Surfshark not Working? Try These 8 Quick Fixes
Can't figure why is Surfshark not working? It often only requires a reset or a change of a server. Try the steps explained below and you'll have Surfshark back up and running in no time.
Is Surfshark not working for you? Many of the problems that users experience with Surfshark are quite simple in nature and can be resolved without needing you to have sage-level IT knowledge.
But if you want to try fixing Surfshark first, here are a few helpful tips:
Unable to Connect to Surfshark
Why is Surfshark not working? It could be a number of reasons. The good news is that Surfshark problems that users commonly face can be resolved in most cases with the following steps:
1. Switch servers
One of the common reasons why you might find Surfshark not connecting is server connectivity connectivity issues with only the few specific servers you preferentially use. You should try connecting to different servers available in Surfshark’s impressive network of 3,200+ servers in 65+ countries.
Server down times can happen for maintenance purposes or due to technical faults. If you’re experiencing slow Surfshark speeds, you can try connecting to a nearby location.
You can contact customer support to inform them about the issues with the server you’re having, and they’ll get to working to fix it if the problem is on their end. These issues are usually temporary, so you should use a nearby server to your preferred one until the problem is fixed by Surfshark.
2. Check subscription validity
Is your Surfshark subscription still valid? It’s possible that you might have run out of the subscription period without realizing it. If that’s the case, you won’t be able to log into Surfshark and get the VPN working.
Head over to your Surfshark user panel and check if your subscription is still active. If not, then you will need to renew your subscription before you can access Surfshark again.
3. Faulty internet connection
Are you sure that your internet is generally working fine? Sometimes, the problem isn’t with your VPN client but with your internet service itself.
To check that your internet is functioning normally, disconnect Surfshark and quit the service altogether from your PC/device. Now try using the internet again and see if you are able to visit websites. If it works, then the problem is certainly with Surfshark and you will need to try some other steps listed in this article.
However, if you are unable to surf the web even with Surfshark disconnected, then you will need to sort out your internet connection. Give your ISP a call and they’ll probably be able to fix your internet. Once done, try connecting to Surfshark again.
4. Change protocols
Surfshark offers multiple protocols that including OpenVPN UDP, OpenVPN TCP, and IKEv2. ISPs in some regions block certain protocols, which can result in connectivity issues on your end.
Here’s how you can change your VPN protocol on Surfshark’s windows app:
- Launch Surfshark > Click Settings on the bottom-left.
- Click Advanced > Protocol > Select a protocol and try connecting to a location again.
You should try changing the protocols in this order OpenVPN UDP > OpenVPN TCP > IKEv2. UDP is a faster protocol than TCP, but it is less reliable. In many parts of the Middle East, ISPs block the UDP port.
So, make sure to try different protocols if you’re experiencing issues with the default protocol on Surfshark.
5. Reset the app
You can try restoring the Surfshark app to the default settings if you’ve tried other methods to not avail. To restore Surfshark to factory defaults on Windows, follow these steps:
- Launch Surfshark > Settings
- Under Support, click Help > Diagnostics
- When the new window opens, click Restore original settings > Restore
Once the app has been restored, try connecting to a server location again. This trick seems to work for many annoyed Surfshark users.
If Surfshark is not working on Android or other phones, you can simply reset the app to default by following the same standard procedure as for any other app.
6. Firewall/antimalware exceptions
Another fairly common problem that prevents Surfshark from working properly is restrictions and conflicts caused by firewall/antimalware software. These programs tend to block VPN connections entirely or cause frequent disconnections/slow speeds.
To make sure that your security software aren’t interfering with your VPN connection, disable all your antivirus/firewall programs and then try using Surfshark. If this works, then this proves that one or more of your security programs are causing the problem.
You can add Surfshark.exe in the list of exceptions in your firewall/antimalware. This will enable your software program to continue offering you protection while ignoring Surfshark so that you can use both smoothly and without any interference!
