ProtonVPN not working? Fix it fast with these easy steps

Liviu Trinc
by Liviu Trinc
VPN Expert & Privacy Advocate
Liviu is a people-oriented person who puts the reader satisfaction above all else. For him, there's no greater professional accomplishment than being of service to others and seeing big results at the same time. His...
Affiliate Disclosure
  • ProtonVPN is a Swiss VPN service that maintains itself at the top when it comes to reviews - you can check that yourself if you do a quick research.
  • This VPN is very high-rated because, among the many features it provides (user-friendly client, no limit on data usage, etc.), user privacy and security are the most important.
  • Some users are very disappointed because they can't benefit at all or to the full extent from the many great features such a service offers.
  • If your ProtonVPN is not working, checking your internet connection, reinstalling the TAP driver, etc. are just a few of the solutions provided here; please continue reading for more.

ProtonVPN is a VPN service operated by the Switzerland-based company Proton Technologies AG which is also behind ProtonMail – a popular encrypted email service.

In 2014 a team of scientists who met at CERN (the European Center for Nuclear Research) decided to start the Proton company as a crowdfunded project in order to provide millions of people with much-needed free online privacy and security.

Whether you want to stream geo-blocked audio-video content, access certain restricted websites or you are merely concerned about your online privacy, anonymity, and security while surfing the web, ProtonVPN can be the deal for you.

However even though offering VPN services with no data limit, in some cases, ProtonVPN might not be working properly.

The information compiled here if you want to make sure your VPN client is properly configured on your system.

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What can you do if ProtonVPN is not working?

1. Check your internet connection

When you log in to the ProtonVPN Windows client with your credentials, you might get an error after clicking login.

This error is often caused when you can’t connect to their authentication server because of a poor or missing internet connection.

Therefore, you need to make sure you’re properly connected to the internet by checking your device network connection and eventually running a speed test.

  1. Go to Start and click on Settings.
  2. Click on Network & Internet.
  3. Go to Status and check your Network status.

Run an internet speed test

  1. Go to the Speedtest by Ookla website.
  2. Click on GO and wait for the test.
  3. Check whether your download and upload speed are within normal range.

2. Clear browser data

Your browser saves data from websites you have visited in order to enhance your browsing experience.

However, these data accumulate over time and can interfere with your VPN integration and secure channel connections.

If ProtonVPN is not working, you can try clearing your browsing data (history, cache and cookies) as shown in the example below with Google Chrome.

  1. Go to the menu and click on Settings.
  2. Click on Privacy and security, then go to Clear browsing data.
  3. Set the Time range to All time.
  4. Select Browsing historyCookies and other site data and Cached images and files.
  5. Click Clear data.

3. Reinstall the TAP driver

If you can log in to the ProtonVPN Windows client but when connecting to a server you notice that the connection fails, then your TAP adapter might be corrupted during usage or when you install it on your system.

Therefore, you need to uninstall it first and then install it again as shown below.

  1. Type Device Manager in the search bar and click on it.
  2. Scroll down to Network Adapters and right click on TAP-ProtonVPN Windows Adapter V9.
  3. Click Uninstall device.
  4. Install the driver again for your specific operating system:

4. Set the TAP adapter DNS addresses to automatic

If your TAP adapter is not configured properly, your ProtonVPN client cannot correctly establish a connection, so you need to make sure that the DNS addresses in the TAP adapter are set to automatic.

In order to do that, follow the steps below.

  1. Go to Control Panel.
  2. Click on Network & Internet.
  3. Click on Network and Sharing Center.
  4. Click on Change adapter settings.
  5. Right-click on the TAP-Windows Adapter V9 and select Properties.
  6. Uncheck IPv6, check IPv4 and click on it, then go to Properties.
  7. Assure yourself that both Obtain an IP address automatically and Obtain DNS server address automatically are checked.

5. Make sure you’re not exceeding your connection limit

In case you reach the maximum number of connected devices and/or too many recent connections (attempts) that were not properly terminated, your connection might fail.

Since different plans have a different number of allowed connected devices, you need to check if you don’t have other devices connected to ProtonVPN with your account.

Also, you can wait for about 5 minutes and then try reconnecting to a different server; the ProtonVPN servers periodically clean up old and inactive sessions.

If you had a connection that was not properly terminated (WiFi dropped or your device crashed unexpectedly), then the ProtonVPN client will detect such connections and close them after a period of time.

6. Reconfigure your DNS settings

Although a VPN connection is established, you may notice that ProtonVPN is not working properly when you try to access a certain URL and get no results.

Your DNS settings do not get automatically updated, so if your DNS is not properly configured, you have to manually reconfigure it by entering the commands below in CMD (command prompt).

Before proceeding, make also sure that you have the latest updated ProtonVPN client version on your device.

  1. Go to the search bar and type cmd.
  2. Righ click on it and then select Run as administrator.
  3. After you access the command prompt, enter these commands one by one:
    • ipconfig /release
    • ipconfig /flushdns
    • ipconfig /renew
    • netsh interface ipv4 reset
    • netsh interface ipv6 reset
  4. Restart your computer and try reconnecting again.

6. Contact ProtonVPN customer support

If none of the above solutions works for you, there’s also the option of contacting the ProtonVPN support team.

Please provide in your report any additional relevant details regarding your specific connection issues or error messages.

To help the support team isolate the problem, you should include your connection logs which can be found in the following pathways on your computer.

  • C:\Users\<Your_Windows_Username>\AppData\Local\ProtonVPN\logs
  • C​:\ProgramData\ProtonVPN\logs

Conclusion

We are perfectly aware of how important a VPN service can be for many and we’re also hopeful that you will be able to fix any remaining issues that make your ProtonVPN client not work properly.

As with any other software applications, it is not at all uncommon for users to encounter problems when using a VPN service.

After carefully following the above solutions, under normal circumstances you should be able to isolate any potential issues and find the root cause of malfunction.

If, by any chance, you still won’t find any way to get around your issue, contacting ProtonVPN customer support will be the last but not least option.

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