World Tech

ExpressVPN not working [DNS error connecting to server]

Milan Stanojevic

Editorial assistant

  • ExpressVPN is one of the best VPN solutions for anonymous web browsing.
  • From time to time, you may encounter DNS issues when using ExpressVPN.
  • While such errors are rare, they can render ExpressVPN unusable and put your privacy at risk.
  • In this guide, we’ll show you exactly how to fix DNS errors without any effort on your part.

ExpressVPN is one of the best VPNs to browse the internet anonymously, hide your IP from hackers or online advertisers, access geographical content and much more.

Some of the features that make it really great are broadband, ultra-secure security, ease of use, instant configuration and access to 94 countries on over 1,700 global VPN servers, DNS/IPv6 leak protection, shutdown switch and tunnel separation.

However, VPNs sometimes have some troubleshooting issues, and ExpressVPN, owned by Express VPN International Ltd, is no different.

Some ExpressVPN users may experience DNS errors when anti-virus software is running. These DNS errors, which take the form of leaks, are caused by antivirus programs that force the user’s computer to use a different DNS server.

If you accidentally get an ExpressVPN DNS error, even restarting your computer will not fix the problem, whether it is a momentary error or not. Check out some of the solutions below and see if they can help you.

How do I troubleshoot DNS ExpressVPN?

1. Make sure your DNS is set to Automatic.

Sometimes when you disconnect from a VPN, it does not switch back from static reception to automatic reception. If this is the case, you need to set up automatic configuration in the DNS category.

Here’s how:

  1. Right click on Start and select Run
  2. Type ncpa.cpl and press Enter.
  3. In the Network Connections window, right-click on your primary Internet connection and select Properties.
  4. Select Internet Protocol version 4 (TCP/IPv4) or Internet Protocol version 4 (TCP/IPv6) (depending on which option is enabled).
  5. Click on Properties
  6. Select Obtain DNS server address automatically
  7. Press OK.

If the above steps fail, try doing the same with the following steps:

  1. Click on Start and select Control Panel
  2. To the clearing house
  3. Click Changeadapter settings
  4. Right click on your WiFi adapter
  5. Select properties
  6. Navigate to IPv4 (Internet Protocol Version 4) and click to check the corresponding box.
  7. Select Automatic DNS Restore

Do this for all your adapters if they are similar to your WiFi adapter. Does this fix the DNS ExpressVPN error? If not, try the following solution.

2. Changing your VPN service

DNSerrors are not only annoying, but also a threat to your privacy. Either you are missing the data or you simply cannot connect to the internet and the service becomes unusable.

Fortunately, we live in a competitive world and opportunities are everywhere. One of the best options is private internet access. This US VPN service, owned by Kape Technologies, is a leading competitor and a privacy-focused VPN service, much like ExpressVPN.

Most, if not all, of the features that ExpressVPN offers are also available on PIA.

Here are the main reasons why we recommend it:

  • No magazine policy
  • Manage your own DNS server
  • Strong encryption methods
  • More than 3000 servers available
  • Unlimited bandwidth

Private Internet connection

Go for PIA with this temporary offer that offers the same features for a lower price!

3. Change ExpressVPN settings

Here’s how:

  1. Launch the ExpressVPN application and click on the hamburger menu.
  2. Go to options
  3. Click on General
  4. Make sure the Enable Network Lock (Internet Killer Switch) check box is selected.
  5. Make sure you do NOT enable application-based connection management (split tunneling).
  6. Click on the Advanced tab
  7. Ensure that IPv6 address detection is prevented when connecting.
  8. Make sure that only the use of ExpressVPN DNS servers is enabled for the connection.

Does this fix the DNS ExpressVPN error? If not, try the following solution.

4. DNS Flush

Here’s how:

    1. Right click on Start and select Run
    2. Type DMC
    3. Click on the command line icon
    4. On the black command line screen, type ipconfig /flushdns and press Enter.

You should receive the following confirmation: Windows IP configuration The DNS resolver cache was successfully cleared.

Does this fix the DNS ExpressVPN error? If not, try the following solution.

5. ExpressVPNApplication update

  1. Login to your ExpressVPN account
  2. Click on Configure ExpressVPN
  3. On the left side of the screen, choose Windows
  4. Download ExpressVPN for Windows

Once you have completed the above steps, configure your ExpressVPN application by following these steps (for Windows 10 users):

  1. Right-click on Start and select Programs and Features.
  2. Search for ExpressVPN in the program list and select Uninstall.
  3. In the configuration wizard, click You will receive a message after the installation is complete, so click Close to exit the wizard.
  4. If ExpressVPN is still available after uninstalling, right-click on Start and select Run.
  5. Type ncpa.cpl and press Enter to open the Network Connections window.
  6. Under Network Connections, right-click on the WAN mini-port named ExpressVPN
  7. Select Remove
  8. Press Start and select Settings
  9. Click on Network and Internet
  10. Select VPN. If you see that ExpressVPN is available, uninstall it.

Reconnect to ExpressVPN and see if the ExpressVPN DNS error disappears.

Let us know if any of the above solutions fixed the DNS ExpressVPN error on your computer by leaving a comment in the section below.

FAQ: More information about DNSExpressVPN

  • Does ExpressVPN have intelligent DNS?

ExpressVPN supports SmartDNS, but you must purchase a paid Smart DNS proxy account to use this feature. This is a profitable investment because you get both DNS proxy and VPN service.

  • Does ExpressVPN have protection against DNS leaks?

ExpressVPN can protect your computer from DNS leaks, provided you use the right settings when configuring the tool. To verify that you are using the correct settings, run the DNS leak test.

  • Can my ISP tell me if I am using a VPN?

Your Internet Service Provider can tell you when you are using a Virtual Private Network (VPN), because their systems cannot tell where the traffic is coming from or going to. Some providers have a list of certain servers that come with VPN services.

Editor’s note: This article was originally published in March 2018 and revised and updated in January 2021 for timeliness, accuracy and completeness.

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