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OpenVPN for Windows

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This page contains instructions on how to run OpenVPN on Windows to connect to the Informatics endpoints. Please note that OpenVPN may require administrator rights in order to run properly, depending on which version you are using.

The first thing to do is to install OpenVPN itself. Go to the OpenVPN "downloads" page, download and execute the latest windows installer. We recommend version 2.3.x or later. Agree to the various requests to run/install things (in particular, the "tap" driver, which may not be signed), let them be installed in the default places, and install the default set of components. Then download the configuration files and save them in:

   C:\Program Files\OpenVPN\config

You should now find that you have shortcut to the OpenVPN application installed on your desktop. Double-click on it to start it, and an icon should appear in the right hand area of your taskbar. Right click on it to bring up the menu and select a configuration file to connect to the endpoint. Right click and select "disconnect" when you're finished. The first time you do this you may be asked by your anti-virus system whether you should allow OpenVPN to run. If you are, you should agree to the request.

Please note that OpenVPN may require administrator rights in order to run properly. To enable this, select "run program as administrator" in the properties menu.

Windows 7

It may not be possible for Windows 7 users to download the configuration files directly into the config folder. If that's the case for you, download them to one of your own folders, then run the Windows Explorer as administrator. From the "start" menu select "All Programs", then Accessories, then right-click on the "Windows Explorer" entry. You should then be able to move the files into place.

Windows 7 users may like to configure OpenVPN so that it runs as administrator by default, to avoid problems later. To do this:

  1. Right-click on the "OpenVPN GUI" desktop shortcut icon, and select "Properties"
  2. Select the "Shortcut" tab, and click on "Advanced..."
  3. Tick the "Run as administrator" box, and click on "OK"

Note that you may have to repeat these steps when you next upgrade the OpenVPN package.

Windows 8

It may not be possible for Windows 8 users to download the configuration files directly into the config folder. If that's the case for you, download them to one of your own folders, then run the Windows Explorer as administrator as per Windows 7 instructions above. If unable to run Explorer as administrator, run Windows Powershell as administrator to use command Copy-Item
c:\Program Files\OpenVPN\config

Windows 10

Use Internet Explorer to download the configuration files by right-clicking to 'save target as', making sure they are recognised as .ovpn and not converted to .txt files. MS Edge and Firefox simply display the contents in the browser.

Use one of the following solutions

Solution 1:- During installation of OpenVPN, choose a different folder rather than the default C:\Program Files\OpenVPN\config as Windows 10 does not seem to allow the configuration files to be copied into there, even as administrator. For example install to C:\OpenVPN\config.

Solution 2:- Install OpenVPN to default folders. Using File Manager, right click on C:\program files\OpenVPN\config folder
choose Properties,
Security tab
Edit button.
Highlight 'Users'
click the Allow box for 'Full Control'
click Apply button
Click the OK buttons until the properties window closes.
Copy the configuration files to C:\program files\OpenVPN\config

In addition to OpenVPN's own diagnostic log, further information can be obtained in a cmd.exe window, as follows:

  • The command ipconfig /all will display information on the network adaptors on your machine
  • route print will show the routing tables in effect at the time. This latter can be very useful in helping diagnose faults

See also...

Configuration files
Authentication
OpenVPN FAQ
Last reviewed: 
05/05/2017

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