Why can't the Plex app find or connect to my Plex Media Server?

If your Plex app is not finding or connecting to your Plex Media Server, please first ensure that:

  1. You are running a current version of the Plex Media Server. Check our Downloads page for the latest version.
  2. You've signed into the Plex Media Server using your Plex account
  3. Your app is signed in and connected to your account

Related Page: Plex Downloads
Related Page: Sign in to Your Plex Account

General Troubleshooting

Here are some general troubleshooting steps you can take:

  • Ensure you have the current version of Plex Media Server installed
  • Ensure that Plex Media Server is actually actively running
  • Verify that your Server is listed on your Devices page
  • Disable any VPN on your computer or router
  • Disable any proxies being used on your computer or router
  • Make sure you aren't requiring secure connections on the server while using an app that doesn't support them (see below)

Once you've checked those:

  1. Sign out of your Plex account in both the app and Plex Media Server
  2. Sign into your account in the Server
  3. Then sign into your account in the Plex app

Depending on whether your app is local or remote to the Server, there are also other things to check. If you continue to have an issue, then posting details in our support forums will be the best resource for you. See the Related Page information for additional information you can gather.

Related Page: Plex Support Forums
Related Page: Using plex.tv resources information to troubleshoot app connections

App and Server Are on the Same Network

When both your Plex app and Plex Media Server are on the same local network:

  • Make sure both the Server and app are on the same subnet of the network

Tip!: Make sure the subnet mask (netmask) is set correctly, so that the devices are actually treated as being on the same subnet.

App Is Remote from the Server

If your app is not on the same network as your Plex Media Server:

  • Ensure that Remote Access has been successfully enabled for the Server

Related Page: Plex Services > Enabling Remote Access for a Server

Can't Access Server Settings

In some cases, you may find that the Server entry doesn't appear for you under Settings in the web app and thus you can't try to sign in to the Server. This typically occurs when you're not yet signed in on the Server and you're using the hosted Plex Web App.

  1. Load the "local" version of the Plex Web App on your Server computer using http://localhost:32400/web or, for instance
  2. Sign in to the Plex Web App
  3. Access the Server settings and sign in to the Server

Once you've done that, your Plex Media Server should appear when using the hosted Plex Web App, too.

Related Page: Opening Plex Web App
Related Page: Why am I locked out of Server Settings and how do I get in?

Using a Third-Party App That Cannot Sign In

Starting with version 1.1.0 of Plex Media Server, security improvements were made to help protect users. Basically, if you are signed in to Plex Media Server, then apps accessing the server must also be signed in.

In rare cases, you may have an old, deprecated app that does not support signing in such as LG's "Media Link" or "Smart Share" apps. To allow such apps to access your Plex Media Server, you will need to make a specific exception for them.

  1. Find out the local IP address of the device on which the app is running. You will typically be able to find this in the device's system settings.
  2. In your Plex Web App, go to Settings > Server > Network.
  3. Enter the IP address from step one into the List of IP addresses and networks that are allowed without auth setting and save.

Related Page: Server Settings> Network

Some third party apps also cannot connect if you have added a security PIN to your account. If you need to remove your Account PIN you can do that on your Account Info page.

Related Page: Users > My Home
Related Page: I forgot my Plex Account PIN; how can I reset it? How can I change my PIN?

Third-party clients also generally cannot connect via secure connections. See the Secure Connections information below for more details.

Secure Connections

By default, the Plex Media Server will prefer to use secure connections for apps that support them. Not all apps support connecting securely yet, though. You should make sure you aren't unintentionally blocking unsupported apps.

  1. Check if your app supports secure connections
  2. If the app is not supported, make sure that you have the Secure connections server setting set to Preferred (not Required)

Related Page: How to Use Secure Server Connections
Related Page: Plex Media Server > Server Settings > Network

DNS Rebinding

Some routers or modems won't allow DNS Rebinding by default, which can affect or even prevent an app from being able to connect with a Plex Media Server on the local network. For most users, this won't be an issue, but some users of more advanced routers (or those provided by some ISPs) may run into issues.

Similarly, some DNS providers (such as your ISP) may prevent DNS Rebinding.

See the DNS Rebinding information in our How to Use Secure Server Connections article.

Related Page: How to Use Secure Server Connections

Antivirus or Security Software Interference

In a small number of cases, we've seen users with antivirus or security software that interfered with things in such a way as to cause an app to be unable to connect with Plex Media Server.

Some possible causes (though this is not an exhaustive list):

  • Security software on computer
  • Antivirus software on computer
  • Proxy (on computer or network)
  • VPN

Software known to have caused issues previously:

  • ESET
  • Kaspersky

Please see the "Possible Solutions" information in the following article for additional details.

Related Page: Plex Media Server can't sign in to Plex Account

VPN on the Plex Media Server Computer

The platforms on which some Plex apps run don't allow us to actively scan the network to try and find available Plex Media Servers. Other platforms don't allow direct communication to any private IP (e.g. any IP on your local network). Among others, the PlayStation, Smart TVs, and Xbox apps are affected by these restrictions.

That means we have to get connection information in another way, which is provided when both the Plex Media Server and the app sign into your Plex account. This is accomplished because your Plex Media Server will send its private and public IP address to plex.tv, which can then be retrieved and used by the Plex app to find servers.

When using a VPN (Virtual Private Network), the IP information can be incorrect because of the VPN and thus the Plex app doesn't have the correct/necessary information to be able to find your Plex Media Server and connect.

What You Can Do

Essentially, you want to make sure that your VPN isn't interfering when your Plex Media Server sends the connection information to plex.tv.

  1. Disable the VPN
  2. Launch Plex Media Server
  3. Ensure that the Server successfully signs in under Settings > Server > General
  4. Enable the VPN

When You Should Do It

You should take the above steps whenever new connection information would be sent to plex.tv, which includes:

  • Launching or restarting the Server
  • Signing in to the Server
  • Whenever your computer experiences a network change (e.g. a laptop switching from wired to wireless connection)