Support Center / Troubleshooting / Troubleshooting VPN connection issues on Windows

Troubleshooting VPN connection issues on Windows

If you cannot connect to our VPN servers using our Windows app, you will see this troubleshooting message. 

As this message suggests, there are a number of possible reasons for the problem.

Your connection is blocked by your ISP or government

If you live in a restrictive country then your connection may be blocked by your government. To bypass this, you can try:

  • Using our alternative routing feature. This routes connections through third-party networks that may not be blocked.
  • Changing VPN protocol. Using OpenVPN in TCP mode can be an effective way to bypass censorship, although it will not defeat advanced deep packet inspection techniques.

    Smart protocol will automatically cycle through all available VPN protocols (OpenVPN UDP, OpenVPN TCP, and WireGuard® in Windows) to try to establish a connection.

Change VPN protocol in Windows

Please note that VPN connections from China are not possible using Proton VPN.   

There is a problem with your WiFi connection

Try getting closer to your router. If that fails, try resetting your router (turn it off, wait at least 10 seconds, then turn it on again). Restarting your PC can also fix many connection problems. 

There is a problem with your internet service provider (ISP)

This may be due to maintenance being performed in your area, poor reception (if using a  mobile connection), a technical problem, or a problem with your account. You can identify if the problem lies with your ISP by connecting over a different network (for example, using your phone as a mobile hotspot rather than WiFi).

If the issue lies with your ISP then you can wait to see if it resolves itself (maintenance is completed, the technical issue is fixed, etc.) or you can contact your ISP. 

Your antivirus software is interfering with the VPN connection

Antivirus software may incorrectly interpret the connection to our VPN server as suspicious. Temporarily disable or remove your virus software to help identify the problem. 

If the connection works when your antivirus software is removed or disabled, try adjusting its settings or adding an exclusion for the Proton VPN app.

A proxy or firewall is interfering with the VPN connection

System-wide proxy settings can be disabled in Windows by going to StartSettingsNetwork & InternetProxyManual proxy setupUse a proxy and toggling the switch Off.

Disable proxy in Windows

Note that many offices, schools, and similar, require the use of a proxy to access local network resources. If this is an issue, contact your network administrator. 

Proxies are sometimes configured inside your browser. Chrome-based browsers (including Edge Chromium and Brave) always use the Windows system settings (see above), but in Firefox, go to SettingsNetwork SettingsSettingsConfigure Proxy Access to the Internet and ensure either No proxy or Use system proxy settings (if no proxy is configured in the system settings – see above) is selected. 

Disable proxy in Firefox

Either Proton itself or the Proton VPN server you are trying to connect to is down

This may be due to routine server maintenance or a technical fault. You can check the status of Proton here, and the status of our server network here. If it’s an issue with an individual server, just connect to a server that is operational. 

If none of the above solutions work, please contact our support team for further assistance. 

Related Articles

How to set up Proton VPN on Windows

Solutions to general Proton VPN login problems 

How to increase VPN speeds

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  1. vanakkam

    i am unable to connect
    its always disconnecting
    help me

  2. ProtonVPN Team

    Hello. Please contact our customer support team as we need the connection logs to solve your issue.

  3. Judy

    why my VPN not work, please help !
    my account name 519588650

  4. ProtonVPN Team

    Hello Judy, for connection issues troubleshooting please contact our customer support team here –

  5. radenko

    I use your VPN (last version) for my PC with Win10-64 without problem. IN last time I sometime lost original internet about 1-3min. After I got internet your VPN can not reconnect and I lost VPN. How to solve above problem.

  6. ProtonVPN Team

    Hello Radenko, that is probably because the application tried to reconnect for some time and failed to do so, and since so, it stopped to reconnect since there was no internet and it could do nothing, so when internet came back, you had to manually reconnect to the VPN.

  7. Vic

    I have used Proton VPN for a while now. I have always had an intermittent problem with connecting, being told that killswitch is blocking connection, but now the problem is permanent and I haven’t been able to use Proton for a long time. Other VPNs work fine. Any help appreciated..

