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HBO Max not working with a VPN: steps to fix it (2024)

HBO Max is attracting viewers from all over the world who want to enjoy the critically acclaimed ‘The Last of Us’ show and those willing to see True Detective season 4 released later this year. Because HBO Max is only available in the US, some European countries, the Caribbean, and Latin America, some viewers try to unblock it with a VPN, and often – unsuccessfully.

While a VPN can bypass regional restrictions, it’s not a rare occasion to encounter issues while accessing the site for several reasons. This can happen because of IP leaks, slow connection speeds, unreliable VPN service, or failure to conceal the VPN traffic, just to name a few.

In this article, you can find the most common reasons HBO Max isn’t working with a VPN and 6 easy ways to fix it. More so, we recommend the top 3 VPNs that have proven to avoid such errors on HBO Max.

What to do if HBO Max is not working with a VPN

  1. Subscribe to a VPN provider proven to unlock HBO Max. We recommend NordVPN, now 67% OFF!
  2. Download the VPN app and install it
  3. Clear your browser's cache and cookies
  4. Connect to a VPN server in a country where HBO Max is available
  5. Now you can access exclusive HBO Max content!

Why does HBO Max block my VPN

There are several reasons why HBO Max is unavailable and gives you an error message. For example, your VPN can’t unblock the platform or your IP address leaks.


Here are the most common issues VPN users encounter while accessing HBO Max:

  • VPN is not streaming-optimized. The best streaming VPNs offer SmartDNS and server obfuscation technologies to bypass geographical restrictions. HBO Max will likely detect the ones that don't. For example, completely free VPNs most likely won’t be able to unblock HBO Max due to a low server count.
  • IP address leak. An unreliable VPN might leak your original IP address and expose an actual geographical location to HBO Max. However, if you subscribed to a trustworthy VPN, your IP address might leak because you didn’t enable leak protection features, such as a kill switch.
  • HBO blocked the VPN server. This streaming service continuously hunts down VPN servers and blocks them, and you may have stumbled upon a blocked one. This may also be the case if your VPN has a tiny server fleet.
  • Slow speeds. If your selected VPN is slow, it may result in an error message.

VPNs that will work with HBO Max

HBO Max VPN not working: 6 easy steps

It's always a cat-and-mouse game regarding streaming sites and VPNs. If your HBO Max VPN is not working, thankfully, there are easy ways to bypass error messages and enjoy your favorite shows without issues. Here are six steps to regain access and make HBO Max VPN work again.

1. Verify IP address

Go to a website like whatismyip, and if it displays your original IP address, you have an IP leak. You can fix it by enabling a kill switch feature to prevent future leaks and reconnecting to another server. After you complete that, you can verify your address once again until it displays the VPN server IP address.

2. Switch VPN servers

Is HBO Max still not loading even if you verified the IP address? It may happen because you’re using a VPN server that HBO Max blocked. You can try reconnecting to another server in a country where HBO Max is available to regain access. Remember that HBO can block entire batches of VPN servers, and seldom it can take a few tries until a successful hit.

3. Clear the browser's cache and cookies

If you encounter HBO Max not working again, clearing your browser’s cache and cookies is your next step. This streaming platform stores personally identifiable information in the browser cache, including the original IP address. Once you clear the browser's cache, reconnect to a VPN server, and head to HBO Max (keep its credentials close as you will need to log in again.)

4. Choose another VPN service

Ensure you are using a reliable VPN capable of granting access to HBO Max. Some VPNs, especially completely free ones, are usually not optimized for streaming or have a low server count, causing issues accessing HBO Max. Therefore, You should subscribe to a VPN known to work well on this platform or use a VPN free trial to test it out before committing.

5. Update VPN software

VPN updates include essential cybersecurity and quality-of-life patches. Therefore, you should apply them immediately to bypass HBO Max geo-blocks. An older VPN version might leak an IP address or expose VPN traffic, failing to avoid HBO detection.

6. Turn off an ad blocker

Turning off an adblocker is one more step to make HBO Max work. Once you do it, refresh the page to verify the error's gone. As frustrating as ads are, you may have to see a few if HBO Max is not working after all the steps above. Sometimes adblockers disable critical JavaScript elements or interfere with content loading. Therefore, disabling it may help.

How to fix other common HBO Max errors

If HBO Max isn’t working and displays an error code, it doesn't necessarily mean that your VPN is at fault. Here are common HBO Max errors unrelated to VPNs:

  • Error code 321. This error means there are troubles with the Internet connection. Verify that your Internet is working fine and restart the router if there are troubles. If there are no issues at your end, verify HBO Max servers are up and running on the IsItDownRightNow website.
  • Error code 905. A laggy Internet connection may cause this error code to appear. Make sure that your Internet connection is working fine. If you use a VPN, switch to another nearby server and refresh the HBO Max website.
  • Error code 420. HBO Max sometimes displays this error when viewing content unavailable in your geographical region. Use one of our listed VPNs to bypass the geo-block and say goodbye to error 420.

Final thoughts

Like most viral streaming services, HBO Max can sometimes block VPN connections. That’s why you should always opt for a reputable VPN, like NordVPN, the best HBO Max VPN with SmartDNS technology. It comes with a large speedy server fleet, ensuring you will always find a working one for a lag-free experience.

However, if HBO Max is not working with a VPN, you can look at our 6 steps list to make the platform work again. For example, enable leak protection features, switch to another server, or change your VPN service to a more reliable one.

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