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This tutorial will show you how to set up ExpressVPN manually on your Mac OS X using the L2TP/IPsec protocol.

Important: L2TP/IPsec provides weak security benefits and should only be used for anonymization or for changing locations.

Prefer app setupSee the instructions for app setup on Mac OS 10.10 and above.

Jump to…

1. Get your ExpressVPN account credentials
2. Set up the VPN configuration
3. Connect to the VPN
Disconnect from the VPN connection
Uninstall the VPN configuration


1. Get your ExpressVPN account credentials

On the ExpressVPN setup page, enter your ExpressVPN credentials. Click Sign In.

Enter your ExpressVPN credentials, then click “Sign In.”

Click Manual Configuration on the left side of the screen. Then select PPTP & L2TP/IPsec on the right. This will show you your username, password, and a list of server addresses around the world.

Click "PPTP & L2TP/IPsec."

Keep this browser window open. You will need this information for the setup later.

Need help? Contact the ExpressVPN Support Team for immediate assistance.

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2. Set up the VPN configuration

Click the Apple logo in the top-left corner of your screen. Select System Preferences… > Network.

Select “Network.”

In the Network window, click the plus (+) sign. In the pop-up window, enter the following details:

  • Interface: Select VPN.
  • VPN Type: Select L2TP over IPsec.
  • Service Name: Enter a name that will help you recognize your VPN connection. It might be helpful to enter the location name (e.g., “ExpressVPN LA”).

Click “Create” to create a VPN connection.

Then click Create.

In the Network window, enter the following details:

  • Configuration: Select Default.
  • Server Address: Enter one of the server addresses you found earlier (e.g., la-abc-abcd.abcde.com).
  • Account Name: Enter the username you found earlier.

Check the box next to Show VPN status in menu bar to see your VPN connection status in the menu bar.

Next, click Authentication Settings… Enter the following information:

  • Password: Enter the password you found earlier.
  • Shared Secret: Enter 12345678.

Enter your password and shared secret.

Click OK.

Then click Advanced…

Check the box for Send all traffic over VPN connection, then click OK.

Check the box for “Send all traffic over VPN connection.”

Click Apply to save all of your settings.

Need help? Contact the ExpressVPN Support Team for immediate assistance.

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3. Connect to the VPN

In the Network window, click Connect to start the VPN connection.

Click “Connect.”

When you have connected successfully to the VPN, you will see the word “Connected” under the name of your connection.

Your VPN connection is activated successfully.

You are now connected to ExpressVPN.

Need help? Contact the ExpressVPN Support Team for immediate assistance.

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Disconnect from the VPN

To disconnect from the VPN, go to System Preferences… > Network.

Select the VPN connection you created. Then click Disconnect.

Click “Disconnect.”

Need help? Contact the ExpressVPN Support Team for immediate assistance.

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Uninstall the VPN configuration

To uninstall the VPN configuration, go to System Preferences… > Network.

Select the VPN connection you created. Click the minus (-) sign, then click Apply.

Need help? Contact the ExpressVPN Support Team for immediate assistance.

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