  8. ProtonVPN Team

    Hello Vic, support form would be the best place to drop a message that our tech team could investigate as we need more that this information:

  9. Ben

    I tried out Proton-VPN this weekend and at first glance it worked very well. Therefore first of all, I’d like to thank you, for this nice piece of software!

    Unfortunately i discovered some aspect, which I didn’t like at all:
    – It was not possible to use my regular ethernet-adapter anymore (Without Proton-VPN). OnlyWiFi still worked.
    After I uninstalled ProtonVPN, everything started working again as before.
    As I want to be able to decide wether I use WiFi, Ethernet or VPN, I don’t want to use ProtonVPN at the moment anymore…
    As I really liked the software (and especially the interface) I hope this might get fixed, or others don’t have this issues…
    Best wishes

  10. ProtonVPN Team

    Hello Ben, this sounds like some of the network adapters are interfering, the fact is, that when you uninstall our software, TAP driver, the most essential part of the software, is not uninstalled altogether. This is a strange application behavior and we would recommend contacting our support team for better investigation.

  11. Janlili

    verify that you have sufficient pivileges to install system services

    what happend?

  12. ProtonVPN Team

    Hello. Please contact our customer support team here, it seems there are some issues with your OS.

  13. V. Dal Monte

    Connection fails on Windows XP using OpenVPN client.
    I followed the guide on this page

  14. ProtonVPN Team

    Hello! We would suggest to contact our customer support team as we need the connection logs. Please do so here.

  15. michal kus

    it doesnt work on windows 10 without aplication what can i do ?

  16. ProtonVPN Team

    Hello. You can try this method, but its for paid customers only customers.

  17. Evan


  18. ProtonVPN Team

    Hello. Please contact our customer support team as we need the connection logs for the investigation.

  19. angsigh

    Hi,i am a free plan user. But these days i found i can not connect internet .Every time i try to connect it shows ”time out”. How to resolve it?Thank you.

  20. ProtonVPN Team

    Hello. Please contact our customer support team as we need the connection logs for the investigation.

  21. Jack Wilson

    My VPN seems connected, but I can’t access the internet. I thought maybe its a DNS issue, but even direct IP addresses don’t work. I did everything said in this page, still no luck.

  22. ProtonVPN Team

    Hello Jack, we would suggest contacting our customer support team for detailed investigation as there could be a few cases why this happens.

  23. alfie

    i have the free version of protonvpn 1.5.1 (hopefully current!) and whenever i choose netherlands free vpn, my google search page becomes arabic ? why would it do that only when using netherlands free vpn? surely it should be nordic google? maybe i dont have the latest version but the update button is greyed out in the taskbar app…!

  24. ProtonVPN Team

    Hello Alfie. The best site for checking the proper connection is What google shows could be inaccurate due to the data centers that they use to determine the IP origin and location. It could be wrong data written in their database which needs to be rectified.

  25. Yvan

    Sometimes my internet connection goes away for some minutes and then comes back. Meantime, the VPN displays something like “connection timed out” and, as I use kill switch, I’m not able to recover internet without reconnecting by myself the VPN by clicking. Why doesn’t the VPN reconnect automatically, even after the “connection timed out” message? I specify that it is really important for me the VPN could do so and that I also bought it for this particular use.
    Please tell me what solution i could implement.

  26. ProtonVPN Team

    Hello Yvan, since the internet is lost, the openvpn client cannot reach out for the server when trying to do so , so it gets an error which stops the whole process of it. When recovering internet, it does not scan if its up and running or not, since the process is already stopped and not running in the background, thus you need to manually “tell” the client that you can reconnect now, the internet is here. Currently we do not offer a feature that will reconnect you after the internet has been recovered from a loss.

  27. Charles

    Hello there, I am having a problem connecting ProtonVPN. I have been trying all the countries but non of then is connected, it trying to connect but at the end the result is say your not protected. How can you help me with this. Here is my username. ( CHARLES1313 )

  28. ProtonVPN Team

    Hello Charles. I would suggest contacting with our support team since it seems that we need your connection logs.

