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Norton VPN Not Working? Here’s How to Fix It

Simon Migliano

Simon Migliano is a recognized world expert in VPNs. He's tested hundreds of VPN services and his research has featured on the BBC, The New York Times and more. Read full bio

Our Verdict

If Norton VPN isn’t working, try connecting to a different server or restarting the VPN. If that doesn’t work, check your firewall isn’t blocking it and remove any conflicting apps. Reinstalling the app can fix many issues, but there are also simple configuration changes you can make on Windows and macOS to fix common errors.

Man acting as a VPN kill switch, cuts off the internet connection

Norton Secure VPN is owned by NortonLifeLock, one of the world’s biggest cybersecurity software companies. The VPN is available as a standalone application or as part of the Norton 360 suite, which also includes antivirus, firewall, and password manager tools.

Our Norton VPN review found that the VPN is mediocre at best. It’s reasonably fast and cheap, but it doesn’t protect your privacy and security.

If you’ve purchased Norton VPN separately or as part of the Norton 360 suite, you may also find that the VPN doesn’t always work properly.

For more specific troubleshooting advice, read our tips for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android later on in this guide.

Some users report that Norton VPN often fails to start, or cannot connect to a server at all. Conflicts with certain software and operating systems can cause the VPN to crash, and if your internet connection is poor, the VPN might simply cut out altogether.

In this guide, we’ll show you how to fix common errors with Norton Secure VPN and the VPN built into Norton 360.

If you’re having difficulty enabling the VPN, connecting to a server, or you’re seeing different error messages, you’ll find the solution here. We’ll also list some alternative VPNs that are more effective and reliable than Norton’s.

EXPERT TIP: If you’re having issues with Norton VPN, we recommend upgrading to a faster, more secure, and more reliable VPN service. Our top-rated choice is ExpressVPN, which works to unblock 10 international Netflix libraries with a safe no-logs policy.

Which Version of Norton VPN Are You Using?

There are two versions of Norton Secure VPN. The first version is included in the Norton 360 security suite, along with antivirus, firewall, and password manager tools. To access this version, open Norton 360 and choose ‘My Norton’. The VPN is listed as ‘Secure VPN’.

NortonVPN app

You can access a version of Norton VPN in the Norton 360 security suite.

You can also subscribe separately to Norton Secure VPN, which runs as a separate app on Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS.

Norton Secure VPN's app

You can also access Norton Secure VPN as a standalone application.

Both versions of the VPN use very similar infrastructure and suffer from the same problems. In the troubleshooting advice below, we’ll explain how to fix both versions of Norton VPN.

How to Check If Norton VPN Is Working Properly

If you’re unsure whether your version of Norton VPN is working properly, test your IP address or use our VPN leak test to find out if you’re successfully connected to a VPN server.

To check if you’re connected to a Norton VPN server:

  1. Open the Norton Secure App or Norton 360 Security Suite.
  2. Connect to a VPN server in a different country.
  3. Check your IP address and virtual location.
  4. If your location hasn’t changed, Norton VPN isn’t working.

You may find other issues as you carry out this process. For example, Norton VPN might fail to connect to a server, the VPN may repeatedly turn itself off, or maybe you can’t enable it at all.

Norton is not a very good VPN for Netflix, so if you’re having trouble streaming geo-blocked content then we recommend simply choosing a better VPN for Netflix, instead.

If you’re receiving error messages or you’re having any of the issues above, the instructions below will help you fix them. For more general advice, you can also read our tips on what to do if your VPN keeps disconnecting.

How to Fix Norton Secure VPN Not Working (General Troubleshooting)

In this troubleshooting section, we’ll explain how to fix the most common issues with Norton VPN before digging into more specific issues by device. If your version of Norton isn’t working and you’re not sure why, we recommend starting here.

1. Check Your Internet Connection

You can’t get any VPN working until you have a working internet connection. If Norton VPN connects but suddenly stops working, it could be because your internet connection is weak or unreliable.

To check this, open a new browser tab and visit a web page to see if it loads.

If your internet connection is not working:

  1. Turn off your router, wait a few minutes, and then turn it on again.
  2. Try an alternative connection to your router (e.g. use a cable instead of WiFi).
  3. Check your ISP’s status using another device that can still connect.

2. Connect to a Different Norton VPN Server

If you’re having connection issues, there might be a problem with the particular server you’re connected to.

If you can’t access Netflix with your VPN, for example, it might be because your server has been identified and blocked by Netflix. Alternatively, there could be a fault on the VPN server.

It’s easy to try connecting to a server in a different country. In fact, that’s what Norton recommends you do if you see the error message “VPN is currently unable to connect. Error Id: 13801”.

