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VPN App turning off after reboot

Discussion in 'Android Apps & Games' started by Wax Bean Tycoon, Feb 27, 2022.

  1. Wax Bean Tycoon

    Thread Starter

    I have a Motorola Moto e6 XT2005DL running Android 9

    So I downloaded a free VPN (ProtonVPN Free) from the Google Play store.

    I wanted to have the VPN active at all times, so I followed the instructions I found online.

    I went to Android Settings/Network & Internet/VPN/ then clicked the ProtonVPN settings icon

    I turned on Always-on VPN.

    I verified that when a left this screen and then returned, the "always on" was still selected.

    However, If I restart the phone, The VPN is not active. I tried going into the ProtonVPN app, and changing the battery setting to NOT optimized.... thinking that might help. Nope.

    I would like the app to start the VPN when the phone starts. You would think the "always-on" feature would do that, but I guess I'm stupid lol

    Any suggestions, thanks

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  2. Stephanie Sy

    Stephanie Sy Newbie

    Sometimes the operating system or other services and software dependencies do not start up correctly. Shutting down Windows and rebooting your computer can address such issues.
    Duckster, ocnbrze and mikedt like this.
  3. mikedt

    mikedt 你好

    I'm using Express VPN on my phone, and that has a specific option to connect when Android boots. Which does work on my Samsung Note20 Ultra. As for Proton VPN, I know it doesn't work in China, but that's about it.

    James_Watson, puppykickr and ocnbrze like this.
  4. Wax Bean Tycoon

    Thread Starter

    Thanks. The Windows version of Proton VPN has a auto connect, but naturally :rolleyes:.......... The Android does not. It only has the "Always on" feature which isn't working. I was wondering maybe because its a free version, but ProtonVPN gives instructions as to how to do it.

    I have another free security app, Avira security which also includes a VPN, and it's the same situation, when I do the "always on" selection through Android settings, they are UN selected when I restart the phone
    James_Watson and ocnbrze like this.
  5. mikedt

    mikedt 你好

    I think "Always on" is really just to keep the VPN connected when the app is running in background once the VPN connection is made, and not when Android boots.

    I've also used Psiphon VPN(free) on my phone, but it's only Express VPN I've found has the specific "When Android starts up" option. Express VPN is paid, not free.

    I'm also using Express VPN and Astrill VPN on my MacBooks, and those can both can connect automatically at MacOS start up.
    James_Watson and ocnbrze like this.
  6. puppykickr

    puppykickr Android Expert

    You might try also setting the 'Block connections without VPN' setting on your device.


    Also, with Proton, try having the quick setting icon for it in the quick settings tiles.

    Even if you never use the icon, just having the tile active will keep the app active in the device memory.

    This will also make it active after a short time when the device restarts.

    I have that same device and have Proton on it.

    I normally use a firewall, but will go ahead and see if Proton reconnects when I restart.
  7. puppykickr

    puppykickr Android Expert

    I am trying it now.
    First with the device VPN settings shown in the above.

    It did come back on, with enough of a delay that at first I thought that it had not.

    Also, where I am I had to make sure that Proton was set to connect to the fastest available server.
    I had trouble getting it to connect before the reset.
    Probably just the wi-fi where I am at.
    Dannydet likes this.
  8. Wax Bean Tycoon

    Thread Starter

    Thank you for the reply. Yeah, I'm starting to agree with that. I found a few Reddit threads on which they were discussing how to change the code to boot ProtonVPN at start up. (using Linux I think). So yeah, maybe it's a thing that most free VPNs don't connect right at start up. that seems crazy, but so is the world :D

    I haven't experimented with this VPN long enough to see how it reacts when hopping from one open wifi signal to another. Something that I do with my smartphone (I don't use mobile data until I really have to).

    The reason I'm investigating this, is because my home DSL is down (has been for 6 days) and I'm actually using a mobile hotspot from my local library (nice that they have such things to check out). However, it's open wifi network, no password, so I just wanted a quick, free VPN while using it.

