It’s frustrating when you open a YouTube video and see a message saying The uploader has not made this video available in your country. Due to licensing issues, government censorship, and other regional restrictions, you might come across YouTube content that’s not accessible where you live.
Thankfully, you have a few ways to unblock YouTube content like this.
We’ll show you how to bypass YouTube country restrictions and watch whatever you like. For this guide, we used the below video, which is unavailable in the US, as a test:
1. Use a Proxy
A proxy server is the most basic way to watch YouTube content from out of your country. It’s a simple service that connects you to a server in another location as a middleman, which connects to the page you want to view. This makes it look like your traffic is coming from that region.
We tested around a dozen different proxy sites for this purpose, but the majority of them didn’t work. This was often due to server overload errors; in some cases, the video came up as a black box or refused to play. Many still showed the “not available in your country” message.
The HideMyAss! proxy was the only one that let us play the video. To use it, enter the URL you want to access, then you can select a region by expanding the Random server box. You’ll find two US locations, as well as servers in London, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, and Prague.
Thus, this is a suitable option for anyone who wants to access YouTube content only available in the US or Europe. You may be able to find another YouTube region bypass proxy that works for your needs, but we found pretty slim pickings in our search.
2. Browse With a VPN
VPNs provide more flexibility than proxy servers. They encrypt your browsing data in a secure tunnel that connects to a remote server. Your connection is encrypted along the entire process, allowing you to browse freely without anyone snooping on you.
Notably, obfuscating your browsing with a VPN protects all the connections on your computer. This means you don’t need to visit a proxy website every time you want to bypass country restrictions on YouTube.
After connecting to a UK server using my VPN, I simply refreshed the above video and was able to watch it with no problem. This is a stark contrast to the inconvenient proxy websites, which required sorting through several to find one that worked.
If you find yourself wanting to unblock country-restricted YouTube videos often, investing in a good VPN is definitely worth it. In addition to accessing region-blocked content, VPNs have many other uses, like protecting your privacy on otherwise insecure connections.
While you’ll find many free VPNs around, we recommend avoiding them. Free VPNs have to make money somehow, which they often do by selling your data or showing ads. In addition, free VPNs typically have slower speeds and don’t offer servers in a variety of regions. Thus, a paid VPN beats free VPNs in every way.
Methods That Don’t Bypass YouTube’s Region Locking
If you can’t get any proxy sites to work and don’t want to subscribe to a VPN, you’re probably looking for another viable option to skip YouTube region locks. Unfortunately, the situation isn’t ideal.
You might see advice recommending that you download YouTube videos to watch them in your region. Unfortunately, this doesn’t work. We tested a variety of YouTube downloaders and they all produced errors when trying to download region-locked content. To download those videos, you’d need to be in the proper country.
There’s also an old URL trick still floating around the web. This claims that you can replace the /watch?v= in a YouTube video URL with /v/ to bypass YouTube filtering. However, this is also a dead end. When we tested this, it prompted download of a small SWF file that was useless.
YouTube Without Filtering? It’s Possible
As it turns out, your options for bypassing YouTube’s geoblocking are limited. If you only need to access an unavailable video occasionally, then using a proxy will probably work for you. But if you want to bypass YouTube country blocks regularly, investing in a good VPN is worth it.
It’s not worth bothering with other methods. They won’t let you gain access to YouTube content in other regions as you’d like, unfortunately.
For more on getting around censorship, see our guide to bypassing blocked sites.