Remote connection

How to set up VPN connection on Windows 10

When you need to connect to a remote private network, use this guide to set up a VPN connection on Windows 10.

Windows 10 VPN connection

On Windows 10, a VPN connection has become the standard feature to help people and businesses to quickly and securely access a private network over the internet.

The idea behind of virtual private network (VPN) is to provide a point-to-point encrypted tunnel that uses the internet as the primary highway to connect users to a remote network offering access to the same resources as if the user was physically present at the remote location.

While people who aren’t tech-savvy may find a little difficult to configure and understand this technology, Windows 10 includes easy-to-configure options in the Settings app to get connected to a private network without the need of extra software.

In this guide, you’ll learn the steps to set up a VPN connection using the Settings app on Windows 10. In addition, you’ll learn the advanced options available, the steps to disconnect and remove a VPN connection from your device.

Important: If you’re trying to connect to your office remotely, make sure to contact your system administrator to provide the proper connection information, including domain name or IP address of the network, username and password, and protocol type.

How to add VPN connection on Windows 10

Use these steps to use the built-in VPN client to connect to a remote private network on Windows 10:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on Network & internet.

  3. Click on VPN.

  4. Click the Add a VPN connection button.

    Add a VPN connection on Windows 10
    Add a VPN connection on Windows 10
  5. Using the “VPN provider” drop-down menu, select the Windows (built-in) option.

  6. Type a descriptive name for the connection.

  7. Under the “Server name or address” section, type the domain name or IP address of the remote network. (If you’re setting up a VPN connection to your home office, you can easily find your external IP address by doing a simple search on Google or Bing for “My IP.” Your address should be listed in the first result.)

    New VPN connection settings on Windows 10
    New VPN connection settings on Windows 10
  8. Under the “VPN type” section, use the Automatic option to allow the OS to negotiate the connection protocol automatically. If your company has specific requirements, Windows 10 offers different protocol types, including:

    • Point to Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP)

    • L2TP/IPsec with certificate

    • L2TP/IPsec with pre-shared key

    • Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol (SSTP)

    • IKEv2

  9. Under the “type of sign-in info” section, leave the default User name and password settings.

  10. Type your username and password to avoid re-entering credentials every time you try to connect.

  11. Click the Save button.

Once you complete the setup, the new connection will be listed under the VPN section on Network & internet.

How to connect to a VPN server on Windows 10

After setting up a new VPN connection, you can use it to access your home or work office to access resources as if you’re at the site.

Connecting VPN server

Use these steps to connect to a virtual private network on Windows 10:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on Network & Internet.

  3. Click on VPN.

  4. Select the VPN connection.

  5. Click the Connect button.

    Connecting to VPN server
    Connecting to VPN server

Alternatively, you can also also connect to VPN server by clicking the network icon in the notification area of the taskbar, select the VPN connection from the network flyout menu, and clicking the Connect button. If everything is working correctly, the time to connect shouldn’t take more than two seconds. You’ll know your device is connected to the remote network because the connection will read Connected.

Disconnecting VPN session

Use these steps to disconnect from a virtual private network on Windows 10:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on Network & Internet.

  3. Click on VPN.

  4. Select the connection and click the Disconnect button.

Alternatively, you can also click the network icon in the notification area of the taskbar, selec the VPN connection, and click the Disconnect button.

Removing VPN connection

Use these steps to remove a VPN connection on Windows 10:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on Network & Internet.

  3. Click on VPN.

  4. Select the connection and click the Remove button.

    Delete VPN connection on Windows 10
    Delete VPN connection on Windows 10
  5. Click the Remove button again.

After you complete the steps, the VPN connection will be removed from your computer.

How to change VPN advanced options on Windows 10

If there is a problem trying to connect, or down the road requirements to connect to a remote network changes, you will need to re-configure the VPN connection settings.

Use these steps to change the advanced settings of a VPN connection on Windows 10:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on Network & Internet.

  3. Click on VPN.

  4. Select the connection, and click the Advanced options button.

    VPN connection advanced settings
    VPN connection advanced settings
  5. Under the “Connection properties” section, you can view the current settings. If something has changed or you need to modify these settings, click the Edit button. You will also notice the Clear sign-in info button, in case you need to remove the username and password from the current connection.

  6. Under the “VPN proxy settings” section, you can set up automatic configurations, or you can manually enter the proxy settings. (Usually, you don’t need to change any of the settings listed on this section. Only make changes as necessary.)

    VPN advanced settings on Windows 10
    VPN advanced settings on Windows 10

On the main Windows 10 VPN setup section, you will also find additional settings, such as Allow VPN connections over Metered networks and Allow VPN to connect while Roaming (refer to previous image). You should consider to have these options enabled at all times, even more if you need to access a private network and you’re using a mobile hotspot.

If you’re looking to connect to your home network using a VPN connection, check these steps to configure a VPN server on your Windows 10 PC without the need of extra software.

Update July 1, 2019: This guide was originally published in March 2016, and it’s revised in July 2019 for the latest version of Windows 10