Wi-Fi disconnected when a VPN connection is made [Fix]

Ivan Jenic
by Ivan Jenic
Troubleshooting Expert
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  • A VPN can be configured individually on a single device, or installed on a router for a network-wide VPN.
  • If WiFi disconnects after VPN connection is made, make sure everything is updated: Windows, VPN clients, settings, drivers.
  • See the fix VPN errors page for general guidance on common issues that users reported.
  • For similar articles, make sure you visit the VPN Guides section to help you maximize the use of your virtual private network.

How often have you been faced with this rather strange scenario, that of the wireless internet‘s getting disconnected each time a virtual private network connection is established? It is a weird scenario, to say the least, not to mention downright annoying as well.

However, it can be just as easy to remedy the situation. Just follow the steps mentioned below.

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  1. Re-install VPN software
  2. Re-configure VPN connection
  3. Delete VPN connection and then reconnect
  4. Update Windows

1. Re-install VPN software

Almost all VPN connections come with their own custom software. Those are available to download from the company website. Just download it to your device and follow on-screen instructions during the installation process.

The other option for you will be to use the VPN client that comes integrated with Windows 10. Here is how you proceed:

  • Launch Settings (Click on Start > Settings or simply type Settings in the Cortana search box.)
  • Select Network & Internet > VPN.
  • In the VPN page, click on Add a VPN connection shown at the top.
  • Fill out the details on the page that appears. However, select Windows (built-in) for the VPN provider drop-down menu. This assigns VPN Type as Automatic and Type of sign-in info to User name and password.
  • Fill out Connection name and Server name and address details. This will be availed from the VPN provider.
  • Scroll down the screen to enter your User name and Password in the slots provided.
  • Click on Save and close Setting.

Click on the Wi-Fi symbol in the taskbar system tray. The VPN connection you just created should show here. You are now ready to go.

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2. Re-configure VPN connection

Oftentimes, letting VPN connection to use the remote network’s default gateway leads to this issue. This is so because the above setting can cancel the default gateway setting as has been specified in your TCP/IP setting. Here are the steps:

  • Click on Start > Settings.
  • Click on Network and Internet
  • You are led to the Network status Here, click on Change adapter options.
  • You get to see the Network Connections window that lists out all LAN, Wi-Fi or VPN connection you have.
  • Right-click on VPN connection and select Properties.
  • In the Properties window, select Networking tab > Internet Protocol Version 4 followed by Properties
  • Select Advanced. Here the Use default gateway on remote network should be unchecked.
  • Close all intervening windows.

If you’re having trouble opening the Setting app, take a look at this article to solve the issue.

Check to see if the issue has been resolved. Another way to enable or disable the default gateway for the VPN is via PowerShell commands. Here are the steps:

  • Type Powershell in the Cortana search box in the task bar.
  • Select Windows Powershell desktop app from the search results.
  • Alternatively, you can also right-click on the Start button and select Windows Powershell (admin) from the list of options provided.

In the Powershell command prompt, type the following commands:

  1. Get-VpnConnection
  2. Set-VpnConnection -Name “myVPN” -SplitTunneling $True.

Close the Powershell window and check if the issue has been resolved.

If Windows PowerShell stops working, fix it quickly with some simple steps from this awesome guide.

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3. Delete VPN connection followed by adding it again

There might be the issue of VPN software getting corrupted. To rule out such possibilities, it would be best to delete the VPN network connection followed by reinstalling the same again. Here are the steps:

  • Launch Device Manager. For this type Device Manager in the taskbar search box followed by selecting the option from the search results given.
  • In the Device Manager window, expand Network Adapters.
  • Locate the VPN adapter you want to delete and right-click on the same.
  • From the shortcut menu that appears, select Uninstall device.
  • This will begin the uninstallation process though there will be a confirmatory box before that. You will be asked if you consent to Delete the driver software for this device. Make sure it is selected.
  • Click on Uninstall to let the process begin.

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Once it is done, you will need to re-install the VPN software again.


4. Update Windows

Check to see if you have the latest Windows version. This will ensure you will have all the latest patch software installed, which should take care of the VPN issue as well. Here are the steps if you aren’t already aware of it.

Click Start > Settings > Update and Security.

Click on Check for updates to see if you have any updates pending. Let the system install any update that might be available and then your problem should have been resolved.

So there you have it, all that you need to do when faced with the rather strange scenario of losing Wi-Fi connection when connecting to a VPN.

As always, if you have any more questions, leave them in the comments section below.

FAQ: Learn more about VPN and Wi-fi connections

  • What happens if I disconnect my wifi and have a VPN on?

If you disconnect from Wifi and there are no other ways to have an Internet connection, then your connection to the VPN will be cut of as well.

  • Does a VPN affect WiFi?

Connecting to a good VPN service will lower your general Internet speeds by 5% at the most. So your WiFi connection itself will not be affected if other people use it without a VPN.

  • Why the Internet is not working when the VPN is connected?

Check your DNS servers configuration or reconfigure VPN because these are the most common issues users face in this situation.

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

Editor's Note: This article was originally published in April 2018 and was revamped and updated in July 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.