How to manually configure a VPN on Windows 10

The beauty of most premier VPN services is that they have an intuitive Windows 10 app that makes setting up a connection as easy as clicking a big green button that says "connect." However, if you're running Windows 10 S and can't install apps from outside the Store, or you're using a VPN without a client, you can still configure a VPN manually.

If you're in the market for a VPN and are not sure which one is for you, be sure to check out our choices for the best VPN providers out there.

Information needed before you begin

Once you subscribe to a VPN service, you should have access to a list of servers that you can connect to. In this case, the IPVanish Control Panel page lists the server's location, the address needed to create a manual connection, and the current load of the server.

Example of a server list

You should also determine what protocol you can use to connect. If you aren't using Windows 10 S and can download files from other places than just the Store, you can download an OpenVPN config. If not, always try to go with the most secure protocol available. In most cases, you should try to avoid PPTP.

 

How to add and connect to a VPN on Windows 10

Once you have the required information to make a connection, you can jump into settings and get everything running.

  1. Right-click the Start button.
  2. Click Settings.

    Right-click the Start button. Click Settings.

  3. Click Network & Internet.
  4. Click VPN.

    Click Network and internet. Click VPN.

  5. Click Add a VPN connection.
  6. Click the dropdown menu below VPN provider.

    Click Add a VPN connection. Click the dropdown menu.

  7. Click Windows (built-in).
  8. Click the Connection name field.

    Click Windows (built-in). Click the Connection name field.

  9. Type a name for the VPN connection. (In this case, I'll use the name of my provider and the server location.)
  10. Click the Server name or address field.

    Type a name. Click the Server name field.

  11. Type the server's address. (You can likely find this in your VPN account.)
  12. Click the dropdown menu below VPN type.

    Type the address. Click the dropdown menu.

  13. Choose a connection protocol.
  14. Click the dropdown menu below Type of sign-in info.

    Choose a connection protocol. Click the dropdown menu.

  15. Click a sign-in method. (This will no doubt change depending on your VPN provider.)
  16. Click Save.

    Click a sign-in method. Click Save.

  17. Click the VPN you just set up. (It will now appear in the VPN list.)
  18. Click Connect. (Depending on the sign-in method used by your provider, you might have to enter your username and password.)

    Click the VPN you just set up. Click Connect.

 

How to disconnect and remove a VPN on Windows 10

If you don't want to use a VPN anymore, or if you just want to remove a server from the list, you can disconnect or completely remove it.

  1. Right-click the Start button.
  2. Click Settings.

    Right-click the Start button. Click Settings.

  3. Click Network & Internet.
  4. Click VPN.

    Click Network and internet. Click VPN.

  5. Click a VPN connection you want to disconnect or remove.
  6. Click Disconnect.

    Click a VPN connection. Click Disconnect.

  7. Click Remove.
  8. Click Remove again to confirm.

    Click Remove. Click Remove again to confirm.

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