Top 15 Ways to Fix VPN Not Working on iPhone or iPad

An active VPN connection masks your IP address and delivers a private browsing experience. It also lets you access websites and services not available in your region. The iOS ecosystem has dozens of VPN apps to choose from. However, many have raised issues with using VPN on iPhone or iPad. If you face the same, here are the top ways to fix VPN not working on iPhone or iPad.


Several factors can affect your VPN network on your iPhone. It can be due to network connection glitches, server-side outages, incorrect network settings, outdated VPN apps, VPN data limits, and more. Let’s troubleshoot VPN stuck on connecting error on iPhone and iPad.

1. Check Network Connection

You need to ensure an active network connection on your iPhone. You can either use the mobile data or connect to a fast Wi-Fi network and try establishing a VPN connection.

2. Restart iPhone

Rebooting your iPhone is an effective way to troubleshoot common network issues.

Step 1: Keep pressing the side and one of the volume buttons.

Step 2: Use the slider on the screen to turn off the phone.

Keep pressing the side button until you see the Apple logo to boot your iPhone.

3. Reset Network Connection

If you frequently face network connection issues, enable the Airplane mode from the Control Center menu and disable it after some time.

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4. Check VPN Server

When your preferred VPN provider faces an outage, you may face issues with using their services. You can head to Downdetector and search for the VPN network name to confirm the issue. You need to wait for the company to resolve server-side problems.

5. Connect to Another VPN Location

Most VPN apps offer several servers from different regions. When the VPN app isn’t working on a specific server, connect to another one and try again. Let’s take ExpressVPN for an example.

Step 1: Open ExpressVPN on your phone.

Step 2: Select the current location and pick another VPN location from the following menu.

6. Reconnect VPN

You can temporarily disable the VPN and connect it again. Open the VPN app of your choice and turn it off. Restart the app and try enabling the VPN services again.

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7. Check VPN Data Limit

Some of the free VPN apps come with limited data. These VPN services offer 2GB to 5GB data to test the services. Once you hit the data limit on your plan, you may face problems with using VPN on your iPhone and iPad.

It’s one of the reasons why the VPN is connected but not working.

8. Check VPN Subscription

Most VPN apps require a paid subscription to work as expected. When your VPN subscription expires, the app tries to auto-renew the plan from the added payment method.  If your payment method is outdated, the service can’t renew your plan and fails to work on your iPhone or iPad.

You should update payment details from your VPN account on the web and try again.

9. Delete and Add VPN Profile

You can delete the current VPN profile on your iPhone and add it again.

Step 1: Open the Settings app on your iPhone and select VPN.

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Step 2: Tap ‘i’ beside a preferred VPN profile. Select Delete VPN.

Step 3: Open the VPN app and try connecting to a server.

10. Reset Network Settings

Does VPN still fail to work on your iPhone? It’s time to reset network settings. It deletes all saved Wi-Fi networks, Bluetooth devices, and VPN profiles from your phone.

Step 1: Open the Settings app on your iPhone and scroll to General.

Step 2: Tap Transfer or Reset iPhone and hit Reset.

Step 3: Tap Reset Network Settings.  

11. VPN Detection on Specific Websites

Some websites come with built-in VPN protection. When you try to access such websites on an active VPN connection, they may detect a modified IP address and block you from accessing the content.

Most entertainment and sports streaming services implement such solutions to prevent others from accessing content from different regions.

12. Reinstall VPN Configuration

Several VPN apps offer an option to reinstall the VPN configuration. Let’s take ExpressVPN as an example.

Step 1: Open ExpressVPN and go to Options.

Step 2: Select ‘Reinstall VPN Configuration’ and follow the on-screen instructions.

13. Add VPN Configuration Manually

iOS also offers an option to add VPN configuration manually. Here’s what you need to do.

Step 1: Open the Settings app on iPhone and go to the VPN menu.

Step 2: Tap ‘Add VPN Configuration.’

Step 3: Fill in the required menus and tap Done.

You can find these details from your VPN provider.

14. Update the VPN App

An outdated VPN app on your iPhone can also cause such problems. You should update the VPN app from the App Store and try again.

15. Update iOS  

Apple frequently releases system updates to fix network irregularities. It’s time to install the latest iOS version on your iPhone.

Step 1: Head to the General menu in the Settings app.

Step 2: Select Software Update and install the latest iOS build on your iPhone.

Enjoy a Safe Browsing Experience

VPN not working on iPhone or iPad can prevent you from accessing apps and services unavailable in your region. Which trick worked for you? Share your findings in the comments below.

Last updated on 27 October, 2023

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