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This tutorial will show you how to set up ExpressVPN on Windows using the OpenVPN GUI (graphical user interface).

The OpenVPN GUI is a free graphical frontend for running the OpenVPN protocol on Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10.

Note: The following steps were tested on Windows 10 and are applicable to other versions of Windows.

Prefer app setupSee the instructions for app setup on Windows 7 and above.

Jump to…

1. Find your ExpressVPN account credentials
2. Download and install the OpenVPN GUI
3. Set up the OpenVPN GUI
4. Set up DNS leak protection
5. Connect to a VPN server location
Disconnect from a VPN server location


1. Find your ExpressVPN account credentials

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

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

Click Manual Configuration on the left side of the screen. Then select OpenVPN on the right. This will show you your username, password, and a list of OpenVPN configuration files.

The OpenVPN tab will show you your username, password, and a list of OpenVPN configuration files.

Click the location(s) you want in order to download the .ovpn file(s).

Keep this browser window open, as you will need it for the setup later.

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

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2. Download and install the OpenVPN GUI

Download the OpenVPN GUI appropriate to your Windows operating system.

Download the OpenVPN GUI appropriate to your Windows operating system.

Note: For Windows XP, download OpenVPN 2.3.18.

For Windows XP, download OpenVPN 2.3.18.

Open the OpenVPN GUI installer .exe file.

When prompted to allow the OpenVPN installer to make changes to your device, click Yes.

When prompted to allow the OpenVPN installer to make changes to your device, click “Yes.”

Click Next to start the installation.

Click “Next” to start the installation.

Read the License Agreement, then click I Agree.

Click "I Agree."

On the Choose Components screen, click Next.

Click “Next.”

On the Choose Install Location screen, click Install.

Click “Install.”

When the installation is complete, click Next.

Click “Next.”

After OpenVPN has been installed on your computer, uncheck the box for Show Readme, then click Finish.

Click “Finish.”

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

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3. Set up the OpenVPN GUI

On your desktop, right-click the OpenVPN GUI shortcut, then click Open file location.

Click “Open file location.”

In the navigation bar, click OpenVPN to go up one directory.

Click “OpenVPN.”

Double-click the config folder.

Double-click the “config” folder.

Move the OpenVPN configuration files you obtained earlier into the config folder.

Move the OpenVPN configuration files you obtained earlier into the “config” folder.

When asked to provide administrator permission, click Continue

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

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4. Set up DNS leak protection

To prevent your online activities from being exposed, you can edit your configuration files to prevent DNS leaks.

In the config folder, double-click the OpenVPN configuration file. It will open in a notepad or text editor.

Do not modify the existing text. Scroll to the bottom, add a new row, and paste the following:

block-outside-dns

Add “block outside dns.”

Save the file, then close the text editor.

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

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5. Connect to a VPN server location

Right-click the OpenVPN GUI shortcut on your desktop, then select Run as administrator.

Right-click the OpenVPN GUI shortcut, then select “Run as administrator.”

When prompted to allow OpenVPN to make changes to your device, click Yes.

When prompted to allow the OpenVPN GUI for Windows to make changes to your device, click “Yes.”

The OpenVPN GUI is now added to your system tray as an icon.

The OpenVPN GUI is now added to your system tray as an icon.

Click the system tray arrow, then drag the OpenVPN GUI icon into the system tray for easier access.

The OpenVPN GUI is now added to your system tray for easier access.

Right-click the OpenVPN GUI icon.You will see a list of all the VPN server locations you previously added. Hover over your preferred VPN server location, then click Connect.Hover over your preferred VPN server location, then click “Connect.”

Enter the ExpressVPN OpenVPN username and password you found earlier, then click OK.

Enter the ExpressVPN OpenVPN username and password, then click “OK.”

When you are connected to ExpressVPN successfully, you will see a successful connection message.

When you are connected to the ExpressVPN successfully, you will see a successful connection message.

To connect to a different VPN server location, disconnect from your current connection before connecting to another server location.

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

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>Disconnect from a VPN server

To disconnect from a VPN server location, right-click the OpenVPN GUI icon in the system tray, hover over your current VPN server location, then click Disconnect.

Click “Disconnect.”

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

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