How to Set Up and Use ExpressVPN on Chromebook

To set up ExpressVPN on a Chromebook, you need to proceed based on the notebook model you use. There are several methods available, and the best one is to use ExpressVPN's native Chrome OS (Android) app, which works on newer Chromebooks.

Then, you can set up ExpressVPN on Chrome OS manually using the L2TP/IPsec protocol, which is less secure but useful for unblocking sites and apps. Lastly, more advanced users with newer Chromebooks can use ExpressVPN's Linux app (as Chrome OS now supports Linux software). So, truly plenty of options overall.

In this guide on setting up ExpressVPN on a Chromebook, you'll find all those 3 methods explained. So, let's get to it, shall we?

How to Set Up ExpressVPN on a Chromebook

As explained above, there are 3 ways to get ExpressVPN to work on your Chromebook. These are the options available right now:

Method #1: Install ExpressVPN's Chromebook (Android) App

Before you get started, make sure your Chromebook has access to the Play Store (here's the list of Chrome OS devices with Android app support). If your device is compatible, follow these steps to install ExpressVPN on your Chromebook:

1. Sign up for ExpressVPN using your Chromebook and any Web browser.

2. Once your subscription is active, go ahead and open the Play Store. If you can’t find the Play Store, click the "App Launcher" icon at the bottom-left corner and launch the Play Store.

Play Store Icon on Chrome OS

3. Use Play Store’s search bar to look up "ExpressVPN." Make sure to pick the app called 'ExpressVPN - #1 Trusted VPN' and open its overview.

Downloading ExpressVPN from Chrome OS Play Store

4. Click "Install," and the app will download and install automatically. Then, click "Open."

5. Launch the ExpressVPN app and then click "Sign In." Provide your credentials and go through ExpressVPN's one-time setup procedure.

Loging in to ExpressVPN on a Mobile Device

6. Chrome OS will ask you to allow the installation of a VPN profile. Go ahead with "OK."

Chrome OS Asking to Install ExpressVPN Profile

7. At this moment, you should see ExpressVPN’s home screen. Press the ON/OFF button, and ExpressVPN will connect you to the nearest server

Connected to ExpressVPN Server

8. Press the ON/OFF button again to disconnect and end your VPN session

Connecting to ExpressVPN Server

9. To pick a server manually, click on the button just below the ON/OFF switch. Select any server using the top-placed tabs to preview the selection. If you don’t get connected automatically, use the ON/OFF button again. That's it!

Choosing Different ExpressVPN Server

If you’d like to take a deeper dive into everything ExpressVPN offers, use the hamburger button (three horizontal lines) in the top-left corner. That’s where you can change a VPN protocol and fine-tune ExpressVPN to your liking. 

Method #2: Set Up ExpressVPN on Chrome OS Manually

If your Chromebook doesn't have access to the Play Store, you can configure ExpressVPN on your device manually (using the L2TP/IPsec protocol). Here's what you need to do:

1. Get your ExpressVPN subscription using your Chromebook and any Web browser.

2. After subscribing, click "My Account" using the ExpressVPN website main menu (at the top). Use your credentials to access your ExpressVPN account dashboard.

Signing In to ExpressVPN Website

3. Navigate to Set Up Other Devices > Manual Configuration > L2TP/IPsec. Check your username and password and then pick a VPN server (note its L2TP server address).

L2TP IPSec Configuration Window on ExpressVPN Website

4. On your Chromebook, go to Settings > Network > Add Connection > Add OpenVPN / L2TP. Click "Join VPN Network" and fill out the following information:

  • Server Hostname: Paste the L2TP server address of your chosen VPN location.
  • Service Name: Enter a recognizable name for your VPN connection.
  • Provider Type: Select "L2TP/IPsec + Pre-Shared Key."
  • Pre-Shared Key: Enter "12345678."
  • Username: Enter your L2TP username.
  • Password: Enter your L2TP password.
  • Group Name: Leave blank.
  • Save Identity and Password: Toggle this option if you want to save your settings.
Adding New VPN Connection to Chrome OS

5. Tap "Connect" to start your VPN session. You should see a key icon next to your connection's name, which means that your traffic is routed through your chosen VPN server.

Icon Indicating VPN Session is Active on Chrome OS

6. To disconnect, go to Network > VPN. Find your VPN connection and click the "Disconnect" button in the top-right corner. You'll now return to your regular Web connection.

Disconnecting from VPN on Chromebook

Method #3: Install ExpressVPN's Linux App

Before installing ExpressVPN Linux app on your Chromebook, you need to enable support for Linux. So, go to Settings > Advanced > Developers > Linux Developer Environment. Then, go through the following steps to set up ExpressVPN on your Chromebook:

1. Sign up for ExpressVPN using your Chromebook and any Web browser.

2. Then, select "My Account" on the ExpressVPN website. You'll find it in the main menu, at the top. Use your credentials to access your ExpressVPN account dashboard.

Signing In to ExpressVPN Website

3. Go to Set Up Other Devices > Linux. Then, pick your version of Linux on the right (Ubuntu 32- or 64-bit, based on your Chromebook model). Download the installation file.

Choosing a Version of ExpressVPN for Linux

4. Launch Linux's Terminal and go to the folder with the installation file. By default, you'll need to use the "cd ~/Downloads/" command.

CD Downloads Command on Linux

5. Install ExpressVPN using the "sudo dpkg -i [INSTALLER NAME]" command. Make sure to use the file's name and extension very carefully to avoid any errors.

Installation Path ExpressVPN on Linux

6. Activate the VPN using the "expressvpn activate" command. Paste your ExpressVPN activation code, and decide whether you want to share anonymous data with the VPN.

Activate Command ExpressVPN on Linux

7. This is when you can start using ExpressVPN. Go with the "expressvpn connect" command to connect to the nearest server available (or your last used server).

Command for Connecting to ExpressVPN on Linux

8. To connect to a specific server, use the "expressvpn list all" command. Then, pick a server based on that list and make sure to enter its full name correctly.

9. To disconnect, use the "expressvpn disconnect" command. That's it!

Command for Disconnecting from ExpressVPN on Linux

Final Thoughts

As you can see, there are multiple very different ways to set up ExpressVPN on a Chromebook. Our recommendation is to go with the ExpressVPN native app for Chrome OS, as that's how you get access to every single feature this VPN offers - in the most user-friendly way possible.

Also, remember to protect your other devices as well. Our guide on how to set up ExpressVPN on all its supported devices will help you with that. And if you want to check more VPN options, learn more about the best VPN for Chromebook.

That brings us to the end of our guide on setting up ExpressVPN on a Chromebook. If you have any questions for us, don't hesitate to post a comment below. And lastly, thank you for reading!

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