Adding Zwift exception to VPN

Which .exe file or files need to be excepted from the VPN on order for Zwift to connect without closing? I have added ZwiftApp.exe and ZwiftLauncher.exe to my exceptions list, but this still does not allow me to launch Zwift.

I assume Zwift support is extremely busy, as I’ve emailed Zwift support four times over the course of a week and only gotten one reply, so I’m hoping the community is able to assist me.

Anticipating a couple questions: I’m using Windows 10, and Zwift version 1.0.61590. I know how to add exceptions to my VPN, but adding the Zwift-associated .exe files has not allowed me to run Zwift, and it’s not going to work for me to disable my VPN entirely every time I ride.

Thank you for the assistance. Ride on!

Make sure the following ports are open thru the VPN:

TCP 80, 443, 3023, 21587 and UDP 3022

As I understand it, my VPN allows exceptions on a per-application basis, and not on a per-port basis, so all ports are open through the VPN for ZwiftApp.exe and ZwiftLauncher.exe.

It’s said that every time you email Zwift support, your item goes to the back of the line.

Zwift has a page on internet connection problems

For what it is worth, their official recommendation is to disable VPN.

Having said that, what does ZwiftLauncher log says? It probably would contain an error message if it could not connect to a certain server (it speaks to a bunch of servers during login). This error message may come handy to understand what is going on.

I assume you checked and verified that Zwift starts on your computer normally when VPN is disabled, and confident that it is a VPN issue and not something wrong with the installation or drivers on your computer?

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Neither of the logs (Log.txt and Launcher_log.txt) include any server errors, troublingly. And of course it displays no errors to the user, either: it simply closes.

You’re correct: Zwift starts normally if the VPN is disabled. As such, there should be no reason I can’t add Zwift to the exceptions list, and have it launch normally. That’s why I’m trying to find out which .exe file or files need to be excepted from the VPN on order for Zwift to connect without closing. I have added ZwiftApp.exe and ZwiftLauncher.exe to my exceptions list, but this still does not allow me to launch Zwift.

Waited a week. Got another copy-paste response from Zwift support saying they’re too busy to help me, and won’t try to troubleshoot. My choice is to completely disable my VPN, or not use Zwift. They’ve made it clear they don’t care which one.

So for anyone who, like me, found this forum by Google, trying to solve this problem: you will not get support from Zwift, you will not be able to make exceptions in your VPN, and if you don’t like it, don’t use Zwift. You may not want to hear that - I didn’t - but that’s the situation, so deal with it.

Huge thanks to this community for at least TRYING to help! Zwift support never even mentioned my logs, and certainly never looked at them. I really appreciate you all offering assistance, and if I continue with Zwift, I hope to see you all out there.

Many people use VPNs while Zwifting w/out issue.

Which VPN are you using?


ExpressVPN. It allows exceptions, and I’ve tried adding ZwiftApp.exe and ZwiftLauncher.exe (as well as IE, the browser Zwift is supposed to run in, and even Edge and Chrome just for giggles), but no joy.

For the people who do run VPNs, what VPN are you using? Do you use exceptions, or does Zwift run normally without a care in the world?

It seems, in this case the right cause of actions would be to contact customer support of Express VPN, not customer support of Zwift. Zwift’s recommendation in their troubleshooting section is to disable VPN, you did it, and it fixed the problem. So, you know it is configuration of your VPN which blocks something, and Zwift has published types of traffic and ports on which it runs - so the information to troubleshoot with Exress VPN is there. Just to be fair to Zwift, they guarantee that it will run on standard installation of Windows and provide support for cases if it does not, but they cannot be responsible for any kind of additional, third party software which users decide to install. What can make Zwift a little tricky for VPNs is that it automatically jumps from server to server if connection is slow, so data connections are not limited to a single set of IP addresses on the Zwift side. It also relies heavily on UDP traffic, which some VPNs might not like. Perhaps you should consider a firewall on your computer as a security option. VPNs main benefit, compared to firewall, is that it can hide your IP address and location. You do not need to care about it when you run Zwift. My feeling is that VPN is fairly standard for connecting to work (e.g., on work computers), but is not really that common for private computers - and you can feel it because no Zwifters on this forum responded with their VPN experiences, because they do not use it! Aside from hiding your IP address, VPN is basically the same firewall, but it runs on a remote server and as such offers somewhat less user control.

For example, at least in the past, Zwift launcher used to pull a java script from a Facebook cloud storage. This used to occasionally cause a strange error message (particularly common in the fall of 2020) during launch which later disappeared (Zwift changed something on their side). I can say with great confidence that VPN on my work computer, if I was allowed to install Zwift on it, would block the launcher because Facebook connection are not allowed (along with connection to gaming servers and to private e-mail servers, per company’s policies).