VPN not working on Android in 2024? 12 ways to fix it
Using a VPN on your Android is vital for boosted privacy and security. Yet, not all VPNs smoothly function with these devices, causing connection errors. The good news? Most problems have easy fixes with a few simple steps.
An old Android version from 1.0 to 11.0, a VPN that's not working properly, crowded servers, or some setup confusion might cause your VPN not working on Android. If this happens, your IP address might be out in the open, risking your digital privacy, especially in countries where internet censorship is strict.
In this article, we'll provide 12 fixes if your Android has trouble connecting with a VPN. You will also find the best VPN providers that are reliable to ensure your Android VPN runs without a hitch, keeping you safe from snooping and ISP throttling.
Why VPN might not work on Android?
If your VPN is connected but seems not working, or you encounter some other errors, it could be because of the VPN software, device, or internet connection.
Here are common reasons why VPN might not work on Android:
- Internet connection issues. Poor or unstable internet can disrupt the VPN connection, causing it to falter.
- Incompatible VPN app. Some VPN apps may not sync well with your Android, leading to connectivity problems.
- Outdated Android version. An old version of Android 12 or earlier might not be compatible with the latest VPN updates, causing glitches.
- Insufficient app permissions. If the VPN app lacks the necessary permissions, it may struggle to establish a secure connection.
- Interference from antivirus apps or firewalls. Antivirus or firewall settings might unintentionally block your VPN, causing issues.
- VPN server issues. Crowded or malfunctioning VPN servers can hinder your connection, leading to disruptions.
- Inactive or expired VPN subscription. If your VPN subscription is inactive or expired, you won’t be able to establish a connection.
- Protocol and configuration problems. Mismatched or incorrect settings in the VPN protocols or configurations can create obstacles in the connection process.
VPNs that work on Android devices in 2024
To spare you the headache of dealing with malfunctioning VPNs, we’ve compiled a list of top-notch VPNs that seamlessly operate with Android devices. Our research on reliable VPNs focused on key factors like Android compatibility, effective unblocking features, extensive server networks, and speedy performance.
- NordVPN – best all-round VPN for Android devices
- Surfshark – VPN with great security features for Android
- Norton Secure VPN – budget-friendly VPN for Android
How to fix VPN not working on Android: 12 ways
The simplest way to spot an issue with your Android device is by checking your IP address. If it still shows your actual IP, even though the VPN app looks successfully connected, there might be some problems. Here’s a list of straightforward solutions.
1. Check your internet connection
VPNs rely on your internet connection to reach their selected servers. If your internet frequently disconnects or slows down, the VPN can’t do its job properly.
To fix this, turn off your VPN and check if web browsing is slow or not working. Switch to a different Wi-Fi network or use cellular data if it's sluggish. If the browsing improves on a new network, your shaky internet is the issue. Opt for a fast and stable network before reconnecting to the VPN server.
2. Reset network settings
Your Android VPN might hit a snag if there’s something wrong with the network settings. A quick fix is to reset your Android’s network settings and give it another shot. Remember that this reset wipes out your Wi-Fi networks, Bluetooth setups, and saved VPN networks. Follow the steps below to get back on track:
- Go to your mobile Settings
- Click System, then Advanced, and go to Reset options
- Click on Reset Network Settings and tap on Reset Settings
- That’s it. Now you can use your VPN
3. Update your VPN
If your VPN app is outdated, it might have unresolved bugs causing connection problems. Similarly, older VPN versions might play poorly with the latest Android gadgets, leading to the same issues
To avoid these problems, ensure your VPN app is up to date. Head to the Google Play Store, find your VPN provider’s section and check for any pending updates. You can also click on your profile, go to Manage Apps and Devices, and spot updates for all your Android apps.
4. Give your VPN required app permissions
Setting up a VPN on your Android? Make sure to grant the necessary permissions for a secure connection. A confirmation box pops up once you hit the Connect button in the VPN app. If, by accident, you hit cancel, your VPN won’t work on your Android.
