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This tutorial will show you how to set up the ExpressVPN Windows app on Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10, and Windows 11.

The ExpressVPN Windows app is not compatible with:

  • Windows Vista and XP: Use the L2TP/IPsec or OpenVPN manual configurations.
  • Windows devices that use ARM, Microsoft SQ1, Microsoft SQ2, or SnapDragon processors: These processors are not compatible with the VPN’s TAP adapter, which is necessary for the VPN to function. If you are in a country with a high level of internet censorship, use the ExpressVPN app for routers. If not, use the L2TP/IPsec manual configuration for Windows 10 or other Windows versions.


Jump to…

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
How to add shortcuts to the ExpressVPN app
Launch and connect ExpressVPN on startup
Use the VPN Speed Test
Use split tunneling
Use IPv6 Leak protection
Change languages in the ExpressVPN Windows app
Use the ExpressVPN browser extension
Set up ExpressVPN on other devices
Uninstall the app


Download the app

Go to the ExpressVPN account dashboard. If prompted, enter your ExpressVPN credentials and click Sign In.

Enter your account credentials, then click "Sign In."

Enter the verification code sent to your email.

Click Download for Windows.

In your account dashboard, click "Download for Windows."

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

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.

Click "Copy" icon. in the box to copy it to your clipboard. You will be asked to provide it later.

Click the activation code in the box to copy it to your clipboard.

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

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Install the app

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

Double-click the ExpressVPN installer file.

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

Wait while the app is being installed on your PC.

When prompted, click Sign In and 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 Continue.

Enter your activation code, then click "Continue."

If you prefer not to use your activation code, you can sign in using your email address:

  1. Click Sign In with Email Sign-In Link.
  2. Enter the email address associated with your ExpressVPN account. Click Email Sign-In Link.
  3. Open the email on any device and select Sign In to ExpressVPN. The app will be activated automatically.

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

Select your preference for launching ExpressVPN when your computer starts.

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

Select your preference for helping improve ExpressVPN.

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

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 On button. . By default, ExpressVPN will suggest the location that provides the optimal experience for you, called Smart Location.

Click the On Button to connect.

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

You are connected to ExpressVPN.

Note: With one subscription, you can connect up to five devices to the VPN at the same time, regardless of platform. If you try to connect more than five devices simultaneously, you will see the screen below:

If you try to connect more than five devices simultaneously, you will see a screen that says, "Connection limit reached."

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 On button.  while the VPN is on.

Click the On Button to disconnect.

You will know you are disconnected when the screen says, “Not connected.”

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

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Choose a different VPN server location

To connect to a different server location, click More icon..

Note: The first time you try to change locations while connected to VPN, you will get a warning stating your internet traffic may not be secure during reconnection. It is safe to proceed.

Click the Location Picker.

To connect to a server location, click it, then click 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" tab shows you ExpressVPN’s top picks for you.

The All Locations tab lists the VPN server locations by region. You can expand and collapse the lists by clicking Downward icon. and Upward icon..

The "All locations" tab lists VPN server locations by region.

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

You can save a location to your list of favorites by clicking the star icon on the right.

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.

To search for a location, enter the location in the search bar.

After disconnecting from a server location, you can return to your Smart Location (the location recommended for the optimal experience) by clicking the location marked Smart Location.

Click the Smart Location.

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

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Switch to a different VPN protocol

Important: Disconnect from the VPN before switching to another protocol.

VPN protocols are the methods by which your device connects to a VPN server. For the best experience, ExpressVPN recommends using the Automatic protocol option. This is selected by default and automatically picks the protocol most appropriate for your network.

In some cases, switching to a different protocol may help you achieve faster connection speeds.

To switch to a different protocol:

Click Menu icon. Options.

Click "Options."

Click the Protocol tab. Select the protocol you want to use, then click OK.

Select the protocol you want to use, then click "OK."

Important: L2TP/IPsec provides weak security benefits and should only be used for anonymization and changing locations when other protocols do not work.

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

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How to add shortcuts to the ExpressVPN app

The shortcuts feature appears on the ExpressVPN home screen after you connect to the VPN. Shortcuts will not appear the first time you connect, but will appear starting from your second connection onward.

