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How to disable a VPN on any device

A VPN is your armor against digital predators in the jungle that is the internet, but there might be cases when you would like to temporarily disable it. However, this is risky business because you’d be exposing yourself to snoopers, hackers, and online marketers. In this article, we’ll show you how to turn off a VPN app on any device and discuss why it’s better to keep it on.

How to disable a VPN on any device

When to turn off a VPN

While it’s recommended to use a VPN at all times, you might want to disable it for a short while under a few scenarios. Situations in which you may wish to disconnect a VPN include:

  • Troubleshooting network issues.
  • Connecting to a service available in your country.
  • Setting up an internet connection for the first time.
  • Traveling to countries where VPNs are prohibited such as China, Russia, Belarus, Iraq, and North Korea.

When you disconnect a virtual private network, there’s always a chance you will forget to turn it back on, making yourself more likely to fall victim to cyberattacks or expose your personal information. Luckily, NordVPN has a special feature that allows you to pause your VPN connection on Windows and Android devices for up to one hour. After that, the VPN connection will automatically be restored.

Because it’s so simple to turn NordVPN on and off using the app, we’ll be covering how to turn off VPNs configured using your system’s built-in VPN client.

Turn off a VPN on macOS

You can disable your VPN connection directly in the app or in the macOS network settings. Here’s how to disable VPN on your Mac:

  1. Go to “System settings” > “Network.”
  2. Select your VPN connection from the left panel.
  3. Click “Disconnect.”

How to turn off a VPN on iOS (iPhone and iPad)

It’s easy to turn off a VPN on your iPhone or other iOS device — it only requires a few taps. Here’s how to disable a VPN on your iPhone:

  1. On your iPhone, go to your “Settings” and click on “General.”
  2. Find and select “VPN & device management.”
  3. Having done this, you can now toggle the VPN status to “Not connected.”

Turn off a VPN on Windows 11, 10, and other versions

It takes no more than a few seconds to disconnect a VPN on Windows. The steps may vary depending on the version, but the basic principle is the same:

  1. Go to “Settings” > “Network & Internet.”
  2. Select “VPN” in the left-side menu.
  3. Select the VPN connection you want to disable.
  4. Click “Disconnect.”

Turn off a VPN on Android

You can turn off your VPN either directly in the app or in the VPN settings of your Android phone. Here’s how:

  1. Go to “Settings” > “Network & internet.”
  2. Tap on “VPN.”
  3. Toggle off “VPN.”

How to turn off a VPN on Linux

While Linux has many distributions, Ubuntu is probably the most popular one. That’s why we’ll show you how to disable the VPN client on Ubuntu-based distributions. You probably used the Network Manager to connect to a VPN protocol, such as OpenVPN. Here’s what you should do to turn it off:

  1. Click on the network icon in the top right corner of your screen.
  2. In the dropdown menu, click on “VPN connections.”
  3. Under “VPN connections,” click on the active VPN connection to disconnect.

How to disable a VPN on your router

You can disable a VPN on your router via the router’s admin settings. However, the exact steps may vary depending on your router’s model. Here are the general steps:

  1. Access the router’s admin page. Find the sticker on your router with its IP address and enter it into your browser, such as
  2. Log in. Again, login credentials should be on your router. If they aren’t there, try “admin” or “administrator” as the username and “password” as the password.
  3. Find the VPN settings. In the admin panel, find a tab called “VPN settings.”
  4. Disable the VPN. Toggle the switch to turn off the VPN and reboot the router.

What happens if I turn off a VPN?

If you disconnect your VPN app, you will disable the additional online security and privacy it provides. Your online activity will become visible to the ISP provider instantly, while websites you visit will know your real IP address and location. So your connection will be less private. Without a virtual private network, your connection will not be as secure, which can put you at risk. Of course, by turning off the VPN software you’ll also lose access to some content and services.

Why you should keep NordVPN always on

  • Staying safe on public Wi-Fi. Public hotspots are often targeted by hackers, and the only way to outsmart them is to use VPN software.
  • Blocking annoying ads. The internet is full of annoying ads and pop-ups that can lead you to downloading malware. NordVPN’s Threat Protection blocks such ads in a snap. It can also block trackers and identify malware-ridden files.
  • Bypassing censorship. Some countries block certain websites and services, but you can bypass these restrictions with a VPN. NordVPN has obfuscated servers specifically designed to avoid heavy censorship. For example, VPN services can help you to unblock YouTube. You can also use NordVPN’s Meshnet feature to route your traffic through a device back home, like your home computer. If you connect to a device in the US while you’re on holiday in China, you’ll be able to access the internet as if you were in the US.
  • Private browsing. Being online is not that different from standing in the street: you can be watched, tracked, and attacked. By routing your traffic through a VPN server, VPN masks your IP address and encrypts your traffic, providing you with online privacy and security.

Online security starts with a click.

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