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Support Center / Download and setup / How to use ProtonVPN on iOS

How to use ProtonVPN on iOS

While we continue to develop ProtonVPN for iOS, users can connect to ProtonVPN’s secure servers on iPhones or iPads  via the ‘OpenVPN Connect’ app.

‘OpenVPN Connect’ is a user friendly and open source VPN application that will allow you to connect to our secure VPN servers using the OpenVPN protocol.

Shortcut: To download the ProtonVPN OpenVPN config log in to account.protonvpn.com and go to the Download section on the left.

To use ProtonVPN on iOS please follow these steps:

1. Download the app

Download and install the Open VPN Connect app by visiting the following this link to the AppleStore from your iOS device.

2. Download configuration files 

Currently, you can download configuration files onto your device using two methods; via iTunes or directly from the iOS device. We describe both below.

  1. Download the configuration file directly on the iOS device
    1. Go to account.protonvpn.com on your iOS device and log in using your account details.
    2. Click on the menu icon in the top left. A new menu drawer will appear on the left.
    3. Select the Downloads section
    4. In the “OpenVPN Configurations” section, select the platform (iOS) and Protocol (per default UDP is fine)
    5. Chose the connection which you would like and press the download button on the right.
    6. Start the ‘OpenVPN Connect app’
      ios secure vpn
    7. Press the + icon to add servers
      ios vpn servers
    8. When asked for a username and password, please enter your OpenVPN username and password.
      If you don’t know your OpenVPN credentials, check out how to find and set the OpenVPN username and password. Note this is not your account username or password
      openvpn connect - ios vpn setup
  2. Upload VPN configuration files via iTunes:
    1. Connect your iOS device to your PC/Mac and launch iTunes
    2. Select your iOS device (iPad or iPhone)
      ios vpn setup
    3. Download the ProtonVPN configuration files on your PC/Mac
      1. Go to account.protonvpn.com and log in with your account details
      2. In the left menu, click downloads.
      3. In the “OpenVPN Configurations” section, select the platform (iOS) and Protocol (per default UDP is fine)
      4. Chose the connection which you would like and press the download button on the right.
      5. On your computer, drag and drop the downloaded files into the section titled ‘OpenVPN documents’
        protonvpn ios guide
    4. Disconnect your device from iTunes and open the OpenVPN Connect app
      ios secure vpn
    5. The welcome screen will now list all the configuration files and servers that you have added in step (iii). Press the + icon to add profiles one by one
      add vpn servers
    6. When asked for a username and password, please enter your OpenVPN username and password..
      If you don’t know your OpenVPN credentials, check out how to find and set the OpenVPN username and password. Note this is not your account username or password
      openvpn connect - ios vpn setup

 

  1.  Connect to ProtonVPN
    1. Tap on the server you wish to connect to and toggle the button that says ‘Disconnected’ to connect
      how to connect to protonvpn on ios
    2. If you see a message asking ‘ Allow OpenVPN to enable VPN connection?’ press Yes
    3. Once a connection is established, a VPN icon will appear in the status bar
      ios free vpn
      To add more connections
      , simply repeat step 6 in the previous section with different configuration files for your choice of server or country. Secure Core servers are marked as xx-xx-01.protonvpn.com.xxxxxxx.ovpn.

 

  1. To disconnect ProtonVPNSelect the connection you are currently using and switch the toggle off
    how to disconnect ios vpn

 

Additional resources

Download ProtonVPN *.ovpn config files

 

Related articles
How to setup ProtonVPN on Android

Does ProtonVPN store user information?

How to install ProtonVPN on Mac?

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62 comments

  1. Martin.

    There’s no way I’m doing all that. That’s the reason I stopped using Windows in the first place.

  2. ProtonVPN

    A dedicated iOS app is in the works and more information will be available in q4. stay tuned.

  3. Danish

    Works flawlessly!! I installed in MACs, iOSs and no issues at all. The document which shows how to configure is very simple and accurate. I will be setting up VPN in DD-WRT. I need to get DD-WRT first.

  4. Jack

    Why did you roll out this option? It’s a throwback to computer cards and Fortran.

  5. ProtonVPN

    A dedicated ProtonVPN iOS application is in development. We decided to give people access in the meantime via this solution as this way users will be able to gain access earlier and some users generally prefer existing OpenVPN clients independent of UI/UX

  6. Francois

    Following the article “How to use ProtonVPN on iOS”, at Step 2, I can’t download the configuration file. I get the message: invalid address. Thanks for your help.

  7. ProtonVPN

    Hi Francois, please drop us a line via the support form and attach a screenshot from your device. This will help us troubleshoot your situation. Thanks

  8. Xavier

    I love ProtonMail, but I have to say that your VPN solutions in Mac or iPhone are just terrible. I’ve paid for the most expensive plan with the maximum confidence in your products and i’ve been unable to connect from the very beginning. Your temporal solution is absolutely poor, very difficult to implement, and it seems it’s going to be for a while until you develop the ios app or mac’s dmg.
    I am very disappointed. Even more after paying 288$. Next time I will be much, much more skeptical.

