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FIX: Hotspot Shield VPN stopped working (9 solutions)

  1. Right-click the Windows Start button and select Network Connections
  2. Click Change adapter options
  3. Right-click your Internet connection and go to Properties
  4. Double-click Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)
  5. Select Use the following DNS server addresses
  6. Set Preferred DNS server to
  7. Set Alternate DNS server to
  8. Click OK
  9. Try to connect to a Hotspot Shield VPN server

Your DNS resolver might be not working properly, which could be why Hotspot Shield VPN isn’t connecting either. But you can easily fix this issue by changing your DNS servers on Windows.

In the example above, we listed the DNS servers of Google Public DNS. You can also try Cloudflare or OpenDNS.

connect to Hotspot Shield VPN locations

There might be a problem with the VPN server you’re targeting: too many connected users, the server is down for maintenance, or something else.

In that case, you can try to get Hotspot Shield VPN to work by simply connecting to another server. Make sure to explore multiple server options.

uninstall TAP Windows Adapter V9 from Device Manager
  • Right-click the Start button and select Device Manager
  • Expand Network Adapters
  • Right-click TAP-Windows Adapter V9
  • Select Uninstall device
  • Right-click any part of the screen and select Scan for hardware changes
  • Reinstall Hotspot Shield VPN
  • Launch the app and try to connect to a VPN server

If there’s a problem with the Windows TAP driver, it will prevent Hotspot Shield VPN from working properly. Using the steps above, you will force Microsoft to reinstall the TAP driver.

Then, you can reinstall Hotspot Shield VPN and try to connect to a server.

flush DNS servers in Windows 10
  1. Run Command Prompt with elevated rights: press Ctrl + R, type cmd, hold Ctrl + Shift and press Enter
  2. Copy and paste the next lines (press Enter between each line)
ipconfig /flushdns

ipconfig /registerdns

ipconfig /release

ipconfig /renew

NETSH winsock reset catalog

NETSH int ipv4 reset reset.log

NETSH int ipv6 reset reset.log


Restart your computer and try connecting to Hotspot Shield VPN.

The commands above are useful for quickly refreshing your network settings. It might be the reason why Hotspot Shield VPN stopped working properly on your Windows PC.


If you can’t get Hotspot Shield to work, no matter what you try, perhaps it’s not 100% compatible with your device.

In that case, consider switching to an alternate VPN service that works with Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, and even routers: Private Internet Access.

PIA has a next-generation network of more than 21,800 VPN and proxy servers spread across 97 locations (76 countries).

It runs its exclusive DNS servers to protect your DNS queries and speed up your Internet connection.

More about PIA:

  • WireGuard and OpenVPN with up to 256-bit encryption
  • Unblock Netflix US for unlimited streaming
  • No IP, DNS or WebRTC leaks
  • A zero-logging privacy policy
  • 24/7 live chat support
  • 30-day money-back guarantee (no free trial)
Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access

If you got tired of fixing connection problems in Hotspot Shield VPN, consider switching to a more reliable VPN service like PIA.


To sum up, you can try fixing Hotspot Shield VPN connection problems by updating the app to the latest version, checking the quality of your Internet connection, and ensuring that your firewall allows VPN traffic for this service.

Also make sure that you don’t have another VPN or proxy running in the background.

Plus, you can change your DNS settings, connect to a different VPN server, reinstall the TAP-Windows driver, as well as refresh your network settings using CMD.

At the end of the day, if you still can’t get Hotspot Shield VPN to work, even after asking tech support for assistance, consider switching to a more reliable VPN service for your home network, such as Private Internet Access (buy here).

FAQ: Learn more about Hotspot Shield

  • Why won’t my Hotspot Shield connect?

If you’re experiencing Hotspot Shield connection issues, it might be due to an unstable Internet connection, a faulty router, incorrect network settings, or something else.

  • Is Hotspot Shield VPN free?

Yes, Hotspot Shield VPN offers a free version with limited functionality. But you can also test the premium edition during a 7-day trial. If it piques your interest, check out the hottest deals for Hotspot Shield VPN.

  • Is Hotspot Shield any good?

Hotspot Shield is one of the best free VPNs with no lag for gaming and streaming. It comes with advanced features such as a kill switch and split tunneling mode.

This post was written by Elena Constantinescu and was first posted to WindowsReport

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