Resolve “Failed to initialize connection subsystem” error on Cisco AnyConnect VPN Client in Windows 8.1

Joseph Knight -

The "Failed to initialize connection subsystem" error may display if you attempt to connect to VPN using a computer that is running Windows 8.1. This error is not known to appear on computers running Windows 7.

The error is due to an Operating System compatibility with the Cisco VPN client on Windows 8.1. Please follow the steps below to fix this issue if you should encounter this error.

  1. Open the Charms bar in Windows 8.1 (place the cursor in the upper-right corner of the screen) and search for Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client

  2. Right-click the icon and select Open file location

  3. Right-click the Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client (Shortcut) and select Properties

  4. Select the 'Compatibility' Tab and check the box Run this program in compatibility mode for: and select Windows 8 in the drop-down list

  5. Click 'OK' to close the window.

  6. Restart the computer

After the computer restarts, you should be able to launch the Cisco VPN client and successfully connect to the VPN.

If you continue to experience problems with connecting to the VPN, please report the issue to the NAM Help Desk using one of the contact methods below:

Create a ticket - Click HERE
Send an e-mail - Click HERE
Call 410-309-0200 and ask to be transferred to the Help Desk


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