This guide explains how to use the Mullvad VPN app and all of its features.
What this guide covers
- Create account
- Log in
- Switch location
- Update your app
- Temporarily blocked internet – kill switch always on
- Settings menu
- Advanced settings
If you don't yet have an account number, click Create account and a new account number will be created for you.
To start using the app, you’ll need to add time to your account. You can either buy credit on our website or redeem a voucher directly in the app.
Enter your Mullvad account number and hit Enter or click the green arrow.
If you click in the login field, a drop-down list will display the last three account numbers used.
To remove a number from this list, click on the delete icon to the right of the number.
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.
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.
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 Connection check to verify your connection status and to see if your browser is leaking information and jeopardizing your privacy. This can occur even while connected to Mullvad.
If you’re connected and want to reestablish your connection, click the refresh icon.
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.
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.
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.
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.
You can always check our website's server list to learn more about the situation.
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.
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.
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.
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:
- under Advanced settings, turn on Always require VPN
- configure your browser with our SOCKS5 proxy which will serve as your back-up protection.
The Settings menu can be accessed by clicking on the gear icon in the connection screen.
From here, you have access to a variety of information.
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.
Starting three days before your account credit expires, you will see a notification in the connection screen.
See the Preferences section in this guide.
See the Advanced section in this guide.
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.
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.
You 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.
This option allows you to change the app's display language.
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 Always require VPN setting enabled.
Launch app on start-up
Click the toggle button to enable/disable this setting.
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.
Control whether or not you want system notifications to be displayed. Critical notifications, such as when the app temporarily disconnects, will always be displayed.
Monochromatic tray icon
This setting allows for a grayscale tray icon instead of the default colored one.
Enable this option to get notified directly in the app when a new beta version is available.
Start minimized (Linux only)
Enable this setting if you only want to show the tray icon when the app starts.
This enables/disables IPv6 communication through the tunnel.
Always require VPN
Attention: enabling this will always require a Mullvad VPN connection in order to reach the internet.
The app's built-in kill switch is always on. This setting will additionally block the internet if clicking Disconnect or Quit.
Tunnel protocol (desktop only)
Choose which VPN protocol you'd like your connection to use. With Automatic selected, Windows uses OpenVPN while macOS and Linux use WireGuard.
OpenVPN transport protocol (desktop only)
This setting will only show if using OpenVPN.
Network protocols will default to UDP because it is generally faster than TCP. However, sometimes only TCP works on certain restricted networks.
This setting will only show if using WireGuard.
The options here are currently limited but will expand with future updates.
Read our separate WireGuard guide to learn about these options.
Enabling Bridge mode routes your traffic through two servers - first a bridge server and then a VPN server - instead of one, in essence a multihop.
Follow our guide How to use bridge mode for full instructions.
Set a value for OpenVPN MSS.
Set a value for WireGuard MTU.
"WireGuard" is a registered trademark of Jason A. Donenfeld.