    I made sure to confirm my computer is not visible on the network, to confirm all drives/folders are not shared etc. I'm in a rural area, but you never can be too careful.
  9. Wax Bean Tycoon

    Thread Starter

    Yes, I tried also selecting Block connections without VPN, but it will also be UN selected when the phone is restarted. I have confirmed that the windows version of ProtonVPN free does, in fact, auto connect when windows starts. I simply can't figure out why the Android version won't allow it............after all, the Android MOBILE app, is where you really need it, going from one open/unsecured WIFI network to another.
    I'm not carrying my laptop around like I am my phone. Maybe that is by design. Maybe the paid version would allow this, but I can't find any info online about that.
  10. Wax Bean Tycoon

    Thread Starter

    Well, that's interesting. It simply will not auto connect for my phone on start up, no matter how long I wait. And every time I restart the phone, both "always on" and the "Block connections without VPN" selections are UN-selected.

    Stupid technology! lol
  11. puppykickr

    puppykickr Android Expert

    They are switched off, when they were on before you restarted?

    That sounds like something Google would do.

    Although I have the same device and the same app, one possible difference is the number of and which apps I have allowed the 'Change system settings'.

    I do not allow Google apps ro have this permission.

    I allow very few apps to have this permission.

    Only apps that have genuine purpose to have it are allowed to have it on my devices.

    I would start with all Google apps, and see which ones have this permission and whether or not switching it off makes any difference.

    Personally, I would start with Google Play Services and Google itself.

    Apps & notifications
    Show all
    (find and select app)

  12. puppykickr

    puppykickr Android Expert

    If this turns out to be it, the question then is "Why would Google not want my VPN to activate upon restart?"
  13. puppykickr

    puppykickr Android Expert

  14. puppykickr

    puppykickr Android Expert

    You must first go through the settings of the Addons app, and unselwct 'Skip system apps", then rescan from the homescreen.

    It is not necessary to have the Livescan thing active, in case you were wondering.
  15. Wax Bean Tycoon

    Thread Starter

    Yes, I have both options selected as ON, and if I restart the phone, they are off afterward.

    I've given up on this issue. It's not that big a deal, bit it seams ridiculous to not have the option to start the VPN at system start up on Android. The Windows version of PROTON VPN does start at Windows start up, but Android doesn't? crazy.

    I will just have to remember to turn on my VPN and choose it as always on before leaving home. Of course sometimes, I will undoubtedly forget.
  16. puppykickr

    puppykickr Android Expert

    What is very strange is that I have the very same device and app, yet it works fine for me.

    As I tested above, the VPN starts upon reboot, and both VPN setting remain on after a restart.

    I have no idea what the difference could be.

    Have you ever tried a firewall?

    If you are willing to experiment, a very simple firewall is NoRoot Firewall.

    I use it more than a VPN, and it uses the same VPN protocol as a normal VPN.

    I am courious if the same thing happens on a reboot with the firewall as with a VPN.

    As far as the device goes, it sets up the same as a VPN.

    The settings are pretty straight forward.

    Start and Off, Start On Boot.

    Then you go through the listed apps and √ by the internet access you want for each app or group of apps, and x by what you do not want access to the web.

    Each app or group has two access points- wi-fi and cellular.
    You can choose one or the other, both, or neither.

    This is very good for removing ads and restricting tracking, alongvwith other pestilence.

  17. Wax Bean Tycoon

    Thread Starter

    Yes, it is strange since we have the same phone and app. I'm at a loss to figure it out. I'm not going to mess around with Firewall's since I don't think that will help in this situation, it will just be added software on my phone I don't want.

    It's not the biggest deal to have to turn on the PROTON VPN before going to a public wifi network. It's just one of those things that doesn't make sense.

    I uninstalled Avira Antivirus security app, thinking that might be blocking things when I restart the phone........didn't work.

    So I've given up on this. I just hate the mystery as to why it's happening.
  18. puppykickr

    puppykickr Android Expert

    Who is your provider?
  19. puppykickr

    puppykickr Android Expert

    Also, the point of trying the firewal was to see if it turns on automatically after a restart.

    This is a simple test.

    As far as the extra software, it is only 7.64MB in size aftermoths of use.

    The test would show if it is the device or the app causing the issue.

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