Norton VPN error message

During our tests, Norton Secure VPN showed us a 13801 error, which means there’s been a connection error.

Unfortunately, Norton VPN does not offer city-level servers in singular regions, which means it’s difficult to connect to a different VPN server in the same country.

However, if you disconnect and reconnect, you are likely to be connected to a different server. This is the best way to connect to a different server without changing the region.

There are two ways to connect to a different Norton VPN server in the same country:

  1. Turn off the VPN and turn it back on again. Note that this will leave your connection unprotected while the VPN is off. To do this in Norton 360, open the app, choose My Norton, and toggle the button beside ‘Secure VPN’. In the standalone app, use the slider at the bottom to turn the VPN on and off.
  2. Connect to a server in a different region, then reconnect to the region you want. To do this in Norton 360, open the menu beside ‘Secure VPN’ and click ‘Choose Region’. In the standalone app, click the ‘Virtual Location’ tab to choose a new location.

3. Restart Norton Secure VPN

Restarting Norton VPN may help to resolve any temporary problems with the application.

To restart the standalone Norton Secure VPN app on a desktop computer:

  1. Click the user icon in the top right.
  2. Select Sign out.
  3. Click the Settings icon in the top right.
  4. Select Quit Norton Secure VPN.
  5. Restart your device.
  6. Open Norton Secure VPN and sign in again.

Mobile devices and the Norton 360 app don’t have an option to quit the VPN (although you can turn it off). The easiest way to restart the software is to restart your computer or turn your mobile device off and on again.

4. Check Your Firewall Settings

If you see the following error message, it means that something is blocking your internet connection:

“Error: (9012, 809) “An error is preventing the VPN from connecting. Reference error ID 809”

Norton Secure VPN uses UDP ports 500 and 4500, so you’ll need to make sure that your firewall is allowing it to access them.

There’s a good chance you’re running Norton’s own firewall as part of the Norton 360 suite. If so, follow these steps to configure your firewall:

  1. In ‘My Norton’, click the ‘Open’ button beside ‘Device Security’.
  2. In the main Norton window, click ‘Settings’.
  3. Click ‘Firewall’.
  4. In the General Settings, click ‘Configure’ beside ‘Network Trust’.
  5. Beside Norton Secure VPN, choose ‘Full Trust’ and click ‘Apply’.
Norton 360 firewall settings

The firewall settings in Norton 360 Security Suite.

If you’re using a different type of firewall, we’ve listed some more configuration tips for Windows firewalls later on in this guide.

5. Disable or Remove Conflicting Applications

Norton Secure VPN can conflict with other VPN apps, in particular Cisco AnyConnect, which is a type of remote access VPN that supports remote working.

It’s unlikely you’ll want to remove similar software if you need it for remote working. In this case, try simply turning off these other applications to avoid conflicts when using Norton VPN for your personal activities.

It’s also a good idea to remove any VPN apps you don’t need. If you’ve tried a few before settling on Norton VPN, there might be conflicting software still running.

6. Check Norton’s Status

Online services have outages from time to time, so it’s worth checking whether the problem is related to Norton and its network.

Unfortunately, Norton doesn’t publish the status of its VPN service. However, you can see whether there are issues with other Norton services on Norton’s status page, which may indicate any wider problems.

If some Norton services are experiencing problems or are down, it’s possible that Norton Secure VPN will also be affected. Give the service time to recover before taking more drastic steps.

7. Check If the VPN Starts Automatically

Both versions of Norton VPN include an option to enable the VPN automatically on startup. If Norton VPN isn’t starting automatically and you expect it to, check the VPN’s settings.

In Norton 360, go to ‘My Norton’ and click ‘Settings’ in the menu beside ‘Secure VPN’. Ensure that Auto-Connect is turned on, so your VPN starts when your computer restarts or wakes up from its sleep mode.

Norton VPN Auto-Connection setting

The Auto-Connect setting will start your VPN when you turn your device on.

If the VPN is starting automatically and you’d prefer it not to, simply turn off this setting in the same menu.

The Auto-Protect setting will also turn the VPN on when you’re connected to an insecure network.

8. Upgrade Your VPN

If you can’t get Norton VPN to work, consider upgrading to a better VPN. Norton VPN is cheap, but its features are weak and it’s not good enough for popular activities such as streaming, torrenting, and evading censorship.

If you like the Norton VPN because it came bundled with your security software, Windscribe Free is the best alternative free option.

Most free VPNs are untrustworthy, but Windscribe has a safe minimal logging policy and robust encryption. It unblocks 32 Netflix libraries, works in China, and allows torrenting on most servers. There is also a paid version you can upgrade to, which will remove the 10GB per month data limit.

