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How to manually configure a VPN on Windows 11

Windows 11 manual VPN connection
Windows 11 manual VPN connection (Image credit: Windows Central )

On Windows 11, the best VPN (virtual private network) services will provide an app to connect quickly to their private networks. However, you may still want to configure the VPN manually if the app isn't working as expected or you don't want to install an extra piece of software.

Whatever the reason it might be, Windows 11 provides an option to configure and manage VPN connections from the Settings app, which you can use to connect to virtually any VPN service to improve your online privacy and access other locations' restricted services.

In this Windows 11 guide, we will walk you through the steps to set up, connect, disconnect, and delete a VPN connection.

How to set up a VPN connection on Windows 11

To set up a Windows 11 VPN connection, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Network & internet.
  3. Click the VPN page from the right side.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. In the "VPN connections" setting, click the Add VPN button.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Use the "VPN provider" drop-down menu and select the Windows (built-in) option.
  2. In the "Connection name" setting, enter a name to identify the connection — for example, you can use the service name like IPVanish, Private Internet Access, etc.
  3. In the "Server name or address" setting, enter the address of the VPN server — for example, vpnserver.com or 122.122.122.122.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Use the "VPN type" drop-down menu and select the Automatic option or the protocol required to connect to the particular VPN server.
  2. Use the "Type of sign-in info" drop-down menu and select the authentication method.Quick note: This option will depend on the VPN provider settings.
  3. Confirm the username and password if you select the "User name and password" option.
  4. Click the Save button.

Once you complete the steps, you can connect to the VPN service from the Settings app or Taskbar.

How to connect a VPN connection on Windows 11

To connect to a VPN server, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Network & internet.
  3. Click the VPN page from the right side.
  4. Click the Connect button for the connection

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

After you complete the steps, the computer will connect to the VPN server.

Connect from Taskbar

To make a VPN connection from the Taskbar, use these steps:

  1. Click the network icon in the Taskbar
  2. Click the VPN button.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Select the VPN connection.
  2. Click the Connect button.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Once you complete the steps, like using the Settings app, the device will authenticate and connect to the remote network.

How to disconnect a VPN connection on Windows 11

To disconnect a VPN connection, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Network & internet.
  3. Click the VPN page from the right side.
  4. Click the Disconnect button.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the Confirm button.

After you complete the steps, the computer will disconnect from the VPN server.

Disconnect from Taskbar

To disconnect a VPN connection from Taskbar, use these steps:

  1. Click the network icon in the Taskbar
  2. Click the VPN button.
  3. Select the VPN connection.
  4. Click the Disconnect button.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Once you complete the steps, the laptop or desktop will terminate its connection to the remote virtual private network.

How to remove a VPN connection on Windows 11

To remove and delete a VPN connection, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Network & internet.
  3. Click the VPN page from the right side.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the connection to access its settings.
  2. Click the Disconnect button (if applicable).
  3. Click the Remove button.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

After you complete the steps, the VPN connection will be removed from the computer.

Our top VPN and software picks

If you want to complete the configuration steps, you will need a reliable VPN service and Windows 11 or 10. We lean toward ExpressVPN thanks to a great price, tons of features, and proven security, but there are more options listed below.

ExpressVPN

Premier VPN service

With robust encryption and plenty of connection protocols, including OpenVPN, this is one of the best services operating today.

More great VPN services

Is ExpressVPN not for you? Check out these other excellent VPN services we recommend. You can also have a look at our roundup of the current best VPN deals if you are looking to save some money.

Surfshark VPN

Surfshark VPN (See the latest pricing at Surfshark)

Surfshark puts no limit on how many devices can connect, making it a great VPN option for the whole family.

CyberGhost VPN

CyberGhost VPN (See the latest pricing at CyberGhost)

Tons of servers, robust security, and affordable long-term plans make CyberGhost an excellent option for many people.

Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access (See the latest pricing at PIA)

When it comes to a VPN and its apps, some people want a UI with only what is needed. Private Internet Access is exactly this.

IPVanish logo

IPVanish (See the latest pricing at IPVanish)

IPVanish is one of the easiest VPNs to use, thanks to an app with a user interface that appeals to both novices and experts alike.

More Windows resources

For more helpful articles, coverage, and answers to common questions about Windows 10 and Windows 11, visit the following resources:

Mauro Huculak is technical writer for WindowsCentral.com. His primary focus is to write comprehensive how-tos to help users get the most out of Windows 10 and its many related technologies. He has an IT background with professional certifications from Microsoft, Cisco, and CompTIA, and he's a recognized member of the Microsoft MVP community.