In the age of the pandemic when most of us have had to take our work and businesses online, it is imperative that one uses a VPN to keep online data secure and cover one’s tracks. On Windows 7 and 8.1, it was nothing more than a one-click task to connect to the VPN straight from the system tray. But that is not the case with Windows 10.
So what can one do to ensure quick access to the VPN without having to downgrade your Windows experience? Here’s all that you need to know to quickly access your VPN connection.
Create VPN Connection Shortcut
On Windows 10, you will have to create a VPN connection shortcut yourself or bring back the revered VPN Fly-out menu of Windows 8.1. Here are all the methods that will help you create a VPN connection shortcut for quick and efficient access.
#1: Via Network and Sharing Center
First up, let’s see how you can add a VPN shortcut from the Network and Sharing Center. To access it, press Win+R to open the RUN box, type “control panel” and hit Enter.
Click on Network and Internet.
Then click on Network and Sharing Center.
Then in the panel on the left, click on Change adapter settings.
Now, the “Network Connections” window will open up. Right-click on your VPN Connection and click on Create shortcut.
A dialog box will open requesting permission to add the shortcut on the Desktop. Click on Yes.
Now, the VPN shortcut will be added to the desktop. Double-click on it to start your VPN connection.
#2: Via the ‘Create Shortcut’ Window
Another, simpler, way to create a VPN shortcut is to do it from the desktop’s context menu itself. To do this, right-click anywhere on the desktop, select New, and then click on Shortcut.
This will open up the “Create Shortcut” window. Now, in the location field, enter the following and click on Next:
Then give your shortcut a name and click on Finish.
Your VPN shortcut will now be placed on the desktop. Just double-click to open the VPN connection window.
Click on Connect to do so.
For the first time, you will be asked to enter your VPN’s username and password. Enter the same and then click on Connect.
To end the connection, simply click on Hang up.
#3: Via a Batch File
You can also create a simple batch file that, when executed, will enable your VPN. You can place it wherever you like, be it on the taskbar or the desktop for quick access. To do so, first, open a notepad file. We recommend doing it on the desktop itself where the file will be saved for quick access.
Right-click on the desktop, select New, then Text Document.
Now copy the script given below and paste it into the notepad file.
@ echo off Ipconfig|find/I "vpnexample" && rasdial vpnexample /disconnect || rasdial vpnexample
Now, make sure to replace every single instance of vpnexample with the name of your VPN connection. In our example, we’re using VPNBOOK as our connection name. This is what it might look like:
Now, click on File, then select Save as.
From the “Save as type” drop-down menu, select All Files. Then give your file a title and save it as a .bat file. Then click on Save.
The batch file is now created. Double-click it to connect to the VPN.
#4: Via ‘VPNMyWay’
VPNMyWay is a handy app that lets you access your VPN with just a single click.
Once you’ve downloaded the .zip file, extract the files and double-click the setup.exe file to install the app.
Follow the on-screen instructions and provide the details of your VPN Connection.
Once the installation is complete, a shortcut for the app will be saved on your desktop. Double-click to open it and connect to your VPN.
Alternatively, you can have it appear in the system tray for easy accessibility. To do so, right-click on the taskbar and click on Taskbar settings.
Scroll down to the “Notification area” and click on Select which icons appear on the taskbar.
Now, find VPNMyWay and toggle it On.
The VPNMyWay icon will now be placed in the taskbar. Click it once to initiate your VPN connection; click it again to disable it.
On Windows 10, the whole process of connecting to the VPN is quite inefficient time-consuming. On older Windows 10 builds, when one clicks on the “Connect” option under VPN, instead of connecting straightaway to the VPN, the settings window opens up which doesn’t provide the option of connecting directly. This just furthers adds to the confusion for something that should be done in a single click.
Fortunately, the same function on Windows 8.1 is a lot faster which is why many tend to resort to the Windows 8.1 style VPN menu with a simple trick. This is how it’s done:
Press Start, type “regedit”, and click on Run as administrator.
Navigate to the following registry address:
Or, you could just copy the above and paste it in the registry address bar and hit Enter.
Now, double-click on ReplaceVAN.
Change its “Value data” from 0 to 2. Then click OK.
Now you will have the Windows 8.1 Fly-out WiFi/VPN Menu. Simply click on the WiFi icon in the taskbar…
Then under the “Connections” section, click on the VPN that you want to connect to and click on Connect.
Though it still ends up being a total of 3 clicks, it is much easier than some Windows 10 builds which redirects you to the Settings page. It is good to note that on the latest Windows 10 builds, this issue has been resolved and updated. This means that one can simply click on the VPN connect and get the job done. Therefore, a quick Windows update may be all you need to conveniently connect to the VPN.
So these are all the ways that you can create and access your VPN connection shortcut in Windows 10. We hope you’ve been able to simplify the task of connecting to your VPN and shave off those precious seconds that go with those additional clicks.