Opera has been in the browser industry for quite some time and had browsers for mobiles as old as the Symbian Era. It is no doubt, a pioneer and tends to capture the user in a different way as compared to other browsers out there.
One if its innovative features is the inbuilt VPN. Opera allows you to connect to a VPN automatically without using any third-party software when you are browsing. The VPN is pretty straightforward to use and also offers customizable VPN location. However, despite active development, there are still reported cases where the VPN does not work. It either refuses to connect or gets stuck in a ‘connecting’ loop. In this article, we will go through all the causes as to why this issue occurs along with the solutions to fix them.
What causes Opera VPN not to Work?
We looked into this particular issue and tried to replicate the scenario at our own workstations. After checking initial user reports and testing, we came up with a list of causes which might conflict with the VPN and cause it not to work. Here are some of the reasons:
- ISP Issues: If your ISP has blocked access of Opera’s VPN through its main gateway, you will not be able to connect. If there are indeed ISP limitations, chances are you will not be able to use other VPN products as well.
- Defective Opera Installation: There are some instances where Opera’s installation files are defective and have some modules missing or corrupt. Reinstalling the browser might solve the issue.
- Opera Extensions: If you have some third-party Opera extensions enabled on your browser, they might be conflicting with the Opera VPN. Disabling them might solve the issue.
- Security applications: Opera officially released a statement that there were security software which conflicted with the application’s inbuilt VPN. Disabling them or adding Opera to the whitelist might solve the problem.
- Location of VPN: In some cases, the specific VPN location might be unavailable to you. Changing the location does the trick here.
Solution 1: Changing the Location of VPN
Before we try any technical methods, we will try changing the location of the VPN. Opera’s VPN has an option to use a VPN of a specific location. If the VPN for that specific location is unavailable, Opera will not be able to connect to it. Here if you have some other specific location chosen, try to change to the default one and if you are using the default location, switch over to some specific location.
- Click on the VPN icon present right beside the website address.
- Once the window pops up, click on Virtual Location and Change your location.
- After changing the location, save changes and close the pop-up. Now try accessing the website again and check if the issue is resolved.
Solution 2: Testing your ISP
All your internet traffic is transmitted to your ISP and your ISP then forwards the data further. If there are limitations set by your ISP regarding the usage of VPNs, you might face an issue when connecting. ISPs are basically Internet Service Providers and they can put firewalls and other mechanisms in place inside the network architecture.
If you are using the internet at your home, your local subscription company will be your ISP or if you are using it in any public space, the internet provider supplying internet there will be the ISP. Hence you should try testing different ISPs. If you are using the internet in a public space, move to a private connection or if you are already using a private connection, switch to some other connection elsewhere.
Once you are absolutely sure that it isn’t your ISP which is causing the problem, move on with the solutions.
Solution 3: Disabling Opera Extensions
Extensions are types of add-ons which you add to your browser for increased functionality or based on your preferences. These extensions can vary and perform different tasks. If any of these extensions conflict with the Opera’s VPN system, it might not work. Hence you should try disabling all your extensions and check if this solves the issue. If it does, it means the issue was indeed with the extensions and you can then start troubleshooting which was the culprit.
- Click on the Menu icon present at the top-left side of the screen and click Extensions > Extensions (Ctrl+Shift+E).
- Now select each extension one by one and select Disable.
- After disabling all the extensions, check if the issue is solved and you are not receiving any type of issue in using the VPN.
Solution 4: Deleting Browser Configurations and Data
Every browser saves additional configurations and data for its operations. These data files might contain preferences of websites, cache, or your website history. Configuration files are particularly known to cause the issue when trying to access Opera’s inbuilt VPN system. In this solution, we will open the data window and delete each item. After this, we will try accessing the VPN and see if it works as expected.
- Press Ctrl + Shift + Del in sequence for the browsing data window to pop up.
- Once you see the window, click on the Advanced tab and check all the options.
Note: You can exclude browsing data from the list if you require your history to be saved. Otherwise, you can delete it as well.
- Click on Clear data after selecting. Now Restart your browser and try accessing the VPN again. Check if the issue is resolved for good.
Solution 5: Disabling Security Applications
Opera officials have released an official statement in Twitter where they urged their users to disable their security applications on their computers. According to them, there are several applications which tend to block Opera’s activities and cause some of its functions not to work.
Hence you should go on and Disable your Antivirus applications on your computer temporarily and see if this does the trick. If it does, you can continue to whitelist Opera from the software and enable the Antivirus again. Usually, these applications ‘think’ that Opera is using a lot more resources or modules than expected and flags them (a false positive). One specific Antivirus which was seen to cause issues was Avast (but you should still test your AV). You can check our article on How to Turn your Antivirus Off.
Solution 6: Checking other Third-Party Applications
If you have other third-party network or firewall applications running in the background, they will conflict with Opera’s VPN module and cause it not to work as expected. These applications can be of any type i.e. other VPN clients, Firewalls, Network monitors, etc. In this solution, we will go through the applications running in your computer and see if any of them is problematic.
- Press Windows + R to launch the Task Manager. Once in the task manager, open the tab of Processes.
- Now check the list of Applications running and note if any of them is problematic.
- Try disabling them by right-clicking on them and select End Task.
- Now look at the bottom-right side of your screen and see if there are any icons of such applications present. If there are, right-click on them and select
- Restart Opera and try accessing its VPN. See if the issue is resolved.
Solution 7: Reinstalling/Updating Opera
If all the above methods don’t work and you are still unable to connect to Opera’s VPN, there are chances that your Opera’s installation is either corrupt or has missing modules. This is a very common case and usually occurs when you change the installation directory of the browser without proper steps or if it was interrupted in an update.
Note: Make sure that you have your credentials at hand and have saved all the relevant work. This solution will completely remove Opera from your computer and we will attempt at installing a new version.
- Press Windows + R, type “appwiz.cpl” in the dialogue box and press Enter.
- Once the application manager opens, search the list for Opera. Right-click on it and select Uninstall.
- Now restart your computer. After restarting, navigate to the official website of Opera. Download the latest version, right-click on it and select Run as administrator.
- Restart your computer and launch the browser. Now check if the issue is resolved and you can use the VPN properly without issues.
Note: We also came across instances where the browser was not working at all for everyone because of an issue at the server side. Hence you can also check other forums for similar issues from other users. If you see a pattern, it probably means that there is a server issue and there is nothing you can do except wait the issue out.