NordVPN’s “Background processes aren’t running” error may occur due to an outdated VPN app, your Windows device’s User Access Control blocking NordVPN, or a slow internet connection, among other leading causes.
Closing and relaunching the NordVPN app could solve this issue.
However, if that doesn’t work, you can use other specific troubleshooting solutions discussed in the rest of this guide.
How to Fix the NordVPN “Background Processes Aren’t Running” Error?
There’s nothing to fear when the NordVPN “Background processes aren’t running” error comes up. Try the easy fixes below:
Fix 1 - Click the “Start Process” Button
Typically, the NordVPN error message is accompanied by a button (“Start processes”) to start NordVPN’s background process manually. So, click it.
If this doesn’t resolve the issue (unlikely), continue to the other fixes.
Fix 2 - Close the NordVPN App via Task Manager
Close the NordVPN app and restart it via the task manager to kill all incorrect background processes. Here’s how:
- Hold the CTRL + ALT + ESC keys on your keyboard simultaneously.
- Go to the “Details” tab.
- Look for two active processes on the list – “nordvpn-service.exe” and “NordVPN.exe.”
- Right-click on each of these processes and select “End task.”
- Relaunch the NordVPN app and check whether the issue is gone.
Fix 3 - Update Your NordVPN App
One of the easiest and most efficient ways to fix this error is to reinstall and update the VPN client app. Thus, eliminating bugs causing this issue.
You can check for pending updates via the NordVPN app’s settings or your device’s official app store (especially on mobile units).
But if there’s no pending update, try other fixes.
Fix 4 - Clear the NordVPN Application Cache
Follow these simple steps below to clear the NordVPN app cache:
- Simultaneously hold the “CTRL +ALT + ESC” keys to launch the task manager.
- Select the “Details” tab.
- Scroll to “nordvpn-service.exe” and “NordVPN.exe.” Right-click and select “End process tree” for each.
- Close your task manager and launch the “Run” menu (Windows button + R).
- Enter “%localappdata%” (without the quotes), then click “OK.”
- You should now see a long list of the application folders currently installed on your computer. Find the NordVPN folder in this list, then delete it to clear the app cache.
- Relaunch NordVPN to verify that the VPN app is working correctly.
Fix 5 - Allow NordVPN in “User Access Control”
NordVPN requires administrator rights to function correctly. So, depending on your device’s User Access Control (UAC) settings, the app may be blocked from running; hence, hindering its background processes.
The following steps help set up your Windows PC’s UAC settings:
- Go to Settings, search for the “Control Panel,” and launch it.
- Select “User Accounts.”
- Click “User Accounts.”
- Click “Change User Account Control settings.”
- Move the slider (on the left) up (“Always notify”). Moving the slider to “Never Notify” will turn off UAC.
- Click “OK” and, if prompted, confirm your choice.
- Run NordVPN once more.
Fix 6 - Change DNS Servers
Switch the NordVPN DNS server you use if the previous solutions fail.
Here’s a simple guide to doing that:
- On the NordVPN Windows app, select the Settings tab. It’s the gear icon in the bottom left of your Windows app.
- Click “Connection.”
- Toggle on “Use custom DNS.”
- Click the drop-down sign beside the toggle button to enter the DNS, “8.8.8” and “8.4.4.”
- Go to the VPN homepage and connect to a server location to see if you can now access the internet without this issue.
To Round Off…
NordVPN is a robust VPN software provider, but even the best software may run into some snags. Thankfully, you now have multiple options to fix this issue, depending on the exact cause.
And if these techniques don’t work, contact NordVPN’s customer support, accessible around the clock.