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Desktop Application Split Tunneling Feature - Knowledgebase / Technical / Application Settings and Features / Application & Features - PIA Support Portal

Desktop Application Split Tunneling Feature

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Desktop Application Split Tunneling Feature

Split Tunneling allows you to specify which apps can bypass or use the VPN. Within the Network tab in the PIA desktop application settings, check the check box for Split Tunneling. 

Once the box is checked, click the “ Add Application” and allow the application to search for programs on your computer. 


Once the list is available, choose your desired application, and then select exclude to add them to the app exclusion list. The search bar can be used if you wish to narrow down the available list to a specific program. Or you can perform a manual search of your computer if you do not see the application you are looking for by clicking the browse option next to the search bar. 

Once an application is added to the exclusion list, the app you have added may need to be restarted in order for the changes to be applied. The applications added to the app exclusions list can always be removed by clicking on the ‘X’ for each entry on the list.

Inverse Split Tunneling:

Inverse Split Tunneling will allow apps to be configured to use the VPN only or bypass the VPN. This will be found in the same location as before within the Network Preferences. 

If an app is selected to bypass the VPN, that application will operate normally whether the VPN is connected or disconnected.

If an app is selected to Use VPN, that application will connect when the VPN is connected. In all other cases the application will be blocked from reaching the internet when the VPN is closed or disconnected. 

IP Split Tunneling:

You are now able to add specific IP addresses and subnets to be excluded from the VPN. Both IPv4 and IPv6 are supported. The IPs and subnets specified in these rules are routed through the normal non-VPN gateway.

DNS Split Tunneling (Windows and Linux):

On Windows and Linux, split tunnel now also splits DNS traffic. (This means that "bypass" apps use your existing DNS, and "VPN" apps use the VPN DNS configured in the PIA app.)

The default is "Follow App Rules", which means that "bypass" apps use existing DNS, while "VPN" apps use the VPN configured DNS (PIA DNS or any other selection made in PIA if a custom DNS is set).

Enabling Split Tunneling 


Step 1: Check mark the Split Tunnel Feature to enable it. 

Step 2: Click the Add Application button to begin the search for applications and more.  

Step 3: Select the desired application from the populated list. 

Step 4: Once added, the application will be listed with the options to Bypass VPN or Only VPN.


For Windows users once you have checked Marked the Split Tunnel Feature a User Account Control Window may appear, asking for you to allow this application to make changes to your device. Select “Yes” and then start using the Split Tunnel Feature.