Using a VPN these days is nothing strange, although we can all agree that it’s not exactly a necessity for so many users. As some media outlets and influencers like to present them, at least. It all depends on how much you care about your privacy and what kind of geo-restrictions you want to circumvent on your mobile device. Some users who do find them important have run into a problem where VPN is just not working on an Android phone.
We made sure to explain why this might happen and provide you with a list of applicable solutions that will, hopefully, help you address the issue.
Table of contents:
- Make sure that VPN access is allowed
- Reset cache and data from the VPN app
- Disable WLAN assistance and check the connection
- Reinstall the VPN
- Reset Network Settings
- Try an alternative VPN solution
Why is VPN not connecting on my Android phone?
If the VPN is not connecting on Android, you can try these solutions:
- Allow VPN to connect.
- Use an unlocked location.
- Disable proxies on your device.
- Clear local data or reinstall the app.
Solution 1 – Make sure that VPN access is allowed
When you use your VPN service client (Android app) for Android for the first time, there should appear a prompt to add and enable VPN in the System Settings. You’ll get a Connection request and, once you accept it and connect to a preferred IP address, you’ll see the Key icon in the Status bar, at the top of the screen.
So, make sure to navigate to the VPN app and connect to any available location. Accept the network connection and you should be able to connect without issues. On the other hand, if the VPN is still not working on your Android phone, continue with the steps below.
Solution 2 – Reset cache and data from the VPN app
Alternatively, like with any other app that doesn’t function as intended, you can navigate to App settings and clear the cache and the data. There’s always a possibility of data corruption which might result in issues with the VPN app.
Follow these steps to clear the cache and data from the VPN app:
- Open Settings.
- Choose Apps, then Application manager, All apps, or Manage apps.
- Find your VPN solution and open it from the list of all apps.
- Choose Storage.
- Tap Clear Cache and then Clear Data.
- Reboot your device.
Solution 3 – Disable WLAN assistance and check the connection
Certain OEMs offer various solutions that ensure stable connection by simultaneously switching from one to another Wi-Fi network or Mobile Data. Of course, if the current network is unstable, crashing, or just being super slow. This might break VPN so we suggest disabling those options.
In addition, the Virtual Private Network uses your physical IP address, filters it (replaces it with an alternative IP from your preferred location), and masks your current location that way. This means that you still need a stable Wi-Fi network to utilize a VPN.
Follow these steps to learn how to disable WLAN assistance and troubleshoot the connectivity on your Android device:
- In the Notification shade, tap and hold on to the Wi-Fi icon until you open Settings. Once there, open Additional (or Advanced) settings. Disable WLAN assistant and all similar modes.
- Restart your router and your handset.
- Disable Bluetooth and NFC temporarily.
- Check out our articles about Wi-Fi and data issues on Android for more solutions.
Solution 4 – Reinstall the VPN
In addition, you might want to reinstall the VPN and give it another go. We already mentioned that you have to ensure that your subscription is paid in case you are using a premium VPN solution for mobile.
If that’s indeed the case, reinstalling the VPN might help. Just navigate to Play Store, locate your VPN by searching for it, and uninstall it. Reboot your device and install the latest update of the VPN of your choice (the one you are subscribed to, obviously) again. Also, while we are at it, consider navigating to Settings > Apps > your VPN > Battery. Then just disable Battery optimization.
In case the VPN is not working on your Android phone, try fixing it with the remaining solution.
Solution 5 – Reset Network Settings
If none of the previous steps worked for you, the problem might lie in the WLAN configuration on your device. Something might be wrong so we recommend resetting your router and resetting Network settings on your device.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Open the Settings app.
- Select System or General Management.
- Tap Reset and then tap Reset Network Settings.
Solution 6 – Try an alternative VPN solution
Finally, if the VPN of your choice has issues and just won’t work on your handset no matter what you do, consider canceling the subscription and switching to an alternative. And there are indeed plenty of alternatives on the Play Store.
We can recommend NordVPN and you would support the development of our website by buying it from the affiliate link above. This VPN is widely recognized and reliable on both Android, iOS, Windows, and Mac. However, it’s solely your choice.
With that said, we can conclude this article. Thank you for reading and, in case you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to tell us in the comments section below. We look forward to your feedback.
Editor’s note: This article was initially published in April 2021. We made sure to revamp it for freshness and accuracy.