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YouTube provides entertainment and education for people worldwide, but various restrictions — including network filters and geo restrictions — can block YouTube videos on your device. In our step-by-step guide, we’ll show you how to unblock YouTube videos using a proxy, Tor, and browser add-ons. Then, get a VPN to access all the content you want while keeping your communications private.
Unblocking YouTube doesn’t have to be a stressful endeavor. But, while some countries allow the use of proxies, VPNs, and other tools that let you access blocked YouTube content, you need to check whether or not using these tools is legal in your area.
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YouTube may be blocked for several reasons, including age restrictions, geo-blocking and licensing restrictions, or network restrictions set up by your school or employer. Understanding why videos are restricted can help you unblock YouTube videos so you can keep watching your favorite channels.
Here are some of the reasons YouTube might be blocked:
Sometimes YouTube content such as movie clips, sports highlights, or music videos are geo-blocked in your country because they were uploaded by a channel that doesn’t own the broadcasting rights in that region.
Certain countries and regions have national bans on YouTube and other streaming sites for political reasons. YouTube is currently blocked in countries like China, Iran, and North Korea. While other countries — such as South Korea — censor specific content.
YouTube allows owners of videos to set their own region restrictions. Video creators and owners may choose to make some of their content unavailable in particular regions, usually because of licensing rights.
Age-restricted YouTube videos are only viewable if you’re logged in and over 18. YouTube content is usually age-restricted if it displays dangerous activities, use of regulated substances, nudity, violence, or vulgar language.
An example of a blocked YouTube video.
There are several ways to get YouTube unblocked — try using a VPN, connecting via proxy server or browser add-on, installing Tor browser, or even “translating” your desired website into a new address with Google Translate.
Here are the best methods for unblocking YouTube content:
Using a VPN is the simplest and most secure way to unblock YouTube, because it automatically encrypts your internet connection and hides your IP address. VPNs can also route internet traffic through your chosen server location, keeping your true location hidden. This means you can use a VPN to bypass geo-restrictions and unblock YouTube channels not available in your region.
Unblocking websites with a VPN gives you the best balance of security, privacy, and freedom online. But, you may not be able to download a VPN on a school computer or work device. On a personal device, you can download a VPN for PC, Mac, iPhone, or Android, and use it to connect to the school’s Wi-Fi while bypassing network restrictions.
And you don’t need a specialized YouTube unblocker — a quality VPN like Avast SecureLine VPN will do the trick. Simply download and install the VPN on your computer or phone. Then, if you want to access blocked content, change your server location to a region where the content isn’t geo-blocked. This is especially helpful when you’re traveling abroad and want to access all the shows you normally watch at home.
Like VPNs, proxy servers connect you to the internet via an intermediary server. Most proxies can also block your IP address, allowing you to bypass various firewalls, and geographic or network restrictions. But unlike VPNs, most proxy servers cannot encrypt your connection, making you more vulnerable to data breaches and other online threats. Additionally, some free proxy sites sell user data to third parties.
YouTube proxy sites forward your traffic to a proxy server, which communicates with the web on your behalf.
You can set up a connection to a proxy server through your computer’s built-in proxy settings, but if you only want to unblock a single YouTube video, one of the following options may be simpler:
As the name suggests, web proxies are accessed through a website. They operate by forwarding your server requests to a proxy server, which then communicates on your behalf with the website you are trying to access.
Several web proxies devoted specifically to YouTube exist, including:
YouTube proxy sites like these require that you paste the individual URL of each blocked YouTube video you want to access, which may not be the best long-term option. Additionally, as with most proxies, your viewing data is accessible to the proxy site owners and at risk of being accessed by hackers and other cybercriminals.
You can also install a browser extension that lets you unblock YouTube with a proxy server. These add-ons are essentially a lightweight proxy. Instead of connecting via your computer settings, you’re connecting through your browser only when you want to. Some add-ons are marketed specifically for unblocking YouTube, though generic ones can serve the same function.
