Cisco AnyConnect: “Unable to establish VPN”



While trying to login to a Cisco VPN from a Windows 7 laptop using Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility software, the software launched correctly, and I got a login prompt. My username and password were correct (as when I tried typing them wrongly I received a “Login failed” message).

The login session failed with an alert pop-up appearing with the text:

      Unable to establish VPN

There is very little logging information available for the program. While the error is frustrating, in the majority of cases it has a simple fix, described below.

Error resolution

There may be other reasons why the error message “unable to establish VPN” appears, however this is one possible fix that is worth trying.

Disable Internet Connection Sharing. It turns out that if ICS is enabled on a wireless network interface, then the security settings demanded by the VPN cause the connection to fail.

To disable Internet Connection Sharing, from the Control Panel open “Network and Sharing”, right-click on the wireless connection and select “Properties”. In the window that opens, select the “Sharing” tab and unselect “Share Internet connection”.

Apply the change and try again to connect again, as normal, to the VPN using AnyConnect.

Was this fix helpful to you? Let me know in the comments, or if you resolved it some other way, equally, I’d be curious to find out what it was.

Addendum: This solution applies to Windows 7 (and possibly earlier versions), for Windows 8, a solution can be found here:

  59 Responses to “Cisco AnyConnect: “Unable to establish VPN””




  2. I have been struggling with this for weeks. Thanks! It worked for me too.

  3. you Rock, yet another one here you saved!! I struggled with this for months and never knew the issue till now. THANKS SO MUCH!!! YOU ROCK!!

  4. I had the same issue. you saved also my day !! thanks a lot !

  5. SUper. super security leads to super inconvenience

  6. Thanks a lot It worked

  7. Thanks a lot.
    It really save me from trouble.
    I have already ask our IT as to these problem and they just kept on saying that it is due to the global connection/issue….
    And you really save my day.


  8. I tried doing the same problem in windows 8, tried using the same trouble shooting steps but it didn’t worked out for me…. Kindly help

  9. Wow …it worked …you made my day.
    Now I am able to work from home ….was really struggling with this.


  10. Yep, it works!. Thanks you.

  11. on Windows 7 , unable to find this option ” ‘Sharing’ tab and unselect “Share Internet connection”.’ Please help me

    Control Panel open “Network and Sharing”, right-click on the wireless connection and select “Properties”. In the window that opens, select the “Sharing” tab and unselect “Share Internet connection”.

    • Well, you’ve probably worked around it already but since I had the same problem, maybe someone else will benefit: to make visible “sharing” tab try to enable (turn on) all your internet connections and than right click and select Properties.

      For me it worked 🙂 thanks for help Matt Parsons!

  12. unselected the ‘Sharing’ tab and unselect “Share Internet connection”. still getting same issue. Please help me .

  13. Thanks a lot. I was struggling for last 4 days. You gave me a great solution. Thanks Again. Keep it up.

  14. Thank you! This worked.

  15. You are a Rockstar !! Thanks a ton 😀
    I don’t have to rush to office early in the morning anymore 😀

  16. Bingo!! This has been bugging me for over a month. The problem coincided with installation of IE 10, so was stuck looking down that path.

  17. Awesome…you are tha MAN!!! Saved my day…
    Thanks a ton!!!!!!!

  18. Have been having this problem my self on a work lap top when taking home. ICS disabled by default. So none of this helped me.

    However I stumbled across something and just tried a changed before reading to much more. It was my Proxiy settings in internet settings. Came about when I put in my vpn url in the browser and got an error. So to resolve I opened Internet options, (via control panel or IE settings) | Connections | LAN settings and made sure the “Use a proxy server….” check box was un selected.

    Bingo, hooked straight up after that!

    This is the link i was following as I branched off to check my proxy first.

    Hope this helps someone else!

    • Nice work. Thanks for adding this. I’m sure it will be a huge help. I’ve been surprised by how common this problem seems to be.

  19. Alleluia! So many other google results talked about reinstalling software, blah blah. Not the root of the problem. This is. Awesome!

  20. Wow it worked for me too, on Win 7

  21. it work! thanks a lot!

  22. This worked for me! Thanks – easy fix!

  23. Yet ANOTHER thank you comment. You saved me having to get out of bed and go into the office. Thanks a lot!

  24. Thank you from an Indonesian IT onsite support,

    Thank you for this, was struggling with the problem in our office.

    The only difference with our issue is that we don’t see the wireless adapter being shared, however the Local Area Connection adapter was being shared.

    The problem resolved after disabling the sharing option.

  25. Thanks a lot man! Your solution solved my problem. 🙂

  26. Gracias me funciono

  27. Thanx bro,, it really worked!!

  28. Awesome, love u.

  29. Hi Sir,

    I cannot connect one specific VPN file but I can connect with other VPN files(all of these VPN files are used to connect to my company office, and others can connect with all of them). any idea how to fix it?

    here are errors when connect with command :
    Cisco Systems VPN Client Version
    Copyright (C) 1998-2010 Cisco Systems, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
    Client Type(s): Windows, WinNT
    Running on: 6.1.7601 Service Pack 1
    Config file directory: C:\Program Files (x86)\Cisco Systems\VPN Client\

    Initializing the VPN connection.
    Contacting the gateway at
    Authenticating user.
    Negotiating security policies.
    Secure VPN Connection terminated locally by the Client
    Reason: Failed to establish a VPN connection.
    There are no new notification messages at this time.

  30. Thanks a lot man

  31. hi ,

    i am using the LAN network how do i get this problem resolved can any body help ?

  32. Thanks a Lot

  33. Excelent, Thanks!!

  34. Hi,
    I had this problem earlier, I did the same and it worked. But 2 days back I tried to fix my WiFi symbol problem (The Wifi symbol shows empty lines and a Red cross mark, yet I am connected to Internet). In this process, I did something in the registry editor as suggested by someone in the internet. Since then I am unable to connect to my office VPN. I checked the ICS. Its OK. Anyone please help

  35. is useful

  36. Thank you so much, from last two days struggled to connect VPN. Now it is solved.

  37. Perfect, the workaround works fine.
    Tks a lot

  38. it was too much irritating experience when i was using overplay vpn but now i have changed vpn and chose expressvpn. The important things that always chose the vpn according to their vpnranks for the better experience.

  39. Thanks a lot Matt. You really saved my day.

  40. Thank you so munch, I was struggling with this a lot.

  41. what about for a MAC??

  42. Thanks a lot!!!! Disabling Internet connection sharing worked. I was soo clueless for nearly an hour, you made my day!!!

  43. Hi,

    I am not able to connect to VPN using Cisco any connect from home following is the error message.
    Please guide on resolving the problem

    “The VPN connection was terminated due to the loss of network interface used for VPN connection.”

    Thanks and Regards,

  44. Thank you!!!
    I had to enable sharing last Christmas to give my brother’s raspberry pi some internet!!!!
    Never thought this would affect connecting to a VPN

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