Setting up a VPN under MacOS


This guide shows how to set up a Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection on a computer running Apple MacOS.

What you’ll need

These are technical details which are needed to make your VPN connection work. If you don’t have these pieces of information, talk to your IT department or IT service provider.

1. An internet address for your VPN connection – this could be something like

2. Your VPN username and password.

3. You may also need a “pre shared key” – this should be treated like any other password and stored securely.


Click or tap on any of the screenshots to make them larger.

1. Open System Preferences (from the Apple Menu at the top left of the screen) and select Network:

2. Click the + sign to add a new connection. You may need to click the padlock first, and enter your logon password (not your VPN password) to proceed/

3. Set the connection settings like this, and click Create:

4. Fill in your server address, and in the Account Name field, input your VPN username.

Check Show VPN status in menu bar – you’ll use this later.

When you’re done, click Authentication Settings

5. To save your VPN password fill in the password field using the password you were given by your service provider or IT team.

If you don’t fill in your password, MacOS will prompt you every time you connect to the VPN for your password.

Your VPN password should be hard to guess – so you probably don’t want to be prompted every time for it, unless you’re using a password manager, in which case you may choose not to save your sign-info.

In the Shared Secret field, fill in the pre-shared key you were given by your service provider or IT team.

When you’re done, click OK

5. In your menu bar at the top of the screen, you’ll see a new icon. Click it and you’ll see the menu like this:

Click Connect “My Company VPN” (or whatever you have named your VPN) to connect to the VPN.

6. You can now access files, connect to remote desktop servers or access other network resources at your workplace over the VPN.

When you’re done, click Disconnect to disconnect the VPN

If you’re accessing a Remote Desktop Server at your workplace, you could consider the Microsoft Remote Desktop app in the app store.

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