Using the Mullvad VPN app

This guide explains how to use the Mullvad VPN app and all of its features.

What this guide covers

Log in

Enter your Mullvad account number and hit Enter or click the green login button.
Login screen for the Mullvad VPN app

If you don't yet have an account number, simply click the Create account button which will navigate you to our website's account creation page.

The app remembers your account number

We strongly encourage you to write down your account number for safe keeping. However, the app will locally save the last three account numbers that you've used, making it easy to log in without having to remember the number each time.

Whenever you're logged out, just click in the login field and a drop-down list will appear.

If you ever want to remove an account number from this list, just click on the X-icon to the right of the number.

Login screen for Mullvad VPN app showing a drop-down list of saved account numbers

Connect

Once you've logged in with a valid account number, the app will automatically attempt to make a secure connection and simultaneously block your internet. You can see the status of your connection on the app's connection screen.

The Mullvad VPN app creating a secure connection

By default, the app will initially connect to a server in Sweden to increase the likelihood of a fast and stable connection. If you choose a different location, the app will remember your latest selection for the next time you start the app.

Know when you're connected

Once connected, the Mullvad app will visually signal this in a few ways:

  • The padlock in the system tray/menu bar will turn green.
  • "Secure connection" will be displayed on the connection screen.
  • A green GPS dot will mark on the map where you're connected.

The Mullvad VPN app showing a secure connection

Connection details

When you're connected, you can click on the server name (e.g. se-got-002) in the connection screen to reveal connection details, including protocols and IP addresses used.

Is your browser leaking?

Use our Am I Mullvad tool to check your connection status and to see if your browser is leaking information and jeopardizing your privacy. This can occur even while connected to Mullvad.

Switch location

To choose a different server, click on the Switch location button.

On the Select location screen, scroll and click on the country that you prefer and the app will reconnect automatically.

The location list in the Mullvad VPN app

Some countries have a drop-down icon to the right. Clicking on this will reveal a list of cities or regions that you can specifically choose and connect to.

The Mullvad VPN app showing that you can select which city to connect to.

If the city or region also has a drop-down icon next to it, clicking on it will give you a list of specific servers.

The Mullvad VPN app allows you to choose a specific server that you want to connect to.

Sometimes you won't be able to select a location because its servers are currently unavailable. Such a location will have a red dot beside it and the name will be greyed out.

The location list in the Mullvad VPN app showing which locations are and aren't available.

You can always check our website's server list to learn more about the situation.

Disconnect

If you want to disconnect, just click the Disconnect button on the connection screen.

Know when you're disconnected

When you're disconnected, the Mullvad app will visually signal this in a few ways:

  • The top bar of the app will be red.
  • "Unsecured connection" will be displayed in red on the connection screen.
  • The padlock in the system tray/menu bar will be red.
  • The real location of your internet connection will be listed.
  • A red GPS dot will mark your real internet location on the map.

Mullvad VPN app showing a disconnected state

Update your app

If you're running an outdated version of the app, you will see a warning message on the connection screen. Clicking the message will take you to our Download webpage. We strongly recommend that you always keep your app up to date.

The Mullvad VPN app showing a message that the user is running an unsupported version.

Temporarily blocked internet – kill switch on

Sometimes, while the Mullvad app is connected, you may notice that your internet has suddenly stopped working. Check to see if the padlock in the system tray/menu bar has turned green with a red dot. If so, the connection screen in the app will also display "blocking internet".

This is the app's built-in kill switch at work, automatically blocking the internet upon VPN connection failure to ensure that your traffic is not accidentally leaked outside of our secure tunnel.

pon VPN connection failure to ensure that your traffic is not accidentally leaked outside of our secure tunnel.
Mullvad VPN app highlighting the visual elements that show the app is blocking the internet while attempting to connect.

You will experience this in a few situations:

  • if the app accidentally disconnects on its own, from connectivity issues or similar
  • if you run out of time on your account while connected
  • while the app is establishing a connection when you start the app.

