This tutorial guide will walk you through how to set up ExpressVPN Version 7.x for Windows on your PC or laptop.
Please note that this app requires Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 10.
- 1 Download the app
- 2 Get your activation code
- 3 Install the app
- 4 Connect to a VPN server location
- 5 Disconnect from the VPN server location
- 6 Choose a different VPN server location
- 7 Switch to a different VPN protocol
- 8 How to add shortcuts to the ExpressVPN app
- 9 Launch and connect ExpressVPN on startup
- 10 Use the VPN Speed Test
- 11 Use split tunneling
- 12 Use IPv6 Leak protection
- 13 Change languages in the ExpressVPN Windows app
- 14 Use the ExpressVPN browser extension
- 15 Uninstall the app
Download the app
Open the Welcome Email you received when you signed up for ExpressVPN. Click the link in the email.
If you cannot find the link, sign in to your account here.
Once you have clicked the link in the welcome email you received, or signed in to the website, click on Download for Windows. This will start the download for your app.
Do not close the window! You will need it for the next step.
Get your activation code
In order to use ExpressVPN on your Windows computer, you will need your activation code. Let’s copy it to your clipboard.
To copy your activation code to the clipboard, click the copy code icon in the top right corner of the box containing the code. You will be asked to provide it later.
Install the app
Locate and double-click on the download file on your computer.
The setup process will begin with this Welcome screen. Click Continue, Continue, and Set Up ExpressVPN.
If you see a prompt to install the app, click Install to proceed.
Please wait while the app is being installed on your PC.
When prompted, paste your activation code. This is the code you found earlier. You can paste it by pressing Ctrl + V, or right-clicking the rectangular field and clicking Paste. Then click Sign In.
You have the option of launching ExpressVPN on startup. Select your preference to continue.
You can also choose to anonymously share analytics about your VPN connections to help improve ExpressVPN. Select your preference to continue.
ExpressVPN does not collect your private data and anonymizes it before it reaches ExpressVPN servers.
Congratulations! You are now ready to access ExpressVPN’s vast network of server locations.
Connect to a VPN server location
To connect to a VPN server location, click 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!
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 the below screen:
Disconnect from the VPN server location
To disconnect from the VPN server location, click the ON Button while the VPN is on.
You will know you are disconnected when you see the “Not connected” message.
Choose a different VPN server location
To connect to a different server location, click on the location picker.
Note: For the first time you try to change locations while connected to VPN, you will get a warning stating your internet traffic may be unsecure during reconnection.
To connect to a server location, click on it, then click the ON Button. Alternatively, you can connect by double-clicking the location.
By default, the list of VPN locations 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 clicking the > icon on the right.
A Favorites tab is added once you have added favorite locations. You can save a location to your list of favorites by clicking the star icon on the right.
You can also search for your desired server location by using the search bar.
Inside the search bar, type the name of your desired server location and then double-click the server location in the search results to connect to it.
After disconnecting from a server location you selected, you can return to your Smart Location (the location recommended for the smoothest experience) by clicking the location marked Smart Location.
Switch to a different VPN protocol
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 to a different protocol, click on the hamburger menu (≡), then click Options. Make sure you are not connected to the VPN when doing this.
In the Protocol tab, select the protocol you want to use, then click OK.
Note: PPTP and L2TP/IPsec provide weak security benefits and should only be used for anonymization or for changing locations.
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, click its icon when connected to the VPN.
If you have fewer than five shortcuts selected, you can add one by clicking the gray plus (+) icon. You can also add or remove shortcuts by clicking on the hamburger menu (≡), then selecting Options > Shortcuts.
Click the plus (+) sign to add a shortcut, up to a limit of five. To remove a shortcut, highlight it and click the minus (–) sign.
Launch and connect ExpressVPN on startup
You can configure whether ExpressVPN automatically connects after your PC starts up.
To configure the “connect upon startup” settings, click on the hamburger menu (≡), then click Options.
Under the General tab, check (or uncheck) the box for Launch ExpressVPN on Windows startup.
You can also configure ExpressVPN to connect to the last location you connected to.
Use the VPN Speed Test
To use the VPN Speed Test, you must be disconnected from the VPN.
Start by clicking on the hamburger menu (≡) and then Speed Test.
On the Speed Test screen, click Run Test and wait for the tests to complete.
After results are displayed, select a location using the following criteria:
- Speed Index: the higher the better
- Latency: the lower the better
- Download Speed: the higher the better
Use split tunneling
This feature allows you to decide which apps use the VPN and which apps do not use the VPN when you are connected to ExpressVPN.
To change your split tunnel settings, click the hamburger menu (≡) and go to Options.
Under the General tab, tick the box in the Split tunneling section and click Settings.
From there, you can decide which of your apps will use the VPN and which ones will not use the VPN when you are connected to ExpressVPN.
If you select the latter two options, you can specify which apps will (not) use VPN. Click on the plus sign (+) to select the apps.
Check the box next to all the apps you want to select. If your desired app is not shown, click Add Another App to search for it.
Click OK to apply your changes.
IN DEPTH: Learn more about the split-tunneling feature
Use IPv6 Leak protection
By default, the ExpressVPN app will block IPv6 connections to protect against IPv6 leaks.
If you encounter issues with devices that only use IPv6 connections, go to Options, Advanced, and uncheck the box under IPv6 Leak Protection.
Change languages in the ExpressVPN Windows app
Click the hamburger menu (≡) then select Options.
Select the Advanced tab. Under Language, select the language you want to change to.
When prompted, click OK to confirm. ExpressVPN will change to your selected language after restarting.
Use the ExpressVPN browser extension
If you’re using Version 6.2 (or later) of the ExpressVPN app, you can download and use the ExpressVPN browser extension to remotely control the ExpressVPN app from your browser. The extension is available for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.
From your app, click the hamburger menu (≡), select Options, then go to the Browsers tab.
Click Get Extension and follow the on-page instructions.
Learn more about the ExpressVPN browser extension here.
Uninstall the app
Note: The below instructions are for Windows 10. If you are using Windows 7 or 8, please see the instructions for uninstalling programs on Windows 7 and Windows 8.
From your Windows desktop, go to Settings > Apps & features.
Scroll through the list of programs until you locate ExpressVPN. Select ExpressVPN and then click Uninstall.
If you see that ExpressVPN is still listed as an available VPN connection after uninstalling:
- Click the Start button, and then press Windows key + R to launch the run command.
- Type ncpa.cpl on the run command and then press Enter to go to your Network Connections window.
- On your Network Connections window, right-click on the WAN Miniport labeled ExpressVPN.
- Click Delete.
- From your Windows desktop, go to Settings > Network & Internet > VPN.
- If you see ExpressVPN as an available connection, delete it.