How to Set Up and Use the ExpressVPN Mac App – Version 6.x on Mac OS X

mac-devices

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This tutorial guide will walk you through the steps to set up ExpressVPN for Mac on your Mac OS X. Note: this app requires Mac OS X 10.10 (Yosemite), 10.11 (El Capitan), or 10.12 (Sierra) to use.

You can find out your Mac version by clicking on About this Mac in the Apple menu located in the upper-left corner of your screen.

Jump to section

Download the app
Get your activation code
Install the app
Set up ExpressVPN
Connect to a VPN server location
Disconnect from the VPN server location
Choose a different VPN server location
Switch to a different VPN protocol
Use the VPN Speed Test
Optional: Use the Menu Bar
Use the Spotlight Search to connect instantly
Uninstall the app


Download the app

Open the Welcome Email you received when you signed up for ExpressVPN. Click the link in the email.

open the welcome email

If you can’t find the link, log in to your account here.

log in to expressvpn.com

Once you’ve clicked the link in the welcome email or logged in to the website, click on Set Up ExpressVPN on the Active Subscriptions page. This will take you to the Downloads page.

set up expressvpn

Click on the Mac section. Click on the DOWNLOAD button to start downloading your app. Do not close the window! You will need it for the next step.

download mac app version 6

If you want to download and run an older version of ExpressVPN, click Show all versions and download the app version you want. You can find the setup instructions for other ExpressVPN Mac apps here.

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

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Get your activation code

In order to use ExpressVPN on your Windows computer, you will need your activation code. Let’s copy it to your clipboard.

To copy your activation code to the clipboard, click the copy code icon in the top right corner of the box containing the code. You will be asked to provide it later.

click to copy activation code

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

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Install the app

Locate the download file on your computer and open it. A window will pop up, saying, “The package will run a program to determine if the software can be installed.” Click Continue.

continue to install the package

You will be guided through the steps necessary to install the ExpressVPN software. Click Continue.

screenshot of installer welcome screen

The ExpressVPN Installer will ask you to select a disk where you want to install the ExpressVPN software. Select a disk, then click Continue.

screenshot of install destination

The installer will ask you to click install to perform the installation. Click Install.

screenshot of standard install

Type your Mac username and password to authorize the installation, then click Install Software.

enter-mac-credentials

You will see the following window ONLY if you have installed ExpressVPN on your Mac before. If you don’t see this screen, skip ahead.

  • Select Keep existing account if you are reinstalling ExpressVPN with the same activation code as before.
  • Select Remove existing account and let me switch to another account if you are using a new activation code.

Select Continue.

screenshot of existing account options

The next screen gives you a chance to anonymously share analytics about your VPN connections with us so we can make our service faster and more reliable for you.

We will never collect your personal data. We value your privacy, and our engineers have gone to great lengths to design a system to anonymize your data before it reaches our servers.

Click on the checkbox to enable sharing anonymous speed-test data and analytics. Then click Continue.

screenshot of anonymous-data-sharing preferences

You will see a screen that says, “The installation was successful.” Click Close to complete the installation.

screenshot of successful installation

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

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Set up ExpressVPN

After the installation is complete, the ExpressVPN app will open automatically.

On the ExpressVPN Setup screen, paste your activation code. This is the code you found earlier. You can paste it by pressing Command + V, or right-clicking the rectangular field and clicking Paste. Then click OK.

screenshot of expressvpn setup

When the activation is complete, you will see a “Success!” screen. Click Start using the app.

screenshot of activation success

Congratulations! You are now ready to access our many VPN server locations.

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

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Connect to a VPN server location

To connect to a  VPN server location, click the ON Button. By default, ExpressVPN will suggest the location that provides the most optimal experience for you, called Smart Location.

click-on-button

Once you see the VPN is ON message on the app screen, you can begin surfing with freedom and security!

vpn-on

Note: a single ExpressVPN subscription can be used simultaneously on three devices, regardless of platform. If you try to use more than three devices simultaneously on one subscription, you will see the below screen:

error-simultaneous-connection-mac

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

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Disconnect from the VPN server location

To disconnect from the VPN server location, click the ON Button while the VPN is on.

turn-vpn-off

You will know you are disconnected when the “VPN is OFF” message shown.

vpn-off

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

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Choose a different VPN server location

To choose a different VPN server location, click on Choose Location to access the list of VPN locations.

choose-location

To connect to a server location, click on it, then click the ON Button. (You can also connect by double-clicking the location).

The list of VPN locations features three tabs: Recommended, All, and Favorites.

The Recommended tab shows you ExpressVPN’s top picks for you to connect to.

mac-recommended-locations

The All tab lists the VPN server locations by region. You can expand and collapse the lists by tapping on the triangular arrowheads.

mac-all-locations

The Favorites tab has two sections. “Recently Connected” shows the three most recent locations you connected to. “Favorites” shows the locations you have saved as a favorite by clicking the star icon next to the location name.

mac-favorite-location

You can also search for your desired server location by using the search bar. To launch the search bar, press Command + F. Inside the search bar, type the name of your desired server location and then double-click the server location in the search results to connect to it.

mac-search-location

After disconnecting from a server location you selected, you can return to your smart location (the location recommended for the smoothest experience) by clicking SMART LOCATION.

smart-location

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

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Switch to a different VPN protocol

VPN protocols are the methods by which your device connects to a VPN server. Switching to a different protocol can help you achieve faster connection speeds.

To switch to a different protocol, click on the hamburger menu (≡), then click Preferences. Make sure you’re not connected to the VPN when doing this.

go-to-preferences

In the Protocol tab, select the protocol you want to use, then click OK.

mac-protocol

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

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Use the VPN Speed Test

To use the VPN Speed Test, you must be disconnected from the VPN.

Click on the hamburger menu (≡), then click Speed Test.

mac speed test

On the Speed Test screen, click Run Test. The test will take a few minutes to run.

After the test is finished, select the locations with HIGH Speed IndexLOW Latency, and HIGH Download Speed

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

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If you don’t want to use the ExpressVPN app via the main window, you can choose to operate it by just using the Menu Bar. This grants almost all of the functionalities of the app as when it is operated by the app window.

To operate the app from the Menu Bar only: On your desktop (while the main app window is displayed), click the ExpressVPN Menu Bar icon and then click Preferences.

select-preferences-menu

In the Advanced tab, select Menu Bar only.

mac-advanced-settings

You can repeat the steps above to select whether to use ExpressVPN from both the Menu Bar and Dock, from the Menu Bar only, or the Dock only.

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

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Use the Spotlight Search to connect instantly

Mac power users, now you can use the Spotlight Search to connect to your Favorite, Recommended, or Recently Connected server locations instantly.

How to connect instantly via Spotlight Search:

Hit Command (⌘) + spacebar.

In the Spotlight Search, start typing: Connect to [server location name]

Select the location you wish to connect to and press Return, or double-click it.

connect instantly with the spotlight search integration

This will open the ExpressVPN app and automatically connect you to your server location.

How to disconnect instantly via Spotlight Search

Hit Command (⌘) + spacebar.

In the Spotlight Search, start typing: Disconnect

spotlight-search-disconnect

This will open the ExpressVPN app and automatically disconnect you from your server location.

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

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Uninstall the app

To remove the app from your Mac computer, you must first close the app.

Open Terminal by going to Applications > Utilities > Terminal

Run /Applications/ExpressVPN.app/Contents/Resources/uninstall.tool

Type “yes” when asked, then enter your password to confirm you want to remove the app from your computer.

enter password to uninstall app

Close Terminal. ExpressVPN has been removed from your machine.

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

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