Shadowsocks for OpenVPN on Windows

BRIDGES

Last updated: 14 June 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 app and Shadowsocks app.

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

Download and install OpenVPN (Community Download).

2. Download a Mullvad configuration file

  1. Go to our OpenVPN configuration file 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 the Shadowsocks zip file (Shadowsocks-4.4.1.0.zip or the earlier version).
  3. Extract the Zip file.
  4. In the extracted folder, right-click Shadowsocks.exe and click Run as Administrator to start the Shadowsocks app.

4. Add bridge server

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

  1. In the Windows system tray, double-click on the Shadowsocks icon. This will launch the "Edit Servers" window.
  2. Next to Server IP, enter the IP address of the Mullvad bridge server you want to use as your entry location. To get the IP address go to our Servers page and uncheck "OpenVPN" and "WireGuard" to show only the bridge servers. Then click on a bridge server to show the IPv4 address.
  3. Next to Server Port, enter 443.
  4. Next to Password, enter mullvad.
  5. Next to Encryption, select aes-256-gcm.
  6. Next to Remarks, enter a name to help you identify the server.
  7. Next to Proxy Port, make sure it says 1080.
  8. Click OK.
  9. The app connects automatically and stays connected as long it remains in the Windows system tray. There is no connect/disconnect button.

5. Connect

  1. Right-click on the OpenVPN GUI icon and choose "Run as Administrator".
  2. In the Windows system tray, right-click on the OpenVPN icon.
  3. Click on Connect.
  4. Make sure that the Shadowsocks app is running in the Windows system tray.
  5. Once the OpenVPN app shows as being connected, you're all set!
  6. The Shadowsocks tray icon will show a blue and orange triangle when uploading/downloading data.

Troubleshooting

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

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