Restore your Windows Internet connection after ExpressVPN has been disconnected

To use our apps and configurations, please sign up for an ExpressVPN account first.

If your Internet stops working after you’ve disconnected from ExpressVPN, please perform the following steps to restore your internet connection.

Jump to section

Preliminary Check: Network Lock
Change the properties of your Network Connections
Change ExpressVPN’s DNS settings


Preliminary Check: Network Lock

If you are unable to access the internet when disconnected from ExpressVPN, it may be because you have Network Lock enabled.

Network Lock is ExpressVPN’s kill switch, which blocks internet access when you are disconnected from ExpressVPN. Network Lock only allows internet access  when you are connected to the VPN. That way, your traffic won’t be redirected to your internet service provider and potentially exposed to third parties.

To resolve the issue, see how to access the internet when disconnected from the VPN. Note that your network traffic might then be exposed to others.

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

Back to top


Change the properties of your Network Connections

First, make sure you are disconnected from your VPN network.

Go to the Control Panel > Network and Internet > Network and Sharing Center > Change Adapter Settings.

network and sharing center

Important: You MUST do the following steps for all network connections with their statuses set as Enabled or Network. (In other words, do the following steps for all connections NOT marked with the red “x”, which indicates “Disabled”.)

Right-click on the Network Connection and click Properties.

properties

In the Networking tab, select Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) and click Properties.

vpn properties

Select the option that says Obtain DNS server address automatically.

internet protocol version 4 (ipv4)

Repeat these three steps for all of your remaining network connections.

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

Back to top


Change ExpressVPN’s DNS settings

After updating the properties for your Network Connections, go back into your ExpressVPN app.

For ExpressVPN 6.x:

Click the hamburger menu (≡), then click Options.

windows options

Select the Advanced tab. Uncheck the box for Only use ExpressVPN DNS servers while connected to the VPN, then click OK.

windows advanced

For ExpressVPN 5.x:

Click the three dots (…), then click Options.

access the options

Select the Advanced tab. Uncheck the box for Only use ExpressVPN DNS servers while connected to the VPN, then click OK.

uncheck the box for expressvpn's dns servers

 

For ExpressVPN 4.2:

Click the three dots (…), then click Options.

Click the three dots to access ExpressVPN's options

Select the Advanced tab. Uncheck the box for Only use ExpressVPN DNS servers while connected to the VPN, then click OK.

screenshot to uncheck the box for "only use ExpressVPN's DNS servers"

 

For ExpressVPN 4.0 and 4.1:

Click the three dots (…), then click Options.

Click the three dots to access ExpressVPN's options

From the General tab, uncheck the box for Only use ExpressVPN DNS servers while connected to the VPN, then click OK.

screenshot: set ExpressVPN DNS

 

For ExpressVPN 3.X:

Go to Options and uncheck the option that says Only use DNS servers set by the VPN.

expressvpn options

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

Back to top

Was this article helpful to you?84 14 Undo

Not an ExpressVPN user yet? Sign up today so you can start using our apps!

Install ExpressVPN on all your devices!

windows apple android ios linux chrome ebooks phones consoles router nas share