How To Fix VPN Authentication Failed Error On Windows 10

A VPN or Virtual Private Network allows you to connect to the internet with  an added layer of security. It was initially created to connect business networks securely over the internet . Today it has many uses such as bypassing geographic locations on websites and hiding your true location just to name a few. Although installing a VPN is quite easy, there are instances when certain issues can occur. In this latest installment of our troubleshooting series we will tackle the VPN failed authentication error Windows 10.

What to do when your VPN gets the authentication failed error

Before performing any of the recommended troubleshooting steps listed below it’s best to restart your computer and router first. This action refreshes the operating system and remove any corrupt temporary data that could be causing the problem.

There are several factors that can cause this particular problem ranging from an interference from the antivirus software to a corrupted VPN client. Listed below are the recommended troubleshooting steps you need to do to fix this problem.

Turn off the antivirus

The first thing you need to do is to turn off the antivirus software as this usually interferes with the way your VPN works.

If you are using Windows Security

  • Select Start  – Settings  > Update & Security  – Windows Security – Virus & threat protection > Manage settings
  • Switch Real-time protection to Off.

If you are using Avast

  • Search for the Avast icon in your computer’s system tray and right-click on it.
  • Click on Avast shields control.
  • Locate the options to disable the program – the options are to disable it for 10 minutes, an hour, until the computer is restarted or permanently (until you yourself turn it back on). Select whatever option suits you best and use it to disable the program.

If you are using AVG

  • Search for the AVG icon in your computer’s system tray and right-click on it.
  • Click on Temporarily disable AVG protection.
  • Choose how long you want AVG to be turned off and whether you want AVG to disable its Firewall too.
  • Click on OK to disable the antivirus program.

If you are using McAfee

  • Search for the McAfee Antivirus icon in your computer’s system tray and right-click on it.
  • Click on Exit.
  • You should see a dialog box warning you that McAfee‘s protection will be turned off. Click on Yes in this dialog box to disable the antivirus program

If the VPN authentication failed error does not occur after turning off the antivirus then I suggest that you turn on the antivirus then add your VPN to its exception list.

Windows Defender

  • Click the Windows button and in the search bar type “Windows defender”.
  • Open the application named “Windows Defender Security Center”.
  • Select the option “Virus and threat protection”.
  • Go to Virus and Threat Protection Settings. Windows may prompt you to allow an administrator access to use this feature. If so, press Yes.
  • Search the window which says “Add or remove exclusions”. Click it and you will be navigated to a menu where you can add exclusions.
  • Click on the option which says “Exclude a folder” and navigate to your VPN directory. Once you reach the location select the folder and save changes.

Bitdefender

  • Open Bitdefender and go to the Protection Window by clicking the shield icon shown below in the picture.
  • Click on the link which says View Modules.
  • Click on the Settings icon which you can see on the upper right corner of the antivirus.
  • Go to the Exclusions tab present in the window.
  • Click on “List of files and folders excluded from scanning”.
  • Click on the ADD button. Navigate to your VPN directory and select the folder to exclude it from the scanning process. You should also select the Both option before you add an exception
  • Click Add and save changes.
  • You can also add the VPN executable file in the exceptions list by clicking on “List of processes excluded from scanning”.

Avast Antivirus

  • Open the Avast interface.
  • Click on Settings found at the bottom left corner of the screen.
  • From Settings, browse to General and scroll down the options until you find Exclusions.
  • Expand the section and you will see a dialogue where you can add global exceptions. Navigate to your Chrome  directory using the option of Browse.
  • Once you have selected the VPN  folder, click on ADD found at the bottom left side of the screen. Press OK and it is now added to global exceptions of Avast antivirus.

McAfee Antivirus

  • Open McAfee Antivirus by clicking on its icon present on the toolbar on the bottom right side of your Windows.
  • Click on Manage Security.
  • Select the option of Schedule and run scans option present in the box of Virus and Spyware Protection.
  • Select the option of Schedules scans from the list of options that follow. A new window will open and from there you will see the Add button present under the tab of Excluded Files and Folders. Select the VPN  directory after clicking Add through the file explorer.
  • Once you reach the location select the folder and save changes.

Kaspersky AV

  • Open Kaspersky AV from the icon present in your taskbar at the bottom right of the screen.
  • Navigate to the Settings menu.
  • Select the tab of Additional and select the tab of Threats and Exclusions from the list of options given.
  • Click on the Configure Exclusions present in the middle of the screen.
  • Select the option of Add present in the bottom right of the screen.
  • Now navigate to the VPN  directory using the Browse button. Once you reach the location select the folder and save changes.

Malwarebytes

  • Open your Malwarebytes window by either clicking on the icon in the taskbar located at the bottom right side of the screen, or by clicking the program’s launch file.
  • Once the program is opened, click on the Malware Exclusions tab located on the left side of the window.
  • In this tab, you find an option which says “Add folder”. Click it and you will be navigated to File Explorer from where you can select your VPN directory easily.

Turn off the firewall

One other component that can interfere with how your VPN works is the firewall. To check if this is the culprit you should try to disable it.

  • Open up the command prompt make sure to select Run as Administrator.
  • On the command prompt, Type netsh advfirewall set allprofiles state off then press the enter key. This will turn off the firewall for the Private Network, Public Network

In case you don’t experience the problem in this mode then you should turn on the firewall then add the VPN to its exception list.

To turn on the firewall just type netsh advfirewall set allprofiles state on then press the enter key at the command prompt.

To add the VPN to the exception list

  • Type “Windows Firewall” (without quotes) in the search input box.
  • Select “Allow an app through the Windows Firewall” from the Search results pane.
  • Tap or click the “Change Settings” button, and then select “Allow another app.”
  • Select your VPN and then choose “Add.”
  • Select “OK” to finish adding the VPN to the Windows Firewall.

Check if the VPN failed authentication error still occurs.

Make sure your VPN login credentials are correct

Another common factor that can cause this problem is when you login to your VPN account with the wrong username or password. Make sure that you are using the correct login information and make sure to check the uppercase and lowercase settings.

Don’t exceed the number of connections

Most VPN  subscriptions will only allow a limited amount of VPN connections at a given time. If you have several devices using the same service then disable the VPN on these devices and only run it on the computer that is experiencing the problem.

Check if the VPN authentication  failure error still occurs.

Check your service

If you are using a premium account then make sure that the service is paid and has not expired. If you are using a free account then check if the trial period has already ended.

Reinstall the VPN client

In case the above steps fails to fix the problem then you should uninstall the VPN client from your computer then download a fresh version from the official website.

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