Not all browser proxy add-ons are created equal — if you plan to use one regularly, make sure your web traffic is covered with HTTPS encryption.
While HTTP proxies (like web proxies and browser add-ons) only work with HTTP and HTTPS web pages, SOCKS proxies are what’s called “protocol agnostic.” This means they can work with all types of protocols — including TCP/IP and UDP. That adds flexibility and can make them faster and less error-prone than other proxies. However, it also makes them riskier — they’re mainly used for peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing.
The open-source Tor browser anonymizes web traffic by redirecting it through its own servers (nodes), which hides the location of both website hosts and visitors. The Tor browser is the primary way to access the dark web, which is the unindexed part of the internet. However, Tor is not the best option for unblocking YouTube videos.
Its complex encryption process relies on a series of volunteer networks, making it slow and unreliable for steaming videos. Tor is an extreme choice for simple YouTube unblocking, because a VPN or proxy can do the trick more efficiently — and without alerting the NSA.
Depending on which browser you’re using to access the internet, you may be able to install add-ons that allow you to watch YouTube unblocked. These can be a relatively quick and simple solution in situations where you can’t install a VPN. Specialized add-on YouTube unblockers are available for most popular web browsers, including Safari, Chrome, and Firefox.
Keep in mind that these add-ons are the creation of third-party developers rather than a feature of your browser. Additionally, because add-ons rely on proxy servers, they may leave you vulnerable online unless you use added protection.
SafeShare is a good option to get YouTube unblocked at school when you can’t install a VPN, proxy, or unblocker extension. SafeShare is a video-sharing platform popular with teachers, who use it to show ad-free YouTube videos in class. Because SafeShare filters out inappropriate content by default, it can’t be used to bypass age restrictions. Additionally, your school’s network administrators may configure proxy filtering so that SafeShare doesn’t work.
You can even use Google Translate to watch unblocked YouTube. This is a fast solution if your VPN or proxy are blocked by a network administrator. This option only works if you visit the Google Translate web page — it won’t work in popups or the Google Translate feature that appears at the top of Google search results.
Here’s how to unblock YouTube using Google translate:
Go to the Google Translate web page.
Paste or type the URL of the blocked video into the left input area.
Choose any language as the one you are translating from.
Choose English as the language you are translating to.
Click the link that appears in the right output area. The YouTube video should open if it has been successfully unlocked.
Another simple solution for watching unblocked YouTube at your school or workplace is to enable a mobile hotspot on your phone. This temporarily turns your phone into a wireless access point, allowing you to connect to the internet through other devices. However, this option will likely drain your mobile data if you don’t have an unlimited plan.
To turn your iPhone into a mobile hotspot, go to Settings > Personal Hotspot and toggle on Allow Other to Join.
On an Android phone, go to Settings > Network & Internet > Tethering and toggle on Wi-Fi hotspot. Note that some Android devices may require slightly different steps.
To remove restricted websites, you need to have administrator access on your Windows operating system.
Here’s how to remove restricted websites from the administrative menu in Windows 11:
Open the Windows Start menu, type Control panel, and select Open.
Select Network and Internet > Internet Options.
Select the Security tab > Restricted sites. Click Sites and check if YouTube is restricted.
If YouTube is restricted, select the YouTube URL and click Remove. Then click Close.
Free YouTube unblockers can be a quick and simple way to access blocked YouTube content. But like other YouTube proxy solutions, they can leave your online data vulnerable to misuse by proxy site owners and cybercriminals. If you use a free YouTube unblocker, be sure to follow key website safety tips to identify potentially dangerous YouTube proxy sites. And, for the best balance of safety, anonymity, and ease of use, use a VPN.
Avast SecureLine VPN hides your IP address and uses AES-256 encryption to anonymize your internet traffic, protecting your online privacy and keeping you safe from cyber threats. You can use Avast SecureLine VPN to bypass restrictions across a range of sites — while keeping your data safe and secure. Try it for free today.