7. Disable TAP adapters
Conflicts with other VPNs installed in your system/device can also interfere with your Surfshark connection. If you have other VPNs installed, you should disable their TAP adapters. This is how you can do this on Windows:
- Open Control Panel > Network and Internet > Network and Sharing Center > Change adapter settings.
- You’ll find the TAP adapters of all installed VPNs as well as your physical network.
- Disable adapters of all VPNs other than Surfshark by right-clicking each and selecting Disable.
After disabling the adapters of other providers, try connecting to Surfshark again.
8. Update Surfshark app
Outdated apps can give you all sorts of errors and bugs including login issues which may lead to Surfshark not opening at all. If you haven’t updated your Surfshark app in a while, you should check their official website to make sure there isn’t a more recent version available.
In case an update is available, download and install it immediately. Not only are updated apps more secure, but they also improve performance and can resolve some performance issues that may exist in previous versions.
Surfshark Issues and Fixes for Specific Situations
Here are some services, devices, and platforms that have frequently cause problems for Surfshark user:
Surfshark not working on Firestick
Surfshark offers a dedicated app for Firestick. Unfortunately, you can’t use this app on the first generation Firestick devices as these don’t support VPNs.
So, make sure that you’re using a 2nd generation Firestick device as that is the only way you will be able to run Surfshark on it.
Surfshark not working on Prime
To watch Amazon Prime Video from anywhere in the world using Surfshark, you must be connected to a US server. However, this only works on computers, as Surfshark doesn’t unblock Prime on mobile devices.
If you’re unable to access Prime on your computer with Surfshark, try these steps:
- Clear your browser cache.
- Try a different US server location.
- Restart your computer and try again.
These steps should resolve the issue in most cases. If the problem persists, you should contact customer support which can guide you towards an easy solution.
Surfshark not working with Torrent
Surfshark supports p2p filesharing and torrenting on most servers. However, its best optimized servers for torrenting are Netherlands, US, and Canada.
The provider itself has provided a list of all the servers that support p2p:
So, if you’re facing speed or other issues while using torrents with Surfshark, try changing your server location to one of the above. Surfshark is generally efficient for torrenting, so you shouldn’t normally experience any issues. For example, you can connect to a Switzerland VPN server that is P2P optimized.
However, if you still face issues with Surfshark try ExpressVPN, offering dedicated P2P servers with no IP or DNS leak including a 100% no-log policy. Also, NordVPN can also be an excellent option for torrenting as confirmed by our NordVPN’s guide for torrenting. You can also check out our NordVPN vs Surfshark comparison to see which one is the best option for torrenting.
Surfshark not working with Netflix
Surfshark can unblock Netflix library with all the unique content of different regions including US, UK, India, Italy, Canada, Germany, and more. Simply connect to the server of the country you wish to unblock the Netflix catalog of in order to watch your favorite shows. It is also one of the best VPNs to use in Hong Kong.
If you’re facing problems, clear your browser cache, restart your browser, and try again. This should fix the problem in 90% of the cases as Surfshark is one of the most powerful VPNs for Netflix around.
Tried above methods above but still no luck? Maybe you should cancel Surfshark and try a difference service. For instance, here’s how Surfshark compares to ExpressVPN, which is one of the most well-rounded VPN providers in the market:
|Servers||3,000+ in 94 countries||3,200+ in 65+ countries|
|Customer Support||24/7 live chat & email||24/7 live chat & email|
|Logging Policy||Zero logs||Zero logs|
|Jurisdiction||The British Virgin Islands||The British Virgin Islands|
|Compatibility||All devices||All devices|
It is advisable to get Surfshark’s free trial before purchasing the full subscription. This way, you can see if you’re getting the performance you expect. You can opt out if it proves to be less than satisfactory.
Surfshark is an excellent VPN service though it may develop some problems from time to time. If you find Surfshark not working, try the above mentioned tips and tricks and that should be enough to resolve the problem in most cases.
If you’re dissatisfied with the service, then you can always choose a better alternative like ExpressVPN.
For more information about this VPN, see our Surfshark review.
For guides to any devices like the best free VPN for laptop, please use our VPN guide.