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Troubleshooting

Installation issues

  • Mobile Installation Issues

    The following steps can help if you're running into any issues installing TunnelBear on your mobile devices.

    1. Make sure you're downloading the app from the iOS App Store or the Google Play Store

    The TunnelBear app should only be downloaded from secure sources. For iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch), the app can be downloaded from the iOS App Store directly on your device. For Android devices (phones and tablets), you can download the TunnelBear app from the Google Play Store. If you do not have access to the Google Play Store on your device, you will not be able to download the app.

    mobileInstallation.png

                                                          iOS App Store                                                                       Google Play Store

    2. Temporarily disable third party security programs that might be interfering

    We know that many users cannot live without their firewall and anti-virus programs, but it's not uncommon for programs like these to interfere with your installation of TunnelBear. You can always disable third party programs temporarily while you install TunnelBear, then re-enable them as soon as you're set up.

    If you continue to run into issues installing TunnelBear, make sure to reach out to our friendly Support Bears so that they can assist you further.

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  • Desktop Installation Issues

    The following steps can help if you're running into any issues installing TunnelBear on your computer.

    1. Make sure you're downloading the app from our website

    The TunnelBear app should only be downloaded from secure sources. For Windows and MacOS, that would be our website. You can download the app by heading to our downloads page.

    2. Temporarily disable third party security programs that might be interfering

    We know that many users cannot live without their firewall and anti-virus programs, but it's not uncommon for programs like these to interfere with your installation of TunnelBear. You can always disable third party programs temporarily while you install TunnelBear then re-enable them as soon as you're set up.

    3. Avoid using any third party system cleaners

    System cleaners have been known to leave remnants of previous TunnelBear installations behind which can cause problems when you're trying to update or reinstall TunnelBear. Make sure to uninstall TunnelBear through Control Panel on Windows, or by dragging it to the trash on MacOS. Your Bear is designed to uninstall itself this way and won't leave behind bits and pieces. A reboot of your computer after uninstalling can help ensure that all bits and pieces are removed properly.

    If you continue to run into issues installing TunnelBear, make sure to reach out to our friendly Support Bears so that they can assist you further.

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  • Where can I download the latest version of TunnelBear?

    To start tunneling securely with your private VPN right away, simply head over to our downloads page to grab the latest version of the TunnelBear app or browser extension.

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  • Why does TunnelBear want me to install a helper tool on macOS?

    The helper tool is part of the TunnelBear VPN on MacOS. It helps your Bear create a stable connection to our secure VPN servers. When you’re not using TunnelBear, the helper tool also makes sure all your internet settings are returned back to normal.

    You are required to enter your computer’s administrator password to allow TunnelBear to install the helper tool. If you're not the administrator on your device, you might need the administrator to approve the installation. Be aware, the administrator password is different from your TunnelBear account password (it is likely the password you use to log on to your computer). Make sure to select "Install Helper" when prompted. 

    helperTool.png

    MacOS

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  • Why do I need to install a VPN Profile on iOS?

    Our TunnelBear app for iOS devices require that you install a VPN Profile in order for the app to work. This process is handled entirely by your Bear, all it needs is some authentication from you in the form of your device password or touch/face ID.

    For step-by-step instructions on how to install the TunnelBear app on iOS, check out this guide.

    If you run into any issues, our Support Bears are always standing by to lend a helping paw.

     

    profileIOS.png

    iOS VPN Profile installation process

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  • Why can't I check the 'I trust this application' checkbox when installing the Android app?

    If you have certain third-party apps downloaded, such as screen filters, battery savers, or launching apps, they may interfere with your ability to select the 'I trust this application' checkbox. Some of these apps include Twilight, Rotation Manager, Dodol Launcher, and Juice Defender. Turning these applications off briefly will allow you to select this checkbox. Once that is done, you can turn those apps back on, and TunnelBear should function properly.

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Connection issues

  • General tips to get connected

    If you're running into connection issues, run through a few basics steps first to see if your Bear just needs a helping paw:

    1. Check out our Twitter page to see if we're conducting any scheduled maintenance.
    2. Try logging out and back into the app.
    3. Try a fresh installation of the app from our downloads page.

