Here's what I'm doing:

  • I create a new VPN connection using Control Panel\Network and Sharing Center
    • Control Panel\Network and Sharing Center
    • Set up a new connection or Network
    • Connect to a workplace
    • Use my Internet connection (VPN)
  • Connect to the VPN successfully
  • reboot machine

After doing a reboot, I need to connect to the VPN. When I click on Network and Sharing Center\Network Connections the VPN connection I just created isn't displayed as an icon. When I click on the taskbar icon Network and Sharing Center icon the VPN connection is not listed.

How do you connect/disconnect/edit the VPN connection when the VPN is not listed in Network Connections or taskbar?


Open rasphone and click the Connect button and you will connect successfully to your VPN connection even though it doesn't show up in the Network Connections.

Here is a more detailed explanation.

I found out online that Windows 7 has a less user friendly command line method for handling VPN related issues. There are two command line tools specifically:

  • rasdial used for connecting to a VPN that is already created
  • rasphone used for creating/editing a VPN connection

When I tried rasphone I found out that there were many existing VPN connections already created. Everytime I tried creating a new VPN connection there was an entry being shown in the rasphone listing!

rasphone has the following features:

  • GUI pull down to list all VPN connections previously created (in my case they were all created from the Network and Sharing Center
  • GUI button to Connect/Disconnect/shows-status
  • GUI properties button
  • GUI new button
  • Screenshot enter image description here


  • To connect/disconnect: open rasphone click the connect/disconnect button
  • To edit the VPN connection: open rasphone click the Properties button
  • To delete a VPN connection is a little more tricky
    • each VPN connection is stored in a text file with extension *.pbk
    • there are two *.pbk files that rasphone looks at when you open it
    • user's *.pbk file located at: C:\Users\%USERNAME%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Network\Connections\Pbk\rasphone.pbk
    • system *.pbk file located at: C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Network\Connections\Pbk\rasphone.pbk
    • In my case there were many redundant VPN connections so I edited the *.pbk file and deleted the redundant VPN connections in both files
    • I left only the most recent VPN connection that I had successfully connected to
    • you can edit the *.pbk file manually however I wouldn't recommend it unless you are intimately familiar with what is valid/invalid edits to the key/value pairs and so if you aren't an expert you may break what you are trying to edit
  • Thanks, Trevor. In my case, I was using Windows 10 Enterprise edition, and its UI and/or whatever it triggered, had issues; 1) If I was connected, after left-clicking on the connection, expected buttons to appear (including "Disconnect"), actually no buttons appear 2) If I was disconnected and I tried to connect, I got error code 691, which is something like " Access denied because username and/or password is invalid on the domain.". When I used rasphone to connect, it prompted me for a username and password (and a domain!), and once I entered those, it connected successfully. Thanks again! – The Red Pea May 18 '17 at 19:27
  • Even after connecting via rasphone the first time, and hoping the Windows 10 UI (i.e. Settings > VPN) will work subsequent attempts. I was wrong; Windows 10 UI doesn't work after that; fails for yet another reason. rasphone continues to work fine. Long live rasphone I guess! – The Red Pea May 18 '17 at 19:40

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