VPN, CISCO AnyConnect, Default server is incorrect in dropdown menu, Windows, Mac

These steps are best used for when the default server is not vpn.cites.illinois.edu upon start up.


1.  Log in to the VPN normally per the instructions at https://answers.uillinois.edu/illinois/page.php?id=47507.

2.  Open a Windows Explorer window.

3.  Copy this file path: "C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\Cisco\Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client" (highlight all of the text between the double quotes, and then copy)

or %USERPROFILE%AppData\Local\Cisco\Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client if not installed on a C: drive.
4.  Paste the copied path into the Address Bar in Windows Explorer.

5.  Press Enter.

6.  Right-click the preferences.xml file and select Edit

7.  Edit the Default Host Name line (by default, this line reads "<DefaultHostName></DefaultHostName>") to the following: <DefaultHostName>vpn.cites.illinois.edu</DefaultHostName>

8.  Click File > Save.

9.  Quit the VPN client by right-clicking the Cisco AnyConnect icon in the system tray (left of the clock) and select Quit.

10. Re-open the Cisco AnyConnect client by selecting it from the Start Menu

11. vpn.cites.illinois.edu should automatically populate in the text box.

Optional: In step 7, you can also edit the Default User line to include your username by adding the following: <DefaultUser>netid</DefaultUser>


1.  Follow this directory: /opt/cisco/anyconnect/profile.
a. Save a copy of the xml to the desktop just to be on the safe side
2.  Open up the .xml and change the current server using Dreamweaver, EditX, Eclipse, Xcode, or any other XML editing software: you'll need to delete what's there under <hostname> (near the bottom of the code), and replace it with vpn.cites.illinois.edu

3.  Then after you save the file, and restart AnyConnect, the correct server should show up automatically on the Anyconnect window every time it is loaded.

Keywords:VPN CISCO connect   Doc ID:47202
Owner:Debbie F.Group:University of Illinois Technology Services
Created:2015-02-15 17:40 CDTUpdated:2017-10-06 10:29 CDT
Sites:University of Illinois Technology Services
Feedback:  36   2