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ExpressVPN Not Working – 8 Easy Troubleshooting Tips in 2021

ExpressVPN may not work properly from time to time, but it shouldn't be too much of a hassle to fix with these 8 troubleshooting steps below.

ExpressVPN is one of the highly-rated premium VPN brands with a huge base of loyal customers. But even the most well-designed computer software can break sometimes and give an annoying error message.

If you find ExpressVPN not working for you, here are a few tips you can try to quickly fix the problem yourself before reaching out to customer support.

Recently Reported Issue

Recently Reported Issue: App stuck on macOS Catalina

Recently, there was a new issue reported in ExpressVPN for Mac running on macOS Catalina. There is a vulnerability that causes the ExpressVPN app to freeze and it gets stucks halfway when establishing a connection. 


If you are facing this issue, check for updates on your ExpressVPN macOS app. If the update is not showing up, go to the official website of ExpressVPN and manually download the newest version. You might be facing this issue because your ExpressVPN app must be outdated. Follow these steps to get the ExpressVPN app working on your Mac device:

  1. Go to Applications > Find ExpressVPN and move it to bin
  2. Go to Finder > search ExpressVPN and delete any associated app you find in your system
  3. Go to ExpressVPNs official site, and download the latest version of the app

Therefore, reinstalling the updated version of the ExpressVPN app on your Mac device and it will clear the problem right away. Also, try and update your macOS to the latest version to fix the issue.

8 Quick Ways to Fix ExpressVPN Not Working Issue

There can be multiple reasons why ExpressVPN may not be working for you. Below, you will find some of the most common causes of errors and their solutions. The most logical method for going about these troubleshooting steps is to apply one solution at a time and then check if your problem is fixed.

1. Check internet connectivity
2. Change ExpressVPN server locations
3. Update ExpressVPN app
4. Change VPN protocol on ExpressVPN
5. Disable firewall/anti-malware
6. Flush the DNS
7. Reduce the simultaneous usage of ExpressVPN
8. Contact ExpressVPN support with diagnostic information

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1. Check internet connectivity

If you’re connected to ExpressVPN and you can’t access the internet, try disabling ExpressVPN and check if your internet connection starts working. But if your internet connection is the culprit, try this:

  • Unplug the cable from your router, wait a minute, and then plug it back in.
  • Now, visit Speedtest and run a quick test.
  • If you still can’t get your internet to work, call up your internet service provider.

2. Change ExpressVPN server locations

The first thing you should do is to try to change the server locations. ExpresssVPN offers over 3,000 servers in 94 locations, so you have a lot of options to choose from. In some cases, certain servers in the network can develop technical problems that are resolved by the provider after a while.


So, try connecting to different ExpressVPN server locations. If the issue is server-specific, you should be able to use ExpressVPN with other servers. Also note that ExpressVPN can be used with torrents on all servers, but it will automatically redirect you to different server locations where it’s safe to download P2P files.

It bears mention that ExpressVPN boasts fast servers that consistently deliver excellent speeds. You should receive high speeds even on remotely located servers, but for best performance, it is better to choose servers located closer to your physical location.

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3. Update ExpressVPN app

If you’re using an older version of ExpressVPN, you should get the latest version. To obtain the latest ExpressVPN app, first, uninstall your existing app then visit the official ExpressVPN website to download the latest app for your device. Then proceed to download and install it on your device.

Since outdated app versions are no longer officially supported, they tend to develop bugs and connection errors. Moreover, it is risky from a security point of view to run these apps. So it is important to make you are always running the latest version of ExpressVPN for stable performance and security level.

4. Change VPN protocol on ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN uses OpenVPN UDP as the default protocol. This protocol combination offers the best balance of speed and security.

However, the UDP protocol is blocked in some countries such as the Middle East. You can try changing protocols, one by one until you find the one that works for you.

Here’s how you can change protocols in the ExpressVPN Windows app:

  • Click the three horizontal lines to open the menu. Then choose ‘Options’.


  • Click on ‘Protocol’ and choose one from the available options.expressvpn-changing-protocols-to-fix-connectivity-problem
  • You should try connecting to the VPN again after changing the protocol, one by one, in this order:
    • OpenVPN TCP > L2TP > PPTP

PPTP and L2TP offer poor security and are not recommended.

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5. Disable firewall/anti-malware

Some firewall and anti-malware software can block VPN connection ports. To test if your connectivity issues are being caused by a firewall or other similar protective programs, you will have to disable all of these programs and try connecting to an ExpressVPN server again.

If you are now able to connect to ExpresVPN after disabling this security software, then you will have to make an exception for ExpressVPN in the program that’s blocking it. The easiest way to do that is to follow these steps:

  • Uninstall the ExpressVPN app.
  • Uninstall the program blocking ExpressVPN.
  • Reinstall ExpressVPN.
  • Reinstall the program blocking ExpressVPN.

