How can we help you?


How to set up a manual connection on Windows using OpenVPN

The OpenVPN GUI application is an alternative option to connecting to NordVPN servers on your Windows PC. If you prefer manual connection and tinkering with open-source software, this is a good way of connecting to NordVPN. That said, it lacks the additional features of the NordVPN native app, but it still uses the same VPN protocol — OpenVPN. It's also more complicated to set up, so here are instructions to guide you through the process.

  1. Download the OpenVPN GUI application.

    Note: Make sure to choose the application version according to your Windows device version:

    For Windows 64-bit;
    For Windows ARM64;
    For Windows 32-bit.
  2. Open the installation file and follow the instructions in the setup wizard.


  3. Once the application is installed, download the NordVPN server configuration files. The OpenVPN app uses them to connect to specific NordVPN servers.
  4. The above link will also display the server recommended for the best possible experience. Click “Show available protocols” under the suggested server to see the different protocol options.

    In the list of available options, click on the “Download config” link next to OpenVPN TCP or OpenVPN UDP.


  5. Go to the folder where you downloaded the configuration files, select them all, then right-click and choose “Copy.”
  6. Paste the configuration files to this directory:
    C:\Program Files\OpenVPN\config\

    6.1. To quickly find the OpenVPN\config\ folder, right-click the OpenVPN GUI shortcut on your desktop and select “Open file location.”


    6.2. Once you're there, click the parent OpenVPN folder in the address bar.


    Open the "Config" folder.


    6.3. Paste the copied configuration files in the folder by right-clicking anywhere in the folder and selecting "Paste":


    Click "Continue" to allow the files to be extracted to the folder.


    Note: if you are using Windows 10, add an extra line in the configuration files to prevent possible DNS leaks:

    To do that, open the downloaded .ovpn configuration file with any text editor and paste this line:


    Save the file before proceeding to the next step of this tutorial.

  7. Now that the configuration files are in the proper folder for the application to detect them, open the OpenVPN GUI app by double-clicking the shortcut on your desktop.

  8. Allow the application to make changes to your device because they are necessary for a VPN connection.

  9. The application will start running in the system tray, which is the notification area next to your device’s clock:


    It might also be in the hidden system tray area:

  10. Right-click on the application icon, hover over one of the servers, and click “Connect.”

  11. Enter your NordVPN service username and password, then click “OK.”


    You can find your NordVPN service credentials (service username and service password) in the Nord Account dashboard:
    1. Click Set up NordVPN manually.

    2. You will receive a verification code in your email that you use for NordVPN services. Type the code in: 

    3. Copy the credentials using the “Copy” buttons on the right:

  12. In a few seconds, the application will connect and close the window. The system tray icon will turn green and show your connection status when you hover over it.


And that's it! You should be successfully connected. To disconnect, right-click on the application icon, hover over the server, and click “Disconnect.”

Was this article helpful?