How to Turn off VPN on Mac

Significant privacy benefits make it unsurprising that, as reported by Forbes, 1.6 billion people worldwide use VPNs. But while using a VPN can help you mask your online information and keep your identity safe on public Wi-Fi networks, you may need to turn off the VPN on your Mac for several reasons.


VPNs can hinder your internet speed and make it harder to access certain websites, which may lead to a worse online experience. These are just two situations in which switching off your VPN is necessary, and fortunately, it’s very easy to do this.


Based on my own extensive experience of using VPNs, I’ll show you how to disconnect a VPN on your Mac today. You’ll learn how to do this via multiple methods, and I’ll also cover what happens when you disconnect from your VPN.

Before we start:


Whether you activate all of your Mac’s built-in security features or not, having additional protection is still a good idea. Your device is under threat from several dangers daily, especially if you regularly use the internet, and spyware is one of those. MacKeeper’s VPN Private Connect is an effective tool for preventing spyware on Mac and protecting your computer.


Here’s how to enable VPN Private Connect on your device:

  1. Download MacKeeper.
  2. Navigate to Privacy > Private Connect.
  3. Select Open when the MacKeeper Private Connect window opens.
  4. Enter your Mac admin username and password before tapping Install Helper, if needed.
  5. Pick your server location and select Turn On.

When you might need to turn off your VPN on Mac

Despite the benefits of using a VPN, you might need to disable VPN on Mac for several reasons. Some of these relate to performance, whereas others are associated with different apps, websites, and services you’re trying to use. Some of the main reasons you may have to turn off your Mac VPN include:

  1. If your internet speed is slow
  2. Banking operations
  3. Problems with accessing certain websites
  4. Using PayPal

Let’s now cover each of these reasons in more detail.

1. If your Internet speed is low

VPNs let you connect to different servers around the world, but you might notice a slower internet speed, regardless of which one you choose. Your internet speed is likely to drop if you have more security features installed.

2. Banking operations

Banking services often have automated features that track and alert you of potential threats, such as unwanted logins. If you try to access your online bank via a server outside your home region, you might trigger one of these warnings. So, if you’re struggling to sign in to your bank account, consider switching off your VPN (or changing it to a server in your current location).

3. Problems with access via VPN to certain websites

VPNs can help you access geo-restricted content in other countries, such as Netflix programs and sports highlights. However, when you use these services, you may struggle to access websites in your country of residence. If this happens, you should either turn off your VPN or change the server.



Sometimes, difficulties accessing sites and apps could actually be due to your VPN not working on your Mac. Methods you can use to solve these issues include restarting your connection, checking your VPN data limits, and reinstalling your VPN apps after deleting them.

4. Using PayPal

PayPal doesn’t allow users to use VPNs and similar tools when using its service. Some users have been locked out of their accounts when using a VPN while on PayPal, so it’s definitely a good idea to switch off your VPN when accessing the app or website.

How to tell if you have a VPN on Mac

Checking if you have a VPN on your Mac is very easy. You’ll normally see the logo in the toolbar at the top of your screen if it’s enabled. For example, my VPN shows up at the end of my menu bar when open—as you can see in the image below.

Check if you have a VPN on your Mac by going to the menu bar and viewing the logo. It'll normally appear whenever the app is open, and you can control your settings from here.

What happens when you turn off a VPN on your MacBook

Turning off a VPN on your MacBook will connect you to whichever network you use in your current physical location. For example, if you’re on your computer at home, you’ll connect to your home’s Wi-Fi.


Besides, you’ll no longer be able to access content restricted in your region if you disconnect from a server. Also, if you’ve enabled a kill switch with your VPN, you may not have access to affected apps and folders (unless you turn this feature off).


Depending on your usual preferences, your IP address may also become visible again after you disconnect from a VPN on your computer. Moreover, if you’re connected to a public Wi-Fi network, other people could potentially see the information you share. For these two reasons, I only recommend disconnecting from your VPN if you’re on a secure network.

Note from our experts: 


If you’re on a public network, you might see a message titled: This connection is not private. However, you may also see this notification when it’s not relevant. If that happens, you can try several fixes, such as refreshing the website you’re trying to access, opening incognito mode, and checking your firewall settings. Or, if nothing helps you, reach our professional support team via MacKeeper’s Premium Services:

  1. Open the MacKeeper app on your device.
  2. Select Ask an Expert. The button is quite small and in the top right-hand corner of your screen.
  3. When the text box appears, mention your problem to our team members. An expert should be able to help you solve the issue and will walk through each step with you.
Select Ask an Expert in the top right-hand corner of the MacKeeper app. Here, you can chat with one of our support team members and explain your issue in detail.
Step 1. Select Ask an Expert in the top right-hand corner
Enter your message in the Message text box and our team will help you solve the problem. Be as specific as possible to ensure that our team can help you out more effectively.
Step 2. Type in the Message section and explain your problem to our team

How to disable VPN on Mac

Most people switch off their network via System Settings, which is the most convenient option for Mac users. To disable VPN on your Apple device, follow our instructions below:

  1. Go to the Apple logo and select System Settings.
  2. Tap VPN.
  3. Toggle the VPN that you’re connected to off.
Navigate to the Apple logo and select System Settings to begin the process of turning off the VPN on your Mac. Here, you'll then be able to access the VPN feature and turn your toggle off.
Step 1. Apple logo > System Settings
In the left-hand toolbar of your System Settings, select VPN. All of your connected VPN services will then appear. When they do, you can switch any connected ones off.
Step 2. Select VPN
Disable a VPN on your Mac by toggling VPN off in System Settings. When you've done that, the toggle will turn gray instead of blue.
Step 3. Toggle your VPN off

There are, however, other ways you can switch off a VPN on your Mac. Here are the three main options:

  1. Turn it off via the VPN application
  2. Disable VPN from the menu bar
  3. Disconnect VPN through System Preferences (for pre-macOS Ventura users)

Let’s now go through the step-by-step processes for each of these.