    If your Bear is still misbehaving... make sure to try the following.

    Ensure that other applications aren't interfering

    Check to make sure that you aren't running any other VPN services; they can potentially interfere with your ability to connect. Additionally, if you are running any third party security applications, try temporarily disabling them to see if they are interfering.

    Test another network

    Try connecting to TunnelBear on another network to see if you can connect. This can let you know if the issue might possibly lie with the router or network you are using.

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  • Desktop (Windows & macOS) Connection Troubleshooting

    The steps below can help with Windows and macOS connection issues.

    Ensure that the TunnelBear browser extension is off

    Do not run the TunnelBear browser extension at the same time as the TunnelBear application, they can interfere with one another and cause issues for your connection.

    Turn on TCP Override

    If your connection seems slow or unstable, TCP Override may result in better performance. This feature is located in your TunnelBear preferences, under the general tab. If you already have TCP Override on, try turning it off to see what impact it has on your connection.

    TCPMac.png

    Enabling TCP Override: MacOS

    TCPWin.png

    Enabling TCP Override: Windows

    Try turning on GhostBear

    If you are connecting from a country with strict censorship or from a restricted network (work, school, public WiFi), we recommend to give GhostBear a try. You can locate this feature in your TunnelBear preferences, under the security tab. GhostBear makes it harder for the VPN connection to be detected and blocked. Please be aware, GhostBear should only be enabled in cases of censorship; otherwise we advise to keep this feature off.

    GhostMac.png

    Enabling GhostBear: MacOS

    GhostWin.png

    Enabling GhostBear: Windows

     

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  • iOS Connection Troubleshooting

    If you're running into issues on your iOS device, try the following steps.

    Reinstall the VPN profile:

    1. Make sure that TunnelBear is OFF.
    2. Click on the menu button (three horizontal lines) in the top left corner of the TunnelBear app.
    3. Click on Reinstall Profile.
    4. Follow the prompts.

    profileIOSa.png

    profileIOSb.png

     

    Change the Tunneling Protocol:

    1. Head into your iOS settings.
    2. Locate TunnelBear by scrolling down.
    3. Select Tunneling Protocol.
    4. Change the protocol to any option listed.
    5. Head back into the app and attempt connecting.
    6. Repeat until you find one that allows you to connect.

    Note: If you don't notice an improvement with any of the tunneling protocols, switch back to Default and contact our Support Bears for further asistance.

    tunnelingprotocol.png

    Changing Tunneling Protocol: iOS

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  • Android Connection Troubleshooting

    If you're having issues on Android, a few more steps to try are listed below.

    Make sure that your device isn't running custom/rooted firmware

    Customizing your device's operating system can change important system settings. These changes can sometimes prevent TunnelBear from working correctly. We recommend using a stock ROM to prevent such issues.

    Disable any third-party apps

    If you are running any third-party battery or memory saving applications, try disabling them to see if they might be interfering with your connection.

    Try turning on GhostBear

    If you are connecting from a country with strict censorship, we recommend giving GhostBear a try (found in the TunnelBear preferences). GhostBear makes it harder for the VPN connection to be detected and blocked. Be aware, GhostBear should only be enabled in cases of censorship, otherwise, we recommend keeping this feature disabled.

    ghostbear.png

    Enabling GhostBear: Android

    Make sure you have Automatic DNS enabled

    Android 10 introduced the ability to set Private DNS. Unfortunately, due to how Android prioritizes your private DNS over TunnelBear's DNS, private DNS has been known to cause issues. If you have Private DNS enabled, make sure to switch to Automatic DNS and try connecting again. For more information, check out this article.

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  • Browser Extension Connection Troubleshooting

    If you're not able to resolve issues with the extension with a fresh install, try the following.

    Disable any third-party extensions

    Make sure other extensions, specifically ones that are similar to TunnelBear, are disabled while trying to connect. The TunnelBear browser extension is designed to detect if a conflicting extension is present. However, if you discover that a specific extension is causing an issue with TunnelBear, try turning it off to confirm.

