Windows 11 VPN is Not Working: 10 Ways to Fix it

Get back to using the built-in VPN in Windows 11 with these methods

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  • Firewall blocks, outdated cached DNS data, and software incompatibility are all potential causes of Windows 11's VPN not working issues.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. However, some contacted us because 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.

Why is my VPN not working on Windows 11?

  • Third-party applications – Apps such as antivirus software are one of the main contributors to this issue. Unfortunately, a few third-party programs interfere with the VPN client, causing VPN connection problems. The VPN is, therefore, not functional on your Windows 11 computer.
  • Drivers – A second factor contributing to the VPN not functioning issue on Windows 11 systems is problematic network device drivers.
  • Windows Firewall – Windows Firewall blocks the VPN client. Sometimes, the Windows Firewall willfully blocks the VPN client network, causing your VPN connection to fail.

You’ve seen some potential causes of the VPN issue on a Windows 11 computer. In the following section, we’ll show you several tried-and-true fixes for the issue.

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 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. First, 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. Finally, 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. After that, you can select a Connect option for your VPN service under the Add VPN button.

Note that the solutions we will share are vital for many instances of this VPN problem, including Windows 11 IPsec, SSTP, Forticlient, PPTP, and L2TP VPN not working.

You will also find them helpful if your Touch VPN, Unifi VPN, or OpenVPN are not working on windows 11.

How can I fix Windows 11’s VPN if it’s 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. After that, 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 often more stable with a lower error rate. However, we recommend you try a service that provides the perfect balance regarding 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 35000 servers in over 70 countries around the globe.

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

You 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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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 by 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, and click the View network connections app.
  3. Right-click your VPN network adapter there to select Properties.
  4. Uncheck the selected Internet Protocol Version 6 checkbox.
    The Internet Protocol Version 6 option windows 11 vpn not working
  5. 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 the Use proxy server is enabled, press the Set up option.
    Set up button windows 11 vpn not working
  5. Then turn on 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, and select the Windows Defender Firewall search result.
  3. 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
  4. Select the Turn off Windows Defender Firewall radio buttons.
    The Turn off Windows Defender Firewall option windows 11 vpn not working
  5. 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. Press the Windows and R keyboard keys simultaneously to bring up the Run accessory.
  2. Enter this text in Run’s Open box and click OK:
  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 simultaneously, and select Run on the menu that pops up.
  2. Then type in this Run command and press Enter or click OK: appwiz.cpl
  3. Select your VPN software in the program list, then click Uninstall and any confirmation options to remove the VPN software.
  4. Restart Windows 11 when you’ve uninstalled the VPN software.
  5. After that, open the download page for your VPN software within a browser. Then, select to download the latest version from there.
  6. Reinstall the VPN software with its setup wizard.

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

10. Reset Windows 11

Note icon NOTE
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 + I keys.
  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.

How do I enable VPN in Windows 11?

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Click on the Network & Internet tab on the left pane, then select VPN from the right.
  3. On the right pane, click the Add VPN button.
    windows 11 vpn not working
  4. Input your VPN parameters and click on Save.
  5. Now click the connect button, and you are done.

What are the best VPN options for Windows 11?

There are quite a few VPN software packages fully compatible with Windows 11 we recommend. Of course, ExpressVPN is one we always love to recommend, but some equally good VPNs are compatible with Windows 11.

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 possible resolutions have fixed their VPNs not working on Windows 11.

You should change your protocol and renew your DNS, as described in our guide, and rest assured, 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 in the comments section below. You can also add any questions about fixing VPNs in Windows 11 there.

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