For the most reliable long-term VPN, we recommend subscribing to ExpressVPN. It’s a little more expensive than most services, but our review of ExpressVPN found it to be the best VPN on the market right now.

It has fast speeds worldwide and unblocks Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime Video. It allows unrestricted torrenting across 3,000 servers in 94 countries, and the MediaStreamer Smart DNS feature means it can even help you stream US Netflix on games consoles where VPN software cannot be installed.

How to Fix Norton Secure VPN Not Working on Windows

In addition to the steps above, there are several steps you can take to fix Norton Secure VPN problems that specifically occur on Windows.

Norton gives some error messages on Windows to help steer you to the right solution.

Configure Windows Firewall to Allow Norton Secure VPN

If you see error 9012 or 809, ensure that Windows Firewall is not blocking your Norton VPN traffic.

Norton 360 error message

Norton 360 error ID 809.

  1. Press the Start key.
  2. Type Allow an app through Windows Firewall and select the option that appears.
  3. Find the entry for Norton Secure VPN.
  4. Ensure it is selected to be trusted on Private and Public.
  5. If not, click Change Settings and check the boxes.
  6. Click OK.
  7. If you can’t find Norton Secure VPN on the list, click Allow Another App to add it.

Fix “Session Timed out” or “Norton Secure VPN Is Already Running” Errors

If you see either of these messages, follow these steps to manually delete your Norton Secure VPN account info and restart the app:

  1. Press the Windows + R keys to open the Run dialog box.
  2. Type taskmgr and press Enter.
  3. Click the Processes tab.
  4. Select Norton Secure VPN.exe.
  5. Click End Process.
  6. Click End Process again to confirm.
  7. Press the Windows + R keys to open the Run dialog box again.
  8. Type cmd and press Enter.
  9. Type cd c:\ProgramData\NWPService and press Enter.
  10. Type del account_info.se and press Enter.
  11. Start Norton Secure VPN and sign in again.

Fix “TAP Driver Error” or “Unsigned Driver” Error

The TAP driver is software that is used to make a VPN connection. If you see the “TAP driver error” or “Unsigned Driver” errors in Norton Secure VPN, uninstall the TAP driver and then reinstall your VPN.

Follow these steps:

  1. Press the Windows + R keys to open the Run dialog box.
  2. Type devmgmt.msc and press Enter.
  3. In the Device Manager window, double-click Network adapters.
  4. Right-click TAP-Windows Adapter V9. If you can’t see it, use View > Show hidden devices, on the top menu bar.
  5. Select Properties.
  6. Select the Driver tab.
  7. Click Uninstall.
  8. Check the box beside Delete the Driver Software for this Device.
  9. Click OK.
  10. Sign in to your Norton account in a browser.
  11. Click the Download button under the Secure VPN icon.
  12. Save the file to your computer, and double-click it to start the installation.

Fix Error 9012 or Error ID 87

If Norton VPN can’t connect, you might see an error message that says “An error is preventing the VPN from connecting. Reference error ID 87” or a message that says “Connection Error: Secure VPN has experienced a connection failure. Please try again later.”

Norton VPN connection failure error message

Norton VPN has experienced a connection failure error message.

To fix it, you need to reinstall the WAN miniport driver, which is software used to create your VPN connection. You also need to reset the network adapter and TCP/IP stack.

Follow these steps:

  1. Press the Windows + R keys to open the Run dialog box.
  2. Type devmgmt.msc and press Enter.
  3. In the Device Manager window, double-click Network adapters.
  4. Right-click WAN Miniport drivers (IKEv2). If you can’t see it, use View > Show hidden devices, on the top menu bar.
  5. Select Properties.
  6. Select the Driver tab.
  7. Click Uninstall.
  8. Now also uninstall the following: WAN Miniport drivers (IP), WAN Miniport drivers (IPv6), Symantec TAP driver (if present).
  9. In the Device Manager, click the Action menu.
  10. Select Scan for Hardware Changes.
  11. Follow the instructions to reinstall the WAN Miniport device drivers.

Test whether Norton Secure VPN is now working for you. If not, follow these steps to reset the network adapter and TCP/IP stack:

  1. Press the Windows + R keys to open the Run dialog box.
  2. Enter cmd and press Enter.
  3. Type netsh winsock reset and press Enter.
  4. Type netsh int ipv4 reset and press Enter.
  5. Type netsh int ipv6 reset and press Enter.
  6. Restart your computer.