    Clear your browser's cache and cookies

    • Chrome browser, head here.
    • Opera browser, head here.
    • Firefox browser, head here.

    chrome.png

    Clearing Cache and Cookies: Google Chrome

    firefox.png

    Clearing Cache and Cookies: Mozilla Firefox

    Ensure that your browser allows cookies

    The TunnelBear browser extension uses a standard cookie to ensure you’re authenticated on both the extension and website. Make sure that your browser isn’t configured to delete cookies automatically when exiting the browser. We also recommend making sure any third-party cleaner/privacy extensions aren’t set to automatically remove browser cookies. Lastly, ensure that cookies are enabled in the browser settings.

    • Chrome browser, head here.
    • Opera browser, head here.
    • Firefox browser, head here.

    ChromeCookies.png

    Enabling Cookies: Google Chrome

    FireFoxCookies.png

    Enabling Cookies: Mozilla Firefox

    Make sure that the TunnelBear desktop application is off

    We recommend making sure that you aren't running the TunnelBear application while the TunnelBear browser extension is already on. Only one is to be connected at a time.

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  • I cannot get connected and I live in a country with restrictive internet. What can I do?

    While you should be able to connect to TunnelBear from anywhere in the world with an internet connection, some networks may be more restrictive than others and block your ability to connect to the VPN.

    If you live in a country with restrictive internet, you may still be able to get connected to TunnelBear. We recommend that you try the following:

    • If you're using Windows, MacOS or Android, try enabling GhostBear

    GhostMac.png

    Enabling GhostBear: MacOS

    GhostWin.png

    Enabling GhostBear: Windows

    • Try connecting to any other networks that are accessible from your location. You may find that some are less restrictive than others.
    • If you're using iOS, you can try changing your tunneling protocol within the iOS settings to OpenVPN since it has been known to be more resistant to censorship.

    tunnelingprotocol.png

    Changing tunneling protocol on iOS

    • If you're using one of our browser extensions, try downloading and using one of our TunnelBear apps instead.

    If you're still unable to get connected, reach out to our friendly Support Bears for further assistance.

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FAQ

  • Why can't I download apps only available in certain countries?

    Our Bears work hard to help you maintain privacy and security online, but we're unable to provide support for downloading apps that are only available in certain countries or regions.

    Many app stores tie your location to the country associated with your credit card or other provided account information. As a result, we cannot guarantee that changing your IP address with TunnelBear will allow you to download geographically restricted apps.

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  • How can I change my country/location?

    When you open the application, you will see a country name (or "Fastest"). To change the location of your IP address, click to expand the list of countries you can tunnel to. You can then select a country from that list.

    wherecanI.png

                                iOS                                                                                                         Windows

    Once you've chosen the country you'd like to tunnel to, move the toggle switch to the ON position and watch your Bear dig a tunnel. You'll know you're connected when the map turns green and your Bear appears in the tunnel you've selected.

    At any time, you can confirm you're connected properly by visiting our website.

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  • How do I remove a Trusted Network on iOS?

    To remove a Trusted Network, head into your TunnelBear settings. Under Trusted Networks, you'll see any networks that you have told your Bear to trust. If you want to remove one, swipe left on the network name. This will expose a Remove button. Click that and the network will be removed from your trusted network list.

    RemoveTrusted.PNG

    iOS: Trusted Networks

    When the network is removed, your Bear will no longer stand down when you're connected to that network. This will allow you to connect to TunnelBear on that network as you would any other.

    To learn more about the Trusted Networks feature, see this article.

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  • Why doesn't my Bear roar?

    Your Bear will only roar on mobile devices (Android and iOS). Sounds are not available on macOS or Windows.

    If you are on mobile but your Bear is silent, please make sure that any Do Not Disturb or mute settings are disabled, and that system sounds are turned up.

    Please also make sure that Bear Sounds are enabled within the TunnelBear app's settings.

    soundSetting.png

                        Enabling 'Bear Roaring': iOS                                                                        Enabling 'Bear Roaring': Android

     

    Rawr.png

    Bear roaring: iOS 

    *Speech bubble for demonstration purposes only

    If you have run through these suggestions and your Bear is still being shy, let our friendly Support Bears know.

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  • Why is my Bear in the Bermuda Triangle?

