Occasionally, you’ll try to watch a music video, trailer, or gameplay clip on YouTube only to see a very annoying message: ‘The uploader hasn’t made this video available in your country’.
It’s a common mistake to assume that all YouTube videos are available everywhere in the world, but it doesn’t quite work that way. YouTube isn’t just about user-generated content – YouTube also hosts licensed content including movies and TV shows, and some of these are only licensed for specific countries. Some music videos and trailers are even region-locked.
That means sometimes you won’t be able to watch videos in your country. Other times, but just as annoying, you might have to pay to buy or rent a video to watch for free in other parts of the world.
Fortunately, there are ways to bypass YouTube’s regional filter and watch videos that are blocked in your country. Here’s how to do it.
Watch region-blocked YouTube videos with VPN
The most reliable way to bypass the zone filter is simply to use a VPN. This is a service that allows you to browse the web as if you were in another country. You can try this with a free VPN, although we recommend a paid service like NordVPN, which currently tops our best VPN rankings.
A paid VPN like Nord offers fast connection speeds, more server options than a free one, and puts no limits on how much data you can transfer through the service. Make sure you choose a VPN with servers in the country you want to pretend to be.
Just install the app from the VPN provider of your choice on the device on which you’re watching YouTube. There are usually apps for PC, Mac, Android, and iPhone/iPad as well as smart TVs and streaming sticks.
Sign up for the VPN service of your choice (it’s easier to do this on a laptop than your TV), then launch the VPN app, sign in with the details you entered during registration, and go through location/country list to select the server in the right region to access the video in question. That is usually the location of the video creator or uploader. You may have to try a few if you’re not sure.
Then all you have to do is go back to the YouTube app — or the site in a web browser — and go back to the video you want to watch. YouTube will now think you’re in the right region and play the video.
This is often the fastest and easiest way to get around the block on YouTube videos, especially if it’s an issue you run into repeatedly. But there are other options…
Use proxy to unblock YouTube
If you don’t want to use a VPN, the next best thing is a proxy server. This has the same effect as a VPN – allowing you to browse the web as if in another country – but is less secure and doesn’t encrypt your traffic, which is why we often recommend VPN over proxy.
If you just want to watch music videos on YouTube, encryption and security might not be your biggest concerns, but if you’re trying to access YouTube from a country whose repressive government bans some certain videos, then a VPN is definitely the better choice.
As with VPNs, there are free proxy servers around, but they are often so limited that a paid service is well worth it, especially if you can find one with a free trial. Usually you will have to access the server through a web browser extension and again make sure to select the server located in the country you think will have access to the video in question. Then upload YouTube and start watching.
Download YouTube videos
If all else fails, you can download the YouTube video and thus bypass the ban completely. We have an entire article dedicated to how to download YouTube videos to your phone, PC, tablet, or anything else, so we won’t cover the specifics here.
Please note that while it is not illegal to download videos from YouTube, it technically violates Google’s terms of service and is considered unethical because you are circumventing the ads. help fund the website and – more importantly – the content creator.
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