How to set up OpenVPN GUI app on Windows

In this tutorial, you will learn how to install the OpenVPN GUI app on your device, which can be useful in restrictive network environments or when your computer's operating system is too old to run the Surfshark app.


Don't have the app? Download Surfshark VPN here.


You will learn how to:

You will need a device running Windows operating system and an active Surfshark subscription, which you can purchase on our pricing page.


Get your credentials


You will need Surfshark service credentials in order to connect to the VPN using a manual OpenVPN connection. Do not confuse these with your regular credentials, namely your email address and your password.

Here is how you can get your Surfshark credentials:

  1. Go to this page. This is the page where all the details required for manual connection are stored.

    You may be asked to log in before proceeding to this page. In that case, enter your email address and your password, then click Log in.

  2. Click on the Credentials tab. You will find Surfshark service credentials there.

    It is a good idea to keep this page open for now. You will need these credentials a bit later.


Download configuration files

  1. Go to this page. It’s the same page where you find Surfshark service credentials but switch to the Locations tab instead.

  2. Find the list of servers.

    Download configuration files of your preferred location. If you wish to connect to Poland, download the Poland - Warsaw or Poland - Gdansk configuration file. If you prefer connecting to Finland, download the configuration file for Finland - Helsinki. Move the cursor to the arrow pointing downwards, which is on the right side of the locations, and click on it.


  3. Then choose which file to download - UDP or TCP. Those are 2 different VPN protocols. We recommend the UDP protocol because it tends to be faster, but feel free to read more about different protocols and decide for yourself.



Download the app

Once you have your credentials and configuration files in place, you can install the OpenVPN GUI app.

  1. Download the OpenVPN GUI app from the links below.

    Windows 32-bit
    Windows 64-bit

  2. You should now find the installation file in the Downloads folder of your device.



Install the app


  1. Double-click the downloaded installation file.


  2. Allow the app to make changes. That is necessary because the OpenVPN app needs permission to manage network and VPN settings.

    Click Yes.


  3. Press Next to start the installation. 


  4. Click I Agree.


  5. Leave the default components checked and proceed further by clicking Next.


  6. Choose the path where the OpenVPN GUI app should be installed.

    You can just leave the default path and click Install.


  7. Wait until the installation is complete. Then click Next.


  8. Finally, the installation is complete. Click Finish.


Connect to the VPN


When you install the OpenVPN GUI app on your device, you can use it to connect to Surfshark VPN servers.

  1. Locate the OpenVPN GUI icon on your desktop and double-click on it.


  2. The app will start in the system tray.

    Click the white arrow, and you will see the OpenVPN icon (computer with a lock) there.


  3. You will need to import downloaded configuration files. To do this, right-click the OpenVPN in your system tray and press Import file...


  4. Navigate to the folder where your configuration files were saved. The ones that you have downloaded at the “Download configuration files” section of this article. It’s most likely that they were saved in your Downloads folder, so you may want to take a look there.

    Choose the configuration file that you have downloaded and click Open.


  5. Once the file is imported, you will find it in the OpenVPN GUI app.

    Right-click on the OpenVPN GUI icon again. Then move the cursor on the name of the imported configuration file. That will open a menu with actions that you can do with this file. Choose to Connect.


  6. Enter Surfshark service credentials. The ones that you have collected at the “Get your credentials" section of this guide.

    Click OK.


  7. If the connection is successful, the connection window disappears, and the OpenVPN GUI icon turns green.


  8. To disconnect from the server, right-click on the OpenVPN GUI icon, move the cursor on the configuration file that is currently used and choose to Disconnect.


  9. If you wish to connect to a different location, download the configuration for that server and repeat the "Connect to the VPN" part of this guide.

Make sure your connection was successful


It's always recommended to check whether your connection was successful after setting up a VPN for the first time. This can be easily done by doing an IP leak test and a DNS leak test which is available on our website. Click here to find out how to make sure your connection was successful.


Congratulations - you have successfully installed and configured the OpenVPN GUI app! As long as you’re connected, your location is private and your sensitive data is secure.


You may also be interested in:

  1. How to make sure if my connection was successful?
  2. How to enable 2FA on your Surfshark account?
  3. How to fix connection issues on Windows?
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