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.
How to remove VPN from iPhone [Summary]
- Option 1: Delete the VPN app or apps you have installed (more details here).
- Option 2: Remove the VPN configuration file(s) created by you or by VPN software (Settings > VPN > VPN profile name > Delete VPN).
As your goal is to delete a VPN from your iPad or iPhone, 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 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 creating, on your device, 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:
- the VPN server to connect to;
- the VPN protocol used for connecting the VPN client to the VPN server;
- the authentication credentials or the security certificate.
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, to prevent malicious VPN installation, every time an app creates a VPN configuration profile, iOS asks for your approval.
How to see the VPN profiles installed on your Apple device
While searching for the best VPNs for iOS, you have probably look at several VPN services, installed several apps, or 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, PPTP – for iOS 9 or below, not available for higher iOS versions). 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.
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 iPad or iPhone is to uninstall the application:
- Find the VPN app.
- Tap and hold on the app icon until you see the small “x” in the top-left corner.
- Tap on the small “x” sign.
- Next, tap Delete on the warning popup with the message Deleting this app will also delete its data.
- Done. The VPN app was removed, as well as all the VPN configuration files created by the app.
- Repeat steps 1-4 for any VPN application that you want to delete.
This approach also works for third-party VPN client apps, like the OpenVPN app or the WireGuard iOS app.
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, to remove the VPN from the iPhone or iPad, you need to alter the VPN settings:
- From the Home screen, go to the Settings app.
- Tap VPN.
- Select the VPN configuration that you want to delete.
- Tap Delete.
- Done. The VPN profile was removed.
- 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 a VPN app installed the VPN profile, open the app, and try to connect. The VPN app will probably 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:
- If you have turned ON the VPN from a VPN app, open the app and tap the Disconnect/Stop/Turn Off button.
- 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 the VPN, the settings are removed from your device, and you will have to set up the VPN again if you need to connect.
You have learned how to remove VPN from an iPhone or iPad. It is a simple process that involves either deleting the VPN app or deleting a VPN profile from the iOS settings.
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