Exclude applications from Mozilla VPN protection

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App exclusions is a feature of Mozilla VPN that lets you choose which apps to connect directly to the internet and which ones to protect with the VPN. This way, you can protect your sensitive data with VPN encryption while accessing other services that may not be compatible or not have optimal performance when connected via VPN. For instance, you can use VPN for your browser but bypass it for your online gaming, which may have a performance decrease when connecting through a VPN.

In this article, you will learn how to use app exclusion and its benefits for online privacy and security.

Warning: This feature is currently available on Windows, Android and Linux devices. On macOS and iOS devices, you will need to manually turn the VPN off when using an application that is not be compatible or do not have have optimal performance when connected via VPN.

How to exclude apps from VPN protection

To exclude applications from VPN protection, you need to change the app permissions settings:

  1. Open Mozilla VPN and go to Settings.
    App exclusion - settings
  2. Select App Exclusions.
    App exclusion - menu
  3. Under App exclusions, check the boxes next to the apps whose data you don't want to go through the VPN tunnel.
    Note: If you want to start over and deselect all your chosen apps, select the Clear all option.
    App exclusion - select
  4. Nice work! A success message will confirm that the selected apps are no longer routed through the VPN and will now connect directly to the Internet.
    App exclusion - success
On Linux, app exclusions are only supported if the following two conditions are met:
  • Control groups version 1 is mounted somewhere (should be the case for any Debian-based distro).
  • The user is running a desktop environment based on GTK. This should include GNOME, MATE, Unity and Cinnamon (notably missing are KDE and XFCE).

Common questions

I can’t see the app permissions menu in the settings on Linux

On Linux, the App exclusions feature is only available if the two conditions stated in the note above are met.

Why would I want to exclude certain applications?

Using a VPN can impact the performance of certain online games and streaming apps, as the added routing can slow down your internet connection. Additionally, some banking apps may not allow connections through a VPN for security reasons.

My excluded app cannot connect to the Internet

Some excluded apps need to be restarted once Mozilla VPN is turned on.

I can’t add Microsoft Store apps to the list of excluded apps

Microsoft store apps (non-win32 aka UWP apps) are not supported.

My app is not on the list

You can scroll to the bottom of the list and add the missing application manually.

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