpenVPN is not working on your Windows 10 PC.

However, you can easily fix this by uninstalling the TAP driver from Device Manager – it should get automatically reinstalled.

If you’re using Private Internet Access (buy here), you can effortlessly reinstall the associated TAP drivers from the Help menu.

As a general rule, it’s essential to keep Windows drivers updated to the latest version.

Check if the DHCP service is running

DHCP Client Service Set Automatic
  1. Press the Win key, type services, and open Services
  2. Right-click DHCP Client and select Properties
  3. Set Startup type to Automatic
  4. Click OK

Many OpenVPN users report seeing the Initialization Sequence Completed with errors message on Windows 10.

It signals a problem with the DHCP client, which you can restart using the instructions above.

Flush DNS and reset Winsock

flush DNS servers in Windows 10
  1. Run Command Prompt as admin: press Ctrl + R, type cmd, hold Ctrl + Shift and press Enter
  2. Copy and paste the next lines (press Enter between each line)
ipconfig /flushdns

ipconfig /registerdns

ipconfig /release

ipconfig /renew

NETSH winsock reset catalog

NETSH int ipv4 reset reset.log

NETSH int ipv6 reset reset.log

exit

Restart your PC to apply the new changes.

The DNS cache and Winsock configuration are responsible for your computer connectivity.

If they’re not initialized properly, it could be the reason why OpenVPN isn’t working on Windows 10.

Conclusion

To recap, if your OpenVPN configuration fails to work on Windows 10, you can fix this issue by adding an exception to the firewall and whitelisting OpenVPN in your antivirus.

You can also reset the TAP adapter, check if the DHCP service is running, as well as flush your DNS and reset Winsock.

But we suggest opting for a trustworthy VPN like Private Internet Access (buy here). It has built-in support for the OpenVPN protocol, which means that you shouldn’t see any errors anymore.