Shadowsocks for OpenVPN on Windows


Last updated: 19 January 2022

Unable to surf the entire web because you're stuck behind a restrictive firewall? Then Shadowsocks might be your answer.

In this Windows guide, we'll walk you through the steps to use this proxy to connect to Mullvad's servers using the OpenVPN client.

App user? If you're using the Mullvad VPN app, try using Shadowsocks with the app.

What is Shadowsocks?

Please see our Intro to Shadowsocks guide.

Set-up instructions

1. Install OpenVPN

Follow our OpenVPN installation guide for Windows. Skip this step if you already have it set up.

2. Download and edit Mullvad configuration file

  1. Go to our configuration generator.
  2. Use Windows as the platform and select a location. Click on Advanced settings and check Use IP addresses and Connect via bridges.
  3. Download and extract the zipped files to either C:\Program Files\OpenVPN\config or C:\Program Files (x86)\OpenVPN\config

3. Install and run Shadowsocks

  1. Navigate to the Github page for Shadowsocks on Windows.
  2. Download version ( Newer versions do not support chacha20 cipher.
  3. Extract the Zip file.
  4. In the extracted folder, right-click Shadowsocks.exe and click Run as Administrator to start the Shadowsocks program.

4. Add bridge server

The next step is to add the bridge server you want to use, which will act as your entry location.

Manually add server

  1. In the Windows system tray, double-click on the Shadowsocks icon.
  2. Click Add.
  3. Next to Server Addr, enter the IP address of the Mullvad bridge server (uncheck OpenVPN and WireGuard on the Servers page) you want to use as your entry location. To get the IP address you can ping the hostname, for example ping
  4. Next to Server Port, enter "443".
  5. Next to Password, enter "mullvad".
  6. Next to Encryption Method, choose aes-256-gcm .
  7. Next to Remarks, enter a name to help you identify the server.
  8. Next to Proxy Port, enter "1080".
  9. Click OK.

5. Connect

  1. Run OpenVPN as Administrator (right-click on the program icon and choose "Run as Administrator").
  2. In the Windows system tray, right-click on the OpenVPN icon.
  3. Select profile of the configuration file you edited and choose Connect.
  4. Open the Shadowsocks program.
  5. Right-click on your bridge server and choose Connect.
  6. Once both programs show as being connected, you're all set!


When I try connecting to OpenVPN, I get an error saying "RESOLVE: Cannot resolve host address".

Try downloading the pre-configured configuration file again, making sure that the box next to "Use IP addresses" is checked.