    Your Bear may sometimes appear in the Bermuda Triangle (or the 'Bear'muda Triangle, as we like to call it) if you are connecting from a strict network environment. It just means that we're not able to see where you are connecting from. It should not affect your ability to connect securely to our servers.

    BearmudaTriangle.png

    Bear in the 'Bear'muda Triangle 

    Connect to the tunnel you want and visit this website to confirm that you're connected properly. If the location on the site matches the location selected in the app, it means that you're connected!

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  • Why does my Bear start in the wrong location/country?

    The starting location of your Bear is determined by the network you're connecting to. If your Bear is located in the wrong location or country, it's possible that the network you're connecting from, or the IP address more specifically, is listed as being in a different location from where you are physically. Your Bear would use this information to determine your starting point, so it might not be exactly where you're actually located. This will not impact your ability to get connected to TunnelBear.

    BearmudaTriangle2.png

    Bear in the Bearmuda Triangle: Android

    To confirm that you're connected properly, select the tunnel you wish to connect to and check your IP address here. If the location on the site matches the location selected in the app, you're connected properly.

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Common Error Messages

  • Error: Windows Stop Code

    If your device is encountering a stop error (also known as a "blue screen of death") whenever you try to connect TunnelBear, it means that one of your default network drivers is malfunctioning. This isn't an issue with the TunnelBear application, the driver itself is encountering some sort of system or kernel error.

    windows-10-blue-screen-death.jpeg

    Blue Screen of Death

    The TunnelBear app has two connection protocols, OpenVPN and IKEv2. OpenVPN uses its own network adapters/drivers, whereas IKEv2 relies on the Windows system adapters/drivers. Under normal circumstances this wouldn't be a problem, but if the system driver is faulty, you may encounter this issue.

    To get your Bear back up and running, try the following steps:

    1. Open the app but don't connect and select the gear icon. Enable the TCP Override feature. This forces TunnelBear to use OpenVPN instead of IKEv2. When you connect via OpenVPN, you are using TunnelBear's adapter, whereas when IKEv2 is connected, you are using your system adapters. Try to connect now and see if you still have issues.

    2. You can also try to reinstall your Wi-Fi drivers to see if that helps at all. To reinstall the device drivers, follow the instructions here. Then, open TunnelBear and turn TCP Override off and see if the issues still persists.

    If the second step doesn't help, please continue to use TunnelBear with TCP Override enabled to prevent this issue from happening. If you require further assistance, reach out to our friendly Support Bears.

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  • Error: CoreAccountService Keychain Issue on MacOS

    This error typically appears if your Keychain has the wrong password stored for your TunnelBear permissions. This is either a result of a corrupted Keychain, or it could be due to simply entering in an incorrect device password when first setting up the app.

    coreaccount.png

    MacOS

    We have a few steps you can try that might help sort this issue out.

    1. First, try reinstalling the TunnelBear application:
    • Uninstall TunnelBear as you would normally.

    • Reboot the device and reinstall the app.

    • Enter your device's administrator password when installing the helper tool (if prompted).

    1. If that doesn't help, you can try clearing any TunnelBear entries from your macOS Keychain:

    Note: If you happen to use the RememBear app, please be very careful to not delete any of the RememBear items from your Keychain.

    • Quit the TunnelBear app.

    • Open the Keychain Access app (Finder > Applications > Utilities).

    • Look for entries called com.tunnelbear.mac.TunnelBear in All Items.

    • Once located, select and delete these entries.

    • Launch the app again and see if issues persist.

    If you're still unable to get logged into the TunnelBear app after running through both steps, let our friendly Support Bears know so they can assist you further.

