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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  


In order to use this feature on a Mac OS, users must approve this feature within their OS Security Preferences, to do so please follow the below instructions:

Step 1: Checkmark the Split Tunnel Feature and then select the “Security Preferences” option that appears below the feature.  

Note: the application will uncheck the Split Tunnel box until this approval has been made. 


Step 2: Within the “System Extension Blocked” message select “Open Security Preferences” Page Break 



Step 3: Once the Security Preferences window opens you will see a message at the bottom of the “General Tab” stating that the system software from developer “London Trust Media Incorporated”  was blocked from loading. 

In order to make changes to Allow your System to run the Split Tunnel Feature please select the Lock Icon at the bottom of the screen and enter in your Administrator password ( If prompted)



Step 4: Once you have been allowed to make changes select “Allow” Next to the message stating that the system software from developer “London Trust Media Incorporated” was blocked from loading. The message will then disappear and you can then relock the lock and navigate back to the PIA Application and start using the Split Tunnel Feature. 




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