How to set up and use ExpressVPN on Windows 7, 8 or 10

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This tutorial guide will walk you through how to set up ExpressVPN Version 6.x for Windows on your PC or laptop.

Please note that this app requires Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 10.

Prefer manual setupSee the instructions for manual setup on Windows 10 and Windows 7 and 8.


Jump to section

Download the app
Get your activation code
Install the app
Connect to a VPN server location
Disconnect from the VPN server location
Choose a different VPN server location
Switch to a different VPN protocol
Launch and connect ExpressVPN on startup
Use the VPN Speed Test
Use split tunneling
Use IPv6 Leak protection
Use the ExpressVPN browser extension
Change languages in the ExpressVPN Windows app
Uninstall the app


Download the app

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

ExpressVPN welcome email with Set Up ExpressVPN button highlighted.

If you cannot find the link, sign in to your account here.

ExpressVPN Sign in page with Sign In button highlighted.

Once you have clicked the link in the welcome email or signed in to the website, click on Download for Windows. This will start the download for your app.

ExpressVPN setup screen with Download for Windows button highlighted.

Do not close the window! You will need it for the next step.

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.

ExpressVPN setup page showing activation code, with Click to Copy button highlighted.

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

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Install the app

Locate and double-click on the download file on your computer.

Locate the ExpressVPN for Windows installer.

The setup process will begin with this Welcome screen. Click Continue, Continue, and Set Up ExpressVPN.

The ExpressVPN for Windows welcome screen.

If you see a prompt to install the app, click Install to proceed.

Please wait while the app is being installed on your PC.

When prompted, paste your activation code. This is the code you found earlier. You can paste it by pressing Ctrl + V, or right-clicking the rectangular field and clicking Paste. Then click Sign In.

Enter your ExpressVPN activation code.

You have the option of launching ExpressVPN on startup. Select your preference to continue.

Decide whether to launch ExpressVPN on Windows start-up.

You can also choose to anonymously share analytics about your VPN connections to help improve ExpressVPN. Select your preference to continue.

ExpressVPN does not collect your private data and anonymizes it before it reaches ExpressVPN servers.

Select whether to share anonymous analytics with ExpressVPN.

Congratulations! You are now ready to access ExpressVPN’s vast network of 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 optimal experience for you, called Smart Location.

ExpressVPN home screen with ON Button highlighted.

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

ExpressVPN home screen showing VPN is 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:

Too many devices are connected to the VPN.

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.

ExpressVPN home screen with ON Button highlighted.

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

ExpressVPN home screen showing VPN is 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.

ExpressVPN home screen with Choose Location button highlighted.

To connect to a server location, click on it, then click the ON Button. Alternatively, you can connect by double-clicking the location.

By default, the list of VPN locations features two tabs: Recommended and All Locations.

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

The Recommended Locations tab.

The All Locations tab lists the VPN server locations by region. You can expand and collapse the lists by clicking the > icon on the right.

The All Locations tab.

Favorites tab is added once you have added favorite locations. You can save a location to your list of favorites by clicking the star icon on the right.

ExpressVPN for Windows favorite locations.

You can also search for your desired server location by using the search bar.

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.
Search for a server location in the ExpressVPN app.

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.

ExpressVPN home screen with Smart Location button highlighted.

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 Options. Make sure you are not connected to the VPN when doing this.

ExpressVPN hamburger menu with Options highlighted.

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

Note: PPTP and L2TP-IPsec provide weak security benefits and should only be used for anonymization or for changing locations.

Select a VPN protocol.

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

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Launch and connect ExpressVPN on startup

You can configure whether ExpressVPN automatically connects after your PC starts up.

To configure the “connect upon startup” settings, click on the hamburger menu (≡), then click Options.ExpressVPN hamburger menu with Options highlighted.

Under the General tab, check (or uncheck) the box for Launch ExpressVPN on Windows startup.

You can also configure ExpressVPN to connect to the last location you connected to.

Select whether ExpressVPN automatically connects upon Windows startup.

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.

Start by clicking on the hamburger menu (≡) and then Speed Test.

ExpressVPN hamburger menu with Speed Test highlighted.

On the Speed Test screen, click Run Test and wait for the tests to complete.

The main screen of the speed test.

After results are displayed, select a location using the following criteria:

  • Speed Index: the higher the better
  • Latency: the lower the better
  • Download Speed: the higher the better

ExpressVPN Windows speed test results.

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

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Use split tunneling

This feature allows you to decide which apps use the VPN and which apps do not use the VPN when you are connected to ExpressVPN.

Important: You must be disconnected from the VPN to change your split-tunneling settings.

To change your split tunnel settings, click the hamburger menu (≡) and go to Options.

Under the General tab, tick the box in the Split tunneling section and click Settings.

Click on "Settings" under "Split tunneling".

From there, you can decide which of your apps will use the VPN and which ones will not use the VPN when you are connected to ExpressVPN.

Select which programs on Windows use ExpressVPN.

If you select the latter two options, you can specify which apps will (not) use VPN. Click on the plus sign (+) to select the apps.

Click the plus sign to add apps to split tunneling.

Check the box next to all the apps you want to select. If your desired app is not shown, click Add Another App to search for it.

Select which apps will use the VPN.

Click OK to apply your changes.

IN DEPTH: Learn more about the split-tunneling feature

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

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Use IPv6 Leak protection

By default, the ExpressVPN app will block IPv6 connections to protect against IPv6 leaks.

If you encounter issues with devices that only use IPv6 connections, go to OptionsAdvanced, and uncheck the box under IPv6 Leak Protection.

Check the box to enable IPv6 protection.

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

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Use the ExpressVPN browser extension

If you’re using Version 6.2 (or later) of the ExpressVPN app, you can download and use the ExpressVPN browser extension to remotely control the ExpressVPN app from your browser. The extension is available for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.

From your app, click the hamburger menu (≡), select Options, then go to the Browsers tab.

Click to get the ExpressVPN browser extensions.

Click Get Extension and follow the on-page instructions.

Important: To use the ExpressVPN browser extension, you need to have the ExpressVPN Windows app (Version 6.2 or newer) downloaded and activated. You cannot use the ExpressVPN browser extension without the ExpressVPN app.

Learn more about the ExpressVPN browser extension here.

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

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Change languages in the ExpressVPN Windows app

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

ExpressVPN hamburger menu with Options highlighted.

Click on the Advanced tab. Under Language, use the dropdown to select the language you want to change to.

Use the language dropdown to change the app language.

You will see a message saying “ExpressVPN must restart to make these changes.” Click OK.

Click "OK" restart ExpressVPN.

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

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Uninstall the app

Note: The below instructions are for Windows 10. If you are using Windows 7 or 8, please see the instructions for uninstalling programs on Windows 7 and Windows 8.

From your Windows desktop, go to Settings > Apps & features.

Scroll through the list of programs until you locate ExpressVPN. Select ExpressVPN and then click Uninstall.

Uninstall the ExpressVPN Windows app.

If you see that ExpressVPN is still listed as an available VPN connection after uninstalling:

  1. Click the Start button, and then click Run… (only for Windows XP and Vista) or press Windows key + R (for any other Windows OS) to launch the run command.
  2. Type ncpa.cpl on the run command and then press Enter to go to your Network Connections window.
  3. On your Network Connections window, right-click on the WAN Miniport labeled ExpressVPN.
  4. Click Delete.
  5. From your Windows desktop, go to Settings Network & Internet > VPN.
  6. If you see ExpressVPN as an available connection, delete it.

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

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