VPNs are a must for protecting your security and privacy online. Unfortunately, they occasionally stop working properly, and an interruption in connectivity is a common symptom. But what’s the reason? Is it your computer or smart device? Could it be your ISP throttling your connection speed? Is it a problem with your network equipment? Might your VPN service experience temporary or permanent issues? We can’t say. However, we can help you discover the source and then teach you how to fix VPN keeps disconnecting problems yourself.
1. Inspect your VPN subscription validity
Sign in to your user account or check your e-mail to examine your VPN subscription status. You can easily miss the end date, as there are no notifications of expiry if the VPN disconnects automatically outside the VPN app. Additionally, you might’ve reached the limit for simultaneous connections. Although some permit unlimited concurrent devices, most VPN services only allow between 4 and 12 connections.
2. Go through standard troubleshooting steps
Checked the things above off the list? It’s a great time to eliminate temporary interference first – you don’t want to make permanent changes or waste time doing unnecessary tasks, yet. By this, we mean going through steps 1-3 and 5 in our guide for fixing “VPN connection failed. The Request was aborted” error. In this particular case, you can also:
- Get as close to the router if you’re using wireless Internet
- Connect to a different Wi-Fi connection
- Use your mobile data or another device’s hotspot
3. Update your VPN or operating system
The way to fix your VPN keeps disconnecting issue might be updating your VPN software or application. If you’re using the built-in VPN interface on your operating system, check for its updates too. For guidelines or specific steps, depending on your VPN provider, check our guide on updating ExpressVPN.
4. Check your Firewall, Antivirus, and router settings
If your VPN loses connection quickly, something might be blocking it from maintaining a link to the VPN server. In most cases, it’s either due to:
- Antivirus software. Disable it temporarily to check whether it makes a difference. If it does, add an exception for your VPN apps.
- Firewall rules. The Firewall is most likely disabled on Mac. If the VPN keeps disconnecting on Windows 10, use method 4 in our “VPN connection failed with error 800” error fix guide.
- Router configuration. Try port forwarding the same ports we mentioned for Firewall. If that fails, check method 3 in our guide on blocking VPN use. Do the reverse – ensure it says Enable in step 5.
5. Turn off battery saving features
Battery optimization features often impact VPN functionality on laptops or smart devices. Disabling them like this might help:
Left-click the battery icon in the taskbar. Do this next:
- Click on Battery settings, then find the Battery saver section.
- Remove the checkmark in front of Turn battery saver on automatically if my battery falls below.
- Unplug the laptop from the charger, and connect to the VPN.
On Mac, we suggest following these 2 short methods:
- Open Apple menu > System Preferences > Battery > Battery and Power Adapter > Disable options regarding sleep mode and apps.
- You cannot disable “App Nap” via GUI, so open Terminal and then:
- Paste this code and press Return:
defaults write NSGlobalDomain NSAppSleepDisabled -bool YES
- Tip. To restore App Nap, enter:
defaults delete NSGlobalDomain NSAppSleepDisabled
- Paste this code and press Return:
3. Android 10
Go to Settings, and then:
- Tap on Apps & notifications.
- Expand the list by tapping on Advanced, then select Special app access.
- Tap on Battery optimization, switch to All Apps at the top.
- Scroll down, find your VPN app, and tap on it.
- Select Don’t optimize, then tap Done.
For iPhone, we suggest doing these 2 things:
- Open Settings > Select Battery > Toggle Low Power Mode to off.
- Go back to Settings > Select General > Tap on Background App Refresh > Select Off.
6. Play around with VPN settings
We can’t say which of these will solve the problem when the VPN keeps disconnecting if any. This is a trial and error method during which you can:
- Change the VPN location. Follow the steps under the headline Switch a VPN server in our “change a VPN” guide for Windows and Mac. They’re similar for Android and iOS.
- Switch security protocol. Refer to the headline Choose a different security protocol in the same guide. For smart devices, use our configuring VPN on iPhone and setting up ExpressVPN on Android as articles as guidelines.
- Disable kill switch temporarily. Do the opposite of enabling kill switch on ExpressVPN. Enable it after testing regardless, but mention it was problematic during method 9 below.
- Reduce encryption level if possible. Not all VPN providers allow this. If yours does, it will increase VPN speed and may prevent VPN from disconnecting instantly.
7. Reset a VPN profile and network settings
If all else failed, it may be time to start from scratch. By this, we mean following the methods necessary for resetting VPN on Windows. The instructions are similar if you need to reset VPN on Mac too. Moreover, if you didn’t find an answer to, “why does my VPN keep disconnecting on Android?” the solution might be to reinstate VPN on Android. The same applies to iOS; here are methods required to fully restart VPN on iPhone.
8. Try a VPN with channel bonding technology (Suggestion)
This is more of a last resort option – its implementation is rare. Channel bonding, Ethernet bonding, or NIC bonding, is a technology that combines two or more Internet connections. In doing so, users achieve a combined throughput, thus increasing Internet speed, reducing latency, and better stability. Therefore, signing up for a VPN that utilizes this technology could fix VPN disconnecting issue.
9. Contact your VPN Customer Support
An option we always recommend is reaching out to your VPN provider’s Customer Service or your network administrator. Most providers offer 24/7/365 help via web chat, e-mail, internal ticket, and sometimes even by phone. Many VPN services also have a public knowledge base and an active community on Forums. At the very least, you’ll know whether your case is isolated or if others also have the same problem.