  9. ProtonVPN

    The dedicated MacOS and iOS apps are our highest priority right now and should be released before the end of this year.

  10. Northlight

    Same on Linux nothing works and there is serious dns leak. The solution offered are not solution and the support offered is slow been two weeks now and I am yet to be able to use the service I am paying for.

    My only reason for chosing protonpvn from the quality email service. This is nothing like it.

  11. ProtonVPN

    Thanks for your support. Does the DNS leak persist for you even with the proposed method via CLI? Since this is an issue with NM, we can only hope that the package will be fixed in future distros. Until then, the CLI method should work.

    If this issue persists for you, please drop us a line via the support form.

  12. mario

    The methods given are not feasible! Record video tutorial, step by step!

  13. David T

    An easier way to import the .ovpn config files it to use Airdrop from your Mac to iOS device, then select OpenVPN as the app to open them.

  14. Cpalma

    The vpn works well macs but it is hopelessly complicated on iOS. Can’t even download the configuration files bc it says that I need a newer browser which is obviously a error since I have the latest version. Using iTunes is not a viable when I’m using a different iOS device

  15. Reece

    Hi all,

    I’ll preface this by saying I am on iOS and don’t have easy access to an iTunes machine –

    For whatever reason when I attempt to download the secure core config files. Or country configs. Or single service configs… I get a “newer browser is required” message.

    I’m on safari on iOS 10. I’ve also tried iOS versions of Firefox chrome opera and dolphin to no avail….

    CUrrently my paid ProtonVPN Plus plan is unuseablE. Any ideas?

  16. use signal to send as an attachment

  17. rinkrat

    I’m on iOS 10.3.2 (current latest) and I’m trying to download a single configuration file using Safari, and I keep getting “download requires a new browser.” How can I get these files onto my phone? I don’t use iTunes. Thanks!

  18. ProtonVPN

    hi, we’re looking into this issue at the moment. In the meantime you can try sending it to yourself via email and downloading the attachment on your device

  19. JImbo

    Any update on this problem? I am seeing the same thing when I try to set up the VPN on my ipad: “download requires a newer browser”. I have tried using both Safari and Firefox. Thanks.

  20. ProtonVPN

    This problem should now be fixed.

  21. Newdownload

    I had the same problem initially, running latest iOS. You can still make it work,
    Try this: download the whole config file at the bottom of the page ( it won’t give the “newer browser req’d” error. When the browser asks what to do with the file, IOS will let you open it with an unzip app. Then extract the individual .opn files using the unzip app into the openvpn app.
    Now the config info is in the openvpn app and you can follow the rest of the instructions for setup.

  22. Richard Hulsebos

    Hello, I’m having trouble keeping up a vpn connection in my iphone it stays for a while but always disconnects and it doesnt reconnect once th connections is dropped. I’ve tryed different servers in different country’s all the sasme the software does not seem able to reconnect after a connection loss.
    The problem seems to say in the openVPN software recommented here. Does anyone have a sugestion for better software?

  23. Newdownload

    I had this problem at first also.
    Try this: in ios go to Settings – openvpn. (Scroll way down in the settings app, not openvpn app). Click “seamless tunnel”, connect through “any network”, click “reconnect on wake up” , and connection timeout to “none”.

  24. Norbert E. Fuchs

    How to uninstall the ProtonVPN configuration files from my iOS device? I uninstalled The OpenVPN application, but the configuration files remain.

  25. Norbert E. Fuchs

    Thanks, I resolved the problem myself.

  26. User

    How often, if at all, are the configuration files updated or changed? Is there a revision indicator? How do I know if I am using the most current version

  27. JP

    I use very long, complex passwords (and have also been using the equally long user name set by default by ProtonVPN) for Open VPN (3rd party) credentials. This naturally necessitates copying and pasting in iOS from my password manager app (1Password) to the OpenVPN Connect app. However, after I paste one half of the credentials (it doesn’t matter if I do the user name or the password first), go back to copy the other half from 1Password, and then return to the OpenVPN Connect app, the field that was filled first goes blank after a brief moment. The net effect is that you cannot copy and paste credentials because they do not “stick,” and you are forced to manually type them in, something that is not reasonable and only encourages the use of short, weak passwords. This may solely be an issue for the developers of the OpenVPN app (and I sent a similar email to them), but I wanted to post it here as well in case others have observed this.

  28. ProtonVPN

    we’re working on the native app and once public that will not have this problem anymore, thanks for the patience

  29. Richard Hulsebos

    What time frame are we talking about for the app to be (pre)released or ready for testing ? Thanxs

  30. Whorfin

    After entering user name in OpenVPN, turn Connect (the switch under “disconnected”) on, then quickly off. Now you may switch to your password manager and when you return, user should stay set.

  31. JP

    That worked! Thanks!

  32. Paul

    hihi. cant reach tor

  33. hass

    Can I connect via IKEv2 on iOS?

