FIX: VPN password verification failed [NordVPN, Cisco]

Milan Stanojevic
by Milan Stanojevic
Deputy Editor
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  • A VPN authentication failed error will prevent you from logging in to your VPN client.
  • Luckily, there are quite a few easy fixes to that and we explore all of them here.
  • Whatever your software problem, we surely got it covered in the Software Troubleshooting page.
  • You'll find anything you want to know about virtual private network tools in our VPN Hub.
vpn authentication failed

Using a VPN is one of the best ways to protect your privacy online, however, many users received a VPN authentication failed message.

As a result, they are denied access to the VPN tool. However undesirable this situation is, tweaking a few settings should restore everything.

It’s worth mentioning that the same error was reported by the users of the following VPN clients:

The causes are, in most cases, similar and refer to either some antivirus settings, VPN settings, or even a corrupt VPN installation. Whatever the cause, take each solution presented below in turn.

Hopefully, you’ll get back access to your VPN tool before reaching the end of this article. So, let’s dig in.

How do I fix a failed VPN authentication process?

  1. Check your antivirus and firewall
  2. Disable your firewall
  3. Try switching to a different VPN client
  4. Check your login credentials
  5. Check the number of connections
  6. Make sure that your service is paid for
  7. Change your username and password
  8. Reinstall your VPN client
  9. Perform a Clean boot

1. Check your antivirus and firewall

fix VPN authentication

One of the most common causes when getting a VPN authentication failed message is your antivirus or firewall.

The antivirus sometimes blocks VPN clients, detecting them as false positives.

To fix the problem, it’s advised that you check your antivirus settings and make sure to whitelist your VPN client. Additionally, you can try disabling certain antivirus features or disable your antivirus altogether.

If that doesn’t solve the problem, try uninstalling your antivirus. If you’re on Windows 10, you’ll be protected by Windows Defender even if you remove your third-party antivirus, so there’s no need to worry about your safety.

Once you remove your antivirus, check if the problem is still there. If the issue doesn’t appear anymore, it means that your antivirus was interfering with it.

If you’re looking for a good antivirus that won’t interfere with your VPN client, perhaps you should consider using Bitdefender. The developer is continuously improving the detection and compatibility technologies to ensure the smoothest protection.

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2. Disable your firewall

According to users, sometimes VPN authentication failed message can appear if your firewall is blocking the VPN client. To fix this problem, users suggest to temporarily disable your firewall and check if that solves your problem.

To disable your third-party firewall, you’ll have to open its settings page and find the disable option.

However, Windows also has its own firewall, and you might need to disable it as well in order to troubleshoot this issue.

  1. Press Windows Key + S and enter firewall. Select Windows Firewall from the list of results.
    vpn authentication error firewall search
  2. Choose Turn Windows Firewall on or off from the left pane.
    vpn authentication error turn firewall on or off
  3. Select Turn off Windows Firewall (not recommended) for both Public network and Private network profiles. Now click the OK button to save changes.
    vpn authentication failed disable firewall

After doing that, your firewall will be completely disabled. Bear in mind that disabling the firewall isn’t advised since it can leave your PC at risk.

However, if disabling the firewall fixes the problem with the VPN, the issue is most likely related to your firewall settings, so you’ll need to adjust them accordingly.


3. Try switching to a different VPN client

switch to a different VPN

If other solutions couldn’t fix the VPN authentication failed error message, perhaps the problem is related to your VPN client. If that’s so, it’s advised to switch to a different VPN client.

There are many great VPN tools on the market, but if you want a reliable one to protect your online privacy, you should definitely try out Private Internet Access.

This is an extremely easy-to-use VPN, generously including 10 devices in the same subscription, as well as unlimited bandwidth.

The software is also among the most stable and reliable ones, with almost zero latency, and over 12,000 servers all across the globe.

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4. Check your login credentials

how do i fix VPN access error

If your firewall or VPN isn’t the problem, perhaps you should check your login credentials.

It’s possible that you mistyped your username or password, and that might be causing your problem. To fix the issue, be sure to double-check your login information and make sure that it’s completely correct.

Be sure to check for uppercase and lowercase letters since they can be the common problem for login issues.


5. Check the number of connections

VPN multiple connections

Many VPN clients allow you to have a limited number of VPN connections at a time, and if you exceed the number of these connections, you might get the VPN authentication failed message.

To fix the problem, be sure to check all the devices that are using your VPN.

If you have multiple PCs and phones using the same VPN service, try disabling the app on certain some of them and check if that solves your problem.


6. Make sure that your service is paid for

Make sure that your service is paid for

If you’re unable to use your VPN due to the VPN authentication failed error message, it’s possible that the problem is caused by unpaid service.

Sometimes, you might forget paying for the VPN service, and that can lead to this and many other problems. So log in to your VPN account and make sure that your service is paid for.

If everything is in order in terms of payment, you can proceed to the next solution.


7. Change your username and password

change username and password

If you’re having issues with your VPN credentials, try to change them. Even if you’re certain that these are correct, you can try changing them to refresh the connection.

It’s possible that there’s a glitch with your VPN client, but you might be able to fix it this way.


8. Reinstall your VPN client

Reinstall your VPN client

According to users, sometimes you can encounter a VPN authentication failed message simply because the VPN installation is corrupted. So the only workaround is to reinstall the client.

This is fairly simple to do, and the best way to do it is to use uninstaller software first.

IObit Uninstaller is a reliable tool that will help with completely removing all files and registry entries related to the application you’re trying to remove.

This will ensure that there aren’t any leftover files or registry entries that can interfere with future installations.

Once you remove your VPN client completely, install it again and check if the problem is still there.


9. Perform a Clean boot

  1. Press Windows Key + R to open the Run dialog. Enter msconfig and click OK or press Enter.
    msconfig run dialog vpn authentication error
  2. Navigate to the Services tab and check Hide all Microsoft services Now click the Disable all button to disable all these services.
    disable services vpn authentication error
  3. Head over to the Startup tab and click Open Task Manager.
  4. Right-click the first application on the list and choose Disable from the menu. Repeat this step for all startup applications on the list.
    disable applications vpn authentication error
  5. Once you disable all startup applications, go back to the System Configuration Now you just have to click Apply and OK to save changes and restart your PC.

A clean boot should stop any interference of other applications or processes upon the VPN. So once your PC restarts check if the problem is still there.

If the issue doesn’t reappear, it’s possible that one of the startup applications or services was causing it. To find the cause, you need to enable all disabled applications and services one by one until you manage to recreate the issue.

Bear in mind that you’ll need to restart your PC or at least log out and log back in to apply the changes. Once you find the problematic application or a service, disable it or remove it from your PC.

Although the VPN authentication failed error can be quite problematic, we hope that you managed to solve it by using some of our solutions.

We’d like to hear if this article helped. Feel free to drop us a line in the comments below.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in December 2018 and was completely revamped and updated in September 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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