  29. Landon

    I try to connect but i either doesn’t or says maximum connection limit reached

  30. ProtonVPN Team

    Hello Landon, please relogin in to the application and try connecting again. If that does not help, please contact our customer support team

  31. Jo

    I get some “TimeOutPolicy” error when I try to connect.
    What’s that? No explanations and no tips how to solve it. Weird.

  32. ProtonVPN Team

    Hello, please contact our customer support team for detailed instructions on what to do to help us out identify the issue.

  33. Saeed

    Hi, I’m using ProtonVPN v.1.3.6 and Windows 10. When I click on Login button It shows an error “An error occurred while sending the request” . I reinstall TAP driver and also make IP and DNS automatic but still doesn’t work.

  34. ProtonVPN Team

    Hello Saeed, please contact our customer support team with all of the possible information that you can gather about your device and services that you use and we will do our best to help you out!

  35. designer

    the delegate executed asynchronously trough timeoutpolicy did not complete within the time out

  36. ProtonVPN Team

    Hello, please contact our customer support team and we will provide the detailed instruction on what to do to help and identify the cause of this issue:

  37. Jin

    Hello. I’m a plus user.
    There was an option to select the profile to connect automatically. Where is it?
    I selected the option to connect automatically, but I want to select a custom profile.
    Thank you

  38. ProtonVPN Team

    Hello Jin, the next application update will have more features than before, so stay tuned and your desired auto-connect to profiles will be back!

  39. bob

    Hi. Using Windows 7 paid basic customer. Protonvpn connects fine when pc reboots but does not auto-connect after waking up from sleeping. I have auto-connect enabled in settings.

  40. ProtonVPN Team

    Hello Bob. Windows acts differently in comparison to mac and it kills all of the processes that are running to save power when putting your computer to sleep. Does it happen when locking and unlocking the windows? Windows Key + L ?

  41. Michael

    I live in Turkey. I can successfully login to ProtonVPN but can’t access any website. There wasn’t any problem a week ago.

  42. ProtonVPN Team

    Hello Michael, its most likely that your ISP started blocking our services, as a prevention for free internet.

  43. ldBrd

    can pronton vpn connect through shadowsocks?
    use proxifier and shadowsocks to set up a global proxy, login proton vpn client,but get a error “an error ocurred while sending the request”
    any solution?

  44. ProtonVPN Team

    This might be because you are not able to reach our API while connected trough those proxies. We haven`t tested that yet with shadowsocks , but we will do so to find out if it works or does not by the nature.

  45. Cory

    Connections keep timing out. Will not connect to any servers. I have uninstalled, removed from network adapters, and reinstalled, with no luck. Please help.

  46. ProtonVPN Team

    Hello Cory,
    Could you please contact our support team with all information that you can provide.

  47. Eric

    Having the same problems, have you had any luck yet?

  48. Ahmet

    hello I was using VPNs over Turkey in proton-proton but today I can not connect to the VPN.

  49. ProtonVPN Team

    Hello Ahmet,
    Its most likely that Turkey blocked access to our VPN services. Please contact our support team to see if we can do anything about it.

  50. Andrew

    I have paid for the 2 users, all countries and high speed which is 48 Eur. I did that for more than five hours now. When I want to connect they still ask me to upgrade. Kindly solve the problem for me. Thanks.

  51. ProtonVPN Team

    Hello Andrew,
    Could you please try to log out and log back in to the application, finding log out button on the top left of the app, when clicked on 3 horizontal lines.
    If still no luck, please do not hesitate to contact our support team here :

  52. Frank

    I restart my computer yesterday and it was several weeks since last. Then ProtonVPN start, a error message occurs:
    Invalid refresh token
    The latest log filein “C​:\ProgramData\ProtonVPN\logs\*”:
    2018-03-16 15:57:00.1661 DEBUG Session changed to SessionLogoff
    2018-03-16 15:57:36.2437 INFO = Booting ProtonVPN Service version: os: Microsoft Windows NT 6.1.7601 Service Pack 1 64 bit =
    2018-03-16 15:57:36.2617 INFO Initializing error reporter
    2018-03-16 15:57:36.3317 DEBUG No previous crashes found
    2018-03-16 15:57:42.7141 DEBUG Session changed to SessionLogon
    In C:\Users\\AppData\Local\ProtonVPN\logs\*
    2018-03-16 00:50:39.4090 INFO Servers update requested
    2018-03-16 01:50:39.5319 INFO Servers update requested
    2018-03-16 02:50:39.6818 INFO Servers update requested
    2018-03-16 03:50:39.8217 INFO Servers update requested
    2018-03-16 04:50:39.8397 INFO Servers update requested
    2018-03-16 05:50:39.8436 INFO Servers update requested
    2018-03-16 06:50:39.8785 INFO Servers update requested
    2018-03-16 07:50:39.8984 INFO Servers update requested
    2018-03-16 08:50:40.0423 INFO Servers update requested
    2018-03-16 09:50:40.2022 INFO Servers update requested
    2018-03-16 10:50:40.3321 INFO Servers update requested
    2018-03-16 11:50:40.4600 INFO Servers update requested
    2018-03-16 12:50:40.6350 INFO Servers update requested
    2018-03-16 13:50:40.7509 INFO Servers update requested
    2018-03-16 14:50:40.8768 INFO Servers update requested
    2018-03-16 15:50:40.9447 INFO Servers update requested
    2018-03-16 15:57:50.6812 INFO = Booting ProtonVPN version: 1.3.2 os: Microsoft Windows NT 6.1.7601 Service Pack 1 64 bit =
    2018-03-16 15:57:51.9860 INFO Initializing error reporter
    2018-03-16 15:57:52.7130 DEBUG Updating user info
    2018-03-16 19:27:44.0300 INFO = Booting ProtonVPN version: 1.3.2 os: Microsoft Windows NT 6.1.7601 Service Pack 1 64 bit =
    2018-03-16 19:27:44.2190 INFO Initializing error reporter
    2018-03-16 19:27:45.2080 DEBUG Updating user info

  53. ProtonVPN Team

    Hello Frank,
    Please contact our support team with all of the information you provided here and we`ll do our best to help you out.

  54. Zavier

    I’m using protovpn v1.3.3 with the free trial of the full version and i like it, and when i first used it it worked, but now when i try to connect to a server it gets stuck at assigning ip, then eventually times out. I have restarted my pc and tried uninstalling and reinstalling protovpn but it dosent seem to help

  55. ProtonVPN Team

    Hello Zavier.
    Please uninstall our application, then go to Device manager on your pc, – network adapters – Uninstall TAP-ProtonVPN and then restart your computer.
    After doing so, install ProtonVPN application again and test the connection. If you still face the same issue, we recommend contacting our support team via our support form.

  56. Peter

    ProtonVPN is working perfectly on my Raspberry Pi. BUT no luck with my Win 7 32 Professional on my netbook. The App crashes upon authentication with a bluescreen. Uninstall, delete appdata, delete TUN-TAP, reistall to no avail. Same again.

  57. ProtonVPN Team

    Hello Peter,
    Could you please contact our support team with more detailed information about your system?

  58. David Lu

    Log in successfully but cannot connect any server, always “time out”. Only on PC, it works on my mobile well.

  59. ProtonVPN Team

    Hello David,
    Could you please Uninstall our ProtonVPN application, then go to device manager on windows – locate network adapters – then expand it and uninstall ProtonVPN TAP adapter?
    After doing so, reinstall the application and try to connect. If no luck , please contact our support :

  60. Juliet

    Noticing strange activity while connected to ProtonVPN lately. Whenever I’m connected, even if there is no user activity, I see that there is an enormous amount of traffic/data being downloaded. Disconnecting and reconnecting solves this. Is this a bug? Why is this happening?

