NordVPN’s Kill Switch Not Working? – You’ll Want to Try These 5 Fixes!

In our guide to the best VPNs with a kill switch, you can see that we’ve highlighted NordVPN quite prominently. That’s because this VPN’s kill switch is quite powerful, available in several different forms across different operating systems. However, just like any other piece of VPN-related technology, things can sometimes go wrong. So, if you've been typing into Google "NordVPN kill switch not working," know that you've come to the right place. 

The following are the 5 most effective ways to fix issues when NordVPN’s kill switch doesn't work correctly. Let's jump right in, shall we? 

1. Understand How NordVPN’s Kill Switch Works (And Where It's Available)

Before we go any further, it’s crucial to understand how NordVPN’s kill switch works, which should help you realize what to expect from your local NordVPN installation. With that said, NordVPN offers several types of kill switch mechanisms, as described below: 

  • Windows: The Windows version of NordVPN offers two types of kill switches. There's the 'Internet Kill Switch,' which shuts down system-wide Internet access, protecting all your installed applications. And then, there's the 'App Kill Switch,' which lets you create a list of apps that will shut down if your VPN connection drops unexpectedly. 
  • macOS: NordVPN offers two different apps for macOS. In case you download NordVPN from the Mac App Store, you’ll use the IKEv2 protocol. This protocol comes with its own kill switch, which is enabled by default (there’s no way to disable it). And if you download NordVPN from its website, you’ll end up with the OpenVPN version. This version lets you create a list of apps that will shut down if needed. 
  • iOS: NordVPN’s kill switch on iPhones and iPads is an automated one. Since this version of NordVPN runs on IKEv2, you won’t get to see the kill switch in the applications’ settings. However, know that you’re protected in the background (and you can't disable it).
  • Android: When it comes to Google’s operating system, NordVPN’s kill switch is system-wide, blocking Internet access when there are no VPN connections. Newer versions of Android have the 'Always On VPN' feature (accessible via Settings > Connections > More Connection Settings > VPN), which enables the system-wide kill switch.
  • Linux: Lastly, we have Linux, where NordVPN offers a system-wide kill switch that acts once your VPN connection drops. Enabling this feature is done using the 'nordvpn set killswitch on' command. 

As you can see above, not all versions of NordVPN have a kill switch whose settings you can access. For example, the macOS and iOS versions of NordVPN come with this feature built-in. So, if the VPN's kill switch doesn't work, a solution would be to try a different server.

2. Switch to Another VPN Protocol

Each VPN protocol handles your Web data differently. Therefore, when you switch to a new protocol, this changes your encryption and how your VPN's kill switch works. That makes switching to a new protocol a good solution if NordVPN’s kill switch doesn’t work. So, do the following: 

  1. Launch NordVPN on your device. 
  2. Navigate to the application’s settings
  3. Make sure you’re on the 'General' tab. 
  4. Look up 'VPN Protocol.' Then, switch to a new protocol
  5. Return to NordVPN’s home screen and try re-connecting. 

Keep in mind that not all versions of NordVPN let you change protocols. For example, if you’ve installed NordVPN from Apple’s iOS/Mac App Store, you can only use IKEv2 (unless you download the VPN app from its website, which grants you access to two variants of OpenVPN). 

3. Try Another Kill Switch Mode (Windows)

As noted above, NordVPN offers a couple of different kill switch mechanisms on specific platforms, such as Windows. With that said, if NordVPN’s kill switch doesn't work, you can try an alternative kill switch in the following way: 

  1. Launch NordVPN on your Windows PC. 
  2. Navigate to the application’s settings
  3. Make sure to pick 'Kill Switch' on the left. 
  4. Now, enable the type of kill switch you want to use. 
  5. Flip the switch next to 'Internet Kill Switch' or 'App Kill Switch.'
  6. Return to NordVPN’s home screen and try re-connecting.

4. Install & Run NordVPN as Administrator (Windows)

As mentioned earlier, NordVPN requires higher-end privileges to run on Windows machines. This applies to the software's installation and regular operation. So, you might want to install and run NordVPN as 'Administrator.' Here's how that is done. 

  1. First, make sure to uninstall NordVPN from your Windows PC. 
  2. Now, go to NordAccount.com and log in to your account. 
  3. Select 'Downloads' on the left. Then, download NordVPN for PC. 
  4. Right-click on the installer and pick 'Run as Administrator.'
  5. Confirm your choice by picking 'Yes.'
  6. Finish installing NordVPN on your Windows PC. 
  7. Once done, make sure that NordVPN doesn’t run. 
  8. Find NordVPN’s executable (in the 'Program Files' folder). 
  9. Right-click on the executable and pick 'Properties.'
  10. Pick the 'Compatibility' tab and enable the 'Run This Program as Administrator' option. 

That's it! Now, feel free to launch NordVPN, and it will automatically get the highest possible privileges for running on your Windows PC. Log in to your account, connect to any server, and check whether NordVPN’s kill switch works the way it should. 

5. Restart NordVPN’s Service (Windows)

NordVPN’s kill switch still not working? Don’t worry, as we have yet another option for you to try. In this step, we’ll show you how to restart NordVPN’s service on Windows, forcing the app to reload upon its next launch. Do the following:

  1. Make sure to disconnect from NordVPN’s server
  2. Then, close the VPN app as well. 
  3. Access the Start Menu and type in 'Services.'
  4. Locate the 'Services' app and launch it by selecting its icon. 
  5. Locate 'nordvpn-service' in the right-hand section of the window. 
  6. Right-click on that service and pick 'Properties.'
  7. The 'Startup Type' parameter should be set to 'Automatic.'
  8. Close the 'Properties' window. Make sure 'nordvpn-service' is still selected. 
  9. Click the 'Restart the Service' hyperlink on the left-hand side. 
  10. Launch NordVPN, connect to a server and test its kill switch.
Tip

This is where we conclude our list of things to do when NordVPN’s kill switch doesn’t work. Still, if your issues with this VPN’s kill switch persist, we recommend turning to NordVPN’s support team (they offer a live chat functionality via their website).

Finally, we also recommend checking our VPN troubleshooting guide for more information and our guide to resolving VPN error code issues.

Let us know if you managed to fix your issue with NordVPN’s kill switch using the comments section below. And finally, thank you for reading!

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