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Support Center / Download and setup / What is a kill switch?

What is a kill switch?

A kill switch is a security feature that protects your IP address in case you unexpectedly lose the connection to a ProtonVPN server. 

In case the connection is interrupted, a kill switch blocks all external network traffic to and from your device until the connection is automatically re-established to the same VPN server. 

This means that even though you can’t use the Internet until ProtonVPN reconnects, your IP address and DNS queries are safe from being exposed.  

A kill switch is available to all ProtonVPN users on macOS, Windows, Linux, and iOS/iPadOS (beta). Newer versions of Android now have built-in kill switch feature, as explained below. 

Please note that our regular kill switch feature can’t protect you if you intentionally disconnect from a VPN server. However, the feature does protect you while switching servers with ProtonVPN.

Our Windows and Linux apps now also feature a permanent kill switch. In addition to protecting you from accidental VPN disconnections, this prevents you from accidentally using the internet without the VPN turned on, and it will persist when you shut down and restart your device. You will not be able to connect to the internet if you manually disconnect the VPN without also disabling Permanent Kill Switch.

Learn more about our permanent kill switch feature

How do I enable the kill switch?

Windows

Open the ProtonVPN app and go to →  Countries tab → Kill Switch icon. You can choose between Kill Switch On and Permanent Kill Switch.

Windows kill switch

You can also turn either Kill Switch Off from here.

macOS

 Open the ProtonVPN app and go to →  Countries tab → Kill Switch icon → Kill Swich On.

macOS kill switch

You can also turn either Kill Switch Off from here.

Linux app

Open the ProtonVPN app and go to →  Countries tab → Kill Switch icon. You can choose between Kill Switch On and Permanent Kill Switch.

Linux kill switch and permanent kill switch

You can also turn either Kill Switch Off from here.

Linux CLI

Open a terminal window. To enable the regular kill switch, run:

protonvpn-cli ks --on

Or to enable the permanent kill switch, run:

protonvpn-cli ks --permanent

You disable either kill switch with the following command:

protonvpn-cli ks --off

Android

If you are an Android user, follow these steps to enable Block connections without VPN:

1. Open the ProtonVPN app and go to SettingsAlways-On VPN & Kill Switch → Open Android Settings.


2. Tap the gear icon next to ProtonVPN.

Select ProtonVPN in the Android settings

3. Enable Always-on VPN and then Block connections without VPN.

Enable Always-on VPN and then Block connections without VPN

iOS / iPadOS (beta)

Open the ProtonVPN app and go to Settings Security OptionsKill Switch to toggle the feature on or off.

How to enable Kill switch in iOS

Because of the way iOS works, it is not possible to access devices on your local network when the kill switch is enabled.

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