How to connect to Surfshark in countries with internet restrictions 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.

To set up OpenVPN on Windows, you will need a device running Windows OS, OpenVPN app, and an active Surfshark subscription. You can find the available plans on Surfshark’s pricing page.


You will learn how to:

  1. Get your credentials
  2. Download configuration files
  3. Download and install the OpenVPN app
  4. Connect to the VPN
  5. Ensure your connection was successful


Get your credentials


NOTE: These are not your regular credentials, such as your email and password.

  1. Enter the Surfshark login page and log in. Then, click on VPN > Manual Setup > Router > OpenVPN to generate your credentials.

  2. Once there, make sure that you are in the Credentials tab and click on Generate credentials.

    NOTE: Keep this tab open as we'll need it later.


Download configuration files

  1. Open the same page on another browser tab, go to the Locations tab, and locate the server that you wish to connect to.

  2. Download configuration files by clicking on the arrow pointing downwards next to your chosen location.

  3. Choose which file to download: UDP or TCP.

    These are 2 different VPN protocols. We recommend the
    UDP protocol because it tends to be faster, but feel free to find out more about Surfshark protocols and decide for yourself.


Download and install the OpenVPN app

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

    Windows 32-bit
    Windows 64-bit

  2. Find the installation file in your device's Downloads folder.

  3. Double-click the downloaded installation file.

  4. You have to allow the app to make changes because the OpenVPN app needs permission to manage network and VPN settings. Click Yes.

  5. Press Next to start the installation. 

  6. Click I Agree.

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

  8. Choose the path where the OpenVPN GUI app should be installed. You can leave the default path and click Install.

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

  10. Click Finish.


Connect to the VPN


  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 to find the OpenVPN icon (computer with a lock) there.

  3. Import downloaded configuration files. To do this, right-click the OpenVPN in your system tray and choose Import file...

  4. Navigate to the folder where your configuration files are (refer to Download configuration files section). They were most likely saved in your Downloads folder, so you may want to look there.

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

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

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

  8. Enter Surfshark service credentials (refer to Get your credentials section). Click OK.

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

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

  11. If you wish to connect to a different location, download the configuration for that server and repeat the Connect to the VPN section from the beginning.

NOTE: in case you were not able to connect, try how to set up a manual WireGuard connection on Windows.

Ensure the connection is successful


We always recommend checking if Surfshark VPN is working after setting it up for the first time. You can easily do it by performing Surfshark IP leak test and a DNS leak test. For your convenience, both are available on our website.

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