I’ve been using Proton VPN since last year. I even have tried three of the plans: Free, Basic, Plus. Yet, I’ve never been able to prevent the Proton VPN app to keep connected when I just started my Mac. I fully know that there is an Auto-Connect menu. As shown in the image on the left, I had set it to Disabled. So, here are what I do to prevent ProtonVPN auto-connect.
Still not working
But, every time I start my MacBook, I always need to check that Proton VPN app. I need to disconnect it first for some purposes.
My observation so far is, if I turn off my MacBook without disconnecting the Proton VPN manually, the next time I start it, it will get connected. Regardless of the value of Auto Connect settings at the top of the Connection tab.
The opposite is also true. If I disconnect from the VPN first before shutting down the Mac, the next time I start the app, it’s disconnected.
It looks like the Proton VPN app wants to maintain the behavior to resume whatever the last state it’s on before the computer shuts down.
I also try to check the other tab to make sure I’ve turned off those two options.
Start on Boot.
However, this attempt also fails. The next time I start my MacBook and open Chrome to check the IP address on Google, it’s not showing the IP address from my ISP.
Instead, it’s showing a ProtonVPN IP address. This means I am already connected to the ProtonVPN server.
When I check by opening the app, I confirm the app already connected to the Proton VPN server, without me clicking the connect button.
I admit I am confused at this point. Why they give that Start on Boot option if it’s ignored. Or maybe it’s trying to say: it won’t start on the boot in the front which is opening the app after I log in to the Mac?
The solution that works
Let’s look at the following image. That’s the solution that works for me to prevent the Proton VPN app auto-connect after I log in to the Mac.
In case you are not aware of it, I set the Remember Login to off. This makes the Proton VPN log out from my account when I shut down my Mac, even without disconnecting it first.
Then, the next time I boot my Mac and log in to the desktop when I opened Chrome and check my IP address, it’s showing the IP address of my ISP. This works.
Thus, from now on, every time I need to connect to the Proton VPN server, I will just open the app and login with my account first.
Since I am not convinced yet, I still do more tests. Here is the flow of my tests:
Shut down the Mac without disconnecting from the Proton VPN server. Leave the app active when I clicked that Shut Down… menu.
Boot the Mac again, log in, and open the Chrome browser. The Proton VPN does not connect. So this is good.
I open the Proton VPN native app and input my account credential to log in to the app.
After a successful login, it shows the Disconnect button. This means that the Proton VPN app connects to the VPN server.
Then, I just press Command + Q to quit the app. It gave me a warning that quitting the app would disconnect the active connection.
After that, I reopen the app again, input my account credential to log in. This time, I saw the Quick Connect button. Thus, it is disconnected from the VPN server.
I am not sure if it’s a bug or an expected feature of the app. But the one that works for my need is turning off that Remember login option at the top list under the General tab.
Now, the Proton VPN app is adding the VPN on my Macbook. I used macOS Mojave. Even though I am not logged in into the app, it still connects automatically. So, I need to disconnect it first. Take a look on the screenshot below.