The easiest way to set up ExpressVPN on your Mac is to use its native application, which works on macOS 10.13 (High Sierra), 10.14 (Mojave), 10.15 (Catalina), 11 (Big Sur), 12 (Monterey), or 13 (Ventura). Just download the app from its website, install it, and you're ready to go.
When it comes to alternative installation methods, you can configure ExpressVPN on your Mac manually using the OpenVPN protocol via a special VPN client called Tunnelblick. As such, it's a useful option if you have an older Mac that can't be updated to the latest macOS version.
Regardless of which method you pick, make sure to first update your Mac by navigating to Apple > System Settings/System Preferences > search for "Software Update."
How to Set Up ExpressVPN on a Mac
We recommend going with the ExpressVPN application on your Mac, as that's the easiest way to get started. However, you can also set up ExpressVPN on your Mac manually.
These are your options:
- Method #1: Download ExpressVPN's Native App for Mac
- Method #2: Set Up ExpressVPN Manually via OpenVPN
Method #1: Download ExpressVPN's Native App on Mac
Let's show you how to install ExpressVPN's application on your Mac, giving you access to all the features this VPN offers. Go through the following steps:
1. Sign up for ExpressVPN using your Mac and any Web browser.
2. Once you subscribe, click "My Account" using the top-placed main menu on ExpressVPN's site. Provide your credentials and access your ExpressVPN account dashboard.
3. Once you reach your dashboard, click "Download for Mac." You'll now download ExpressVPN on your Mac as a single installation file.
4. Open the "Downloads" folder on your Mac and double-click on ExpressVPN's installer. Click "Continue" several times, then finalize ExpressVPN's installation by clicking "Install."
5. Go ahead and open ExpressVPN (it can be found in the "Applications" folder).
6. Select "Sign In" and copy and paste your ExpressVPN activation code. If asked to install a VPN configuration, select "Allow." Complete the initial (one-time) setup.
7. Right now, you should see ExpressVPN’s home screen. Click the ON/OFF button, and ExpressVPN will connect you to the closest server.
8. To disconnect and end your VPN connection, click the ON/OFF button again.
9. To pick another server, click "Smart Location." Then, double-click on any country or server name. Once ExpressVPN’s home screen turns green, you’ll be connected. That’s it!
Method #3: Set Up ExpressVPN Manually via OpenVPN
To set up ExpressVPN for Mac via OpenVPN, you must use a third-party application called Tunnelblick. These are the steps you need to take:
1. Get your ExpressVPN subscription using your Mac and any Web browser.
2. Then, click "My Account" using the top-placed main menu on ExpressVPN's site. Provide your email and password, and then access your ExpressVPN dashboard.
3. Navigate to Set Up Other Devices > Manual Configuration.
4. Note your OpenVPN username and password. Then, pick a VPN server by scrolling down, and then download its OVPN file(s) to your Mac.
5. Download and install Tunnelblick.
6. Open the application and click "I Have Configuration Files." Drag and drop the OVPN file on the left side of Tunnelblick's interface. Then, provide your OpenVPN credentials.
7. Click "OK" and then click "Connect" to initialize your VPN session. When you're ready to disconnect, return to Tunnelblick and click "Disconnect." That's it!
Tunnelblick lets you add multiple OpenVPN connections. So, if you wish to have access to more servers, download their OVPN files and add them to Tunnelblick. In other words, repeat the steps explained above, and you'll get access to as many servers as you want.
If you want your VPN protection to be as effortless as possible, set up ExpressVPN on your Mac using its native software. Install it, log in to your account, connect to a server - and forget about this application, as it'll run in the background. Of course, more advanced users should consider using Tunnelblick, as that method allows you to fine-tune ExpressVPN.
A VPN as powerful as this one doesn't run on macOS only. In fact, it runs on 60+ platforms. That said, here's how to set up ExpressVPN on all your devices.
Does ExpressVPN Work on Mac?
Yes, ExpressVPN works on any Mac running macOS 10.13 (High Sierra), at least. You can choose from using its native app or configuring the VPN manually. Also, ExpressVPN works on Intel- and M-based chips.
Can You Download and Install ExpressVPN on Mac?
Yes, you can download and install ExpressVPN for your Mac. However, since it's not listed on the Mac App Store, you must download ExpressVPN from its official website.
Why Doesn't ExpressVPN Work on Mac?
If ExpressVPN doesn't work on your Mac, the server you use might be under maintenance. So, you can switch to another VPN server or another VPN protocol. You can also try reinstalling ExpressVPN or updating the app to its latest version.
Can I Use ExpressVPN on a Mac as a Virtual Router?
Yes, you can turn your Mac into a virtual router using ExpressVPN. That's done by sharing your existing VPN connection to any other device (via Ethernet or Wi-Fi).
For more info, turn to our guide on how to share your ExpressVPN connection from a Mac.
This is where we conclude our guide to setting up ExpressVPN on a Mac. If you have any questions, make sure to post your comment below. Lastly, thanks for reading!