To fix this, reconnect your VPN and make sure to tap OK in the dialog box to confirm your choice and set up an active VPN network on Android. If it still doesn’t work, try restarting your Android device and repeat these steps.
5. Try different VPN servers
VPN apps provide many servers across the globe. If your usual server encounters an issue, your VPN won’t work smoothly on your Android. To fix this, experiment with connecting to a different server provided by your VPN service. It might be that your current server is overcrowded or is under maintenance.
6. Experiment with different VPN protocols
VPN protocols are the secret for swift data transmission and rock-solid encryption. Try different VPN protocols if the default protocol isn’t working with your Android.
For example, if your VPN, like NordVPN, uses OpenVPN, try NordLynx instead.
7. Verify VPN subscription status
If your VPN has old credit card details, it won’t renew your subscription. In this scenario, the app won’t function on your Android phone. You can usually find the renewal date in the Settings of most VPN apps. Ensure that your VPN subscription is active and not expired.
8. Temporarily disable security software
Your antivirus or firewall apps may interfere with VPN connections. To see if they’re causing the issue, temporarily turn them off and try to reconnect with the VPN again. If this fixes the problem, add the VPN app to the list of Trusted Apps or Allow List in both your antivirus and firewall settings.
9. Clear your VPN’s cache
Clearing the cache boosts individual app performance and can also improve the overall speed of your device, optimizing your device’s operations. So, clearing the cache in a VPN app is a smart move – it resolves potential glitches, enhances app performance, and ensures smooth operation by removing temporary data causing problems. Here’s a quick guide on how to do it:
- Head to your mobile Settings
- Click Apps, then find your VPN app and tap on it
- Go to Storage, then click Clear Data and Clear Cache
- Now you can access the internet with a VPN
10. Update your Android OS
If your Android device uses an old operating system, it might cause you trouble connecting to VPNs. Also, older Androids could have weak points that might put your safety at risk, even if the VPN seems fine.
To keep your phone updated, follow these steps: go to Settings, then System, and click on System Update. Check your update status, and proceed with any steps displayed on the screen.
11. Contact VPN support
If the issues on your Android device persist, reaching out for help is the way to go. Contact your VPN provider’s customer support for specific assistance and troubleshooting – they usually offer a 24/7 live chat. If that’s unavailable, try finding their official customer support email and shoot them a message explaining the issue.
12. Upgrade to a more reliable VPN service
If the previous solutions don’t fix the problem, you may be using a not-so-great VPN on your Android device. Check the best Android VPN reviews and choose the most suitable provider for your gadget. Look for one with an excellent reputation, positive user reviews, powerful cybersecurity features, and swift customer support. We suggest going for paid services like NordVPN or Surfshark for better reliability rather than relying on free VPNs that might not be as trustworthy.
If your VPN isn’t connecting on your Android device, there could be various reasons behind it. Things like outdated operating systems, crowded servers, or wrong setups might be culprits. Unreliable VPN providers might also cause your VPN not working on Android.
Our top pick for the best VPN experience is NordVPN. It’s got a great Android app with valuable extras like obfuscated servers. Plus, it’s one of the fastest VPNs out there, guaranteeing a safe and speedy browsing experience once connected to its servers
More VPN guides from Cybernews:
How do I get VPN to work on my Android?
To get VPN to work on your Android, first check if your internet is fast and stable. Then, try changing servers or switching the protocol. Make sure your VPN app is updated and has the right permissions. If the problem persists, contact customer support or switch to an Android-friendly provider like .
How do I reset my VPN on Android?
To reset your VPN on Android, go to your mobile Settings, click System, then Advanced, and go to Reset options. Click on Reset Network Settings and tap on Reset Settings. This will reset the Wi-Fi networks, Bluetooth setups, and saved VPN networks.
Is it safe to use VPN on Android?
Yes, it’s safe to use VPN on Android. Using a reputable VPN like on Android boosts your online privacy. The safest VPNs create a secure and encrypted link between your device and the internet server, making it tough for others to track your online actions.