If Hotspot Shield VPN is running, but you can’t connect to the VPN (i.e. you can open the Hotspot Shield Windows app and it seems to run properly, but will not connect to a country), follow the steps below. After each step, check to see if you can connect:
Step 1: Check your internet connection
- Quit the Hotspot Shield application in the system tray
- Open your web browser and try browsing the internet
If you can’t browse the internet even when the VPN is off, restart your computer. When your computer reboots, check that your internet is connected and try browsing again. If that doesn’t work, you may need to check your network settings or contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP).
Step 2: Restart Hotspot Shield
If you have a Hotspot Shield IP address, but still can’t switch virtual locations, quit the Hotspot Shield application and then restart it.
Step 3: Check whether DNS is working by pinging Google
Now let’s test your network while Hotspot Shield is running. Follow the steps below to ping Google:
- Make sure Hotspot Shield VPN is on
- Press “ + R” on your keyboard
- Type “cmd” in the text area
- Click “OK”
In the command window type: “ping www.google.com” and press “Enter.”
Under the ping statistics, if “Packets: Sent = X, Received = X” reflect the same number, your network is working correctly. If the number between “Packets: Sent” and “Received” is different, then the issue is likely DNS related. Restart your browser and try the ping command again. Take a screenshot of this screen and include it when you submit a request if you’re still having problems.
Step 4: Reboot your computer
If you get the following message: “ping: cannot resolve www.google.com: Unknown host” after the ping command has run, the issue is DNS related. Try rebooting your computer and then run the ping command again to see if the problem has been resolved.
Step 5: Run the Network troubleshooter
- In the search box on the taskbar, type Network troubleshooter, and then select Find and fix network problems from the list of results.
- Follow the steps in the troubleshooter and see if that fixes the problem.
Step 6: Make sure that Hotspot Shield TAP-Windows driver is installed. If it’s not, reinstall Hotspot Shield.
- Click Start, and then click Control Panel.
- Under Programs, click Uninstall a program.
- Find if TAP-Windows is installed, if not - follow the next steps, if yes - please proceed to the item number 2 (Make sure that TAP-Windows is installed if yes - delete and install TAP-Windows driver)
- Open Device Manager (by pressing the Windows key + X hotkey and select Device Manager) and confirm that there are no TAP-Windows drivers
- Uninstall Hotspot Shield (Select Hotspot Shield in Control Panel. Click Uninstall or Uninstall/Change at the top of the program list.)
- Restart Windows
- Install Hotspot Shield
Step 7 (only if you are on version 10.10 and up): Make sure that TAP-Windows is installed if yes - delete and install TAP-Windows driver
- If restarting the adapter doesn’t do the trick, try reinstalling the TAP-Windows driver instead. To do that, first open Device Manager to uninstall the adapter by pressing the Windows key + X key.
- Select Device Manager to open the window in the shot directly below.
- Double-click Network adapters to expand the network adapters list.
- Right-click TAP-Windows Adapter and select Uninstall device.
- Now open this OpenVPN page in your browser.
- Scroll to the bottom of that page and if you have Windows 10, click open vpn-install-2.4.8-i602-win10.exe to download the latest TAP driver. If you have Windows 7/8/8.1 click on open vpn-install-2.4.8-i602-win10.exe
- Right-click the TAP-Windows exe and select Run as administrator.
- Restart Windows after installing the driver.
Step 8: Reset Winsock
- Resetting corrupted TCP/IP Winsock settings might also fix OpenVPN error messages. To do that, enter ‘Command Prompt’ in Cortana’s search box.
- Right-click Command Prompt and select Run as administrator to open it.
- Then type in ‘netsh int ip reset logfile.txt’ in the Prompt, and press the Enter key.
- Restart your desktop or laptop.
Step 9: Reset the TCP/IP stack using Command Prompt
WiFi adapter sees the available network, however, will not accept TCP/IP address. Attempting to reset winsock and ip stack may resolve the problem.
- In the search box on the taskbar, type Command prompt, press and hold (or right-click) Command prompt, and then select Run as administrator > Yes.
- At the command prompt, run the following commands in the listed order, and then check to see if that fixes your connection problem:
- Type netsh winsock reset and press Enter.
- Type netsh int ip reset and press Enter.
- Type ipconfig /release and press Enter.
- Type ipconfig /renew and press Enter.
- Type ipconfig /flushdns and press Enter
Step 10: Reset network adapters on Windows 10
- Open Settings.
- Click on Network & Internet.
- Click on Status.
- Click on Network reset.
- Click the Reset now button.
- Click Yes to confirm and restart your computer.
Keep in mind that after your computer restarts, any network adapter will be reinstalled, and settings will reset to their default configurations. This means that if you're connecting to a Wi-Fi network, you'll need to re-enter the password to connect, and you may need to reconfigure other networking software as well.
Step 11: Restart your modem and wireless router
- Unplug the power cable for the router from the power source.
- Unplug the power cable for the modem from the power source.
- Some modems have a backup battery. So if you unplug the modem and lights stay on, remove the battery from the modem.
- Wait at least 30 seconds or so.
- If you had to remove the battery from the modem, put it back in.
- Plug the modem back into the power source. The lights on the modem will blink. Wait for them to stop blinking.
- Plug your router back into the power source.
- Wait a few minutes for the modem and router to fully power on. You can usually tell when they’re ready by looking at the status lights on the two devices.
- On your PC, try to connect again.
Step 12: Enable DNS client Windows service
If you see the "Failed to initialize VPN network adapter" error it might be caused by a disabled DNS Client windows service.
To enable service:
- Click Start and type Registry Editor
- Open Registry Editor and find registry key by doing the following: click on HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE in your left-hand bar and then SYSTEM then Currentcontrolset then Services and finally, Dnscache
- Open Start DWORD key
4. Change value data from 4 (Disabled) to 2 (Automatic), click OK
5. Restart Windows