(VPN) Windows 8.1 Known Issue

"Failed to initialize connection subsystem"

Windows 8.1 users may experience an issue with Cisco AnyConnect suddenly quitting and coming up with the error "Failed to initialize connection subsystem." A Windows security update that was recently released (Microsoft update KB3023607) has caused this issue.

To fix this, the program will need to be run in compatibility mode. There are two ways to enable compatibility mode for the Cisco VPN? client.

NOTE: Before proceeding, make sure to close out of the Cisco AnyConnect Client. This can be done by right clicking on the icon in your taskbar (generally in the bottom right of the desktop) and then click on quit.

Method 1

  1. Open up Windows explorer and navigate to the AnyConnect folder. The default location for this is at C:\Program Files (x86)\Cisco\Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client

    You can quickly browse to this folder by copy&pasting the location into Windows Explorer as follows.

  2. Locate the vpnui.exe program (may be listed as vpnui) and right click on it
  3. Select Properties
  4. Click on the Compatibility tab
  5. Check Run this program in compatibility mode for:
  6. Select Windows 8


  7. Click OK


Method 2

  1. Open up Windows explorer and navigate to the AnyConnect folder (refer to step A in Method 1)
  2. Right click on vpnui.exe
  3. Select "Troubleshoot Compatibility"
  4. After the window loads, select "Try Recommended Settings" 
  5. Click on "Test Program." This will open the program, allowing you to sign in.

If the program still does not open after following both methods listed, you may have to do the same thing with the vpnagent.exe file located in the same AnyConnect folder.