OpenVPN not working in Windows 10? Here’s what to do

Matthew Adams
by Matthew Adams
Windows & Software Expert
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OpenVPN is an open-source VPN client that you can utilize with a wide variety of VPN providers. So long as your VPN provider supports the OpenVPN TCP or UDP protocol, you can set up a OpenVPN connection.

You can run the OpenVPN client with scripts and configure connections via its settings files.

However, OpenVPN can still run into some snags. These are a few resolutions that might fix OpenVPN connections in Windows 10.

How can I fix OpenVPN launch issues in Windows 10?

  1. Switch Off the Windows Firewall
  2. Disable Third-Party Anti-Virus Software
  3. Restart the TAP Adapter
  4. Reinstall and Update the TAP-Windows Driver
  5. Check the DHCP Service is Running
  6. Flush the DNS
  7. Reset Winsock

1. Switch Off the Windows Firewall

Firewalls and VPNs don’t always mix together so well. The Windows Firewall might block your OpenVPN connection if you haven’t configured outgoing ports.

The best way to check if that’s the case is to switch the Windows Firewall off. This is how you can switch the firewall off in Windows 10:

  • Click Turn Windows Defender Firewall on or off to open the settings shown in the shot directly below.

turn on windows firewall

  • Select both the Turn off Windows Defender Firewall options.
  • Click the OK button.

You want to check if your firewall is blocking certain ports? Follow the simple steps from this guide to find out.

2. Disable Third-Party Anti-Virus Software

Also note that third-party antivirus software can hamper VPNs with their own firewalls. So switching third-party anti-virus utilities off might also help fix a OpenVPN connection.

You can temporarily disable some antivirus software by selecting disable settings on the their context menus. Or you can also remove the software from the Windows startup as follows:

  • Right-click the Windows taskbar and select Task Manager on the context menu that opens.
  • Click the Startup tab on the Task Manager window.

  • Select your anti-virus software and press the Disable button.
  • Then restart your laptop or desktop.

If you want to know how to add or remove startup apps on Windows 10, check out this simple guide. Also, if you can’t open Task Manager in Windows 10, don’t worry. We’ve got the right solution for you.

If you want to change your antivirus with a better one that works well with VPNs, check out this list with our best picks.

3. Restart the TAP Adapter

Adding the OpenVPN software to Windows also adds a TAP-Windows adapter. One OpenVPN error message states, “All TAP-Windows adapters on this system are currently in use.

If you’re getting that error message, restarting the TAP adapter might fix OpenVPN. You can restart the TAP adapter as follows:

  • Press the Windows key + R keyboard shortcut to open the Run accessory.
  • Input ‘Control Panel’ in Run, and press the OK button.
  • Click Network and Sharing Center to open the Control Panel settings shown directly below.

  • Click Change adapter settings to open your connections as below.

  • Next, right-click TAP-Windows Adapter and select Disable.
  • Right-click TAP-Windows Adapter and select Enable to restart the adapter.

You can’t open Control Panel? Take a look at this step-by-step guide to find a solution.

4. Reinstall and Update the TAP-Windows Driver

If restarting the adapter doesn’t do the trick, try reinstalling the TAP-Windows driver instead. To do that, first open Device Manager to uninstall the adapter by pressing the Windows key + X hotkey.

  • Select Device Manager to open the window in the shot directly below.

typing lag/slow keyboard response in Windows 10

  • Double-click Network adapters to expand the network adapters list.
  • Right-click TAP-Windows Adapter and select Uninstall device.

  • Now open this OpenVPN page in your browser.
  • Scroll to the bottom of that page and click tap-windows-9.21.2.exe to download the latest TAP driver (NDIS 6) for OpenVPN. The NDIS 5 driver is for Windows XP.

  • Right-click the TAP-Windows exe and select Run as administrator. 
  • Restart Windows after installing the driver.

Nothing happens when you click on Run as administrator? Don’t worry, we’ve got the right fix for you.

Did you know that the majority of Windows 10 users have outdated drivers? Be a step ahead using this guide.

5. Check the DHCP Service is Running

Initialization Sequence Completed with errors” is another error message that might open for some OpenVPN users. If that error message opens for you, check that the DHCP service is running.

You can kick-start the DHCP service as follows:

  • Enter ‘services.msc’ in Run, and click the OK button.
  • Scroll down to DHCP Client shown in the snapshot below.

  • Double-click DHCP Client to open its properties window.

  • Select Automatic from the Startup type drop-down menu.
  • Then press the Start service button.
  • If the DHCP Client is already running, press the Stop and then Start buttons to restart it.
  • Click the Apply and OK buttons.

DHCP server keeps stopping? Fix it right now by following the simple steps from this detailed guide.

6. Flush the DNS

Various connection errors can be due to a corrupted DNS cache. Thus, flushing the DNS cache could be a potential fix for OpenVPN. This is how you can flush the DNS in Windows 10.

  • Open the Win + X menu with the Windows key + X hotkey.
  • Click Command Prompt (Admin) on the Win + X menu.
  • Enter the following commands separately in the Prompt’s window:

netsh interface ip delete arpcache

ipconfig /flushdns

ipconfig /renew

  • Close the Command Prompt, and then restart Windows.

If you’re having trouble accessing Command Prompt as an admin, then you better take a closer look at this guide.

7. Reset Winsock

Resetting corrupted TCP/IP Winsock settings might also fix OpenVPN error messages. To do that, enter ‘Command Prompt’ in Cortana’s search box.

  • Right-click Command Prompt and select Run as administrator to open it.
  • Then input ‘netsh int ip reset logfile.txt’ in the Prompt, and press the Enter key.

  • Enter netsh winsock reset catalog, and press the Return button.
  • Restart your desktop or laptop.

Some of those resolutions might fix OpenVPN client initialization errors in Windows 10. Check out this article for some more general tips for fixing VPN connections.

If you have any other suggestions or questions, feel free to leave them in the comments section below and we’ll be sure to check them out.


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