How to make Windows 10/11 automatically connect to VPN

by Elena Constantinescu
Elena Constantinescu
Elena Constantinescu
VPN Expert & Privacy Advocate
Elena started writing professionally in 2010 and hasn't stopped exploring the tech world since. With a firm grasp of software reviewing and content editing, she is always trying... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • If you're a privacy-concerned user, you can make Windows 10 automatically connect to a VPN as soon as you turn on your PC. It's also ideal for quickly connecting to your workplace through VPN.
  • Although the Windows 10 built-in provider doesn't have an option to auto-connect on system boot, you can make this happen by adding a BAT file to the Windows 10 startup folder. Find out how.
  • Visit our Windows 10 area to learn how to fully take advantage of Microsoft's operating system.
  • If you're having any VPN problems, bookmark our VPN Troubleshooting Hub.
how to make Windows 10 automatically connect to VPN

If you’re wondering how to make Windows 10 automatically connect to VPN, we’ve got you covered. You just have to create a simple BAT file with your VPN connection details and add it to the Windows autostart sequence.

This way, the VPN connection you created using the Windows 10 built-in VPN provider will autostart every time you switch on your computer, just like Skype, Steam, or an antivirus.

However, if you have a VPN desktop client installed, things become significantly easier since you just have to find and activate the autostart and auto-connect options in the UI.

Follow our easy instructions below to find out how to make Windows 10 automatically connect to VPN using a manual VPN connection as well as a VPN desktop client.

We’re also showing you how to stop your VPN from auto-connecting if you need to turn off this feature temporarily or permanently.

How do I make Windows 10 automatically connect to VPN?

Create a VPN connection

add a VPN connection in Windows 10

  1. Right-click the Start button and go to Network Connections.
  2. Select VPN and press Add a VPN connection.
  3. Add the required VPN connection details.
  4. Copy the Connection name, User name, and Password.
  5. Click Save.

Trouble with the VPN details? Our guide shows how to create a VPN connection the right way.

Create a BAT file

create a BAT file to autoconnect to VPN

  1. Open the Windows 10 Notepad (press Ctrl + R, type notepad, press Enter).
  2. Paste the following code:c:windowssystem32rasdial.exe YourConnectionName YourUsername YourPassword
  3. Replace the connection details with what you copied in the previous stage.
  4. Save the Notepad file and exit.
  5. Change the file extension of the Notepad file from TXT to BAT.

If you can’t see the format of your files, find out how to show file extensions in Windows 10.

Add the BAT file to Windows 10 autostart

add the VPN BAT file to shell startup

  1. Press Ctrl + R, type shell:startup, and press Enter.
  2. Copy the BAT file to this location.
  3. Restart your PC.

From this point on, Windows 10 will automatically connect to the VPN at every system startup. Command Prompt briefly opens a console window and shows how it verifies the username and password, registers your PC over the network, and connects to the VPN.

If you need to switch VPN servers, you only have to edit the VPN connection details in Windows 10. The changes will get automatically picked up by the BAT file.

However, if you also modify the VPN connection name, username, or password, then you will need to manually update the BAT file, too. Otherwise, Windows 10 won’t be able to automatically connect to the VPN.

How do I make Windows 10 automatically connect to a VPN client?

edit PIA general preferences

  1. Sign up for a Private Internet Access subscription.
  2. Download and install PIA on your PC.
  3. In the systray, click the PIA icon.
  4. Open Settings and go to the General tab.
  5. Enable Launch on System Startup and Connect on Launch.
  6. Restart your PC.

After making these changes, PIA will auto-launch every time you turn your PC and connect to the last used VPN server. As you can see, it’s a more convenient option than having to create a BAT file and add it to the Windows 10 startup.

Furthermore, it’s easier to change VPN servers in PIA in order for Windows 10 to automatically connect to the new VPN server, instead of editing the VPN connection info in the OS and manually updating the BAT file every time you do this.

How do I stop my VPN from automatically connecting?

disable VPN autoconnect in Windows 10

  1. Right-click the Windows taskbar and go to Task Manager.
  2. Go to the Startup tab.
  3. Right-click the VPN connection’s BAT file and click Disable.

If you change your mind and want to re-enable Windows 10 to automatically connect to the VPN, follow the same steps as above and click Enable on the disabled entry. To make a permanent change, head over to the startup folder using Ctrl+R and shell:startup to delete the BAT file.

If you used a VPN desktop client like PIA, simply find and disable the autostart and auto-connect options in the user interface. You can also use Task Manager to prevent PIA from autostarting at every Windows startup (same steps as disabling the BAT file).

Having issues with disabling the VPN? Find out how to correctly switch it off on Windows 10.

Why use Private Internet Access

PIA is the best VPN for Windows 10

Developed by Kape Technologies, Private Internet Access (PIA) is the best VPN for Windows 10, thanks to high-speed VPN servers, military-grade encryption, and its user-friendly interface. It’s the reason why we used it in our example above.

Windows 10 has limited native support for VPN protocols, some of which are considered obsolete (PPTP, L2TP). On the other hand, PIA supports OpenVPN and WireGuard, which are safer and more versatile protocols.

Moreover, PIA comes with a bunch of security features that Windows 10 lacks, including a kill switch that cuts off Internet access in case the VPN connection drops, to protect you from IP leaks.

What else you should know about PIA:

  • Quickly connect to more than 3,300 VPN servers in 48 countries
  • Increase your security using private DNS
  • Protects up to 10 devices at the same time
  • No traffic logs, no IP or DNS leaks
  • 24/7 live chat support
  • 30-days money-back guarantee (no free trial)
Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access

Make Windows 10 automatically connect to PIA's VPN servers fast and easy.

Buy it now

In conclusion, it’s a good idea to make Windows 10 automatically connect to a VPN as soon as you turn on your PC. This way, you can immediately connect to another computer over the Internet, like accessing your work PC from home.

However, using a premium VPN solution like PIA is significantly easier and unlocks more possibilities. For example, you can use PIA to access blocked websites, defeat government censorship, host game servers for you and your friends, and unlock Netflix catalogs.

Plus, PIA is among the best VPNs for BBC iPlayer.

Your connection is not secure - websites you visit can find out your details:

  • Your IP
  • Your IP Address:

Companies can sell this information, alongside your location and internet provider name, and profit from it by serving targeted ads or monitoring your data usage.

Use a VPN to protect your privacy and secure your connection.

We recommend Private Internet Access, a VPN with a no-log policy, open source code, ad blocking and much more; now 79% off.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Yes, you can be tracked over a VPN, but it depends on how careful you are about your Internet activities. It also depends on the VPN service (if it installs backdoors, leaks your IP or DNS, and so on).

  • No, your ISP can’t see your browsing history with a VPN unless it uses an advanced technology called Deep Packet Inspection. However, your employer can see everything you do online if you remotely connect to your office from home using the VPN connection details given by your company.

  • If you’re having VPN connection issues on Windows 10, try flushing your DNS, adding an exception in the Windows, and other possible solutions.

  • Find out how to create a VPN connection in Windows 10 and easily turn it on.

This article covers:Topics: