VPN won’t connect? Try these solutions

Anton P. | October 28, 2022

The go-to solutions when a VPN won’t connect are updating VPN software or checking if your router works. Other common fixes include changing the VPN server, inspecting open ports, or disabling firewalls.

If everything fails and the VPN not working issue persists, it might be time to contact customer support. However, you should know how to troubleshoot your connectivity issues properly.

So, let’s see what to do if your VPN won’t connect and the potential reasons behind it. Also, we will explain the most efficient way to report problems and resolve them as soon as possible.

Private Christmas & a safe New Year!


TL;DR – For the best connection with Atlas VPN, update the app, check routers, try other servers, or contact customer support. We offer 750 servers in more than 40 locations to support your fast browsing.

Why can’t you connect to VPN? 

VPN connecting problems can start as soon as you open the VPN app. However, it could also happen later, like receiving an error message when joining a server. 

Usually, error messages can signal the solution, like checking network settings. But even such recommendations could be clearer as you might not know what you should change. 

In general, the most common reasons why a VPN won’t connect are the following. Also, follow certain rules when picking a VPN for computer or other devices.

Using an outdated VPN client 

A VPN won’t connect if you do not have the latest version installed. You might be able to delay the update, and the app might function normally for a while.

However, the VPN provider may halt usage for outdated versions. That could be the decision to protect users from vulnerabilities or performance issues. 


The VPN not working due to outdated versions should get fixed as soon as you update your software. Usually, VPN clients will display a pop-up message announcing a new update is available. However, you can also check it manually. 

Here is how you should update your software manually if you can’t connect to Atlas VPN: 


Open Atlas VPN settings and click the CHECK FOR UPDATE button. Install it if available, and try connecting to VPN servers again. 

Mac and iOS: 

Atlas VPN should get updated automatically as by default settings in the App Store. If you have disabled this option, check the App Store for new updates.


Visit Atlas VPN entry on Google Play Store to see if you have missed any updates and install the available ones. 

Problems with selected VPN tunneling protocols 

Changing VPN protocols can also help resolve issues when a VPN won’t connect properly. Atlas VPN offers IPSec/IKEv2 and WireGuard® protocols that users can change via app settings. 


Head to Atlas VPN settings on the apps that you cannot properly establish connections. If you usually use IPSec/IKEv2, switch to WireGuard®, and vice versa. Then, try connecting to the preferred VPN servers. 

WireGuard® is a registered trademark of Jason A. Donenfeld.

Issues with specific VPN servers 

You might not be able to join specific VPN servers. The issue might relate to server downtime and too many users connecting to the same server. If the latter occurs, the server will likely block any further connections. 


Open the server list and try a few other locations. If the VPN connects successfully to other servers, the issue is with the previous server you tried to join. 

Pick servers closer to your location for performance issues like slow internet speed when connected to a VPN. 

Firewalls or antivirus tools blocking VPN 

Firewalls could accidentally deem VPN connections suspicious and halt them. So, you should create an exception for your VPN through firewall settings. Then, the VPN traffic should flow without any issues. However, a VPN might get blocked under other conditions, too.


These instructions should help add a VPN exception in a Windows firewall if the VPN won’t connect. 

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Open Windows Defender Security Center
  3. Navigate to the Virus & Threat protection settings. 
  4. Click on Add an exclusion
  5. Add your VPN client software. 

You can find clear-cut guidelines for how to add Atlas VPN as an exception in antiviruses like Avast, BitDefender, AVG, Avira, Kaspersky, and Norton

Necessary ports are closed

Adding exclusions to your firewall might not always work. Thus, a VPN won’t connect even if you add the client. You can also try checking whether the necessary ports are open. 


You need to open the following outbound ports to let the VPN traffic flow properly: 

  • UDP Port Number 500.
  • UDP Port Number 4500.
  • UDP Port Number 51820.

You might also find information on necessary ports in VPN documentation. Since VPN services use different tunneling protocols, different ports must be open. 

Issues with your internet connection

The reason why won’t your VPN connect can relate to issues with your internet connection. In that case, you might not be able to connect to a VPN server at all. If the internet is unstable, the VPN might disconnect suddenly and repeatedly. 

In this case, normal online activities (without a VPN) should also be inconsistent, slower, and sometimes unfunctional. 


If internet connectivity issues are the reason why VPN won’t connect, try these tips: 

  • Turn off mobile or Wi-Fi connection, depending on which you wish to use. 
  • Restart your router. The best option is unplugging the power cable for about a minute. You can also try resetting or rebooting routers
  • Disconnect from the current network and connect again. 
  • Try running Windows Network Diagnostics to see potential reasons for the loss of connectivity. 
  • Contact your Internet Service Provider if the problems persist. 

Weird problems with the VPN application 

You might fix the VPN not connecting issues by simply reinstalling the software app. That would help if your software has a glitch or cannot update. 


First, you should delete the application installed on your device. Then, visit the website of your VPN provider and redownload it. For instance, you can get Atlas VPN via our download page or through App Store or Play Store. 

Need to change router settings 

A built-in feature called VPN passthrough allows traffic to pass freely to the Internet. Some routers do not have the feature enabled by default. If the feature is off, the traffic won’t be able to go through a router, resulting in failed VPN connection attempts.


You should access your router settings via the admin panel and check if the VPN passthrough is active. Once you enable it, launch a VPN and connect to the server again.

Note: VPNs like Atlas VPN do not require passthrough due to the use of modern protocols. 

Expired VPN subscriptions 

A VPN won’t connect to servers if you do not have valid permissions. Thus, check whether your subscription is still active. 

Sometimes, a free VPN can have a data cap for servers. If you pass this limit, you can’t connect to VPN servers anymore. 


This solution might be the easiest, as all you need to do is renew your subscription. Then, you should have no issue connecting to VPN servers. 

Report VPN software bugs and issues

Sometimes, the VPN won’t connect, regardless of your changes and configurations. Then, the best option is to contact your VPN provider and get more information about possible solutions. 

You can contact the Atlas VPN support team in two ways: 

  1. You can reach out to us via [email protected] email, and we will get back to you as soon as possible. 
  2. Our premium users also have access to 24/7 live chat support. Thus, you can contact us anytime, and we will quickly offer assistance to your problems. 

However, you also need to do your part and troubleshoot your issue correctly. 

How to properly troubleshoot the VPN won’t connect issue 

If a VPN won’t connect, do not forget to mention the following details to our support team:  

  • Where are you connecting from? (Country or network types like home or a public Wi-Fi) 
  • Do you use a firewall? 
  • Who is your Internet Service Provider? 
  • On which operating system you can’t connect to the VPN service? 
  • Do you use an antivirus application? 
  • What solutions have you tried already? 
  • Which VPN tunneling protocol do you use? 

With enough details, customer support can resolve the VPN won’t connect issue much faster.

Anton P.

Anton P.

Former chef and the head of Atlas VPN blog team. He's an experienced cybersecurity expert with a background of technical content writing.



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