Shortcuts allow you to conveniently and quickly launch apps and websites from the ExpressVPN app anytime you are connected. If you find yourself regularly visiting a handful of favorite destinations after connecting to VPN—a particular streaming service or social network, for example—adding it as a shortcut saves you from needing to switch back to your device’s home screen or browser to find it each time.

You are connected to ExpressVPN.

To launch an app or a website, click its icon when connected to the VPN.

If you have fewer than five shortcuts selected, you can add one by clicking Add icon. .

Alternatively, you can add or remove shortcuts by clicking Menu icon.  > Options > Shortcuts.

To add a shortcut, click "Add" icon..

Click the "plus sign" to add a shortcut.

Then select Add app shortcut or Add website link to proceed.

To remove a shortcut, select the shortcut, then click "Remove" icon..

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 Menu icon. , then click Options.

Click "Options."

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

Check or uncheck the box for "Launch ExpressVPN on Windows startup."

You can also configure ExpressVPN to connect to the last used location when you launch the app.

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 Menu icon. , then click Speed Test.

Click "Speed Test."

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

Click "Run Test."

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

  • Speed Index: This is calculated using latency and download speed. A location with a higher Speed Index will provide a better experience
  • Latency: the lower the better
  • Download Speed: the higher the better

The different criteria in the speed.

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

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Use split tunneling

Split tunneling lets you decide which apps 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 Menu icon.  > Options.

In the General tab, check the box for Manage connection on a per-app basis, then click Settings.

Under "Split tunneling," click "Settings."

From there, you can select different split-tunneling options. Expand the list below to learn more about each option:

All apps use the VPN

Selecting this option will make all of your apps use the VPN when you are connected to ExpressVPN.

In the Split Tunneling menu, select All apps use the VPN, then click OK.

Select "All apps use the VPN," then click "OK."

(Selecting this option is the same as unchecking the box for Split tunneling in the previous step.)

Do not allow selected apps to use the VPN

This option lets you set certain apps to not use the VPN when you are connected to ExpressVPN. To choose which apps will not use the VPN, select Do not allow selected apps to use the VPN, then click "Add" icon..

Select "Do not allow selected apps to use the VPN," then click the "plus sign."

Check the box next to each app you want to exclude from the VPN. If you cannot find a certain app, click Add Another App to add it to the list.

Click "Add Another App."

Click OK > OK to apply your changes.

When you are connected to ExpressVPN, all internet traffic except for the selected app(s) will use the VPN.

Only allow selected apps to use the VPN

This option allows you to select certain apps to use the VPN.

To choose which apps will use the VPN, select Only allow selected apps to use the VPN, then click "Add" icon..

Select "Only allow selected apps to use the VPN," then click the "plus sign."

Check the box next to each app you want to protect with the VPN. If you cannot find a certain app, click Add Another App to add it to the list.

Click "Add Another App."

Click OK > OK to apply your changes.

When you are connected to ExpressVPN, only the selected app(s) will use the VPN.

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 Options > Advanced, and uncheck the box under IPv6 Leak Protection.

Uncheck "Prevent IPv6 address detection while connected."

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

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Change languages in the ExpressVPN Windows app

Click Menu icon.  > Options.

Click "Options."

Select the Advanced tab. Under Language, select the language you want to change to.

Select your language preference.

Click OK to confirm. ExpressVPN will change to your selected language after you close the app and launch it again.

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

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Use the ExpressVPN browser extension

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

From your app, click Menu icon. , select Options, then go to the Browsers tab.

Click Get Browser Extensions and follow the on-page instructions.

Click "Get Browser Extensions."

Learn more about the ExpressVPN browser extension here.

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

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Set up ExpressVPN on other devices

With a single ExpressVPN subscription, you can connect and secure five devices simultaneously.

To set up ExpressVPN on your other devices, click Menu icon.  > Secure All Your Devices.

Click "Secure All Your Devices."

Click Email Setup Link.

 

Click "Email Setup Link."

You will receive a setup link at the email address you used to sign up for ExpressVPN.

Open the email on the devices you want to set up ExpressVPN on. Select Set Up Now, then follow instructions to download and set up 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, see the instructions for uninstalling programs on Windows 7 and Windows 8.

From your Windows desktop, go to Settings > Apps.

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

Click "Uninstall."

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

  1. Click Window's Start button. , and then press Windows key + R 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 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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