FIX: VPN not showing up in Network Connections in Windows

  • Corrupted internal components are responsible for VPN not showing up in network connections error.
  • Even though a simple restart could help, modifying built-in Windows VPN settings will be more useful.
  • When this problem is more stubborn, repairing corrupted system files will be a more effective solution.

When the existing or newly configured VPN is not showing up in the network connections, it can be a very annoying experience. This article explains this problem and how to fix it on Windows.

VPN is an essential part of our digital life nowadays. Most netizens rely on VPNs to surf the internet securely, unlock geo-restricted contents, or any other reason. This experience may not go smoothly, especially when there is something wrong happens with the VPN connection.

All operating systems like Windows, macOS have built-in VPN settings to add VPN connection manually. The added VPNs are available in the network connections so users can connect quickly. Sometimes, these VPNs may not appear in the network connection. A lot of Windows users encounter this problem.

But, there should not be any panic as this article will guide you on how to fix VPN not showing up in network connections on Windows 11 or 10.

Why is the existing/new VPN not showing up in the Connections?

There are two conditions. If the existing VPN connections are showing up, but newly configured are not added, this is one problem. If all the existing ones are missing from network connections, this is a similar but slightly different problem. These two things happen due to the following reasons.

  • Corrupted Local Cache
  • Corrupted System Files

Also, you may not have noticed if the VPN connection configuration was successful or not. Whatever the reasons are, you can always solve this type of problem.

How can I fix VPN not showing up in Network Connections in Windows 11/10

1. Restart Windows

  1. Open Start Menu by clicking on Windows icon.
  2. Click on Power icon.
    click on power icon start menu win11
  3. Click on Restart.
    restart win11

2. Create and remove dummy VPN Connection

2.1 Create dummy VPN

  1. Press Windows + I on the keyboard to open Settings.
  2. Click on Network & Internet and then on VPN.
    open vpn settings win11
  3. Click on Add VPN.
    click add vpn win11 settings
  4. Provide fake/random details for VPN configuration.
    adding vpn win11 settings 2
  5. Click on Save.

For dummy VPN, you won’t have to give anything real. Just provide a random connection name and a server name. That’s enough.

If it solves VPN not showing up in connections, don’t forget to delete the dummy one.

2.2 Delete the dummy VPN:

  1. Click on the dummy VPN connection name.
    remove vpn win11 settings 1
  2. Click on Remove and then on Confirm.
    removing vpn win11 setting 2

If it fails to remove the VPN, read how to fix cannot delete a VPN connection.

3. Delete old VPN connection using command Prompt/Terminal

  1. Open start menu and search for powershel.
  2. Right-click on Windows PowerShell and choose Run as Administrator.
    run powershell as admin
  3. Type the following command to show view the existing VPN connections and press enter: VPNConnection show vpn connection powershell
  4. Type Remove-VPNConnection name. Replace name with your VPN connection name. If your one’s name is myvpn, the command will be like the following: Remove-VPNConnection name remove vpn powershell
  5. Press enter.
  6. Type Y and press enter to confirm the VPN removal.
    confirm vpn remove powershell

After doing this, you can add the VPN connection again. It will appear in network connections.

4. Repair corrupted system files

4.1 Use System File Checker

  1. Open Start Menu, type cmd.
  2. Right-click on Command Prompt and choose Run as Administrator.
    run command prompt as admin
  3. Type the following command and hit enter: net stop wuauserv stop update server cmd
  4. Write the following command and press enter to run it: cd %systemroot%\SoftwareDistribution navigate software distribution cmd
  5. Now, Type following command and press enter to execute it. ren Download Download.old rename download cmd
  6. Next, Write the following command and hit enter: net start wuauserv start update server cmd
  7. Use the following command and press enter: net stop bits net stop bits cmd
  8. Next type the command given below and hit enter: net stop cryptsvc stop crypt serv cmd
  9. Write the following line and press enter: cd %systemroot%\system32 navigate system32 cmd
  10. Then, type that command and press enter: ren catroot2 catroot2old rename catroot2 cmd
  11. Write the following one and hit enter: net start bits start bits cmd
  12. Next, write the following command and run it by pressing enter: net start cryptsvc start crypt serv cmd
  13. At last, type this command and hit enter to execute it: SFC /SCANNOW sfc scannow cmd

4.2 Use DISM tool

  1. Make sure you have opened the terminal or command prompt as administrator.
  2. Then, type the following command and press enter to execute: dism /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth dism command cmd
  3. Restart Windows.

This way, Windows repairs its system components to fix any related errors, like the missing VPN connection name in network connections.

5. Use a dedicated VPN client

Private Internet Access (PIA) VPN server list in Desktop App

After applying these fixes mentioned above, you can easily overcome this problem. But, If VPN is still not showing up in the network connections, you can consider using the VPN client from your VPN provider.

A dedicated client handles all of your VPN-related things. For example, the Private Internet Access VPN‘s desktop app handles everything automatically. It doesn’t require any manual configuration. Servers in 78 countries are instantly available from its desktop app.

It can be a great solution to ease your VPN experience and avoid VPN not showing up or any other problems.

6. Reset Windows

  1. Press Win + I on the keyboard.
  2. Type reset in the searchbox, and click on Reset this PC from the suggestion. finding reset this pc windows 11
  3. Next, Click on Reset PC. reset this pc 2
  4. Then, Choose between Keep my files and Remove everything depending on your preference. reset this pc options windows 11

Resetting may take a bit long time, depending on how many files and apps are there and your hard disk or SSD speed. For more instructions, you can read how to reset Windows 11.

When your configured VPN connections don’t appear in network connections, these six methods are to help

How a VPN application is the best way to avoid this problem in future?

A VPN client can unlock many benefits to enhance your VPN experience in many ways.

In general, If you want to use multiple VPN connections for several reasons, it will be tough to maintain all of this manually. For example, you may want a server for securely browsing the internet and another one for streaming Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, etc. Or there may be more.

If somehow these VPNs don’t appear in network connections, it will take your time to follow the above steps again. For the permanent solution, a VPN client is best. Most modern VPN apps have features to choose the purpose, servers, protocols, etc. That’s enough for the complete experience.

But, You only should use the built-in Windows VPN settings for specific reasons. It can be for connecting to your Office or home network, or anything that makes sense. For this, giving time for troubleshooting VPN connection not showing up errors worth your time.

That’s it. When you face this VPN problem, the methods mentioned above are sufficient to get rid of it.

Feel free to share in the comment box if you know any other methods that can fix VPN not showing up in network connections.