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  • Error: Driver Error on Windows

    If you're seeing a Driver Error, there may be an issue with the network adapters or the TunnelBear.Maintenance process (which helps manage the VPN connection). To clear this up, you can run through the following steps:

    1. Open an elevated Command Prompt and reinstall the TunnelBear.Maintenance process. Here's how:
    • Open the Start menu and search for ‘Command prompt”
    • Right-click it and select ‘Run as administrator’
    • Type the following commands (hit Enter after each one):
    "c:\Program Files (x86)\TunnelBear\TunnelBear.Maintenance.exe" -uninstall
    "c:\Program Files (x86)\TunnelBear\TunnelBear.Maintenance.exe" -start
    • After the second command finishes running, try relaunching TunnelBear
    1. If issues persist, you can try reinstalling the TunnelBear network adapters. Here's how:
    • Uninstall the TunnelBear app (via the Control Panel)
    • Open your Device Manager (search for it via the Start menu)
    • Expand the 'Network adapters' dropdown
    • Locate and right-click on TunnelBear Adapter v9
    • Select ‘uninstall device’ and check 'delete the driver software'
    • Proceed with removing the adapter, and then reboot your device
    • Reinstall TunnelBear (tunnelbear.com/download)

    If the steps above don't get your Bear back up and running, reach out to our friendly Support Bears for further assistance.

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  • Error: Helper Tool could not install on MacOS

    When installing the Helper Tool, make sure you are authenticating with your computer administrator password, not your TunnelBear password.

    If you're still unable to get it installed, it could be that the Helper Tool doesn't have the permissions it needs. Not to worry, the fix is quite simple.

    MacOS 10.11 (El Capitan) or newer:

    • Quit the TunnelBear application.
    • Hold down on the [command] key and tap [spacebar] to launch Spotlight (macOS search).
    • Type in 'Terminal' to launch the Terminal app.
    • Copy/paste in the following command and hit the Enter key
    sudo launchctl enable system/com.tunnelbear.mac.tbeard
    • Try to launch TunnelBear now. If you are prompted to install a helper tool, please make sure to 'Allow'.

    MacOS 10.10 (Yosemite):

    • Hold down on the [command] key and tap [spacebar] to launch Spotlight (macOS search).
    • Type in 'Terminal' to launch the Terminal app. Please copy and paste in each of the following commands. Make sure to do one at a time, and hit the [return] or [enter] key after each one. You may be prompted to enter your device password as well:
    sudo launchctl unload -w /Library/LaunchDaemons/com.tunnelbear.mac.tbeard.plist
    sudo rm /Library/LaunchDaemons/com.tunnelbear.mac.tbeard.plist
    sudo rm /Library/PrivilegedHelperTools/com.tunnelbear.mac.tbeard
    sudo killall com.tunnelbear.mac.tbeard
    sudo launchctl enable system/com.tunnelbear.mac.tbeard

    After running the above commands, try to launch TunnelBear again. You should be prompted to install the helper tool which you'll need to allow. Then, quit the TunnelBear app normally, relaunch it, and see if any issues persist.

    helperTool.png

    Installing Helper Tool on MacOS using Computer Administrator password.

    If you continue to run into issues, reach out to our friendly Support Bears for further assistance.

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  • Error: Cancelled (999) on MacOS

    The Cancelled (999) error typically appears if you have third party privacy or security programs installed on your device that are interfering with TunnelBear.

    999.png

    MacOS

    We recommend that you disable any of these programs temporarily to see if you are able to get logged into the app without issue.

    If the issue persists, please reach out to our friendly Support Bears for further assistance.

     

     

     

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  • Error: 403 in-app, 1006 on website

    When you see this error, it means that the network (IP address) you are connecting from has been flagged as a potential risk by one of our security services, Cloudflare.

    403.png

    Error 403 in-App

    1.png

    Error 1006 on Website

    What is happening in the background

    When this happens, Cloudflare blocks your access to our network, meaning that you won’t be able to connect or access our website. The way that Cloudflare determines which users to block is complicated, and uses different sources of information, like Project HoneyPot, to determine what networks are more likely to present a threat.

    Why you might see this error

    If you’re connecting from a shared network, such as a public network, university campus, or a region of the world where internet infrastructure is less developed, so IP addresses are scarce (more likely to be shared by lots of people), this can increase your likelihood of seeing this error. Cloudflare does its best to make sure legitimate traffic gets through, but sometimes you may be caught by accident in this net.

    How to fix it

    In this situation, the best thing to do is try connecting from another network temporarily. If you have waited for some time and you still can’t connect or access our website, get in touch with our friendly Support Bears and they’ll try to resolve the issue.

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