How to remove VPN from iPhone or iPad – 2 simple options

This short tutorial helps you rapidly remove a VPN app or VPN profile from your iPhone or iPad. It also explains what a VPN profile is, how to see the VPN configuration files installed on your iOS devices, and what to do if you have deleted a VPN file by accident.

TL;DR

  • Option 1: Delete the VPN app or apps you have installed.
  • Option 2: Remove the VPN configuration file(s) created by you or by a VPN app (Settings > VPN > VPN profile name > Delete VPN).

As your goal is to delete a VPN from your iPhone or iPad, I suppose that you already master the installation of a VPN on your iOS device. Nevertheless, the repetition is the mother of learning, as TomBat tells to all baby bats from his colony. Here is why I recommend you read How to use a VPN on iOS – The Transylvanian explanation.

How does a VPN run on your iOS device

When installing a VPN on your iOS device you have two options: install a VPN app from App Store or manually set up a VPN connection on your iPhone or iPad.

Both actions result in the creation, on your device, of a VPN configuration file or VPN profile, a set of rules or settings that allow iOS to connect to a VPN (Virtual Private Network).

Such a VPN profile defines:

When you connect to a VPN network all your Internet traffic will be directed through third-party VPN servers. That is quite a big deal (even bigger than being part of a chocolate traffic network) as your online activity may be monitored. Thus, in order to prevent malicious VPN installation, every time a VPN configuration file is created by an app, iOS asks for your approval.

Add VPN Configurations approval request - Hotspot Shield VPN app installation

How to see the VPN profiles installed on your iPhone or iPad

While searching for the best iOS VPN app, you have probably installed several apps or you have tried several configurations.

All VPN profiles installed on a certain iOS device are visible on the VPN section (Settings > VPN). You will notice two types of profiles: VPN Configurations and Personal VPN.

The VPN profiles visible in the Personal VPN section use the iOS built-in VPN tunneling protocol implementations (IPSec, IKEv2). The VPN config files listed in VPN Configurations provide custom VPN tunnel implementation (e.g., OpenVPN). For more details, I recommend reading this article.

All VPN profiles that are currently installed on your devices can be seen on Settings > VPN.

View installed VPN profiles on iOS - Settings - VPN

How to remove VPN from iPhone or iPad

Option 1: Uninstall the VPN app

Most of the VPN providers offer access to their services by installing VPN apps on your iOS devices.

In this case, the simplest way to completely remove your VPN from the iPhone or iPad is to uninstall the application:

  1. Find the VPN app.
  2. Tap and hold on the app icon until you see the small “x” in the top-left corner.
  3. Tap on the small “x” sign.
  4. Press Delete on the warning popup with the message Deleting this app will also delete its data.
    Delete a VPN app - NordVPN
  5. Done. The VPN app was removed, as well as all the VPN configuration files created by the app.
  6. Repeat steps 1-4 for any VPN application that you want to delete.

Option 2: Delete the VPN profile

As explained here, a VPN profile can also be created manually by selecting the VPN type (IKEv2, IPSec, L2TP), and typing in the authentication credentials.

In this case, in order to remove the VPN from iPhone or iPad you need to alter the VPN settings:

  1. From the Home screen, go to the Settings app.
  2. Tap VPN.
  3. Select the VPN configuration that you want to delete. Select the VPN configuration that you want to delete - ExpressVPN VPN profile
  4. Tap Delete.
    Delete VPN profile - Settings - VPN - profile name - Delete VPN
  5. Done. The VPN profile was removed.
  6. Repeat steps 3 & 4 for other VPN config files.

What if I deleted the wrong VPN profile?

Did you remove a VPN config file by mistake?

In case you have created it manually you need to set it up again. There is no way to undo the operation.

If the VPN profile was installed by a VPN app, simply open the app and try to connect. Most probably, the VPN app will start the initial setup and create all the VPN profiles it needs to function properly.

Delete VPN vs. turn off VPN on your iPhone

Turning off your VPN is not the same thing as deleting it. When you turn off your VPN, the connection between your device and the VPN server is disabled and your Internet traffic is unencrypted.

To turn off a VPN you have two options:

  1. If you have turned ON the VPN from a VPN app, open the app and tap the Disconnect/Stop/Turn Off button.
  2. If you have manually turned ON the VPN, open the Settings app, tap VPN switch off the VPN next to VPN configurations or Personal VPN options.

You may turn on and off the VPN connection any time you think you need some online security and privacy (e.g., while traveling and getting connected to a public WiFi in an airport).

By deleting VPN the settings are removed from your device and you will have to set up the VPN again if you need to connect.

Summary

Removing a VPN from your iPad or iPad is a simple process that involves either deleting the VPN app or deleting a VPN profile from the iOS settings.

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