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This tutorial will show you how to set up ExpressVPN for Windows on your PC or laptop.

Note: This app requires Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 10.

Important: Windows Vista and XP users should use the L2TP or OpenVPN manual configurations. L2TP/IPsec provides weak security benefits and should only be used for anonymization or for changing locations.


Jump to…

Download the app
Get your activation code
Install the app
Connect to a VPN server location
Disconnect from the VPN server location
Choose a different VPN server location
Switch to a different VPN protocol
How to add shortcuts to the ExpressVPN app
Launch and connect ExpressVPN on startup
Use the VPN Speed Test
Use split tunneling
Use IPv6 Leak protection
Change languages in the ExpressVPN Windows app
Use the ExpressVPN browser extension
Set up ExpressVPN on other devices
Uninstall the app


Download the app

Open the Welcome Email you received when you signed up for ExpressVPN. Click “Set Up ExpressVPN.”

Click the "Set Up ExpressVPN" link in the welcome email.

If you can’t find the email, sign in to your account.

Sign in to the ExpressVPN app.

Click the red Download button. This will start the download for your app.

Click "Download for Windows."

Keep this browser window open, as you will need it for the next step.

Need help? Contact the ExpressVPN Support Team for immediate assistance.

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Get your activation code

In order to use ExpressVPN on your Windows computer, you will need your activation code.

Let’s copy it to your clipboard.

Click the activation code in the box to copy it to your clipboard. You will be asked to provide it later.

Click the activation code in the box to copy it to your clipboard.

Need help? Contact the ExpressVPN Support Team for immediate assistance.

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Install the app

Locate and double-click the download file on your computer.

Double-click the download file on your computer.

If you see a prompt to install the app, click Install to proceed.

Wait while the app is being installed on your PC.

When prompted, click Sign In and paste your activation code. This is the code you found earlier. You can paste it by pressing Ctrl + V or right-clicking the rectangular field and clicking Paste. Then click Continue.

Click "Continue."

You have the option of launching ExpressVPN on startup. Select your preference to continue.

Select your preference for launching ExpressVPN on startup.

You can also choose to anonymously share analytics about your VPN connections to help improve ExpressVPN. Select your preference to continue.

Select your preference for helping improve ExpressVPN.

ExpressVPN does not collect your private data and anonymizes it before it reaches ExpressVPN servers.

Congratulations! You are now ready to access ExpressVPN’s vast network of server locations.

Need help? Contact the ExpressVPN Support Team for immediate assistance.

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Connect to a VPN server location

To connect to a VPN server location, click the On Button. By default, ExpressVPN will suggest the location that provides the optimal experience for you, called Smart Location.

Click the On Button to connect.

Once you see the Connected message on the app screen, you can begin surfing with freedom and security!

The Connected message on the ExpressVPN app.

Note: With one subscription, you can connect up to five devices to the VPN at the same time, regardless of platform. If you try to connect more than five devices simultaneously, you will see the screen below:

The Connection Limit Reached message on the ExpressVPN app.

Need help? Contact the ExpressVPN Support Team for immediate assistance.

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Disconnect from the VPN server location

To disconnect from the VPN server location, click the On Button while the VPN is on.

Click the On Button to disconnect.

You will know you are disconnected when the screen says, “Not connected.”

Need help? Contact the ExpressVPN Support Team for immediate assistance.

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Choose a different VPN server location

To connect to a different server location, click the location picker below the On Button.

Note: The first time you try to change locations while connected to VPN, you will get a warning stating your internet traffic may not be secure during reconnection. It is safe to proceed.

Click the Location Picker to connect.

To connect to a server location, click it, then click the On Button. Alternatively, you can connect by double-clicking the location.

By default, the list of VPN locations features two tabs: Recommended and All Locations.

The Recommended tab shows you ExpressVPN’s top picks for you to connect to.

The Recommended tab on the ExpressVPN app.

The All Locations tab lists the VPN server locations by region. You can expand and collapse the lists by clicking the “>” icon on the right.

The All Locations tab on the ExpressVPN app.

A Favorites tab appears once you have added favorite locations. You can save a location to your list of favorites by clicking the star icon on the right.

The Favorites tab on the ExpressVPN app.

You can also search for your desired server location by using the search bar.

Inside the search bar, type the name of your desired server location and then double-click the server location in the search results to connect to it.

Search for a location in the search bar.

After disconnecting from a server location, you can return to your Smart Location (the location recommended for the optimal experience) by clicking the location marked Smart Location.

Click Smart Location on the ExpressVPN app.

Need help? Contact the ExpressVPN Support Team for immediate assistance.

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Switch to a different VPN protocol

VPN protocols are the methods by which your device connects to a VPN server. Switching to a different protocol can help you achieve faster connection speeds.

To switch to a different protocol, click the hamburger menu (≡), then click Options. You will need to be disconnected from the VPN in order to switch protocols.

Click "Options."

In the Protocol tab, select the protocol you want to use, then click OK.

Switch to another protocol.

Note: L2TP/IPsec provides weak security benefits and should only be used for anonymization and changing locations when other protocols do not work.

Need help? Contact the ExpressVPN Support Team for immediate assistance.

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How to add shortcuts to the ExpressVPN app

The shortcuts feature appears on the ExpressVPN home screen after you connect to the VPN. (Your shortcuts will not appear the first time you connect, but it will appear from your second connection onward.)