  61. ProtonVPN Team

    Hello Juliet,
    Could you please contact us using our support form with more detailed information as this sounds interesting :

  62. Ossian

    I recently just installed the VPN but am having no luck connecting to it – I am using the free version. Can you offer any help?

  63. ProtonVPN Team

    Hello Ossian,

    Please contact our support with all of the additional information that you can include using our support form :

  64. Mathew

    I’m having a problem recently with ProtonVPN. My problem basically I can log in no problem but I cannot connecting to any server.
    I tried all the solutions suggested above but non of them worked with me
    When I hit connect button I get the loading line moving from the left to the right and at the end I end up with a message says “Connecting failed”

  65. ProtonVPN

    Hello Mathew, there might be a few causes for the issue that you are experiencing, however, we cannot check that if we don’t have your username. Please open a ticket through the following link for our customer support specialists, so we can adequately assist you to resolve the issue:

  66. MD

    When I start app in Win7 x64 I see ‘Invalid refresh token’

  67. ProtonVPN

    Hello, we apologize for the inconvenience. Please completely re-install the application in order to get a fresh&clean version, and the issue should be resolved. In the process, please follow these steps:

    -Completely uninstall the ProtonVPN application 
    -(IMPORTANT) Open up the %LOCALAPPDATA% or C:\Users\Your_Username\AppData\Local and delete the ProtonVPN folder found there.
    -Restart your device

    After you’ve done that, download&install a new fresh version of the Windows application through the following link:

  68. Leo

    i still get Bluesreen by establish VPN Tunnel by Windows VPN Software under Win7 pro 64 Bit. Thats happen again and again after checking username and password. The Error message are like “IRQ are not equal or less” or like this. They are no other problems with the pc. From my opinion it sounds like ethernet driver. Depend on this, I installed the newest one. The Bluescreen still come by establish VPN Tunnel.

  69. ProtonVPN Team

    Hey Leo, your issue might require some extensive troubleshooting, so it would be best if you could contact us via and our technicians will help you out!

  70. wanna love it

    This is not ready for prime time, unreliable for me. I’ve installed/uninstalled twice. VPN on windows works for awhile and then suddenly can’t connect or log on. Troubleshooting didn’t work for me. Android also unreliable. Sticking with PIA for another year.

  71. rockyloon

    I’ve done everything that was explained but my username and password will not work; I did click on the option to reset password, but it gave me a reset code, and I cannot use that as a temporary password. I tried it in the password field along with my username, and I keep getting the error “Incorrect Login Credentials”. How do I login?

  72. ProtonVPN Team

    Hey, at first please check whether you are able to log in to ProtonVPN website. Also, please keep in mind that both your username and password are case-sensitive.

  73. Marco

    I have followed the instructions for fixing the login problems for the ProtonVPN windows client, but it failed. I even switched between multiple adapters and connected to different wifis. Are there any other possible solutions to this? Thanks in advance

  74. ProtonVPN

    Hi Marco, please drop us a line via the support form and we will contact you to trouble shoot your case in more detail. Thanks for your support!

  75. Stephen

    Hi. I have been running ProtonVPN (free version) since its launch and everything has been working fine. Today I upgraded to ProtonVPN as recommended and ever since then ever time I launch the VPN I get an error message saying “failure to resolve free server IP address”. What am I doing wrong please?

  76. ProtonVPN

    Please try these steps to see if the issue is resolved:

  77. Jon Carriel

    I must be doing something wrong, but I can’t guess what. I have long been using Windows 7 on my desktop PC with the TOR Browser and ProtonMail. When I couldn’t get into, e.g., my bank account, I added Kaspersky Safe Banking. Not sure what it does, but at least I get there. When ProtonVPN came along, I added that (the free version), but it would frequently drop its connection, which was tiresome. And I don’t understand what it does for me; I still need everything else. When today’s upgrade came in, I took it, but it wiped out TOR and its Firefox Browser, so I undid it by restoring yesterday’s system. Do I really need ProtonVPN?