If Norton still doesn’t work, you can try deleting old root certificates for Secure VPN. Follow these steps:

  1. Press the Windows + R keys to open the Run dialog box.
  2. Enter certlm.msc and press Enter.
  3. Open the Personal folder on the left, and click Certificates.
  4. Look for certificates that were issued by SurfEasy.
  5. If there are multiple certificates there, delete the old ones.
  6. Check also in the Trusted Root Certification.
  7. Authorities, and the Intermediate Certification Authorities folders. If you find duplicates there, delete the older ones there, too.
  8. Quit the Certificates Manager.

Update Your Windows Version

Norton Secure VPN is supported on Windows 11 and Windows 10 (but not in S Mode); Windows 8 and Windows 8.1; and Windows 7 with Service Pack 1 or later. It is not supported on Windows XP or Windows Vista.

Windows Update settings

Update your Windows device in the settings menu.

Operating system updates may include fixes that resolve problems with Norton Secure VPN.

Follow these steps to update Windows 10 or 11:

  1. Select the Start button.
  2. Go to Settings.
  3. On Windows 10, select Update & Security.
  4. Select Windows Update.

Reset the WMI Repository

The Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) is used by Norton Secure VPN to talk to your hardware. If it’s not working correctly, you may find that nothing happens when you connect to Norton Secure VPN.

Follow these steps to fix it:

    1. Make sure you have installed the latest Windows updates, as described above.
    2. Press the Windows + R keys to open the Run dialog box.
    3. Enter cmd and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter.
    4. Type net stop winmgmt and press Enter.
    5. Type winmgmt /resetrepository and press Enter.
    6. Type net start winmgmt and press Enter.
    7. Restart your computer.

Reinstall Norton Secure VPN or Norton 360

If you have a problem opening your Norton VPN software, or experience other difficulties, you can try reinstalling the software. Norton provides an application to uninstall and reinstall Norton 360. For the standalone Norton Secure VPN application, you’ll need to uninstall and reinstall manually.

Follow these steps to reinstall Norton 360:

  1. Save your work and close your applications.
  2. Download the Norton Remove and Reinstall tool.
  3. Double-click the tool you downloaded.
  4. Choose Remove & Reinstall.
  5. Click Continue.
  6. Click Restart Now. After the restart, your product download and installation will begin automatically.

Follow these steps to reinstall Norton Secure VPN:

  1. Press the Windows + R keys to open the Run dialog box.
  2. Type appwiz.cpl and press Enter.
  3. Select Norton Secure VPN and click Remove or Uninstall.
  4. Follow the instructions to uninstall the software.
  5. Sign in to your Norton account in a browser.
  6. Click the Download button under the Secure VPN icon.
  7. Save the file to your computer, and double-click it to start the installation.

How to Fix Norton Secure VPN Not Working on Mac

If you’ve tried connecting to a different country, restarting, and configuring your firewall, there are several additional steps you can take to fix Norton Secure VPN problems on macOS.

Update macOS

First, ensure that you have updated macOS to 10.14.x or later. To update to the latest version, follow these steps:

A screenshot macOS software update

You can update your MacOS device in System Preferences.

  1. Go to the Apple menu in the corner of your screen.
  2. Select System Preferences.
  3. Select Software Update.
  4. Select Update Now or Upgrade Now. An update has improvements to your current operating system version, whereas an upgrade is a new version of the OS.

Upgrade Norton 360

You may be able to upgrade your Norton 360 product, including Secure VPN, to improve its stability.

  1. Minor upgrades are provided through LiveUpdate. In the My Norton window, click LIVEUPDATE under Device Security. In the main Norton window, click LiveUpdate. If updates are downloaded, try restarting your computer to see if the VPN works.
  2. A message about an available upgrade may appear as an alert or notification, on the Mac menu bar, or in the Norton Help menu in the main window. You can verify whether you are running the latest version now by going to the Help menu and clicking New Version Check.
  3. Click Upgrade Available, wherever you see the message.
  4. In the Free Protection Upgrade window, click Upgrade Now.
  5. Enter your administrator credentials.
  6. Click Install Helper.
  7. Click Restart to complete the upgrade.

Reinstall Norton 360 or Secure VPN to Stop It Crashing

Norton provides a tool for removing all of its files from your Mac, so that you can do a clean reinstallation. To use it, follow these steps:

  1. Ensure you are logged in to your computer with an Administrator account, and a non-blank password.
  2. Save your work and close all your applications.
  3. Close your Norton 360 or Secure VPN software.
  4. Click the Finder icon in the Dock.
  5. On the menu bar, click Go > Applications.
  6. Drag and drop the Norton apps to Trash.
  7. Download the RemoveNortonMacFiles.zip file.
  8. Click the Finder icon in the Dock.
  9. In the Finder window, click Downloads on the left.
  10. If you downloaded using Firefox or Chrome, double-click the zip file to uncompress it.
  11. Go into the RemoveNortonMacFiles folder.
  12. Double-click RemoveNortonMacFiles.command.
  13. Click Open With > Terminal (default).
  14. Enter your password in the Terminal window (you won’t see any characters appear as you type it).
  15. To remove all Norton files and folders, enter 1.
  16. When the program finishes, enter y in the Terminal to restart.
  17. Sign in to your Norton account in a web browser.
  18. Download the latest version of your Norton software and install it in the usual way.

