Isn’t your iOS device running a VPN? This can manifest in a hang during the connection stage or, sometimes, even after a successful connection to the VPN, sites do not open.

We highly recommend using Surfshark VPN as it is reliable and secure.

This tutorial will look at all possible solutions to fix the most common VPN issues on your iPhone or iPad.

VPN doesn't work on iPhones or iPad: 20 Easy Fix

1. Make sure Wi-Fi or mobile internet is working

An installed VPN app on your iPhone can only connect to its servers and work successfully if your device’s Wi-Fi or cellular data is working correctly.

So, the first step is to ensure that your iPhone is actively connected to the Internet. To check this, open Safari and go to any site. If sites without a VPN open successfully, move on to the next solution. Check out our Wi-FI and mobile internet troubleshooting guides if the Internet is down. Once Wi-Fi or mobile Internet is up and running, try connecting to the VPN on your iPhone again.

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2. Disconnect and reconnect to the VPN

Open the VPN app on your iPhone and tap the Disconnect button to stop it from working. After waiting for a few seconds, connect to the VPN again.

Note: The word VPN is displayed in the iPhone Control Center when connected to a VPN. But sometimes, this indicator is displayed even when your VPN app is stuck when connecting and isn’t working.

VPN doesn't work on iPhones or iPad: 20 Easy Fix

3. Force the VPN app to close and reopen it

Swipe up from the bottom of the iPhone screen or double-click the Home button to enter app-switching mode. From here, swipe up your VPN app to force it to close. Once this is done, wait about 10 seconds before opening the VPN app again.

4. Turn airplane mode on and off

Open the iOS Control Center or the Settings app and turn on Airplane Mode. This will disable all wireless protocols, such as Wi-Fi and cellular data, and update network connections. After that, open the VPN app and try to connect again. After that, the VPN can work.

5. Restart your iPhone

Sometimes VPN issues are successfully solved by simply turning your iPhone off and on.

6. Restart the Wi-Fi router

In addition, rebooting the iPhone helps restart the Wi-Fi router. Please turn off the power to the router and wait about 30 seconds before turning it on.

7. Make sure you don’t run out of your VPN plan

If you have a paid VPN, there are restrictions on traffic. Traffic restrictions also apply to free VPN apps. Free traffic can range from 500 MB to several GB. Once you run out of this limit, your VPN will stop working.

So if you’re using a free VPN, open the app and see if there’s an alert about the end of free traffic. If there is a restriction, you need to purchase a paid plan or perform some actions to get free megabytes/gigabytes, for example, to view video ads. Or download another free VPN app.

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8. Delete the VPN Profile and Add It Again

Sometimes it helps to delete VPN profiles. It is done as follows:

  1. Open the Settings app and go to General > VPN & Device Management > VPN.
  2. Click next to the VPN profile you added.
  3. Click Delete VPN and confirm.
  4. Now open the VPN app and click Connect. You’ll be prompted to install a VPN profile. Tap Allow, enter your iPhone passcode, or go through Touch/Face ID authentication.
VPN doesn't work on iPhones or iPad: 20 Easy Fix

Once this is done, the VPN app will connect successfully. If you didn’t see a pop-up window in step 4 that prompts you to install a VPN profile, uninstall and reinstall the VPN app.

9. Check the VPN server load

Some services, such as Surfshark, show a list of servers available in the country, and the percentage of downloads is displayed next to each server. If the server is 90+% busy, try using another, less-loaded one; this should help reconnect and increase the Internet’s speed.

VPN doesn't work on iPhones or iPad: 20 Easy Fix

10. Select a different country or VPN server

Sometimes the VPN servers of a particular country may not allow you to connect to it due to overload or temporary unavailability. In these cases, try selecting a different country from the list.

11. Change the VPN Protocol

The VPN protocol is responsible for how your data is redirected from your iPhone to the VPN servers. Usually, a VPN app supports multiple protocols and, by default, tends to use the best one. Some apps may switch between protocols to ensure a stable and secure connection.

If you can’t connect to a VPN, open the VPN app on your iPhone and go to its settings. Here, find the protocol setting and choose a different option. After that, try connecting to the VPN and see if it works. If that doesn’t work, revert to the previous protocol in the settings and move on to the next solution or try a different protocol.

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VPN doesn't work on iPhones or iPad: 20 Easy Fix

12. Disable the second VPN on your iPhone or Wi-Fi router

Some use more than one VPN service at a time for added protection. Yes, it happens. Or perhaps you have an additional VPN set up on your Wi-Fi router. If so, turn off the second VPN and use only one.

VPN doesn't work on iPhones or iPad: 20 Easy Fix

13. Update your VPN app

Open the App Store and search for your VPN app. You’ll see an “Update” button if an update is available. Click on it.

14. Uninstall and reinstall the VPN app

In rare cases, the only way to resolve VPN issues may be to uninstall and reinstall the VPN app. Try this solution.

15. Disable the private Wi-Fi address

For some, disabling a private Wi-Fi address helps. If you can’t connect to a VPN on your iPhone, go to Settings Wi-Fi and tap i for the connected network. On the next screen, disable the private Wi-Fi address and confirm by clicking Continue.

Then try connecting to a VPN and see if it works or not. If that doesn’t work, restart your iPhone and try again. If the problem persists, re-enable the private Wi-Fi address and proceed to the next solution.

VPN doesn't work on iPhones or iPad: 20 Easy Fix

16. Disconnect the on-demand connection or always-on VPN

Go to the VPN app settings and disable any option labeled Always ON VPN or On Demand. If you don’t see these settings, go to Settings General Manage VPN and Device and click i next to your VPN profile. Here, disable Connect on Demand.

VPN doesn't work on iPhones or iPad: 20 Easy Fix

17. Change DNS in the VPN app

Some VPN applications allow you to change your DNS. For example, you can replace your existing DNS address with Cloudflare (, Google ( and, and so on.

18. Some websites and services do not work through a VPN

It’s important to know that some websites, apps, and services may not work with VPNs. Therefore, we recommend disabling the VPN when updating your iPhone or when you don’t have an iOS app working.

19. Reset network settings

Go to Settings General Transfer, reset your iPhone > Reset, and select Reset network settings. After that, open the VPN app and try to connect. That should work.

If the problem persists, consider resetting all iPhone settings by selecting “Reset all settings” from this list.

20. Contact VPN Support

Finally, if more than one piece of advice did not help you, try to contact your VPN service’s technical support to explain your situation. If you’ve already paid for your subscription, you can request a refund and switch to another VPN service. The feedback form from the developer of the VPN service can usually be found at the bottom of the application or on the official website.


Ruby has been a writer and author for a while, and her content appears all across the tech world, from within ReadWrite, BusinessMagazine, ThriveGlobal, etc.

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