How to set up OpenVPN on iOS (iPhone/iPad)

In this tutorial, you will learn how to set up the OpenVPN GUI app on your iOS device. This app is an alternative way of connecting to Surfshark servers.


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


You will learn how to:

  1. Get your credentials
  2. Download configuration files
  3. Install the app
  4. Add configuration profiles
  5. Connect to the VPN
  6. Ensure your connection is 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 > Desktop or mobile > 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. On the same page, go to the Locations tab and locate the server you wish to connect to.

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

  3. Confirm this action by downloading either 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.


Install the App and connect to the VPN


  1. Open the Apple App Store and search for the OpenVPN GUI. You can also find it here.

  2. Tap Get. You may need to confirm the installation with your Face ID or Touch ID. Once confirmed, the installation will begin.

  3. The installation will finish in a few moments. You can open the app then.

Add configuration profiles


You will need to import configuration files to the OpenVPN app. Here is how you can do that:

  1.  Go to the Files app on your iOS.

  2. Go to Recent files or browse files and go to the Downloads folder.

  3. You will find the newly downloaded Surfshark configuration file there. Tap on it.

  4. Tap on the sharing icon in the bottom-left corner.

  5.  You will see a list of default apps where you can share the file. If you see the OpenVPN app icon there, tap on it. If the OpenVPN icon is not there, click More > Copy to OpenVPN.

  6. After that, the imported configuration file will appear in the OpenVPN app.


Connect to the VPN


  1. Click Add below the imported profile.

  2. Enter Surfshark service credentials(refer to Get your credentials section in this article) and click ADD.

  3. Allow OpenVPN to add VPN configurations. This is necessary for OpenVPN to be able to create and manage the VPN tunnel on your device.

  4. You will see the connection status on the homepage of the OpenVPN app.

  5. You can disconnect/reconnect to the VPN by toggling the green switch that you see at the top of your screen.

  6. To connect to a different location, you will need to download and import a new configuration file (refer to Download configuration files part of this guide).


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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