Several users have reported that McAfee VPN is not working properly so we’ve decided to deep-dive into the matter ourselves.
While most encounter issues while using Windows 10 or Windows 11 PCs, we’ve seen some reports of the same connection bugs on Android or iPhone devices.
These issues usually appear while trying to establish a connection with McAfee’s VPN server, but in some cases, the software will not load Netflix or other popular streaming services.
If McAfee VPN has stopped working, won’t turn off, or has disappeared while you’re using it, simply follow the steps below to restore the software properly.
Broadly speaking, a VPN stands for Virtual Private Network and creates a protected network connection when you are using a public network.
VPN works by routing your device’s internet connection through your selected private server instead of your Internet Service Provider (ISP).
This means that your data is encrypted and transmitted to the internet and it comes from the VPN server, not straight from your computer.
Why is McAfee VPN not working? There could be a ton of reasons behind this, but we’ve rounded up the most common issues and error messages encountered while using this software:
- Oops, something went wrong
- We can’t connect to VPN right now
- You might have reached your 5-device limit
- We can’t connect to VPN right now. Try again later
- There’s no internet connection. Try again later
Other McAfee products that include VPN functionality are plagued by the same errors, including:
- McAfee Total Protection
- McAfee LiveSafe
- McAfee Antivirus Plus
At their core, all these variants share the same VPN engine. Our review of McAfee VPN was positive, so we do suggest investing a bit of time into fixing the problem; simply follow the instructions below.
Why is McAfee VPN not working?
➡️ Bad Internet connection: if your network is down or fluctuating, your VPN connection will be affected too
➡️ Conflicting apps: your security app or firewall might block your VPN
➡️ Your VPN service is down: possible the server you are on is down, or worse, the entire VPN client, contact their support team
➡️ Outdated network adapter: any corrupt or out-of-date driver will cause malfunctions in your system, including network drivers
McAfee VPN is a reliable service, but it’s not perfect. Users of this VPN report having issues on various platforms including McAfee VPN not working on:
- Windows 10
- Windows 11
All things considered, we comprised a list of proven solutions that should help you secure a VPN connection again.
Use another VPN if you keep having problems with McAfee. A trustworthy alternative that offers unlimited bandwidth and a much bigger server network is Private Internet Access.
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How can I fix McAfee VPN not working on Windows?
1. Check your Internet connection
Here are some important elements that you need to consider before checking out the solutions presented in this guide:
- Make sure you have a good, stable internet connection – If not, contact your Internet Service Provider).
- Check the indicator lights on your router or modem – If everything looks ok, contact your ISP.
- Connect to another network – Doing so helps you determine if the issue is with your network or your router. This can also determine if your Internet Service Provider is censoring or restricting your VPN’s connectivity
2. Make sure that your PC’s system date and time are correct
Sometimes you can face this issue if you move to a different time zone, but you can easily fix it by adjusting its settings:
- Click on the Start icon from the taskbar.
- Type the date and time and choose Date and time settings option from the search list.
- Disable Set time automatically option. Wait for a few moments and turn this feature back on again.
After following these steps, your date and time should be automatically updated and the issue fixed.
Note that you can also click on the Change button, to manually set the correct values.
3. Disable your firewall
- Click on Start icon from the taskbar
- Type firewall and select Windows firewall from the results
- In the left part of the screen, select Allow an app or feature through Windows Defender firewall, as you can see in the image below:
- Search for McAfee VPN on the list and make sure to allow all connections (incoming and also outgoing)
- Save the settings and see if it fixed the error
4. Update your network driver
- Exit McAfee VPN
- Click Start on the bottom left of your taskbar
- In the search field, type Device Manager and press Enter
- Look for network adapters in the list
- Expand the network adapters list
- Right-click it, select Uninstall device and restart your PC. Windows will automatically reinstall the network driver. (If there are yellow exclamation points, it means that the network driver is not correctly installed.)
- Try connecting to McAfee VPN now.
- If the problem still persists, try clearing your browser’s cache and cookies
If you still have problems or find the task a little bit too difficult, you can use a dedicated driver updater tool that will automate the task, making your job a whole lot easier.
The most suitable software for this task is DriverFix due to a thorough scanning of your system, updating old drivers, or fixing the corrupted ones.
5. Contact McAfee website admin
When none of the above works, you can, for example, contact McAfee customer service and ask for their help.
To explain your issue, make sure to also provide the following information:
- A copy of your latest payment
- A detailed description of the error
- Your location where you are using their services
- The activation code
McAfee Safe Connect VPN not working on iPhone/iPad?
1. Change the target country
- On the iOS device, open the VPN application and select a different country from the drop down list.
- Tap on Connect and check if the connections has been established, like in the picture above.
- Browse the web and see if works. If not, continue below.
2. Turn Airplone mode ON and then OFF
- Unlock the device and open McAfee’s VPN.
- Open the iOS Settings and tap on Airplane Mode to turn it ON.
- Wait for a couple of seconds and tap again to turn Airplane Mode OFF.
- Check the VPN again to see if the connection works now.
If this hasn’t worked, try connecting to a different network altogether. It’s possible that the connection you are currently linked to is not properly working. If the errors persist on another functional network, continue to the solution below.
3. Reset the Network Settings (while on Wi-Fi)
- Note down the password for the Wi-Fi and open the Settings app on the iOS device.
- Tap on Wi-Fi and then the network you are currently connected to.
- Press on Forget this network.
- Tap again on that same network, input the password and connect.
- Open the McAfee VPN and check if it works now.
Is McAfee Safe Connect VPN not working on Android?
1. Connect to a different country
- Open McAfee Safe Connect VPN on your Android Device.
- From the drop-down menu, select a different country and then press Connect.
- Check if the VPN is working. If not, continue to the next solution.
You could also try connecting to a different Wi-Fi network altogether, or using your data plan. If the issue persists despite switching the connection, continue below.
2. Accept poor connections as a standard
- On the Android device, tap on Device Settings and then go to Settings.
- Now tap on Wi-Fi, then go to Advanced and uncheck from the list “Avoid poor connections”.
- Go back to Device Settings and navigate to Settings.
- Tap on Manage Apps and choose McAfee Safe Connect.
- Now press on App Info and then Clear data & cache.
- With these new settings applied, retry the first two solutions above, to change the country and the network.
3. Turn off battery optimization
Most Android devices come with a battery optimization feature. While the navigation for this is different from model to model, check your settings and make sure that the system does not limit the VPN because of resource levels. If so, turn it off for McAfee Safe Connect.
Is McAfee VPN any good?
Yes. McAfee offers a reliable VPN with powerful encryption and good server coverage. Errors and configuration issues may happen, but that doesn’t mean the tool isn’t reliable.
It will protect your data on any type of network and encrypt all your online activity so nobody can track you down.
You can get the best protection by combining an antivirus with a VPN, and McAfee makes this task a bit easier by including a VPN in its antivirus plans. Both McAfee Ultimate and McAfee Premium do.
To sum up, when McAfee VPN is not working or not connecting on a public Wi-Fi, it can be for a number of reasons: your connection speeds are low, the server that you chose is unreliable, the firewall interferes with your VPN service, and so on.
Whichever the case, we explored some of the best troubleshooting techniques you can try to solve the issue caused by the McAfee VPN not working anymore.
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