This tutorial will show you how to download, set up, and use your VPN app for Android.
This tutorial is for ExpressVPN for Android Version 7.0, which is compatible with Android 5.0 and up: Lollipop (5.x), Marshmallow (6.x), Nougat (7.x), Oreo (8.x), Pie (9.x), and Android 10.
Not yet a customer? Read more about VPN for Android.
- 1 Sign in to your account
- 2 Download the VPN app
- 3 Set up the VPN app
- 4 Connect to a VPN server location
- 5 Disconnect from a VPN server location
- 6 Choose a different VPN server location
- 7 How to add shortcuts to the ExpressVPN app
- 8 How to switch VPN protocols
- 9 How to use the split tunneling feature
- 10 Change languages in the ExpressVPN Android app
- 11 How to add the ExpressVPN app widget
- 12 How to uninstall the VPN app from your device
- 13 Trouble connecting? Try this
Sign in to your account
To begin, open a web browser on your device and sign in to your ExpressVPN account.
To sign in, enter the email address and password you used to sign up for ExpressVPN, then tap Sign In.
After signing in, tap Set Up ExpressVPN.
You will be taken to the downloads page to download your app.
Download the VPN app
Navigate to the Android section, then download the app by doing one of the following:
- If you can access Google Play, tap GET IT ON Google Play to download the app.
- If you cannot access Google Play, tap Download APK to download the APK directly to your Android device. (ExpressVPN does not recommend downloading our APK from third-party sources.) For more information about downloading APKs, see here.
If you chose to download the app from the Google Play Store:
- Tap INSTALL on the Google Play Store page for ExpressVPN.
- Tap ACCEPT, then wait while the app downloads.
- Tap OPEN after the app has been downloaded to your device.
If you chose to download the ExpressVPN app for Android as an APK:
- Tap OK to allow the APK to download. Make sure you have allowed non-Play Store downloads to your device first.
- Wait for the APK to download.
- After the APK has finished downloading, tap OPEN.
- After opening the APK, you will be asked to approve the installation. Tap INSTALL.
- Wait for your app to finish installing, then tap OPEN to launch the app.
Set up the VPN app
After opening the ExpressVPN app for Android, tap Sign In.
Enter your ExpressVPN username and password, then tap Sign In.
You can share crash reports and other anonymous analytics to improve ExpressVPN. Tap OK if you agree to share reports.
You will be invited to set up your VPN and approve connection requests by ExpressVPN. Tap OK and OK to continue.
Connect to a VPN server location
To connect to a VPN server location, tap the On Button. By default, ExpressVPN will suggest the location that provides the optimal experience for you, called Smart Location.
Once you see the Connected message on the app screen, you can begin surfing with freedom and security!
If you would like to learn more about VPN or read the latest news and tips from ExpressVPN, tap More news & tips.
Note: A single ExpressVPN subscription can be used simultaneously on five devices, regardless of platform. If you try to use more than five devices simultaneously on one subscription, you will see this screen:
Disconnect from a VPN server location
To disconnect from the VPN server, tap the On Button while the VPN is connected.
You will know you are disconnected when the “Tap to connect” message is shown.
Choose a different VPN server location
To connect to a different server location, tap the ellipsis (…) to launch the location picker.
You can change locations while connected to VPN, but you will get a warning stating your internet traffic may be unsecure during reconnection. This warning will reappear each time unless you check the Don’t show me again box.
The list of VPN locations initially features two tabs: RECOMMENDED and ALL LOCATIONS.
The RECOMMENDED tab shows you ExpressVPN’s top picks for you to connect to.
The ALL LOCATIONS tab lists the VPN server locations by region. You can expand and collapse the lists by tapping the triangular arrowheads.
To add a location to your list of favorite locations, swipe to the right.
You can access your favorite locations by tapping the FAVORITES tab, which will now appear between the Recommended and All tabs.
To remove a location from your list of favorites, swipe it to the right.
How to add shortcuts to the ExpressVPN app
The shortcuts feature appears on the ExpressVPN home screen after you connect to VPN. (It will not appear the first time you connect, but it will appear from your second connection onward.)
Shortcuts allow you to conveniently and quickly launch apps and websites straight from ExpressVPN anytime you are connected. If you find yourself regularly visiting a handful of favorite destinations after connecting to VPN—a particular streaming service or social network, for example—adding it as a shortcut saves you from having to switch back to your device’s home screen or browser to find it each time.
To launch an app or website, tap its icon when connected to the VPN.
If you have fewer than five shortcuts selected, you can add one by tapping the gray plus icon.
You can also add or remove shortcuts by tapping the hamburger menu (≡) in the top-left corner of the screen.
Go to Settings > App and Website Shortcuts.
Under INCLUDE, you can select up to five apps or websites you want to appear as shortcuts.
You will be able to launch these apps or websites directly from the ExpressVPN home screen when connected to VPN.
To remove an app or website from the shortcuts list, tap the red remove (-) icon. If you have a slot available, you can add a shortcut to the list by tapping the green add (+) icon.
How to switch VPN protocols
VPN protocols are the methods by which your device connects to a VPN server. Switching to a different protocol can help you achieve faster connection speeds.
To switch VPN protocols, tap the hamburger menu (≡) in the top-left corner of the screen.
In the menu, tap Settings.
From the settings menu, under VPN Settings, tap VPN protocol.
Select your preferred protocol by tapping it.
How to use the split tunneling feature
By default, ExpressVPN routes all traffic through the VPN. However, you may configure the split-tunneling settings so that only selected apps use the VPN.
To access your split-tunneling settings, open the hamburger menu (≡).
Tap Settings > Split Tunneling.
Select Only allow selected apps to use the VPN. Under ADD APPS, select the apps you want to apply VPN protection to.
Note: If you enabled “Block non-VPN traffic” in your Android system settings, only the apps you select through this menu will be able to use the internet. All other apps will be permanently blocked unless you add them to this list.
If you select Do not allow selected apps to use the VPN, apps selected under ADD APPS will not receive VPN protection.
Change languages in the ExpressVPN Android app
Tap the hamburger menu (≡), then select Settings.
Tap Language and select the language you want to change to.
How to add the ExpressVPN app widget
To add the ExpressVPN widget to your home screen, tap and hold an empty spot on the home screen.
At the bottom of your screen, tap the WIDGETS icon.
Tap and hold the ExpressVPN widget. You may see a slightly different interface on your device. You may also need to scroll vertically to find the ExpressVPN widget.
Drag the widget to your preferred screen.
The widget is now on your home screen. You can use it to connect and disconnect the VPN without opening the ExpressVPN app.
To connect or disconnect from the VPN, tap the On Button on the right side of the widget.
To change locations, tap the location flag on the left side of the widget.
To open the ExpressVPN app, tap the middle of the widget.
How to uninstall the VPN app from your device
To uninstall ExpressVPN from your Android device, tap and hold the ExpressVPN icon on the home screen, then drag it to the Uninstall icon.
You will see an uninstall confirmation message. Tap OK to remove the app from your device.
Trouble connecting? Try this
If you are having trouble connecting on Android Lollipop, please refer to this blog post for troubleshooting tips.
If you encounter the “TUN driver missing” error, please use this troubleshooting guide to fix it.