VPN not working on Android? Here’s how to fix it

Ethan Payne
Ethan Payne | Writer
Last updated: January 26, 2023
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VPN (Virtual Private Network) services allow users to mask their current location by redirecting traffic through remote servers. In addition, this process encrypts all of your online activities, making you entirely invisible to unwelcome onlookers. As you can imagine, this set of benefits is perfect for mobile Android devices.

However, as is common with any software product, there’s a chance of your VPN not working on Android. But no need to worry because this issue has plenty of potential fixes. Furthermore, you’re unlikely to encounter any problems when using the top VPNs for Android. Read on to learn the details.

How to fix a VPN not working on Android

  1. Sign up for a reliable and well-performing Android VPN. Our top suggestion is NordVPN, now 57% off
  2. Download the official VPN app from the Google Play Store
  3. Open the application and grant it all the permissions it needs to run
  4. Connect to a server suitable for your needs and surf the web privately!

Get the best Android VPN

Why is the VPN not working on Android?

There are a lot of potential causes behind your VPNs inability to connect on Android. Generally speaking, the issue lies either on the provider’s end or on yours. The former is unlikely, however, if you’re using one of the best VPN services.

NordVPN Android landing page

In any case, here are some examples of why your Android VPN might not work properly.

  • Your VPN app doesn’t have the necessary permissions to run effectively
  • The server you’re connected to is overcrowded
  • You’re using an incorrect VPN tunneling protocol
  • The app is outdated
  • The network you’re connected to blocks VPN traffic

Unfortunately, you won’t know for sure what’s causing the problem. But that’s irrelevant because going through the recommended steps should fix whichever issue you’re facing.

Best VPNs that work with Android

You won’t have to worry about performance issues when using one of the best VPNs for Android phones. We thoroughly tested these providers and were happy with the results. These VPNs are lightning-fast, trustworthy, affordable, and offer well-performing Android apps. Here’s a glimpse at the top 3 options for Android.

  1. NordVPN – the undisputed leader of the VPN market that’s compatible with Android devices. It offers exceptional security features and industry-leading connectivity with the proprietary NordLynx protocol.
  2. Surfshark VPN – an affordable alternative if you need a VPN to share with friends and family. The service supports unlimited device connections but doesn’t disappoint in speed, security, or content-unblocking capabilities.
  3. PrivateVPN – the most budget-friendly option for securing your Android device. The service uses reliable technology to guarantee excellent performance on Android, PC, and various streaming devices.

VPN not working on Android: quick fixes

And now, the moment you’ve been waiting for – the list of potential fixes to your Android VPN problem. Read them all because you’ll likely have to try each one until you find the correct remedy. And don’t forget that the Android OS has many variations, meaning the necessary steps might appear differently on your device.

Check your VPN app permissions

You’re asked to give your VPN app certain permissions the first time you open it. If you don’t, the service can’t establish a connection to its servers and facilitate a VPN tunnel. Therefore, you should allow the app of your VPN provider to create virtual private network connections.

Clear cache data

All mobile applications store some information in the form of cache data. For example, VPN apps remember your most recent server connections thanks to data on the cache. In short, it improves certain processes and the user experience.

However, sometimes this data gets corrupted or goes haywire in other ways. Luckily, you can clean everything up by deleting the cache to resolve any issues. Go to the Settings menu on your Android device, find the VPN app, click on Storage, and then choose Clear cache under the Clear data menu.

Update the VPN

The VPN may be unable to work correctly because it needs an update. Usually, Android apps notify you about pending updates whenever you open the application. Alternatively, you’ll need to use the Google Play Store and initiate the update there.

You can do so by opening the Google Play Store, clicking on your Google Account icon in the top-right corner, and then clicking the Manage apps & device menu. You’ll see if any updates are available.

Try another server or tunneling protocol

It’s possible the server you’re trying to access is overcrowded or undergoing maintenance. Alternatively, the IP address could be banned. Whatever the case, you can simply connect to another server and try again.

On the other hand, perhaps the network you’re currently using restricts VPN traffic entirely. Then you might need to switch tunneling protocols or enable specialized features for bypassing VPN blocks. However, please note that not all providers offer such tools.

Reinstall the app

The classic reinstallation method should be your last resort if the previous methods didn’t solve your problem.

Try another VPN service

No need to stick with a service provider that underperforms in your time of need. After all, numerous VPNs with free trials are available, allowing you to test the app without any monetary commitment. Our top recommendation for Android users is NordVPN, which offers a 7-day free trial on the Google Play Store.

No more Android VPN errors

With NordVPN, Android VPN problems will plague you no more. It’s secure & reliable, includes a ton of features, facilitates excellent speeds, and has fast & responsive customer support.

9.6 /10
Massive server network
Mind-blowinf speeds
24/7 live chat


VPNs are complex tools, so it shouldn’t be surprising that they occasionally run into issues. However, the best VPNs for Android are highly unlikely to encounter problems because professionals have developed these services over many years.

As such, we recommend opting for NordVPN as your go-to service for bypassing geographical restrictions and staying anonymous. Best of all, it offers a 7-day free trial and a follow-up 30-day money-back guarantee as insurance against buyer’s remorse.

How often does your VPN not work on Android? Would you consider switching to NordVPN? Share your tips and tricks with other mobile phone enthusiasts!

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Why is the VPN not working on Android?

There are many potential causes of VPN issues on Android. It can be compatibility issues, a lack of app permissions, a problem with the VPN server, or traffic restrictions on your network. Whatever the case, a good VPN for Android, like NordVPN, has a solution available.

What is the best VPN for Android?

NordVPN is the best VPN for Android devices. It has well-equipped applications for the device and provides top-notch performance. You’ll enjoy excellent connection speeds, airtight security, and complete anonymity on the go. Give it a shot using the 7-day free trial on the Google Play Store.

Should I use a free VPN on Android?

Although there are plenty of free VPNs for Android, only a handful are trustworthy and reliable. On the other hand, the rest perform poorly and will likely cause more security and privacy issues in the long term. Therefore, your best course of action is to purchase a premium VPN for Android, for example, NordVPN.

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