Some VPN users exclusive to Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client are reporting the issue whereby when they try to launch the VPN software or try to start/connect/enable the program on their Windows 11 or Windows 10 computer they get the error message VPN Agent Service not responding or starting. This post is intended to help affected users with the most suitable fixes.
The full error message when the issue occurs on your system reads thus;
The VPN Agent Service is not responding. Please restart this application after a minute.
As reported by most affected users, restarting the application as suggested on the error prompt didn’t work for them.
VPN Agent Service not responding or starting
If you’re encountering the issue whereby the VPN Agent Service is not responding or starting when you try to start the Cisco AnyConnect VPN software installed on your Windows 11/10 system, you can try our recommended solutions in the order presented below to resolve the issue.
- Initial checklist
- Check essential Cisco AnyConnect Services
- Reinstall Cisco AnyConnect VPN software
- Reset Windows 11/10
Let’s see a quick descritption of these suggestions.
Read: Cisco AnyConnect error Connection attempt failed
1] Initial checklist
Before you try anything else, make sure you tick all the boxes on the following pre-task and see if the VPN software will start normally without throwing any error message.
Assuming that you are using the latest Cisco AnyConnect application, couple of things to check off your list:
- Did you install the VPN client as an administrator AND running the program as an administrator? In any case, you can try these options: allow Standard users to run a Program with Admin rights, login as an Administrator before attempting to install or run the program, and you can grant or get Elevated Privileges.
- Make sure your antivirus or any 3rd-party firewall is not causing the issue. For this, you can simply temporarily disable your security software. This largely depends on the security software you have installed. Refer to the instruction manual. Generally. to disable your antivirus software, locate its icon in the notification area or system tray on the taskbar (usually in the lower right corner of the desktop). Right-click the icon and choose the option to disable or exit the program.
- It might not seem to matter or obvious, but it will save you many minor ‘headaches’ caused by slightly outdated Windows version/build; always check for updates and install any available bits on your Windows 11/10 device and see if the error reappears.
Read: Fix VPN not working problems and issues in Windows
2] Check essential Cisco AnyConnect Services
Investigations revealed that a couple of main services especially Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Agent service associated with the VPN client in question triggers the VPN Agent Service is not responding or starting on your Windows 11/10 system. In this case, to resolve the issue in hand, you may need to change its Startup Type to Manual or Automatic if it is Disabled before it will allow you to start it.
Do the following:
- Press Windows key + R to invoke the Run dialog.
- In the Run dialog box, type services.msc and hit Enter to open Services.
- In the Services window, scroll and locate the Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Agent service.
- Double-click on the entry to edit its properties.
- In the properties window, click the drop-down on the Startup type and select Automatic.
- Next, make sure the service is started.
- Click Apply > OK to save changes.
- Relaunch the Cisco AnyConnect VPN software.
If you confirm all services are set as suggested, but the issue remains, you can restart your PC and see if that helps.
Read: How to restore missing or deleted Services in Windows
3] Reinstall Cisco AnyConnect VPN software
For most affected PC users, what worked for them is Solution 1]. But in the event this isn’t the case for you, reinstalling the VPN client should get the job done! And when you uninstall, make sure all the files from the AnyConnect installation directory are deleted (if not, delete them manually). So, to uninstall the software, we recommend using any of the free third-party software uninstaller for Windows 11/10. Once the clean uninstall is completed, you can download the latest version of the software and install normally on your device.
If the issue persists, try the next solution.
4] Reset Windows 11/10
In the unlikely event neither of the solutions above worked for you to fix the error in view, then it’s safe to assume you may be facing some sort of system corruption. In this case, you can reset Windows 11/10 with the option to keep your personal files. Once the reset procedure completes successfully on your device, you can then reinstall the latest version of the software.
Hope this helps!
Related post: Fix VPN Connection, Can’t connect to VPN connection error
Why is Cisco AnyConnect not working?
If Cisco AnyConnect is not working on your Windows 11/10 PC, you may need to allow the app through Windows Firewall. In the Windows Search bar, type Allow an app and open Allow an app through Windows Firewall. Click Change settings. Make sure that Cisco VPN is on the list, and it’s allowed to communicate through Windows Firewall. If that’s not the case, click Allow another app and add it.
Why can’t I log into Cisco AnyConnect?
The “Login failed” error message appears when you have entered an incorrect or invalid username or password combination, when trying to log into the Campus or 2-factor VPN services, via the Web VPN gateway with your browser, or via the Cisco AnyConnect client.