1. Turn it off via the VPN application

You often have to download the app for a VPN service before you can use it on your Mac. From these apps, you can control your settings and choose which servers you connect to. It’s also possible to disconnect from your VPN.


The process will differ depending on which VPN service you use, but you’ll often find a standby button somewhere in the app. Tap on this once, and the VPN should disconnect within a few seconds.

When using a VPN app, you can often disconnect from the service within the app. There's normally a standby button that appears somewhere, and all you have to do is press this. The VPN disconnects within a few seconds.

If you need to turn off your VPN using MacKeeper’s VPN Private Connect, the steps are somewhat similar. But to ensure that you follow everything correctly, I’ve outlined them in full detail below.

  1. Open MacKeeper and go to Privacy > Private Connect.
  2. At the bottom of the next screen, you’ll see a Turn Off button. Click on this, and your VPN should switch off within a few seconds.
Turn off MacKeeper VPN Private Connect by going to the Privacy > Private Connect tab. Here, you'll see a Turn Off button. Click on that, and the VPN will switch off within a few seconds.

2. Disable VPN from the Menu Bar

When you use a VPN on your Mac, you can often download an add-on where it’s possible to control your settings. It works very similarly to the app, and you’ll normally have no problems disconnecting from the service when you need to.


Again, the steps may vary depending on which VPN provider you use. However, you usually have to follow a procedure that looks like this:

  1. Tap the logo in your Mac menu bar.
  2. Press the standby button.
  3. Wait for your VPN to disconnect. You should automatically reconnect to your Wi-Fi network.

If you already use MacKeeper’s VPN Private Connect, here are the precise steps you should follow:

  1. Go to your desktop toolbar and select the MacKeeper logo.
  2. When the window opens, you’ll see a VPN icon with the server you’re connected to. Click on this.
  3. Wait a few seconds, and your VPN will then turn off.
Turn off MacKeeper VPN Private Connet by going to the MacKeeper logo at the top of your screen. You'll always see this icon when the app is running on your device, even in the background.
Step 1. Select the MacKeeper logo at the top of your screen
Turn off your VPN by clicking on the VPN icon. You'll see the server name if you're connected, and it'll also be in green. After tapping it, your VPN will switch off.
Step 2. Tap the VPN icon and wait for your connection to switch off

Hint from our team: 


It’s possible to change multiple privacy and security settings on your Mac. Doing so will safeguard your device when disconnecting from VPNs. For example, you can turn on File Vault, disable analytics, and turn off Apple ads.

3. Disconnect VPN through System Preferences

If your Mac runs on an operating system before macOS Ventura, you can disconnect your VPN via System Preferences instead of System Settings. The process is slightly different, but you should still have no issues whatsoever.


Here’s how to disconnect a VPN via System Preferences on macOS Monterey and below:

  1. Go to Apple logo > System Preferences.
  2. Select Network and select the VPN service you’re currently connected to.
  3. Tap Disconnect.
Disconnect from a VPN in System Preferences on macOS Monterey and below. Go to System Preferences > Network to commence the process.
Step 1. Apple logo > System Preferences > Network
Once you're in your System Preferences, you can then choose your VPN from the list of options that appear. Here, you'll then be able to disconnect.
Step 2. Select your VPN network from the list of options
Click on your VPN. When you do, you'll see a list of options. One of those, if your connected, will be Disconnect; tap on this to finalize the process.
Step 3. Select Disconnect

If you use macOS Ventura, Sonoma, or later, follow these instructions to turn off your VPN.

  1. Go to the Apple logo and select System Settings from your list of options in the dropdown menu.
  2. Select VPN on the left-hand toolbar.
  3. Disconnect your VPN by switching off the toggle. It’ll have been blue when turned on but will now have switched to gray.
Turn off your VPN in macOS Sonoma by going to the Apple logo and selecting System Settings from the dropdown menu. Here, you'll have access to all your options.
Step 1. Apple logo > System Settings
Select VPN from the list of options on the left-hand side. All of your connected VPNs will appear here, and you can turn them off as you wish.
Step 2. Select VPN from the left-hand menu
On the next window, switch off your VPNs by tapping the toggle. The button will turn from blue to gray, and you'll use your Wi-Fi connection.
Step 3. Turn your VPN off by tapping the toggle so that it’s no longer blue

Turning off the VPN on your Mac: A simple and sometimes necessary process

VPNs are a great way to keep your device secure and hide your IP address from others, along with allowing you to enjoy geo-restricted content. But sometimes, you’ll have to turn off your connection to use features like banking services and speed up your internet connection.


If you need to switch off your VPN, make sure you do so over a private connection. You should also be aware of the possible risks that might arise, such as your IP address becoming exposed and others being able to access your online information.


Ensuring that you don’t leave yourself exposed to potential threats elsewhere is a wise move when turning off the VPN on your Mac. To keep your device protected, consider using a service like MacKeeper’s VPN Private Connect. Doing so will help ensure that your Mac stays safe against spyware and several other online threats.

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