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Installing and using NordVPN on Windows 7 and above

The NordVPN native application is the recommended option for connecting to NordVPN servers on your Windows PC. It is designed with user experience in mind - having easy access to a variety of popular service features, like Double VPN or Onion servers and automated Kill-Switch. The OpenVPN protocol, one of the best VPN protocols out there, is set-up on the application by default.

This tutorial explains how to download and install the NordVPN application to your Windows PC, Log in, and connect to our servers. You can also find an explanation of various settings.

Downloading and installing

  1. Open the NordVPN downloads page here:

    Click on Download


  2. Navigate to your Downloads folder and double-click the NordVPN Setup.exe installation file you have downloaded. 

  3. A new window might pop up (depending on your Windows settings) asking “Do you want to allow this app to make changes to your device?”. Click Yes.

  4. Then the installer window will open. Click Install in the first screen.


  5. The installer will proceed with the installation process.


  6. Once installed, the NordVPN application will start, and appear in a new window. A shortcut to the application will also appear on your desktop.


Using and setting up the application 

Using NordVPN on Windows 7 and above is easy. Let’s go through the steps of connecting to NordVPN for the first time.

  1. Click on the NordVPN application logo on your desktop. When the application window opens, wait for it to load and enter your credentials. After that, click Login now.

  2. The main screen of the application will appear. Here you can see the servers list and the map. On the top of the application, you can navigate through servers, application settings and access servers search feature. At the bottom, there is the Quick Connect button. Clicking the Quick Connect button will automatically connect you to the server recommended for you. Using a complex formula that includes various server parameters, a smart Quick Connect algorithm chooses the best possible option for you at that moment.

  3. You can also connect to a server in a specific country by clicking on the country pin on the map.

  4. Once connected, the country pin on the map lights up in green, and the Quick Connect status label says that you are connected and shows your new IP address.

  5. If you want to connect to a specific server, click the Search button at the top right corner of the application. In the search field, enter a country, a category or a specific server's number with a hashtag (#) to find what you need.

  6. After you successfully connect and close the application window, you can still find NordVPN running in the system tray area at the bottom right corner of your screen.

  7. It might also be in the hidden system tray area, which can be opened with the upwards arrow.

  8. By right-clicking the system tray icon, you will have all basic controls just a single click away: quick-connect or disconnect, see and reconnect to your recently selected servers, open or quit the application.

Managing your connecting and choosing between different servers

  1. On the left sidebar, you can find each specific server that we offer, neatly organized into countries and specialty servers.

    For example, we can select Specialty Servers and expand the Double VPN category by clicking on the three-dots menu, and select the Canada - United States Double VPN server.

    You can notice that each server has a percentage next to it, which indicates the current load of the server. The more people connecting to the server, the higher the percentage.

  2. To connect to the specific server, click on it.
  3. You can also add a server to your favorites by clicking the heart symbol next to it on the list.

  4. Your favourite servers will appear in their own category, called My Favourites. You can connect to them like any other server.


In the Settings tab, you can configure the application to your liking.


  • CyberSec - Enable this setting to use our CyberSec feature while connected to the VPN, which will protect you from adds, malware sites, phishing, and other threats.
  • Auto connect - Enable this to automatically connect to a server when the application starts. Disabled by default.
  • Start NordVPN on startup - Enable this to start NordVPN when you start your computer. Enabled by default.
  • Internet Kill Switch - Enable this to have an internet connection only while connected to the VPN. Disabled by default.
  • Invisibility on LAN - Enable this to make your computer invisible to others on the local area network (LAN). Keep in mind that once this feature is enabled, you will not be able to access such devices as printers connected on your local area network. Disabled by default.
  • App Kill Switch - Enable this to terminate any applications you specify in the case of an unintended disconnection. Disabled by default. For example, you are using a public network, and use NordVPN to protect your confidential Skype conversation. You can add Skype to the Kill Switch list. In the case of an unexpected VPN connection cutoff, such as an unstable WiFi network, Windows will re-connect to WiFi, but the VPN connection will not be enabled yet. Kill Switch will close down Skype before it can transmit any of your sensitive info on the public network, thus ensuring your privacy.
  • Notifications - Enable this to receive Windows notifications when you connect or disconnect from a server. Enabled by default.
  • Start minimized - Enable this to display the NordVPN icon in the Windows system tray when the machine starts, which is where Windows displays applications that are running in the background. Enabled by default.
  • On the left sidebar, you can also access your account details. The Logout button is also at the bottom.

Advanced settings

  • Protocol - UDP is mainly used for online streaming and downloading. TCP is more reliable but a little slower than UDP and usually used for web browsing. UDP by default.
  • Custom DNS - here you can set the custom DNS servers of your choice for our application to use.
  • Obfuscated Servers - enable this to bypass the network restrictions such as network firewalls. This is also a recommended option for countries with restricted network access.
  • Diagnostics - In case of any technical issues, you should collect the application diagnostic data and provide the ticket ID to our support for further assistance. In case it fails to provide the diagnostics ticket ID, you can send the .zip file to our support.

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