Docs / Admin

Manage client preferences

Admins can manage devices on a network, and restrict which devices can connect using Access Control Lists (ACLs).

Individual users still have control over their own devices, to block incoming connections from Tailscale or to ignore Tailscale’s DNS settings and advertised routes.

Default configuration

By default, a Tailscale client will:

  • Allow incoming connections
  • Use Tailscale DNS settings

macOS, Windows, and other non-Linux devices use Tailscale subnets by default. Linux devices do not use Tailscale by default.

Allow incoming connections

If other devices on your tailnet are allowed to connect to your device based on ACLs, then the connection will be created. ACLs are directional, so that an ACL rule allowing your laptop to connect to a webserver does not allow the webserver to initiate connections to your laptop.

If you want to block all incoming connections, you can do so. This is also known as “shields up”. In the menu bar of your device, uncheck “Allow incoming connections.” When unchecked, your device will still be visible and allowed to send traffic, but won’t accept any connections over Tailscale, including pings.

Toggling incoming connections

This can be configured in the client menu bar or the CLI.

In the client menu bar

macOS

From the menu bar, click on Tailscale and check/uncheck “Allow incoming connections.”

iOS

iOS does not support blocking incoming connections.

Android

Android does not support blocking incoming connections.

Windows

From the system tray, right click on the Tailscale icon and check/uncheck “Allow incoming connections.”

Linux

Linux can only be configured via the CLI.

In the CLI

To block incoming connections:

tailscale up --shields-up

To allow incoming connections (default):

tailscale up --shields-up=false

Use Tailscale DNS settings

If an Admin has configured DNS settings for your tailnet, including MagicDNS or split DNS, then DNS queries for devices in your Tailscale network will respect those settings.

If you are using an exit node, your local DNS is the DNS for the exit node, not your device.

This can be configured in the client menu bar or the CLI.

In the client menu bar

If you want to only use local DNS, in the menu bar of your device, uncheck “Use Tailscale DNS settings”.

In the CLI

To use Tailscale DNS settings (default):

tailscale up --accept-dns=true

To not use Tailscale DNS settings:

tailscale up --accept-dns=false

Use Tailscale subnets

If an Admin has created subnet routes for your tailnet, then Tailscale will route your device’s traffic for the advertised subnets to the appropriate subnet router.

This can be configured in the client menu bar or the CLI.

In the client menu bar

If you want to ignore the advertised routes, in the menu bar of your device, uncheck “Use Tailscale subnets”.

In the CLI

To use Tailscale subnets (default, except for Linux):

tailscale up --accept-routes=true

To not use Tailscale subnets (default on Linux):

tailscale up --accept-routes=false

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