This guide explains how to use the Mullvad VPN app on Android devices.
If you haven't installed the Mullvad VPN app yet then see the guide Install Mullvad app on Android.
What this guide covers
- Basic use:
- - Log in
- - Too many devices
- - Connection screen
- -- Connect and approve the connection request
- - Switch location
- - Disconnect
- - Account
- - Advanced
- -- Advanced > WireGuard MTU
- -- Advanced > Split tunneling
- -- Advanced > Use custom DNS server
- - Report a problem
- Android VPN settings
- - Blocking connections without VPN
- - Connecting to Mullvad when the device starts
Enter your Mullvad account number, then tap the green login icon (➜).
If you don’t have an account, tap on Create account to generate an account number. Make sure to write it down for safekeeping. Tap on Buy credit to open our website where you can purchase time. If you have a voucher code then you can tap on Redeem voucher.
Once logged in, you will see the status of your connection on the app’s connection screen. When you are disconnected, the top bar of the app will be red and "Unsecured connection" will be displayed on the connection screen.
Too many devices (version 2022.3 and newer)
You can use a Mullvad VPN account on up to 5 devices. If you log in with an account that already has 5 devices associated with it, then you will be notified about this and you will see a list with all the device names.
The device names are randomly generated when you log in, using two words (an adjective and an animal). If it is the first time you see this and it shows more devices than you have then don't worry, just follow these instructions:
- To be able to log in you will need to remove at least one of the devices, by tapping the X to the right of the device name. To make sure you don't delete a device that you are using, open the Account settings in the Mullvad app on each device to see it's device name (if you do not see it then make sure you have updated the app). If you are using WireGuard outside of the Mullvad app then see instructions below.
- Tap "Yes, log out device".
- Tap on "Continue with login" to log in on the device.
- To see the new device name, tap on the settings icon and go to Account.
Each device is also associated with a WireGuard key. This is important to know if you are using WireGuard outside of the Mullvad app. To find the key follow this:
- If you are using WireGuard on a router then use the "wg" command with SSH to show the key.
- If you use the WireGuard app then find the key in the app (Windows/macOS) or use the "wg" command (Linux).
You can find out what device name the key has by logging in with your account number on the Mullvad website. It will show the device name and its WireGuard key below that.
Note that the Mullvad app will not show the WireGuard key in the app anymore, since you can see the device name in the Account settings instead.
Connect and approve the connection request
To connect, tap Secure my connection.
The first time after you install the app, it will ask for your permission to set up a VPN connection on your device.
Once you are connected, the top bar of the app will be green, a VPN icon will display in the top notification bar of your device, and “Secure connection” will be displayed on the connection screen.
By default, the app will initially connect to a server in Sweden. If you choose a different location, the app will remember your latest selection for the next time you start the app.
To choose a different server, tap the Switch location button.
Scroll and tap the country that you prefer and the app will reconnect automatically.
Tapping on the down arrow to the right of a location will reveal cities and specific servers that you can choose to connect to.
To disconnect, just tap Disconnect on the connection screen.
The Settings menu can be accessed by tapping on the gear icon in the top right corner.
Here you can view your account number and when your paid time runs out. Tap the copy icon to copy the account to your device’s clipboard.
This is also where you log out.
Here’s where you’ll find the options for enabling Auto-connect and Local network sharing
This sub menu has an option to set the WireGuard MTU as well as sub menus for the WireGuard key and Split Tunneling. You can also set a custom DNS server here. Read more below.
Advanced > WireGuard MTU
If you have a problem to stay connected to the VPN then try to lower the WireGuard MTU to 1280 or 1340. This is required by some mobile networks.
Advanced > Split tunneling
Split tunneling allows you to exclude some apps from the VPN. See our guide Split tunneling with the Mullvad app. Also read the split tunneling FAQ below.
Advanced > Use custom DNS server
Use this option if you want to use another DNS server instead of the DNS on the Mullvad VPN server. Enter the IP-address to a DNS server. Note that this can affect your privacy if it's logging your DNS requests.
Report a problem
If you are having issues you can let us know by sending a problem report. Enter your email address if you want a reply. Describe your problem in English or Swedish.
