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Install and Configure the Cisco AnyConnect Software VPN on a Mac

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26.0 - Updated on 07-22-2021 by Sylvia Bass

25.0 - Updated on 07-13-2021 by Mike Caban

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11.0 - Updated on 12-07-2020 by Mike Caban

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9.0 - Updated on 10-15-2020 by Mike Caban

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1.0 - Authored on 05-07-2015 by Mike Caban

Installing the VPN Client

  1. Download the AnyConnect VPN client for macOS (compatible with 10.14 Mojave, 10.15 Catalina, and 11 Big Sur). 
  2. In your Downloads folder, double-click the file you just downloaded to open it. An icon will appear on the desktop called AnyConnect, and a separate window will open.
  3. Double-click on AnyConnect.mpkg to run the installer, then follow the steps to complete the installation. NOTE: We recommend you un-check everything (Web Security, Umbrella, etc) except for the VPN and the Diagnostic and Reporting Tool (DART). This will give you a minimal install. The other features are not supported so there's no need to install them.
    • NOTE: During the installation, you will be prompted to enable the AnyConnect software extension in the System Preferences -> Security & Privacy pane. If you're running Big Sur (macOS 11), you will see another popup for the new Cisco AnyConnect Socket Filter. Select "Allow" to complete the installation.

Starting the VPN Client

Starting at 5pm on Monday, July 12, 2021, the process of connecting to the VPN will change slightly. After you select the Connect button, a popup window will appear where you will enter your UCInetID and password. If you are enrolled in the Duo MFA system, you will then be prompted to use Duo. Please note that if you are unable to connect to the VPN using the new method, change the connection group in the pulldown menu to either 'UCI-classic' or 'UCIFull-classic'. The original login screen will appear where you'll enter your UCInetID and password. Below the password box, type the word 'push' (without the quotes) and then select OK. You will receive a push from Duo and will be able to login.

  1. In your Applications folder, go to the Cisco folder and double-click the Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client.
  2. Enter vpn.uci.edu in the Ready to Connect to field, then press the Connect button.
  3. A popup will appear where you will enter your UCInetID and password. By default, you will be connected to the Default-UCI connection profile/group. If you need to change this you can select your desired connection profile from the Group drop-down menu: (NOTE this window may be hidden slightly behind the login window)
    • UCIFULL – Route all traffic through the UCI VPN.
      • IMPORTANTUse UCIFULL when accessing Library resources.
    • Default-UCI – Route only campus traffic through the UCI VPN. All other traffic goes through your normal Internet provider.
  4. Back in the login window, enter your UCInetID and password, then click OK.
  5. A banner window will appear. Click Accept to close that window. You are now connected!

Please note that if you are unable to connect to the VPN using the new method for whatever reason, follow these steps instead.

  1. Enter vpn.uci.edu in the Ready to Connect to field, then press the Connect button.
  2. A popup will appear where you will enter your UCInetID and password. Do not enter your credentials yet. You must first change your connection group. (NOTE this window may be hidden slightly behind the login window)
    • UCIFULL-classic – Route all traffic through the UCI VPN.
      • IMPORTANTUse UCIFULL-classic when accessing Library resources.
    • UCI-classic – Route only campus traffic through the UCI VPN. All other traffic goes through your normal Internet provider.
  3. Back in the login window, enter your UCInetID and password, then click OK.
  4. A banner window will appear. Click Accept to close that window. You are now connected!

Disconnecting the VPN Client

When you are finished using the VPN, remember to disconnect.

  1. Click the AnyConnect client icon located in the menu bar near the top right corner of your screen.
  2. Select Quit.