how to turn off vpn

Virtual private networks (VPNs) provide users with increased security and privacy while browsing the internet. They help protect your personal information by routing your connection through an encrypted tunnel, making it difficult for cybercriminals or anyone else to access your data. However, there may be instances in which you need to turn off your VPN, such as for troubleshooting purposes or accessing certain content online.

Before turning off your VPN, it’s essential to understand the advantages it provides, as well as the potential risks associated with disconnecting from it. When you disconnect from a VPN, your IP address and sensitive data may become vulnerable, so it’s important to weigh the pros and cons before proceeding. This article will guide you through the process of turning off your VPN on various devices and provide you with the necessary knowledge to do so safely and effectively.

Key Takeaways

  • Disconnecting from a VPN may expose your IP address and sensitive data
  • Turning off VPN varies across devices, but the general process entails accessing the VPN app or device settings
  • Consider the potential security risks before disconnecting your VPN

Turning Off VPN on Different Devices

In this section, we’ll discuss how to turn off your VPN on various devices, including Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android. Remember that turning off your VPN may result in less secure browsing and reduced access to blocked or restricted content. Always be cautious while browsing the web when your VPN is disabled.


On a Windows PC, you can follow these steps to turn off your VPN:

  1. Click on the Notifications icon in the bottom-right corner of the screen (near the system clock).
  2. Click on VPN in the quick actions panel.
  3. Select your connected VPN from the list and click Disconnect.

For Windows 10, you can also head to the Settings app, click on Network & Internet, and then VPN. Select the connected VPN, and then click the Disconnect button.


To disable VPN on a MacOS device, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Apple menu icon in the top-left corner of the screen.
  2. Select System Preferences and then click on Network.
  3. Choose your connected VPN from the left-hand pane, and click Disconnect or uncheck the Connect on demand option if it’s enabled.


To turn off VPN on an iOS device, such as iPhone or iPad, do the following:

  1. Open the Settings app on your iOS device.
  2. Tap on General and then scroll down to find the VPN option.
  3. Select the connected VPN, and toggle the switch to the Off position.


A persons hand turning off a VPN on a smartphoneDisabling VPN on an Android device can be done using these steps:

  1. Swipe down from the top of the screen to access the quick settings panel.
  2. Find the VPN icon and tap on it.
  3. Select the connected VPN from the list and click Disconnect.

Alternatively, you can open the Settings app, navigate to Network & Internet, and tap on VPN. Then, locate the connected VPN and hit the Disconnect button.

Remember, turning off your VPN might expose you to various online threats and restrict your access to some content. Always ensure you’re aware of the risks before disabling your VPN.

Disconnecting from VPN Connection

Disconnecting from a VPN connection is quite simple and can be accomplished in a few steps, depending on the device, operating system, and specific VPN service you’re using.

To turn off VPN on a Windows device, you’ll typically need to locate the VPN client in your system tray. Right-click on the icon, and then select “Disconnect” or a similar option from the menu. For example, with NordVPN, open the app, click on the “Disconnect” button at the bottom of the main screen, and confirm again by clicking on it in the drop-down menu.

If you’re using an iOS device like an iPhone or iPad, turning off the VPN is just as easy. Navigate to your device’s Settings app, tap on the VPN section within the Network Settings, and then toggle the Status switch to the “OFF” position.

In the case of open-source VPN clients like OpenVPN on Ubuntu, you can disconnect using a terminal command. Type sudo service openvpn stop <vpn-name> to stop the connection, replacing <vpn-name> with the appropriate config file name located in the /etc/openvpn directory without the .conf extension. More information can be found on AskUbuntu.

For those using a built-in VPN on their device or operating system, the process is usually quite similar. Navigate to your device’s Network Settings or VPN Connection settings, and look for the option to disconnect or turn off the VPN connection. This may vary slightly depending on the platform or configuration.

Lastly, keep in mind that some VPN clients might automatically re-enable the connection if auto-connection features are activated. Make sure to adjust these settings accordingly if you don’t want the VPN to reconnect automatically after disconnecting.