Android VPN settings
Blocking connections without VPN
The Mullvad app has a built in kill switch which blocks the Internet if the connection is lost to the Mullvad VPN server you are connected to. If you want your device to only be able to use the Internet when you are connected to Mullvad then you can enable that in the Android settings.
- "Block connections without VPN" is available in Android 8 or later (not included in Android TV).
Enable the Android settings
- Open the Android Settings.
- Tap on Network & internet.
- Tap on Advanced.
- Tap on VPN.
- Tap on the gear icon on the right side of Mullvad VPN.
- Enable Always-on VPN.
- Enable Block connections without VPN.
Some traffic such as connectivity checks is exempt by the Android system and will therefore leak outside the tunnel even when "Block connections without VPN" is enabled. You can read more about it in our blog post on leaking connectivity checks and how to prevent it in our guide on configuring connectivity checks on Android.
Connecting to Mullvad when the device starts
You can connect to Mullvad automatically when the device is started by enabling the following settings.
- Go to the Mullvad app settings (tap on the gear icon in the top right corner in the app).
- Tap on Preferences.
- Enable Auto-connect.
- Follow the steps above to enable Always-on VPN.
Q: The app connects but Internet does not work. Or it just keeps trying to connect.
Disconnect/cancel and go the app settings > Advanced > WireGuard key > Regenerate key and then Verify key. If it does not help then try it both on Wi-Fi and your mobile data connection.
Q: The app says that I have too many WireGuard keys.
Disconnect from Mullvad and log in on our website and remove one or more WireGuard keys on the page Manage ports and WireGuard keys.
Q: The app does not connect.
Did you allow the app to set up a VPN connection? If the app did not ask for this then try to restart the device and/or reinstall the app. In some cases you may have to reset the Android Network settings.
Q: Mullvad is randomly losing the VPN connection when using mobile data, or it does not connect with T-Mobile, Sprint or Mint Mobile.
- Go to the Mullvad app settings.
- Tap on Advanced.
- Set WireGuard MTU to either 1280 or 1340.
- Make sure that you have the correct APN setting for the mobile data (in the Android Settings).
Q: The app does not connect from a restricted country or with a public Wi-Fi.
- Try to switch location and connect to different countries and servers.
- UDP traffic might be blocked in the network. In that cause use the OpenVPN for Android app with a TCP configuration file.
- Try to use Shadowsocks and OpenVPN for Android.
Q: Nothing happens when I tap on the buttons in the Mullvad app.
This can happen if you are using a "blue light filter" app that changes the color tone of the display. It functions as a screen overlay and it blocks the buttons in our app. You have to disable that.
Q: I am unable to access the local network even though I have enabled Local network sharing.
If you have turned on "Block connections without VPN" in the Android system settings then it won't work because it then blocks the local connections outside of the VPN tunnel.
Q: I am not able to update the Mullvad app.
This can happen if you did not install the app using Google Play from the beginning. You can uninstall the app and then install the new version.
Q: Android shows a notification dot on the Mullvad app icon.
The notification dot will remain as long as the Mullvad notification in the notification center remains. If you don't want to see it you can go to the Android settings > Apps & notifications > Mullvad VPN > Notifications and turn off "Allow notification dot". You can also turn off "VPN tunnel status" if you don't want to see that in the notification center.
Q: When installing Mullvad on my Amazon Fire TV Stick it says "There was a problem parsing the package".
A: The Mullvad app supports Android 8 and newer. If your FireTV / FireStick is too old then you can use the WireGuard app instead which supports Android 5.0 and up.
Q: My web browser does not work and/or says "This site can't be reached".
If you have excluded the app with split tunneling and enabled "Block connections without VPN" in the Android settings then Android will not allow it to connect outside of the VPN tunnel.
Q: I excluded Firefox beta in Split tunneling, but the normal Firefox also got excluded.
Both Firefox and Firefox Beta have the same internal identifier (UID), so the Android system sees them as the same app in certain regards. This makes it impossible to exclude one of the apps from the tunnel, but not the other. This is something only Mozilla can fix. You can use Firefox Nightly instead. It has a different identifier and can be excluded without affecting the other Firefox versions.
"WireGuard" is a registered trademark of Jason A. Donenfeld.