How to troubleshoot connection issues – unable to connect

In this tutorial, you will learn the fundamental issues that may cause connection issues on various devices and how to troubleshoot them.


We will go through these solutions:

  1. Change the connection protocol & VPN server
  2. Test different networks
  3. Disable possibly interfering apps
  4. Update the Surfshark app
  5. Device-specific troubleshooting guides


Change the connection protocol & VPN server


  1. Open the Surfshark application.
  2. Click on Settings.
  3. Click on VPN Settings.
  4. Find the Protocol section. Here, you will find all available protocols.

The OpenVPN UDP will be the best protocol to try out, as it helps you bypass some of the network restrictions that might be applied to your network. This protocol also offers a VPN connection with one of the fastest speeds.


If that does not help, try connecting to a different VPN server. In the VPN tab, click on Locations and try a couple of different servers.


Test different networks

It is worth checking if you can connect your device to the VPN on other networks. Wi-Fi, Ethernet (if possible), and mobile hotspots – try all possible options.

If you cannot connect to VPN on any of these, your network may be restrictive, or the connection is possibly blocked by something. In this case, make sure to check if the IPv6 protocol is not enabled on your network, as it may cause various connection issues. 

NOTE: Parental Controls and Firewalls can also cause these issues


Disable possibly interfering apps


It's possible for your VPN connection to be blocked by your antivirus program or another VPN application installed on your device. To avoid this, it's important to disable your antivirus and remove any other VPN applications. In case Surfshark detects another VPN, you will get the following message:

Our VPN application makes minor modifications to your connection settings, which may be flagged as a security threat by some antivirus software, resulting in a blocked connection attempt. Additionally, different VPN applications may use conflicting connection configurations, leading to connection cancellation.


Update the Surfshark app


Once you make sure that you cannot connect to all possible networks, different protocols do not help, the antivirus is disabled, and other VPNs are uninstalled, try fully reinstalling the Surfshark app.

You may have an outdated Surfshark application, which could have a hard time connecting. As various network restrictions are always created, our team is working on bypassing them in every single update.

Lastly, if none of the suggestions above help, it is most likely that you are connecting from a VPN-restricting network or country. In this case, please try connecting manually.

You can also try following our device-specific guides:



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