Check VPN (Virtual Private Network) and third-party software to help resolve network connectivity issues
If your device appears to be connected to Wi-Fi or ethernet but can’t access the web, download content, or make other connections as expected, you may need to check your VPN or other third-party security software.
VPN and other third-party software that monitors or interacts with your network connections may cause connectivity issues with your Apple devices. You could see issues like these, but without an obvious cause like a network or internet outage.
- Your device can’t connect to Wi-Fi, or after connecting to Wi-Fi, your device can’t access the internet.
- Your Mac is connected to the network via Ethernet but can’t access the internet.
- Your device can’t connect to the App Store to buy or download content.
- Your device can’t use AirPlay or Continuity features.
- Your device can’t back up to iCloud (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac) or Time Machine (Mac).
Although network connectivity issues can have other causes, this article is intended to help you rule out issues with VPN or third-party security apps. Before taking other steps, review the issue-specific articles at the bottom of this page for additional guidance.
Check basic settings on your device
Start by checking some basic settings:
- Make sure the date, time, and time zone are set accurately on your device. Learn how to set the date and time on your Mac, iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.
- Make sure your device’s software is up to date. Install any available software updates and then restart your device.
- Restart your modem and router.
- Try switching to another network. If your connectivity issue is resolved by joining a different network, check with your Internet Service Provider (ISP) or network administrator to make sure your network is working properly for the features and apps you want to use.
Check for VPN connections and third-party firewall or security software
Some types of software, including VPN apps or configuration profiles, may have settings or restrictions that can cause connectivity issues. Types of software that could affect connectivity include:
- VPN (Virtual Private Network) apps
- Managed configuration profiles
- Firewall apps
- Anti-virus apps
- Parental control apps
- Content blockers
Review the apps on your device to see if these types of apps or configuration profiles are installed.
On iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, scroll through your installed apps and check for VPN software or configuration profiles in Settings.
- Settings > General > VPN (even if it says Not Connected)
- Settings > General > Profile (if this option doesn’t exist, profiles are not installed)
On Mac, check your Applications folder in the Finder and check for configuration profiles in System Preferences > Profiles.
If any of these types of apps are installed on your device, you may need to delete them to resolve the connectivity issue. Use caution if you choose to do this, since deleting an app or changing a configuration profile could affect how you use your device. For example, if you delete a configuration profile installed by your organization or school, your device may not work with that network.
Use caution if you choose to delete VPN apps or other software
Before you delete any software, you may want to contact the app developer for more information about how the app works with your network, and whether it could cause connectivity issues. For configuration profiles, contact the system administrator for the organization or school that asked you to install it.
On Mac: Learn how to delete apps and configuration profiles. If you delete VPN, security or networking apps, you may need to take additional steps. Work with the software developer to fully uninstall their software. Then restart your Mac.
Third-party software might have a subscription to access certain features or services. If you don’t plan to keep using the software, make sure to cancel your subscription.
These resources might be helpful if you’re having trouble with a specific feature or setting.
- Learn what to do if your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch won’t connect to a Wi-Fi network.
- Learn what to do if your Mac doesn’t connect to the internet over Wi-Fi.
- Learn what to do if you can’t connect to the App Store, iTunes Store, or other Apple services.
- Learn what to do if AirPlay or screen mirroring isn’t working on your device.
- Learn about Continuity features for your Apple devices.
- Learn what to do if you can’t back up to iCloud or restore from iCloud backup.
- Learn what to do if a Time Machine backup on your Mac is interrupted.
If you’re still having trouble connecting, contact Apple support.
Information about products not manufactured by Apple, or independent websites not controlled or tested by Apple, is provided without recommendation or endorsement. Apple assumes no responsibility with regard to the selection, performance, or use of third-party websites or products. Apple makes no representations regarding third-party website accuracy or reliability. Contact the vendor for additional information.