In this article, we look at how to install and use the Proton VPN app for Windows 7+.
How to install Proton VPN for Windows
By default, Windows 10 and 11 only allow apps to be installed from the Microsoft Store. To install the Proton VPN app, you’ll need to allow apps to be installed from other sources. To do this (if you haven’t done so already), open Settings → Apps & features → Choose where to get apps and select Anywhere from the dropdown menu.
1. Visit to our Proton VPN for Windows page and click Download Proton VPN button.
2. Once the EXE file has downloaded, double-click on it open and click Yes when asked to allow the app to make changes to your device.
3. This will open the Proton VPN installation wizard. Choose the language you would like to use from the dropdown menu and click Next.
4. Click Next.
5. This screen shows the default folder location that Proton VPN will install to. Click Next to continue, or if you prefer to install to to a different folder, click Browse and specify your preferred location.
6. Click Install.
7. Wait for the app to install onto your system.
8. Once the installation is completed, click Finish to exit the setup wizard.
9. The app will now open and you can sign in to your Proton account.
Sign in to Proton VPN
Open Proton VPN from your taskbar or the desktop icon (if you created one). Log in using the username and password you created when you signed up and click and click Login.
If you haven’t created a Proton VPN account yet, you can do so using the Create Account link in the bottom left of the app, or click here. Note that if you have signed -up for any Proton service (such as Proton Mail or Proton Drive), you can use the same login credentials to sign into Proton VPN.
To immediately connect to a VPN server, click the Quick Connect button. This connects you to the fastest VPN server for your location.
You are now connected to Proton VPN.
Connect to a specific country
To connect to the fastest server in the country of your choice, hover your mouse pointer over the country → Connect.
To connect to a specific server in a country, click V next to the country of your choice to see a list of servers in that country. Hover the mouse pointer over your server of choice → Connect.
Some servers have special uses. These are clearly labelled:
- Tor servers: Onion icon
- Steaming servers: Play button icon
- P2P servers: Double arrow icon
Advanced connection options
From the Countries tab, you can configure a number of advanced connection options:
If you regularly use the same custom connection settings, you can save them as VPN connection profiles to make it easy to connect using those settings. To create and manage connection profiles, click on the Profiles tab.
The Proton VPN Windows app menu
To access the Proton VPN app menu, click the hamburger button (≡). Once the menu is opened, you’ll be able to access the following functions:
- About — information about the app, including version, the last time the app was updated, and the changelog
- Account — view the account you’re logged in to, the type of account you have, the Proton VPN plan you have, and manage your account
- Profiles — view and ed connection profiles that you have created
- Settings — change general, connection, or advanced settings
- Help — opens Proton VPN’s support center
- Report an issue — opens an issue report form
- Logout — logs you out of your Proton VPN account
- Exit — closes the Proton VPN app
Proton VPN Settings
In the General tab, you can:
- Select the language you would like to use with Proton VPN
- Choose to start Proton VPN minimized to the Windows System tray or Taskbar.
- Choose to start the app when Windows first boots up
- Choose to connect the VPN when the app starts
- Turn Notifications on or off
- Enable early access to get the latest pre-release version of Proton VPN
In the Connection tab, you can:
- Change VPN protocols or use Smart Protocol.
- Disable VPN Accelerator (it’s enabled by default, as there is no real advantage to doing this)
- Enable auto reconection if the app disconnects unexpectedly.
- Enable moderate NAT
- Configure custom DNS servers
In the Advanced tab, you can:
- Enable or disable port forwading
- Choose your OpenVPN network driver (TAP or TUN adapter)
- Disable or enable alternative routing to bypass firewalls or network issues
- Switch IPv6 leak protection on or off
- Toggle hardware acceleration on or off (you may want to switch this off if you get screen glitches)
- Turn on Split tunneling and choose which apps are included or excluded from the VPN tunnel
Note: In the Advanced tab, there is also an option for DNS leak protection, which is permanently switched on.