Shortcuts allow you to conveniently and quickly launch apps and websites straight from ExpressVPN anytime you are connected. If you find yourself regularly visiting a handful of favorite destinations after connecting to VPN—a particular streaming service or social network, for example—adding it as a shortcut saves you from having to switch back to your device’s home screen or browser to find it each time.

The different shortcuts on the ExpressVPN app.

To launch an app or a website, click its icon when connected to the VPN.

If you have fewer than five shortcuts selected, you can add one by clicking the gray plus (+) icon. You can also add or remove shortcuts by clicking the hamburger menu (≡), then selecting Options > Shortcuts.

Click the plus (+) sign to add a shortcut, up to a limit of five. To remove a shortcut, highlight it and click the minus (–) sign.

Add or remove a shortcut.

Need help? Contact the ExpressVPN Support Team for immediate assistance.

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Launch and connect ExpressVPN on startup

You can configure whether ExpressVPN automatically connects after your PC starts up.

To configure the “connect upon startup” settings, click on the hamburger menu (≡), then click Options.

Click "Options."

In the General tab, check (or uncheck) the box for Launch ExpressVPN on Windows startup.

Check or uncheck the box for Launch ExpressVPN on Windows startup.

You can also configure ExpressVPN to connect to the last used location when you launch the app.

Need help? Contact the ExpressVPN Support Team for immediate assistance.

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Use the VPN Speed Test

To use the VPN Speed Test, you must be disconnected from the VPN.

Click the hamburger menu (≡), then click Speed Test.

Click "Speed Test."

On the Speed Test screen, click Run Test and wait for the tests to complete.

Click "Run Test."

After results are displayed, select a location using the following criteria:

  • Speed Index: This is calculated using latency and download speed. A location with a higher Speed Index will provide a better experience
  • Latency: the lower the better
  • Download Speed: the higher the better

The different criteria in the speed.

Need help? Contact the ExpressVPN Support Team for immediate assistance.

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Use split tunneling

This feature allows you to decide which apps use the VPN and which apps do not use the VPN when you are connected to ExpressVPN.

Important: You must be disconnected from the VPN to change your split-tunneling settings.

To change your split tunnel settings, click the hamburger menu (≡) > Options.

In the General tab, tick the box in the Split tunneling section and click Settings.

Click "Settings."

From there, you can decide which of your apps will use the VPN and which ones will not use the VPN when you are connected to ExpressVPN.

Select your preference for split tunneling.

If you select the latter two options, you can specify which apps will (not) use VPN. Click the plus sign (+) to select the apps.

Add or remove apps for split tunneling.

Check the box next to all the apps you want to select. If your desired app is not shown, click Add Another App to search for it.

Select apps for split tunneling.

Click OK to apply your changes.

IN DEPTH: Learn more about the split-tunneling feature

Need help? Contact the ExpressVPN Support Team for immediate assistance.

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Use IPv6 Leak protection

By default, the ExpressVPN app will block IPv6 connections to protect against IPv6 leaks.

If you encounter issues with devices that only use IPv6 connections, go to Options > Advanced, and uncheck the box under IPv6 Leak Protection.

Uncheck the box under IPv6 Leak Protection.

Need help? Contact the ExpressVPN Support Team for immediate assistance.

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Change languages in the ExpressVPN Windows app

Click the hamburger menu (≡) > Options.

Click "Options."

Select the Advanced tab. Under Language, select the language you want to change to.

Select the language you want to change to.

When prompted, click OK to confirm. ExpressVPN will change to your selected language after you close the app and launch it again.

Need help? Contact the ExpressVPN Support Team for immediate assistance.

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Use the ExpressVPN browser extension

If you are using Version 6.2 (or later) of ExpressVPN for Windows, you can use the ExpressVPN browser extension to remotely control the ExpressVPN app from your browser. The extension is available for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft Edge.

From your app, click the hamburger menu (≡), select Options, then go to the Browsers tab.

Click Get Browser Extension and follow the on-page instructions.

Click "Get Browser Extensions."

Learn more about the ExpressVPN browser extension here.

Need help? Contact the ExpressVPN Support Team for immediate assistance.

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Set up ExpressVPN on other devices

With a single ExpressVPN subscription, you can connect and secure five devices simultaneously.

To set up ExpressVPN on your other devices, click the hamburger menu (≡) > Secure All Your Devices.

Click “Secure All Your Devices.”

Click Email Setup Link.

Click “Email Setup Link.”

You will receive a setup link at the email address you used to sign up for ExpressVPN.

Open the email on the devices you want to set up ExpressVPN on. Select Set Up Now, then follow instructions to download and set up ExpressVPN.

Need help? Contact the ExpressVPN Support Team for immediate assistance.

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Uninstall the app

Note: The below instructions are for Windows 10. If you are using Windows 7 or 8, see the instructions for uninstalling programs on Windows 7 and Windows 8.

From your Windows desktop, go to Settings > Apps.

Scroll through the list of programs until you locate ExpressVPN. Select ExpressVPN and then click Uninstall.

Click "Uninstall."

If you see that ExpressVPN is still listed as an available VPN connection after uninstalling:

  1. Click the Start button, and then press Windows key + R to launch the Run command.
  2. Type ncpa.cpl on the Run command and then press Enter to go to your Network Connections window.
  3. On your Network Connections window, right-click the WAN Miniport labeled ExpressVPN.
  4. Click Delete.
  5. From your Windows desktop, go to Settings > Network & Internet > VPN.
  6. If you see ExpressVPN as an available connection, delete it.

Need help? Contact the ExpressVPN Support Team for immediate assistance.

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