This should fix the problem of ExpressVPN getting denied access from a firewall/antimalware.

6. Flush the DNS

Often times, because your system is unable to communicate with a DNS server, you will not be able to access the internet when connected to ExpressVPN. To fix this issue, you’ll need to flush your DNS settings. Here’s how you can flush DNS on a Windows computer:

  • Hit the Windows key, search for ‘Command Prompt’, and hit Enter.
  • Now, type ‘ipconfig /flushdns’ > Enter.
  • Type ‘ipconfig /registerdns’ > Enter.
  • Type ‘ipconfig /release’ > Enter.
  • Type ‘ipconfig /renew’ > Enter.
  • Type ‘netsh winsock reset’ > Enter.
  • Finally, restart your computer > connect to ExpressVPN > check if you can access the internet.

7. Reduce the simultaneous usage of ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN won’t connect if you have exceeded the simultaneous connection limit. The provider supports 5 multi-logins which means you can use the same ExpressVPN subscription to connect to 5 different devices at the same time.

Since ExpressVPN supports Fire Stick, Roku, Kodi, and several routers, other than the common platforms of Windows, Mac, etc., make sure that you aren’t already connected to 5 devices when you’re experiencing connectivity issues on ExpressVPN (might involve reducing the number of friends you have shared your ExpressVPN account credentials with).

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8. Contact ExpressVPN support with diagnostic information

The ExpressVPN app contains a built-in diagnostic tool to help developers (or even anyone tech-savvy enough) to troubleshoot problems. You can generate this diagnostic report and send it to the customer support of ExpresVPN so they can figure out exactly what the problem is and offer a solution.

To obtain the diagnostic report and send it to ExpresVPN customer support, follow these steps:

1. Click on the Hamburger icon (≡) > Help & Support > Diagnostic Information


2. Click the contact support button in the diagnostic file that opens next

3. Check the box “Include diagnostic information” and describe your issue with as many specific details as possible and click “Send to Support


Fixes for ExpressVPN Not Working Issues in Specific Situations

Here are some services, devices, and platforms that ExpressVPN is often reported to exhibit problems with and their quick fixes:

ExpressVPN not working on a router

ExpressVPN offers firmware for certain brands and models of routers to facilitate easy connectivity. You can learn about setting up ExpressVPN on routers here.

If you are facing connectivity problems after successfully installing and configuring the ExpressVPN firmware, try removing all cables running between your computer, modem, router, and any other devices, turn off the router for 30 seconds, and turning it back on.

ExpressVPN not working on Android?

There are several factors that can prevent the ExpressVPN app from establishing a connection on your Android device. Here are two common culprits to look out for:

1. Other VPN apps and their profiles installed on your device can interfere with ExpressVPN and prevent it from working properly. To remove a VPN profile from your Android device, follow these steps:

  • Settings > Wi-Fi & internet > VPN.
  • Tap on the gear icon next to all the other VPN apps on your device.
  • Tap on Forget VPN one by one.

2. The battery optimization feature on Huawei and Samsung phones can often prevent ExpressVPN from establishing a connection. Here’s how to disable the battery optimization option:

  • ‘Settings’ > ‘Apps & notifications’.
  • ‘Advanced’ > ‘Special app access’.
  • ‘Battery optimization’ > ‘All apps’.
  • Tap on the ExpressVPN app.
  • Finally, tap on ‘Don’t optimize’ > ‘Done’.

ExpressVPN not working with Netflix

ExpressVPN has an excellent success rate when it comes to unblocking popular Netflix libraries such as the US, UK, Germany, France, etc. However, some users may face problems getting ExpressVPN to work with Netflix.

The first thing to try when you face the ExpressVPN Netflix error is to change your server location. If that doesn’t work, you should contact the customer support of the provider. These guys always have updated information about servers that are currently working with Netflix and can direct you towards the right server location.

If you’re an iPhone user, some people have reported that changing the VPN protocol to IKEv2 helps unblock US Netflix. ExpressVPN offers this protocol only for iOS devices.

Nonetheless, ExpressVPN is super-efficient for Netflix and users generally won’t experience any hurdle when using it to stream their favorite content.

Why is my ExpressVPN not working with BBC iPlayer?

Even though BBC iPlayer is a free streaming service, it is the UK’s largest streaming service. Because of this, BBC iPlayer has deployed powerful geo-blocking technology to prevent users from outside the UK to access BBC iPlayer. As a result, a lot of VPN providers sometimes don’t work with BBC iPlayer.

Here are the potential reasons that can block ExpressVPN from unblocking BBC iPlayer:

  • The server that you’re using is blacklisted by BBC iPlayer.
  • Cookies on your device are giving away your actual location to BBC iPlayer.
  • Your IP address is leaking.

