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Configuring macOS to access the IT Services VPN Service using the Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client

This document contains instructions on how to obtain, install and configure the Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client (formerly the AnyConnect VPN Client) on macOS 10.13, 10.14 and 10.15 to access the IT Services VPN Service.

In order to use the VPN service, you will need to have the necessary Remote Access Services username and password. For details see the online self registration service page.

If you have any issues using the Cisco AnyConnect VPN client, on macOS you can instead configure the native VPN client on macOS.

Please make sure that you have read the introduction and general requirements, which apply to all VPN clients, before attempting to configure your computer or mobile device to connect to the VPN.

1. Installing and Configuring the Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client

1.1. Obtaining the AnyConnect Client Software

In order to use the VPN service you must install the Cisco AnyConnect Client software, which you may download from the IT Services self-registration pages.

  1. Log in to the IT Services self-registration pages at
  2. Select VPN Client from the list and click on Submit.

  3. If you have not registered to use the VPN software, you will be prompted to do so.
  4. Once registered, you should see the VPN Client download page. Select the appropriate download for your operating system (MacOS).
  5. If you are prompted to choose what to do with the downloaded file, choose the option to [Save] and save the file (called something like anyconnect-macos.dmg) to a convenient temporary storage location on your computer's hard disk. Make a note of the file's location.

Use of the VPN client software is restricted to users of the IT Services Remote Access Service only — see the web page Usage Terms for Software Agreements for details.

1.2. Installing the AnyConnect Client Software

The file you download from our website (anyconnect-macos.dmg or similar) is a special type of file called a disk image. Depending on the method you use to download the file, a disk image called something like AnyConnect 4.5.01044 may be mounted automatically on your Mac desktop and opened automatically. The installer may also launch automatically in which case you will be prompted with a choice of Cancel or Continue. If this happens you can skip the next couple of steps.

If this doesn't happen automatically you may need to find the file that you downloaded (called anyconnect-macos.dmg or similar) and double-click on it to mount the disk image (in this example called AnyConnect 4.5.01044 but the numbers may be different for newer releases).

You may then need to double-click on the disk image (here called AnyConnect 4.5.01044) to see a file called AnyConnect.pkg.

Once you can see the AnyConnect.pkg file, double-click on it to start the VPN client Installer.

The main vpnclient installer window will appear. Click Continue to start the installer.

The licence agreement appears. Read the licence and click Continue.

You will then be asked whether you agree to the terms of the agreement. If you do, click on Agree to continue with the installation.

The next screen allows you to select which components you would like to install. De-select all components except for VPN and Diagnostics and Reporting Tool, click Contine to continue with the installation.

The next screen will tell you how much space the VPN client will require to install on your computer. Click  Install to start the installation.

You'll probably be asked to enter your password to confirm that you want to install the software. Enter it and click on Install Software.

Once you do, the installation will start and you'll see the progress of the installation. The VPN normally takes just a few seconds to install and you'll see the final screen. Click on Close to close the installation window.

2. Making the AnyConnect VPN Connection

  1. First make sure that you have connected to the Internet as you usually do.
  2. Go to your Applications folder and open the Cisco folder.
    Cisco folder
  3. Double-click on Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client to start the program.
    Contents of Cisco folder (version 3.x client)
  4. The first time you run the program, you will need to enter and click on Select

    After a couple of seconds you will then be prompted to fill in your username and password. Please remember to use your Remote Access Account details.

  5. When you run the client next time, the Connect to: box will be populated and you should see the username and password box automatically. If the connection is successful, you will see a window saying "Connected:"
  6. You will also see an icon in your menu bar. The orange dot indicates that the connection is established. 
    AnyConnect VPN connected (version 3.x)

3. Closing the AnyConnect VPN Connection

  1. Click on the AnyConnect VPN Connection On the menu that appears, select [Disconnect].
    AnyConnect VPN menu (version 3.x)
  2. The orange dot will disappear from the icon. This means that the VPN connection is terminated but that the VPN client software is still loaded.
    AnyConnect VPN disconnected (version 3.x)
  3. If you want to reconnect you can click on the AnyConnect VPN Client icon and choose [Connect] or [Bring AnyConnect to Front]to re-open the program. If you want to completely quit the VPN client you choose [Quit Cisco AnyConnect] instead. The icon should then disappear from your screen.

4. Further Information

For answers to common questions and solutions to any more frequently encountered problems please see the Frequently Asked Questions for Cisco AnyConnect VPN Client web page. For further information you can also refer to the Cisco AnyConnect VPN Client release notes.


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Written by IT Services. Latest revision 10 October 2019