VPN, CISCO AnyConnect, Installing Cisco AnyConnect VPN for Mac OS

This page contains links to download and installation instructions for VPN software for Mac OS

University of Illinois students, faculty, and staff can use these directions to set up their Mac OS computers or devices to connect to the Virtual Private Network (VPN).

If you have a guest account, Technology Services recommends IllinoisNet Wireless for on-campus use. Contact your host for help downloading and installing the VPN if you need guest access for off-campus use.

Quick Start

Detailed instructions are provided below.

Downloading the VPN software

  1. Download the Mac VPN installation package from the WebStore.
  2. Save the file at an easily findable location, such as your desktop.

Installing the VPN software

  1. Go to the location where you saved the VPN installation package.
  2. Double-click on the .dmg file.
  3. The AnyConnect Installer will launch. Click Continue.


  4. Accept the End User License Agreement (EULA) when prompted: First click Continue, then Agree.



  5. If given a choice of which packages to install, select only the VPN item and click Continue. Depending on the installer you might not be given a choice.
    VPN Only

  6. The installer will estimate how much space is needed. Click Install.


  7. You'll be prompted that Installer is trying to install new software.
    NOTE: This prompt is not asking for your NetID; it asks for your local user name and password on that specific computer.
    • Enter your local user name.
    • Enter your local computer password.
    • Click Install Software.


  8. After the software is installed, you'll receive the message "The installation was successful". Click Close.

  9. After installation is complete, your Applications folder will have a new Cisco subfolder containing  the AnyConnect VPN.

Security Warnings

Mac OS 10.14, 10.15, and 11 (Big Sur) will warn you that the Cisco software is trying to load an extension (it might be a kernel extension or a system extension, depending on your OS and the Cisco version). In either case you need to approve this in order for the VPN software to work correctly. To do this go to System Preferences -> Security and Privacy and on the General tab you will see a notice that Cisco AnyConnect has requested to install System Software or a kernel extension and a button marked "allow".  If the icon in the lower left is "locked" you'll need to click on that to unlock for changes and provide an administrator password to make the button clickable. Verify that it says Cisco AnyConnect is requesting the change, and then click "allow".  Follow any other on screen directions, or dismiss any dialog boxes that say it has been allowed.

Starting the software

After you've completed downloading and installing, the Cisco AnyConnect VPN software will be installed in the Application folder's Cisco folder.


Logging in

When you launch the Cisco AnyConnect client, you'll be prompted to enter the VPN server you wish to connect to.

  • Enter vpn.illinois.edu.
  • Click Connect.

When the connection process begins, you'll be asked for three pieces of information.

  • Group: 1_SplitTunnel_Default
    (Note: This is the most common choice. See About VPN Profiles for information about the alternatives, such as Tunnel All for access to library resources.)
  • Username: Your NetID
    (or, if you're a guest, your guest ID)
  • Password: Your Active Directory password
    (or, if you're a guest, your guest password)

Note: If you want to access Library resources without logging in to the Library Gateway, you should change to the Tunnel All profile.


When the VPN connects, a new icon will be added to your dock. The icon will show a lock image while the VPN is connected.

Show the dock with the VPN connected.



When you're done using the VPN connection, disconnect it.

  1. Click on the AnyConnect VPN icon in your task bar.
  2. In the window that appears, click Disconnect.


Troubleshooting and the Statistics window

The Cisco AnyConnect VPN client gathers information that can help you with troubleshooting speed or connectivity issues.  It may be helpful to open the Statistics window while troubleshooting with the Help Desk.

To open the Statistics window:

  1. Click the graph icon toward the lower left corner of the VPN window.
  2. Choose among the tabs as directed to help your Help Desk consultant with troubleshooting.


More help

For more help, contact the Help Desk during the Help Desk's hours of operation.

Keywords:Mac, OS X, Cisco, AnyConnect, VPN, remote, Big sur   Doc ID:47629
Owner:Debbie F.Group:University of Illinois Technology Services
Created:2015-02-26 10:20 CDTUpdated:2021-01-23 13:11 CDT
Sites:University of Illinois Technology Services
Feedback:  183   31