ExpressVPN Amazon Prime not working

Similarly, users that are unable to access Amazon Prime Video can resolve the issue by switching to different servers. Once again, ExpressVPN’s customer support can come in real handy and help you find out servers that are effective for unblocking Amazon Prime from abroad. So, if you’re facing this issue don’t hesitate to reach out to ExpressVPN’s customer support.

ExpressVPN not working with Hulu

Some ExpressVPN servers work better with Hulu than others. The last time we checked, New Jersey 3 and Denver server locations were able to unblock Hulu.

However, the ability of VPN servers to work with different streaming platforms keeps changing over time. Contact customer support to learn which server location will work best for your needs.

ExpressVPN not working in China

One of the fixes that work for mobile users of ExpressVPN in China involves the following actions:

  • Open your Phone’s settings > Manage apps > ExpressVPN > Clear data.
  • Once data has been cleared, re-open the ExpressVPN app

In addition to this, there are some ExpressVPN servers that work more effectively in China. These are:

  • Hong Kong 1, Hong Kong 4, Tokyo 1, & Los Angeles 3.

ExpressVPN is one of the few VPNs that work in China. However, Chinese VPN filtering technologies aka “The Great Firewall of China” are extremely strong and capable of blocking even the most powerful VPNs.

So, if you’re unable to make ExpressVPN in China, try the above steps. If you’re still facing issues, then contacting customer support can is your best bet.

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ExpressVPN Alternatives

Tried all the methods above but still no progress? Maybe it’s time to try a different VPN and cancel the ExpressVPN subscription. For instance, here’s how ExpressVPN compares to Surfshark, a highly affordable VPN with premium features:

Price $2.49/mo $6.67/mo
Servers3,200+ in 65+ countries3,000 in 94 countries
Customer Support24/7 live chat & email24/7 live chat & email
Logging PolicyZero LogsZero Logs
JurisdictionThe British Virgin IslandsThe British Virgin Islands
Netflix unblockingStrongStrong
CompatibilityAll devicesAll devices
Trustpilot Score4.3/54.7/5
Website SurfsharkEXPRESSVPN

If you are not an ExpressVPN subscriber yet but want to try out the service, it is advisable to first get the trial version of the app. ExpressVPN’s free trial is a great way to test the service before committing to a full subscription.


Now that we’ve covered some of the common troubleshooting steps for ExpressVPN, let’s check out some FAQs relating to today’s guide.

Why is my ExpressVPN not working?

Because some websites block IP addresses associated with ExpressVPN, you may encounter connectivity issues. Try switching servers to fix this issue.

Why is my ExpressVPN unable to sign in?

If you’re unable to sign in to your ExpressVPN account, you might be using the wrong username, password, or activation code.

Why is my ExpressVPN unable to connect?

The reason why you’re unable to get ExpressVPN to connect properly could be because you’re using the wrong protocol. Try switching to all available protocols one at a time to see if that works for you.

How can I tell if ExpressVPN is working?

To check if ExpressVPN is working properly, type in ‘what is my IP’ on Google. If you see an IP address that is associated with ExpressVPN’s server, that means that ExpressVPN is working fine.

Why does ExpressVPN keep disconnecting?

The reason why your ExpressVPN app keeps disconnecting randomly could be because of the device you’re using, its operating system, or its connection type. The easiest way to fix this issue is to contact ExpressVPN’s support team.


ExpressVPN is probably the most popular VPN brand in the market. It is also one of the best VPN for Mexico and other countries. Yet, even this VPN isn’t immune to errors and annoying bugs. If you’re an ExpressVPN user, try the above-mentioned methods to resolve the issues you may be facing.

If all else fails, you can always go with a better alternative, such as Surfshark. It also offers similar features as ExpressVPN but at a much lower cost of $2.49/mo.

To get more information about ExpressVPN, check out our ExpressVPN review.

'Osama Tahir

Osama Tahir

Posts by Osama Tahir

Osama Tahir's Biography :

Osama is a staunch believer in the inalienable right of every citizen to freedom of expression. Writing about online privacy and security without regard to political correctness is his answer to the powers that be threatening our freedom. Deeply curious about Nature and the Universe, he is fascinated by science, intrigued by mathematics, and wishes to play guitar like Buckethead in some alternate version of reality.

2 Responses to ExpressVPN Not Working – 8 Easy Troubleshooting Tips in 2021

  1. Greeley says:

    While a proxy server lets you bypass internet blocking and hides your IP location. However, a preset proxy may conflict with your VPN settings. Thus, you find ExpressVPN not working with Netflix.

    • Abdul Rehman says:

      Hi there, proxies do cause issues sometimes. However, getting VPN-related issues fixed isn’t all that difficult. We’ve covered a lot of basic troubleshooting tips that you can follow.

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