Windows 11 VPN not working? Here’s how to fix it

by Matthew Adams
Matthew Adams
Matthew Adams
Windows & Software Expert
Matthew is a freelancer who has produced a variety of articles on various topics related to technology. His main focus is the Windows OS and all the things... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • Firewall blocks, outdated cached DNS data, and software incompatibility are all potential causes for Windows 11's VPN not working issues.
  • Some users have confirmed that reinstalling network adapter devices makes a difference.
  • Turning firewalls off can also feasibly resolve this annoying problem.

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More and more users are upgrading to Windows 11. Some contacted us about the fact that they can’t connect with their VPNs after they’ve upgraded to Microsoft’s latest desktop platform.

They have also reported Windows 11 Always on VPN not working issues, along with the likes of NordVPN, Kaspersky, and other VPN services.

When VPNs don’t work, users’ PCs can’t connect with them. If your VPN isn’t working in Windows 11, the potential resolutions below might help.

How can I manually add and connect to VPNs in Windows 11?

When VPN apps don’t work as anticipated on Windows 11, you can instead try manually connecting with a VPN service via Settings. To do so, you’ll need to add a VPN connection within Settings. This is how you can manually add a VPN in Windows 11:

  1. Press the Start button to select the pinned Settings app.
  2. Then select the Network and Internet tab on the left side of Settings.
  3. Click the VPN navigation option.
    VPN navigation option windows 11 vpn not working
  4. Press the Add VPN button.
    The Add VPN option windows 11 vpn not working
  5. Fill out the VPN connection window with all the required details.
    The Add a VPN connection window windows 11 vpn not working
  6. Press the Save button.
  7. Thereafter, you can select a Connect option for your VPN service under the Add VPN button.

What can I do if Windows 11’s VPN is not working?

1. Update Windows 11

  1. Open Settings from the Start menu.
  2. Click the Windows Update tab on the left of Settings.
  3. Select the Check for updates option.
    The Check for updates option windows 11 vpn not working
  4. Then download and install any Windows 11 patch updates available to you.

2. Reinstall WAN miniport network adapters

  1. First, right-click the Start taskbar button and select Device Manager.
  2. Double-click the Network adapters category to expand it.
  3. Right-click WAN Miniport (IP) and select the Uninstall device option.
    The Uninstall device option windows 11 vpn not working
  4. Select Uninstall on the confirmation prompt.
    The Uninstall option windows 11 vpn not working
  5. Repeat the previous two steps for the WAN Miniport (PPTP) and WAN Miniport(IPv6) devices.
  6. Thereafter, click the Action menu. Select the Scan for hardware changes option there to reinstall the adapters.
  7. Click Power and Restart on the Start menu.

3. Try a dedicated VPN

A third-party VPN is oftentimes more stable with a lower error rate. We recommend you try a service that provides the perfect balance when it comes to feature set and server coverage such as Private Internet Access.

It implements powerful AES-256 encryption, secure ports, and additional security features such as a kill switch and anti-tracking options.

PIA is amongst the VPNs with the best server coverage, with over 35, 000 servers in over 70 countries around the globe.

The latest version of this VPN is fully compatible with Windows 11 and it is very easy to configure.

You just have to set up an account, install the application and then connect to a private server at the press of a button.

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Get Private Internet Access

4. Flush the DNS

  1. Click the magnifying glass icon on the taskbar.
    The magnifying glass button windows 11 vpn not working
  2. To find the Command Prompt, enter the cmd keyword in the search box.
  3. Next, click the Command Prompt’s Run as administrator option.
    Run as administrator option windows 11 vpn not working
  4. Input these separate commands pressing Enter after each:ipconfig /release
    ipconfig /flushdns
    ipconfig /renew
    netsh int ip reset
    netsh winsock reset
  5. Close the Command Prompt.
  6. Select Power, then Restart Start menu options.

5. Disable Internet Protocol Version 6

  1. Bring up the search utility with its handy Windows key + S keyboard shortcut.
  2. Enter network connections within the search text box.
  3. Click View network connections to open the window that you can see below:
    Network Connections window windows 11 vpn not working
  4. Right-click your VPN network adapter there to select Properties.
  5. Uncheck the selected Internet Protocol Version 6 checkbox.
    The Internet Protocol Version 6 option windows 11 vpn not working
  6. Click OK to apply the changes.