Troubleshooting VPN Issues

Internet Connection Problems

When you experience issues with your VPN, the first step is to check your internet connection. Ensure that you have a stable connection by trying to access a website without using the VPN. If you can access the website, the issue may be with the VPN settings or the VPN service itself. Restart your device and reconnect to the VPN to see if the problem persists.

Location and IP Issues

Another common VPN problem is related to location and IP address. Some websites may block or restrict access based on your IP address. To resolve this issue, try connecting to a different VPN server in another region or country. This can help bypass geo-restrictions and give you a new IP address that may not be blocked. Additionally, ensure that your VPN is using the appropriate level of encryption required by the websites or services you are trying to access.

Network and Bandwidth Issues

VPNs can sometimes cause network or bandwidth issues, which may result in slow browsing speeds or difficulty connecting to certain websites. To troubleshoot these issues, you can:

  • Check your VPN settings to make sure you’re connected to the fastest available server.
  • Close any unnecessary applications or processes using up bandwidth in the background.
  • Clear your browser cache and cookies to reduce the load on your device’s RAM and improve browsing speed.
  • If possible, switch to a different Internet Service Provider (ISP) or use a wired connection instead of a wireless one for better stability and performance.

Remember to always pay close attention to your VPN settings, system tray, and other relevant factors while troubleshooting VPN issues to ensure an optimal and secure online experience.

Security and Privacy Concerns

When using a VPN, one of the main benefits is increased security and privacy when browsing the internet. A leading VPN helps to protect users’ online privacy by encrypting their connection and hiding their IP address. This reduces the risk of hacking, identity theft, and data breaches. However, there are times when you might need to turn off your VPN, even if it means sacrificing some privacy.

A persons hand turning off a VPN on a smartphoneTurning off your VPN exposes your real IP address and location, making your online activities more visible to third parties like ISPs, advertisers, and even potential hackers. It’s important to remember that turning off a VPN could result in less secure browsing, and it is highly advised that you only do so if absolutely necessary.

Losing a stable VPN connection also means losing the protection against censorship. If you live in a country with strict internet restrictions, turning off your VPN could lead to limited access to certain websites or services. This can be particularly problematic if you rely on a VPN for accessing information or communication with people outside the country.

It’s worth noting that even without a VPN, some websites still use HTTPS, which encrypts the connection between the user and the website. This means that browsing without a VPN is not entirely unsafe, as long as the sites you are visiting use HTTPS protocol.

It’s essential to choose a reputable VPN provider that offers strong encryption, unlimited bandwidth, and no-log policies to ensure your data is protected and your online activities stay private. When using a VPN, remember that not all services are created equal, and it’s crucial to select one that prioritizes your security and privacy.


Turning off a VPN might sometimes be necessary for various reasons, such as troubleshooting, accessing certain websites, or improving connection speeds. Regardless of the device you use, the process is generally straightforward and only takes a few steps.

For example, on an iPhone, you can disable the VPN by going to Settings → General → VPN & Device Management and toggling the Status switch off1. Similarly, for a Windows device, you can disable the VPN through the Network settings2. Remember to keep your security and privacy in mind when disabling your VPN, and enable it again as soon as possible.

In conclusion, knowing how to disable your VPN is essential for occasional situations when it’s required. Make sure you’re well-acquainted with the method relevant to your device, and consider the potential risks before making any changes.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to disable VPN on PC?

To disable a VPN on your PC, simply locate the VPN software running on your system, open the application, and click on the “disconnect” button or option available within the app. Some VPNs may also have a system tray icon; right-click the icon and choose “disconnect.”

How to disable VPN on iPhone?

To disable a VPN on your iPhone, go to Settings > VPN and toggle the switch next to “Status” off. If you’re using a specific VPN app, open the app, and tap on the “disconnect” button or option.

How to stop VPN usage on Windows 10?

In Windows 10, click on the network icon in the taskbar and select the VPN from the list. Click on it and then click “Disconnect.” If you’re using third-party VPN software, open the application and click on the “disconnect” button or option.

How to shut off VPN on Samsung?

To shut off a VPN on a Samsung device, go to Settings > Connections > More connection settings > VPN. Select the VPN you want to deactivate and tap on “disconnect.” If you’re using a VPN app, navigate to the app and tap the “disconnect” button or option.

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