If you’re using the standalone Secure VPN app and it crashes often, Norton recommends you reinstall it. Follow these steps:

  1. Click the Finder icon in the Dock.
  2. On the menu bar, click Go > Applications.
  3. Drag and drop the Norton Secure VPN app to Trash.
  4. Restart your Mac.
  5. Sign in to your Norton account in a browser.
  6. Click the Download button under the Secure VPN icon.
  7. Click Agree & Download, and then save the installer.
  8. Double-click the installer file that you downloaded.
  9. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation.

How to fix Norton VPN Not Working on iOS

Norton only supports Secure VPN on the latest three versions of iOS, so you’ll need to update your software if you are running older versions. To install Norton Secure VPN, you’ll need 100MB of storage space.

Update your Norton app on iOS

Updating iOS to version 15.0 or later can disable Norton security software. To fix this, and potentially fix other issues, update your Norton 360 or Norton Secure VPN app.

Norton VPN in the App Store

You can update the Norton VPN on the App Store.

Follow these steps:

  1. Go to the App Store.
  2. Tap your profile icon in the top right corner.
  3. Scroll to find your Norton app.
  4. If it’s listed, tap Update to install the latest version. If it’s not there, it means you’re already up to date.
  5. After the app download finishes, try running it again.

Toggle Airplane mode

If an app or service detects your VPN, it might block your internet traffic. To get around this, Norton suggests you try turning Airplane mode on and off again.

Turning Airplane mode on and off can also help if you lose connectivity when your device goes to sleep. The VPN is turned off when you’re not using your device to save battery power, and it should reactivate when you next use the network.

Turning Airplane mode on and off can prompt the device to restart the VPN.

Turn the VPN off and on again

If you lose VPN connectivity when your device goes to sleep, you can also try turning the VPN off and on again:

Norton VPN's iOS app

Turn the VPN on and off again to create a new connection on the iOS app.

  1. Tap the Norton Secure VPN app.
  2. Tap Cancel to disconnect.
  3. Tap Turn on VPN to create a new VPN connection.

Reinstall Norton 360 on iOS

Uninstalling and reinstalling your Norton VPN app is not as simple as reinstalling other apps. There’s an extra step to remove the Norton 360 VPN profile.

Follow these steps:

  1. Uninstall Norton 360. Tap and hold the icon until it jiggles, then tap the X icon on it to delete it.
  2. Remove Norton 360 VPN profile. Go to your Settings app, and choose General > VPN. The Norton 360 profile should have been removed, but if not tap the info icon and delete it.
  3. Turn your device off and on again.
  4. Install Norton 360. Go to the App Store. Search for the Norton 360 app, tap Get to install it, and Open to open it. Sign in with your Norton credentials to start using the app.

How to fix Norton VPN Not Working on Android

To use Norton Secure VPN, you need to be running Android 8.0 (Oreo) or later. Secure VPN needs the Google Play app and 100MB of storage space to install.

If you experience problems using Norton Secure VPN or Norton 360 on your Android device, follow these steps:

  1. Sign out from Norton Secure VPN.
  2. Turn your device off and on again.
  3. Start the Norton Secure VPN app.
  4. Sign in with your Norton credentials to start using the app.

How to fix Norton Secure VPN Not Working for Torrenting

If you see the message “Warning: Torrent Traffic Active”, Norton has detected torrenting traffic. Norton does not allow torrenting on its VPN, and says it will disable your VPN connection if you try. This is true for all torrenting clients, including uTorrent.

For that reason, we cannot recommend using Norton Secure VPN for torrenting. If you do try it, ensure you enable the kill switch in the settings. The kill switch is only available on Windows and Android.

There are signs that Norton’s stance on this might be changing. In the Android and Windows apps, Norton is adding a feature to choose a torrent-optimized region from the VPN regions, which would enable torrenting.

About the Author


  • Simon Migliano

    Simon Migliano

    Simon Migliano is a recognized world expert in VPNs. He's tested hundreds of VPN services and his research has featured on the BBC, The New York Times and more. Read full bio