6. Disable Proxy settings

  1. Open the Settings window.
  2. Click the Network and internet tab.
  3. Select the Proxy option.
    The Proxy option windows 11 vpn not working
  4. If Use proxy server is enabled, press the Set up option.
    Set up button windows 11 vpn not working
  5. Then turn the Use proxy server option.
    The Use a proxy server setting windows 11 vpn not working
  6. Press the Save button.

7. Turn off firewalls

  1. Press the search tools’ Windows key + S hotkey.
  2. Enter the keyword firewall within the search tool.
  3. Select the Windows Defender Firewall search result.
  4. Then click the Turn Windows Defender Firewall on or off navigation option on the left side of the Control Panel.
    The Turn Windows Defender Firewall on or off option windows 11 vpn not working
  5. Select the Turn off Windows Defender Firewall radio buttons.
    The Turn off Windows Defender Firewall option windows 11 vpn not working
  6. Click OK to apply the settings and exit the window.

If you’ve installed third-party antivirus or firewall software, disable it via its context menu. Right-click your antivirus utility’s system tray icon to open its context menu, which will probably include a disable setting. Select to disable your antivirus utility for a few hours before connecting to a VPN server.

Should this resolution resolve the issue, change Windows Defender Firewall’s settings for your VPN software. To do so, click the Allow an app through the firewall option.

Make sure the Public and Private checkboxes for your VPN software are selected. Then you can turn the firewall back on.

8. Set up an exception for UDP

  1. To bring up the Run accessory, press the Windows and R keyboard keys at the same time.
  2. Enter this text in Run’s Open box and click OK: regedit
  3. Then open this key within the Registry Editor window: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\PolicyAgent
  4. Next, right-click the PolicyAgent key to select New, then DWORD (32-bit).
    The DWORD option windows 11 vpn not working
  5. Input AssumeUDPEncapsulationContextOnSendRule for the DWORD’s title.
    The Edit DWORD window windows 11 vpn not working
  6. Double-click the AssumeUDPEncapsulationContextOnSendRule DWORD you’ve just set up.
  7. Input 2 within the Value data box to replace the current value.
  8. Then press the OK button to confirm.

9. Reinstall your VPN software

  1. Press the Windows and X keys at the same time, and select Run on the menu that pops up.
  2. Then type in this Run command and press Enter: appwiz.cpl
  3. Select your VPN software in the program list.
  4. Click Uninstall and any confirmation options to remove the VPN software.
    Network Connections window windows 11 vpn not working
  5. Restart Windows 11 when you’ve uninstalled the VPN software.
  6. Thereafter, open the download page for your VPN software within a browser. Select to download the latest version from there.
  7. Reinstall the VPN software with its setup wizard.

Alternatively, you can uninstall VPN software with third-party uninstaller tools. IOBit Uninstaller is a good freeware option with which you can both uninstall your VPN software and erase any residual files or registry keys it leaves behind.

10. Reset Windows 11

Note icon
You’ll need to reinstall your VPN software and all other apps that didn’t come preinstalled with your desktop or laptop after resetting Windows 11. Therefore, resetting the platform is suggested as a last resort resolution.

  1. Launch Settings by pressing the Windows and I key simultaneously.
  2. Click the Recovery navigation option on the System tab.
    Recovery navigation option windows 11 vpn not working
  3. Press the Reset PC button for the Reset this PC tool.
    The Reset PC button windows 11 vpn not working
  4. Select Keep my files within the Reset this PC window.
  5. Next, choose the Cloud download or Local reinstall option however you prefer.
    Keep my files option windows 11 vpn not working
  6. Select the Next option, and click Reset to confirm.

What are the best VPN options for Windows 11?

There are quite a few VPN software packages fully compatible with Windows 11 we recommend. Our 3 best VPN options fully compatible with Windows 11 guide provides further details for those VPNs.

However, before considering other options, try fixing your current VPN not working in Windows 11 with the potential resolutions above. Users have confirmed that some of those potential resolutions have fixed their VPNs not working on Windows 11.

Even more, learn what to do if the VPN isn’t connecting on your PC. You should change your protocol and renew your DNS, as described in our guide, and rest assured that these aren’t the only tips to apply.

There could also be more ways to fix VPNs not working in Windows 11. If you fixed your VPN not working in Windows 11 with a different method, let us know about it in the comments section below. You can also add any questions you have about fixing VPNs in Windows 11 there.

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