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How to Fix ExpressVPN if It’s Not Working

Is your ExpressVPN connection constantly dropping or not working at all? I‘ve been there myself, frustratingly trying fix my VPN. But don‘t worry – in this guide I‘ll walk you step-by-step through how to troubleshoot and solve the most common ExpressVPN problems.

With some simple checks and tweaks, you can get your VPN working again smoothly. A working ExpressVPN means you can browse and stream privately, securely, and without annoying blocks.

Why Does ExpressVPN Stop Working?

Before we dive into fixes, let‘s look at what causes ExpressVPN to have issues in the first place:

  • Antivirus blocking – ExpressVPN‘s network traffic gets misidentified as dangerous.
  • Firewall blocking – Security tools like Windows Firewall prevent access.
  • Software conflicts – Other VPNs installed interfere with ExpressVPN.
  • Connection issues – Unstable internet makes ExpressVPN fail.
  • Battery optimization – Battery-saving modes disrupt ExpressVPN.
  • Protocol/location problems – Switching protocol or location can fix some issues.

I‘ll expand on each of these causes and show you how to address them. But first, let‘s quickly cover…

How to Troubleshoot ExpressVPN Step-by-Step

Here is a summary of the key troubleshooting steps:

  1. Check your internet – A dropped connection prevents ExpressVPN from working
  2. Update ExpressVPN – Old versions cause problems
  3. Whitelist in antivirus – Stops ExpressVPN being blocked
  4. Disable firewalls – Temporarily turn them off to test if they are blocking
  5. Uninstall other VPNs – Removes software conflicts
  6. Turn off battery optimization – Fixes issues on mobile
  7. Change protocol/location – Switching these can fix some connection problems
  8. Reinstall ExpressVPN – A clean install fixes lingering issues

Now let‘s dive into each of these steps more deeply…

#1 – Check Your Internet Connection

An unstable internet connection is one of the most common reasons your ExpressVPN stops working properly. ExpressVPN relies on a steady internet connection to maintain the encrypted VPN tunnel.

So when your own internet goes down, cuts out intermittently, or becomes really slow, ExpressVPN can‘t maintain that seamless private connection. You‘ll experience lag, fails to connect, or get randomly disconnected from the VPN.

Before you try anything else, rule out internet issues:

  • Disconnect from the ExpressVPN app
  • Open a browser and try loading a website
  • If sites fail to load, you likely have an internet connectivity problem

Fixing internet issues will involve restarting your router and modem. For wifi, try moving closer to the router or improving the connection. Contact your ISP if you continue having disruptions to your internet service.

Once your own internet connection is stable, ExpressVPN will be able to establish and maintain the VPN tunnel properly.

#2 – Update ExpressVPN Software

Out-of-date ExpressVPN software can also cause lots of frustrations. Running an old version of the app means you are missing vital improvements, security updates, and bug fixes.

Research by security firm ESET shows that 60% of VPN users fail to regularly update their VPN apps. And a study found 72% of reported ExpressVPN connection issues were fixed simply by updating to the newest version.

Updating is easy – just download the latest ExpressVPN installer from their website and run it. Make sure to uninstall your existing VPN app first. The installer will automatically update ExpressVPN with a few clicks. Staying updated prevents many common problems.

#3 – Whitelist ExpressVPN in Your Antivirus

Your antivirus software can sometimes misidentify ExpressVPN and block it from running on your device. This is because VPN traffic looks very different from normal internet browsing.

The antivirus sees the unfamiliar VPN network data and flags it as suspicious or dangerous activity, blocking ExpressVPN as if it were malware.

To prevent this, you need to explicitly whitelist or exclude ExpressVPN from antivirus scanning:

  • Open settings in your antivirus app
  • Find the option for whitelisted apps or exclusions
  • Add ExpressVPN to the whitelist
  • Save changes and restart antivirus

Now ExpressVPN‘s network traffic will be ignored by the antivirus, stopping it from being blocked while still protecting you.

#4 – Temporarily Disable Firewalls

Firewalls like Windows Defender can also sometimes block VPN traffic and disrupt ExpressVPN. Windows Firewall scans all network activity and might identify the VPN tunnel as unsafe.

While firewalls provide an important layer of security, they can get overzealous and block legitimate programs like ExpressVPN too.

To see if your firewall is interfering with ExpressVPN, you can temporarily disable it:

  • Go into your Windows Security settings
  • Find the Firewall section and go to advanced options
  • Toggle off the firewall completely for private and public networks
  • Restart your computer

If ExpressVPN now connects properly, you know the firewall was causing issues. After testing, turn your firewall back on and add ExpressVPN to the allowed apps list.

#5 – Uninstall Other VPN Services

Here‘s an issue many people overlook – other VPN services installed on your device can conflict with ExpressVPN.

Multiple VPN apps trying to run simultaneously can cause connectivity problems, leaks, and your VPN failing inexplicably. This happens most often when you have another VPN configured to auto-start when your device boots up.

The fix is simple – completely uninstall any other VPN services you have on your device:

  • Go to Settings > Apps
  • Click on each VPN app and select Uninstall
  • Restart your device

With other VPNs removed, ExpressVPN will establish the tunnel without conflicts. Less is more when it comes to VPN apps – stick to just one to avoid issues.

#6 – Disable Battery Optimization for ExpressVPN

On Android mobile devices, having battery optimization enabled can badly affect ExpressVPN in the background.

Battery optimization restricts apps from running fully in the background to conserve power. But this prevents ExpressVPN from maintaining a steady connection.

Go into your Android device settings to disable battery optimization for ExpressVPN:

  • Settings > Apps & notifications > Advanced > Special app access
  • Select Battery optimization
  • Find ExpressVPN in the list and select "Don‘t optimize"

With ExpressVPN exempt from battery optimization, it will be able to run smoothly in the background without disruptions.

#7 – Change Protocol or Location

Some connectivity issues come down to simple protocol or location problems that are easy to tweak:

  • In the ExpressVPN app menu, go to Settings > Protocol
  • Try switching protocols from UDP to TCP or vice versa
  • You can also select a different VPN server location entirely

Changing protocols and locations resets the connection and cycles through different pathways to potentially fix errors.

For example, switching from UDP to TCP protocol might fix speed problems. And changing your VPN location can help bypass geographic restrictions.

#8 – Reinstall ExpressVPN

If you still can‘t connect after trying every solution, a clean reinstall of ExpressVPN often fixes stubborn issues:

  • Fully uninstall the ExpressVPN app from your device
  • Restart your device
  • Download the ExpressVPN installer again
  • Reinstall ExpressVPN like new

A fresh install ensures no weird bugs or glitches affect your ExpressVPN app file. This is an easy reset that often gets the VPN connecting smoothly again.

Get Your VPN Back Up and Running

A fully working VPN is vital for keeping your browsing secure and private while accessing restricted content. By methodically troubleshooting connectivity issues, you can get ExpressVPN back up and running.

Don‘t hesitate to contact ExpressVPN‘s excellent customer support if problems persist after trying these fixes. But in most cases, one of these common troubleshooting steps does the trick to restore your VPN.

With ExpressVPN working properly again, you can surf the web privately, avoid censorship blocks, and securely stream content worldwide. Here‘s to smooth and uninterrupted VPN browsing!



Michael Reddy is a tech enthusiast, entertainment buff, and avid traveler who loves exploring Linux and sharing unique insights with readers.