  34. ProtonVPN

    currently ProtonVPN only implements OpenVPN. We’re looking at additional protocols for future expansion

  35. Marc

    Opening an attachment via openvpn is not an option how can we sort this out

  36. Enrique

    How to choose the fastest server when connecting from Argentina?

  37. Enrique

    Choosing server

  38. Dieter

    I always get a “Authentication failed” when I try to connect via iOS/iPhone while in the same network the connection works via PC without any problem… Any idea what I could do to fix this?

  39. ProtonVPN

    please make sure you are using the openvpn credentials on iOS, and not the account credentials. If issue persists, drop us a line via protonvpn.com/support-form

  40. Eddie

    Hello. Can you tell me how to keep the VPN active when the iphone is resting or sleeping? Tankx!

  41. ywms

    I’m following the instructions, but don’t know which profile to select if I’m only using ProtonVPN’s Free plan. The Free plan is limited to just 3 countries. What are the 3 countries and which .ovpn files should I select?

    I’ve tried selecting ch-08.protonvpn.com.udp1194.ovpn, but the app just shows a “Connection timeout” error.

  42. ProtonVPN

    please see here protonvpn.com/vpn-servers for more info on the servers. Also the configurations which you can download from the account.protonvpn.com dashboard will reflect your access privileges

  43. timic

    when downloading configuration files there is no option to import to Open Vpn 🙁 look like iPhone latest update blocked it 10.3.3

  44. R

    I paid, but the files will not download to my ProtonMail per the second method. No email is generated. I don’t have a desktop to use iTunes…just my phone and iPad, so this is not working.

  45. ProtonVPN

    try visitng account.protonvpn.com directly from your iPad. After logging in, go to the download section in the menu and find the config generator to download the desired configuration files.

  46. David

    Hi, I tried this suggestion, however every time I click on the download link it tells me:
    “Download requires a newer browser. Learn more.” I followed the “Learn more” link but it did not help. I am not using a private window on Safari. I also tried it with Chrome for iOS and same behavior. Any other suggestions for getting this to install directly on my iOS device?

  47. ProtonVPN

    we’re investigating this issue right now. Please drop us a line via the support form and we can send you the necessary config files via email. Thanks

  48. Olivier Da Lage

    Il download a zip file but cannot open it on my iOS device

  49. ProtonVPN

    try going to account.protonvpn.com, login and go to the download section in the menu. there you can download individual config files directly

  50. Larryh

    Do you have port 443 TCP profiles? A few hotspot firewalls I have met do not allow UDP traffic through.

  51. ProtonVPN

    yes we do, after launch we’ll have config generators ready for use. Until then, you can always drop us a line via the support form

  52. SILVER

    Good morning,

    Is that possible to use PROTONVPN on VPN ON DEMAND mode for iOS?

    Thank you

  53. Jerry W

    For clarification, do we add *all* the .ovpn files if we’re using OpenVPN?

  54. ProtonVPN

    It’s enough to import the ones you plan on using. E.g. if you only need connections to Switzerland, consider just adding a handful of the CH servers. We’ll also have country level configs soon

  55. Gakes

    Awesome! Any word on the country-level logins yet?

  56. ProtonVPN

    we’ll have country level logins with the release, stay tuned

  57. Elemir

    When I tap the email attachment in the protonmail, the option ‘Copy to OpenVPN’ doesn’t appear in the list.

  58. Scott

    Has anyone answered this?

  59. Rich

    I ran into the same issue trying to use the zip file. I sent the individual files to myself, and selected one of them, I was able to get OpenVPN to appear. I sent all of the files to myself, but could have probably got away with just the ones for my country.

  60. Rom

    I don’t seem to be able to save an OpenVPN password. I’m on the VPN tab. I see a username for OpenVPN. There is no OpenVPN password visible. I click on Change OpenVPN. An empty blank opens. I click on Show to confirm it really is empty. It’s empty. I type and save a password. Sometimes I’m prompted to give my email password, sometimes not. The save is confirmed. But then back on the general VPN settings screen, there is no indication of a password there. Maybe it’s hidden? I try to connect, on iPhone, with the new password, and I get Authentication Failed, quickly. Since the VPN settings page seems to indicate there is no OpenVPN password, I try connecting with no password, left bank. This does slightly better in that it takes about a minute before I get Connection Timeout. But it also fails.

  61. ProtonVPN

    Hi Rom, its correct behavior that the OpenVPN password, once set, will not be shown anymore as we deem it sensitive information.
    The “Sometimes I’m prompted to give my email password, sometimes not.” is because each time you authenticate with your password, we allow a 10 min window, where you are set as ‘authenticated’.
    Are you using both the OpenVPN login as well as password?
    If the issue persists after confirming there are no typos in either, please drop our support team a line via the support form at https://protonvpn.com/support-form

  62. Borgmann

    I have a similar problem. If I enter into OpenVPN-App my USERID and password and then on Connection go, then disappear USERID and password and the connection does not stand. But if I restart the app, the data is there again, until I go back to Connection and the fields remain empty.
    “Save” I have switched on and a USERID and a password created in the mail client. .

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