The app will continue to block your internet traffic until a secure connection is made or reestablished, or until you manually disconnect from the app.

If you're worried about those times when you forget to start the app – leaving you unsecure – consider doing one of the following:

  • turn on the "Block when disconnected" setting (mentioned in the Advanced settings section)
  • configure your browser with our SOCKS5 proxy which will serve as your back-up protection.

Settings menu

The Settings menu can be accessed by clicking on the settings icon (cogwheel) in the connection screen.

Highligting the settings icon in the Mullvad VPN app.

From here, you have access to a variety of information.
The settings menu in the Mullvad VPN app.

Account

Here you can view information pertaining to your account, including your account number, when your paid time runs out, and a link to our website to Buy more credit. This is also where you can Log out.

The account view in the Mullvad VPN app.

Starting three days before your account credit expires, you will see a notification in the connection screen.

The Mullvad VPN app showing a message that account time will expire soon.

Preferences

See the Preferences section in this guide.

Advanced

See the Advanced section in this guide.

App version

This tells you which version of the app you are currently running. Click on this and you'll be taken to our website to download the latest version (which we always recommend that you have!). If you don't have the latest one, you will see a warning message here and in the connection screen.

Report a problem

If you're having issues, you can easily notify us with our in-app support form. As the form states, your app's log files are anonymized before being securely sent to us. You can easily view these logs by clicking on View app logs.

Although optional, we strongly recommend that you fill in a description of the problem. You also don't need to fill in an email address, but if you want a reply from us, you will need to include one.

FAQs & Guides

This link will take you to the Help section of our website.

Quit app

Clicking on the red Quit button shuts down the app. Doing so will disconnect you from any connection you had with the app, leaving your internet traffic exposed and unsecure, unless you have the Block when disconnected setting enabled.

Preferences

The Preferences menu in the Mullvad VPN app.

Launch app on start-up

Click the toggle button to enable/disable this setting.

Auto-connect

With this setting enabled, the app will automatically connect to a server when it launches.

Local network sharing

Enable this setting in order to access other devices on the same network, such as for printing and sharing.

Notifications

Control whether or not you want system notifications to be displayed. Critical notifications, such as when the app temporarily disconnects, will always be displayed.

(macOS only) Monochromatic tray icon

This setting allows for a grayscale tray icon instead of the default colored one.

(Linux only) Start minimized

Enable this setting if you only want to show the tray icon when the app starts.

Advanced settings

The Advanced settings in the Mullvad VPN app.

Enable IPv6

This enables/disables IPv6 communication through the tunnel.

Block when disconnected

Caution! With this setting enabled, your internet will only work if the app has established a connection. In all other instances, your internet will be completely blocked, including if you disconnect or quit the app.

If you're worried about being unsecure during those times when you forget to start the app, then use this setting.

The Block when disconnected setting in the Mullvad VPN app.

Network protocols

The default setting is Automatic, but you can also choose TCP or UDP.

Network protocols will default to UDP because it is generally faster than TCP. However, sometimes only TCP works on certain restricted networks.

Bridge mode

Under Bridge mode you can control the Shadowsocks proxy. The default setting is Automatic, which means that if the app fails to connect three times – often a sign that you're stuck behind a restrictive firewall – it will then attempt a bridge connection. Learn more.

Mssfix

Set a value for OpenVPN MSS.

FAQ

How do I change the app's language?

The language is automatically determined based on your computer's language settings.

How do I turn on DNS leak protection?

DNS leak protection is always on. There is no option to disable it.

How do I tunnel IPv6 traffic?

You can enable IPv6 communication in the Advanced settings menu.

Where can I find my app's local log files?

Here's how to find openvpn.log, openvpn.old.log, daemon.log, and daemon.old.log.

Via the app

You can easily access them via the app by opening Settings > Report a Problem > View app logs.

Via your computer

  • Windows: C:\ProgramData\Mullvad VPN
  • macOS: /var/log/mullvad-vpn/
  • Linux: /var/log/mullvad-vpn/