For most individuals, accessing YouTube is a great resource for watching videos, sharing ideas, and connecting with one another. Between queuing up your favorite music playlists, content creators, and the latest trailers or gameplay videos, YouTube is simple to access and easy to use. That is until you come across a blocked video, and then you’re stuck searching for how to unblock YouTube videos. Not only is this frustrating, but if you don’t know why it’s happening or how to fix it, you’ll end up stuck and unable to access the content you want. In this article, we will explore several ways to unblock YouTube, but the method that will work best for you will be dependent on the cause behind why your YouTube is blocked.
Why is YouTube blocked for me?
The first step in unblocking your YouTube access is to understand why it was blocked in the first place. While there are many different reasons why a YouTube video might be blocked, there are three common scenarios that individuals often run into. Let’s review what these are and the solutions you can use to unblock YouTube and get back to your favorite content.
You’re in a blocked geographical region.
The most common reason for a YouTube block is due to geographical restrictions. Essentially, you can only view certain videos in specific countries due to licensing agreements between the content creator and the publisher.
For example, if a video is licensed for viewing in the United States, then if you try to access it from another country like Canada or Mexico, you’re going to be met with a “this video is not available in your country” type of error message. This is known as a broadcasting right restriction, and it means that video owners do not have permission to broadcast the content to your geographical region.
Another example of this type of scenario is when there is a national restriction in place. Prime examples are China, Iran, and North Korea, where YouTube is blocked entirely due to government policies. This is known as national censorship and causes a massive headache for those who live within these countries, as the information they want to access is unavailable.
Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) is blocking YouTube.
If your ISP believes that you are violating their terms of service, they might go through and block access to YouTube. This usually occurs if you’re downloading videos of an illegal nature, pirating media content through peer-to-peer sharing sites, or using unlicensed streaming services. Typically, you’ll know that YouTube has been blocked by your ISP if you’ve had no trouble with it in the past and have recently downloaded media content from unauthorized sources. An example of this would be seeding a game client from a peer-to-peer sharing website.
If you believe that your Internet Service Provider has blocked your YouTube access, the best solution is to reach out to them and explain your situation or find out some more information from them. A lot of the time, if you call and explain, your ISP will be willing to unblock YouTube for you, permitting that you stop doing whatever caused them to block you in the first place.
A network administrator has blocked YouTube on purpose.
Another common scenario that individuals find themselves in and wonder why YouTube is blocked is at work or school. In public spaces like these, a network administrator may block YouTube to prevent employees from wasting time on videos when they are supposed to be working, or in the case of students, spending time on YouTube instead of studying.
If you find yourself in this situation, the best solution is to talk with your network administrator and see if they will unblock YouTube for you, permitting that you have a valid reason for needing access to it.
Six methods to unblock YouTube videos
Now that we’ve gone over the three main scenarios in which someone might find themselves asking “why is YouTube blocked for me,” it’s time to get to the solutions of how to unblock YouTube videos so that you can get back to your content.
1. Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
One of the best ways that you can unblock YouTube is by using a VPN or Virtual Private Network. A VPN essentially takes your computer’s IP address and reroutes it through a server in another location, making it appear as if you’re accessing the internet from that location.
For example, if you want to unblock YouTube videos that are only available in the United States, you would connect to a VPN server located in the United States. Once you’ve connected, any website that you visit will think that you’re accessing it from the United States, unblocking any content that might be restricted to other regions.
A VPN also works as a solution in situations like when there is national censorship or if you’re looking for how to access YouTube when blocked by a network administrator on a work or school Chromebook. Moreover, it will also protect your data in transit since all data sent through a VPN connection is encrypted.
The downside to using a VPN is that most of them cost a monthly subscription, so make sure you do your due diligence in researching which VPN is best for your YouTube streaming needs. There are free VPNs out there that you can use, but they often come with a limited amount of data use per month, meaning you’ll get capped really quickly. A few excellent VPN options include NordVPN, SurfShark, and ExpressVPN, but there are plenty more to choose from.
2. Use a proxy website.
Another solution you can try if you want to unblock YouTube videos is by using a proxy website. A proxy website or server will work similarly to a VPN but is less secure than a VPN. It will change your IP address, but it doesn’t make you anonymous, and it doesn’t encrypt the data. When using a proxy website like YouTube Unblocked, it acts as an intermediary between you and the rest of the internet, allowing you to view the YouTube content by loading up the YouTube page for you through the proxy. This makes it very difficult for firewalls (and network administrators) to block YouTube, as it can’t distinguish between the banned site and the proxy website.
3. Use a browser extension.
If you’re looking for a quick and easy solution to unblock YouTube videos and don’t want to pay for and download a full VPN service, you can try using a browser extension.
Browser extensions are small pieces of software that you can install on your web browser, and they add additional features or functionality to the browser. In the case of unblocking YouTube videos, the most common browser extensions are proxy/VPN options. Examples would be UltraSurf, or Hoxx VPN Proxy, which are available for both Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.
To install a browser extension, simply open a new tab in Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox, and head to the extension store. Then, search for a browser extension that unblocks YouTube and install it. Once it is installed, it will allow you to connect to a server where YouTube won’t be blocked.
4. Download the YouTube videos you want to watch.
If you know ahead of time that you’re going to be in a situation where YouTube might be blocked (like if you’re going to be at school or work), one solution that you can try is to download the videos that you want to watch ahead of time so that you can watch them offline.
To do this, we recommend converting the YouTube videos that you want to watch into MP3 or MP4 files, which you can then store on your phone or computer. If you’re only interested in audio, an MP3 will work, but if you want audio and the video, you’ll need to convert to MP4. While you can pay for YouTube’s Premium Subscription to get access to a built-in download feature, there are plenty of YouTube to MP3/MP4 converters online that are available. Keep in mind that this process will take some time to complete. You can read more about downloading YouTube videos in our guide: Best YouTube to MP3 or MP4 Converters: How to Download Videos.
5. Use the mobile version of YouTube.
If you’re trying to unblock YouTube videos on your computer and all else has failed, one solution that you can try is to use the mobile version of YouTube. The mobile version of YouTube isn’t as feature-rich as the desktop version, but it will allow you to access blocked content that you wouldn’t be able to otherwise.
To do this, simply type “m.youtube.com” into your browser’s URL bar and hit Enter. You should then be redirected to the mobile version of YouTube, where you can watch your videos without any restrictions.
6. Unblock YouTube with the TOR browser.
If you’re looking for a more robust solution, then you might want to try using the TOR browser (available for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android).
The TOR browser is a modified version of the Mozilla Firefox web browser that routes your traffic through a number of different servers before it reaches its destination. This makes it much more difficult for anyone to track your internet usage or block any content that you’re trying to access. It works exactly as a regular internet browser does, but because it routes traffic through numerous servers, your YouTube videos may take longer to load, as the connection speed and latency are higher on TOR.
The bottom line
Whether you’re trying to unblock YouTube at school or work, or you’re trying to access content that’s only available in certain regions, there are a number of different solutions that you can try. In most cases, one of the solutions above will allow you to unblock YouTube and get access to the content that you want. Do you have any other tips on how to unblock YouTube videos? Let us know in the comments below.