A few times a day, my VPN connection will disconnect. When I attempt to reconnect I get an error that says my username and password is not recognized.

VPN Error Message

To resolve this, I need to go into the settings for my VPN adapter, and uncheck the box that says "Automatically use my Windows logon name and password". I also change the VPN type from Automatic to SSTP.

enter image description here

After making these changes, I am able to connect to the VPN again. (I have to reeneter my credentials). A few hours later, my VPN will disconnect, and I have to repeat this process all over again.

What is making Windows revert these settings? Is there anything I can do to fix this.

My IT department insists this is a problem with my PC, and not a problem with the VPN service.

I am using Windows 10 Pro 20H2. I am not connected to a domain.

  • 1
    When the VPN disconnects, have the changes you made reverted back to the values seen in your image, even if you already changed them once? – harrymc Apr 29 at 14:31
  • Yes, my image shows the reverted values. To fix it, I need to uncheck the "Use my Windows username" checkbox. I can leave the VPN type on Automatic, and it will still connect. I usually change it to SSTP as per my IT department's recommendation. – Dave Apr 29 at 14:34
  • 1
    Which VPN client product are you using on your computer? Do you know what is the VPN server product and is it internal to your organization? – harrymc Apr 29 at 14:37
  • I am just using the built in VPN client in Windows. I am not sure what the server is (I am going to guess CISCO). I can try to find out for sure. – Dave Apr 29 at 14:38
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    Another suggestion: Look for the VPN settings file (.pbk file). It might be for current user under %AppData%\Microsoft\Network\Connections\Pbk, or for all users under %ProgramData%\Microsoft\Network\Connections\Pbk. The file and/or sub-folders may be hidden. If you find the one corresponding to your VPN, please add its contents to your post. You could also try to set it to read-only or traffic the permissions so only you can modify it (take first a backup). – harrymc May 13 at 15:49

Some software is likely trafficking with the settings of the VPN, enabling the option of "Automatically use my Windows logon name and password", so that after a disconnection the VPN reconnects using the wrong credentials.

The VPN settings file is a .pbk file found at:

  • Current user: %AppData%\Microsoft\Network\Connections\Pbk

  • All users: %ProgramData%\Microsoft\Network\Connections\Pbk

The file and/or sub-folders may be hidden, so Explorer may need to be set to show hidden files in order to locate the file.

Once the .pbk file is found, you could try to set it to read-only or traffic its permissions so only you can modify it (taking a backup copy is recommended).

If you wish to track down the program that does the change (knowing that the answer might simply be "Windows"), you may try the following resources:

  • Thanks for all of the time you put into helping me fix this. I really appreciate it. – Dave May 13 at 18:01

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