  78. Richard

    Jon, I went through exact same issue, i.e. win7, Proton, & TOR. This worked for me:
    1. Uninstall and remove all instances of Proton (Program Files & User)
    2. Uninstall & remove ProtonTAP
    3. I had a manual config/certificate setup that often worked more steadily than winNativeApp, I removed manual config, along with coinciding manual certificate installed
    4. I use(d) OpenVPN GUI along with another VPN provider whose been in VPN game for 20 years, over 3,000 servers, 200 countries, and all that good stuff. The ONLY way I got ProtonVPN to work consistently maintaining quick speed, few to no drops (over past 2 months) was to uninstall and remove OpenVPN GUI and all associated files, configs, etc. and do the same for my extremely fast VPN with top notch security intrusion prevention, etc. THAT WAS NOT EASY. However, my utmost concern is security for my business and my clients. That said, I respect & trust ProtonTechnologies (reference the email we all received circa 2 months ago regarding a large-scale hack attack Proton endured. Did the large scale Proton intrusion attempts severely effect us as users in negative way? Nope. Proton preemptively segmented servers used, and continued to encrypt user data in transit in addition to maintaining strong encryption on data at rest. Most want super speeder connection speed understandably, but personally I’m more than happy to sacrifice a few minutes a day in return for impeccable security. Proton most likely would’ve slid under the radar avoiding customer scrutiny had they decided not to email users. After all, it didn’t appear to impact us users much. All that said, ProtonVPN informed customers ASAP knowing they stood literally nothing at all to gain. They could only lose, and potentially lose very big with a mass customer exodus. Despite the unfortunate situation, Proton took the road less traveled and were honest, ethical, and up-front throughout. That day for the first time I actually gained some trust in a tech company. Never thought that would happen.
    Directly after Proton’s transparent email blast, Took deep look at OpenVPN GUI & other VPN Provider who supports UDP, TCP, IPSec, L2TP, IKEv2, OpenVPN(tcp & udp).

    OpenVPN release 2.4.6 I believe, offers a daemon legacy protocol, OpenVPN’s newer Interactive Service Protocol (which allows non-admin users), & openvpnserv2 to be ran as admin only & much more secure. My other VPN Provider stayed in-line with OpenVPN sustaining legacy, interactive, and admin OpenVPN protocols. BIG PROBLEM AROSE:
    Now NONE of my VPN Clients could resolve at all, no connection, nothing. TOR actually would resolve. However, when I returned to my websites and other ip destinations using TOR vs my typical OpenVPN, IPSec/L2TP, or IKEv2, every site was either blocking my incoming request bc I was using TOR or the sites that answered my incoming request made me jump through 1000 hoops to establish who I was, verify myself, and continually reverify ultimately forcing me to reset most passwords for said sites. It was a pain. After clearing all OpenVPN remnants and strictly utilizing ProtonVPN, I have not had a single issue since. Killswitch dropped internet once (for about 3 seconds) and quickly reconnected back good to go and secure!!

    DO NOT FORGET THAT EMAIL. I repeat, do not forget it. You may not see written correspondence like that again.

    Everybody has their own agenda.
    Rarely do we get to see a company’s true agenda. It’s often masked with layers of mush & telling us what they think we want to hear. Proton Technologies showed their hand and that was potentially sacrificing themselves for the betterment of users. Thank you Proton!!

    And if anybody knows the technicalities of why OpenVPN seems to get crissed-crossed at times when you use VPN on the reg that’d be awesome. Hope this helps! Thanks!

  79. Spencer

    I have no problem connecting to a standard vpn or any of the p2p or tor vpn’s but the secure core I cannot connect to. my connection either times out or fails everytime. My subscription is specifically so I can use every type of vpn connection, especially secure core and now I can’t. How can I approach this?

  80. ProtonVPN

    Please submit a support request here and we will look into this:

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