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How to pause a VPN connection: A step-by-step guide

A VPN’s pause feature lets you freeze your VPN connection for a short period of time instead of disconnecting every time. While you should keep your VPN on at all times, you can temporarily disable your VPN to solve network issues, complete software updates, or save battery on your mobile phone. Let’s explore what other benefits pausing a VPN brings.

How to pause a VPN connection: A step-by-step guide

What is the VPN pause option?

A virtual private network (VPN) usually features a pause option, so you don’t have to disconnect from a server when troubleshooting connection issues, accessing local content, or updating software. When you use NordVPN, you can pause it by pressing “Pause” in the top-left corner of your app.

You can pause your connection to a VPN server for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 1 hour on Android devices and for 5 minutes, 15 minutes, or 1 hour on Windows. The pause feature is also available on macOS and iOS using NordLynx or OpenVPN.

pause vpn for 5 minutes 30 minutes 1 hour

What does “pause auto-connect” mean in the NordVPN app?

Pausing auto-connect for your VPN session will disconnect you from the VPN. However, this doesn’t disconnect you from the VPN permanently. If you restart the VPN app, log out and log in again, or change your Wi-Fi network, auto-connect will reinitiate the VPN connection.

pause auto-connect vpn

Why would you need to pause your VPN at all?

While we recommend keeping your virtual private network turned on at all times to keep your internet traffic private, in several cases pausing it might also be beneficial. Here are some of the cases where you might want to pause your VPN client:

  • Network issues. If you notice online connection issues, disable your VPN and reset your network. Once you restore the network, test to see if your connection to a VPN server is causing an issue. If so, it could be a simple case of switching to different VPN servers. If the problem persists, you may need to contact your internet service provider.
  • Authenticity verification. A VPN provides online privacy. If you need to verify your authenticity by providing a true IP address, you’ll need to pause your connection to a VPN server.
  • Allowlisting your router’s IP. Altering your router settings and allowlisting an IP address is a good way to allow a device to access specific networks. To do this, you will need to provide your actual IP address. Therefore, you must pause your VPN.
  • When not actively browsing. You can improve internet connection speeds for resource-demanding tasks if you disconnect or pause your VPN connection when not engaging in browsing or carrying out sensitive transactions.
  • Accessing local content. Pause a VPN connection to access local content or services that are unavailable with a non-local IP address.
  • Online gaming. Video games are usually resource demanding, so disconnecting from a VPN may prevent lags or connection issues while gaming.
  • Software updates. Sometimes, a VPN connection interferes with software updates, so you may need to turn off your VPN temporarily to complete the updates.
  • Saving battery on mobile devices. A VPN consumes additional battery power. If you want to save your phone battery, disable the VPN when it’s unnecessary.

How to pause your VPN

Follow these steps to pause your NordVPN connection:

  1. In the top left corner card, press “Pause.”
  2. Choose for how long you want to keep your connection paused: 5 minutes, 15 minutes, or 1 hour.
  3. Your VPN connection will resume after the set time. If you want to resume the connection earlier, hit “Resume now.”

How to pause VPN auto-connect

It’s easier than you think. You won’t need to delve into the VPN settings. Make sure you are connected to a server. First, open your VPN software to disable the VPN:

  • On Windows, click the “Disconnect” button next to “Pause.”
  • On Mac, click “Disconnect” in the window’s top-right corner.
  • On the mobile app, tap “Disconnect.”

You can resume your VPN connection anytime!

What do I do if I don’t see the “pause” option?

To see the “pause” option, connect to the VPN first. If your VPN is enabled and you cannot pause, don’t hesitate to contact NordVPN customer support, available 24/7. A support representative will kindly help you solve the problem.

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