Using Mullvad VPN on Android

MULLVAD APP

Last updated: 14 October 2022


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

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.

Connection screen

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.

Verify the WireGuard key

Before you connect you can verify that your WireGuard key is valid.

  1. Tap on the gear icon in the upper right corner.
  2. Tap on Advanced.
  3. Tap on WireGuard key.
  4. Tap on Verify key. It should say "Key is valid". If not then tap on Regenerate key.

Note: If you are unable to verify the key then make sure that you are disconnected from Mullvad and tap Regenerate key while you are connected to a different Wi-Fi or mobile network.

If the app states that you have Too many WireGuard keys then make sure that you are disconnected from Mullvad and tap on Manage keys to open our website. There you can remove a key by tapping on the trash can icon on the right side of a key.

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.

Tap OK.

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 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.

Switch location

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.

Disconnect

To disconnect, just tap Disconnect on the connection screen.

Settings

The Settings menu can be accessed by tapping on the gear icon in the top right corner.

Account

Here you can view your account number and when your paid time runs out. Tap the account number to copy it to your device’s clipboard.

This is also where you log out.

Preferences

Here’s where you’ll find the options for enabling Auto-connect and Local network sharing

Advanced

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 > WireGuard key

Here you can regenerate and verify your WireGuard® key. For an overview of all your keys, click on Manage keys to be redirected to your account page on our website. There you can also delete a WireGuard key if you have more than five already.

Tapping Regenerate key will also replace your internal static IP address. The key is rotated automatically every seven days.

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.

Requirements

  • "Block connections without VPN" is available in Android 8 or later (not included in Android TV).

Enable the Android settings

  1. Open the Android Settings.
  2. Tap on Network & internet.
  3. Tap on Advanced.
  4. Tap on VPN.
  5. Tap on the gear icon on the right side of Mullvad VPN.
  6. Enable Always-on VPN.
  7. 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.

Note that if you are using Split tunneling in the Mullvad app then "Block connections without VPN" will block all excluded apps since they do not use the VPN. It will also block local network connections.

Connecting to Mullvad when the device starts

You can connect to Mullvad automatically when the device is started by enabling the following settings.

  1. Go to the Mullvad app settings (tap on the gear icon in the top right corner in the app).
  2. Tap on Preferences.
  3. Enable Auto-connect.
  4. Follow the steps above to enable Always-on VPN.

FAQ

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.

  1. Go to the Mullvad app settings.
  2. Tap on Advanced.
  3. Set WireGuard MTU to either 1280 or 1340.
  4. 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.

  1. Try to switch location and connect to different countries and servers.
  2. UDP traffic might be blocked in the network. In that cause use the OpenVPN for Android app with a TCP configuration file.
  3. 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.

Split tunneling

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.