This short tutorial helps you rapidly turn off VPN on Mac. It also explains how a VPN runs on macOS, how to see the VPN configurations set on your Mac, and what is the difference between turning off and deleting a VPN. Let’s proceed!
How to turn off VPN on macOS [Summary]
- Option 1: Open the VPN app and click on the Disconnect/Stop/Turn Off button.
- Option 2: Turn off the VPN from the VPN configurations window.
- Click on the Apple icon in the upper left corner of your screen.
- Go to System Preferences > Network.
- Select the active VPN connection from the left panel.
- Click Disconnect.
- Option 3: Activate the Show VPN status in menu bar option and turn off the VPN connection from the menu bar. Fast and easy!
As your goal is it turn off the VPN connection on your Mac, I suppose that you already know how to set up VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) on your device. However, that does not mean that I should not recommend our bat-iful post on How to use a VPN on Mac. Do Transylvanian bats love apples?.
How does a VPN run on your Mac
To get a VPN on your Mac you have two options: install a VPN app from the Mac Store or manually set a VPN connection.
The result is the same: the VPN configuration settings are stored in a file (/Library/Preferences/com.apple.networkextension.plist) on your hard drive.
Important: The VPN configuration file can be exported and, later, imported on another machine or restored from a backup file.
A VPN configuration profile defines:
- the account name;
- the VPN server address;
- the VPN protocol used for connecting to the VPN server;
- the authentication VPN settings (username, password, certification).
When using a VPN your private data is redirected through a VPN server that is controlled by the VPN service provider. And, yes, your traffic may be monitored and logged. Thus, it is important to get your VPN from a trustful provider.
To prevent stealth and malicious VPN installation, the Mac OS pops up a warning every time an app tries to set up a VPN configuration.
How to see the VPN configurations set up on macOS
All VPN configurations (manually set up or created by VPN apps) are listed in the Network window: System Preferences > Network. In the left panel, you will see all network configuration settings that include the VPN configurations. The VPN profiles are marked with the 🔒 icon.
Select a VPN configuration to see the corresponding properties. For the VPN profiles set by a VPN app, the VPN Application text box shows the application (in the above screenshot, the NordVPN IKE app) that created the configuration.
How to disable VPN on Mac
Turning off the VPN on Mac is an easy task and can be performed in a matter of seconds.
Option 1: Turn off the VPN from the VPN app
Top VPN providers offer access to their services by installing VPN apps on your Mac.
In the case you are using a VPN app, the simplest way to disable the VPN is to use the Connect/Disconnect button:
- Find & open the VPN app.
- Click on the Disconnect/Stop/Turn off button.
- Wait until the app completely disconnects from the VPN server.
- Done. You may double-check by loading an IP locator website.
Option 2: Disable the VPN from the Network window
As explained above, all VPN configurations (both created manually or by an app) can be seen in the System Preferences > Network window.
Thus, you may turn off a VPN by accessing the desired VPN configuration and clicking the Disconnect button.
Option 3: Turn off the VPN connection from menu bar
To be able to disable the VPN connection from the menu bar you need to first activate the Show VPN status in menu bar feature:
- Open the System Preferences > Network window.
- Click on a VPN connection from the left panel.
- Check the Show VPN status in menu bar option.
Now, every time you want to switch the VPN on and off click the VPN status icon in the menu bar and click the Disconnect [connection name] menu option.
Delete VPN vs. turn off VPN on your Mac
Disabling the VPN is not the same thing as deleting it. When you turn off the VPN the network connection between your computer and the VPN server is unplugged. However, you may turn the VPN back on when you need to.
Removing the VPN would permanently delete the VPN configuration from your Mac. You will need to set up the VPN again in case you want to re-connect to a VPN server.
To delete a VPN from Mac OS you have two options:
- Open the Applications folder on your Mac. Look for the VPN app that you want to remove. Next, right-click on the name of the app and click Move to Bin.
- Go to System Preferences > Network, click on the VPN configuration that you want to delete, and click on the – button below the left panel.
Turning off the VPN on macOS is a simple process that involves either using the VPN app or disabling the VPN configuration from the macOS network settings.
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