Every now and then you try to watch a music video, trailer or gameplay clip on YouTube only to see a very annoying message: “The uploader has not made this video available in your country”.
It’s a common mistake to assume that all YouTube videos are available everywhere, but it doesn’t quite work that way. YouTube isn’t just filled with user-created content – it also hosts licensed content, including movies and TV shows, and some of them are only licensed for specific countries. Even some music videos and trailers end up being region locked.
This means that sometimes you won’t be able to watch a video at all in your country. Other times, but just as irritating, you may have to pay to buy or rent a free video to watch elsewhere in the world.
Luckily, there are ways to bypass YouTube’s regional filter and watch videos blocked in your country. Here’s how.
Watch region-blocked YouTube videos with a VPN
The most reliable way to bypass the region filter is to simply 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 such as NordVPN which currently sits at the top of our best VPN ranking.
A paid VPN like Nord offers fast connection speeds, more server options than a free VPN, and doesn’t limit the amount of data you can stream through the service. Make sure to choose a VPN that has servers in the country you want to pretend to be in.
Simply install the VPN provider’s app of your choice on the device you watch YouTube on. There are usually apps for PC, Mac, Android, and iPhone/iPad, as well as smart TVs and streaming sticks.
Sign up for your VPN service of choice (it’s easier to do this on a laptop than on your TV), then launch the VPN app, sign in with the details you entered during the signup process and browse the list of locations/countries to choose a server. which is in the correct region to access the video in question. This is normally the location of the creator or uploader of the video. You may need to try a couple if you are unsure.
Then all you have to do is go back to the YouTube app – or the website in a web browser – and go back to the video you want to watch. YouTube should now think you are in the correct region and play the video.
This is usually the quickest and easiest way to bypass region blocking on YouTube videos, especially if it’s a problem you encounter repeatedly. But there are other options…
Use a proxy to unblock YouTube
If you don’t want to use a VPN, the next best thing is a proxy server. This has a similar effect to a VPN – allowing you to browse as if you were in another country – but is less secure and does not encrypt your traffic, which is why we normally recommend a VPN over a 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 with a repressive government that bans certain videos, a VPN is definitely the best option.
As with VPNs, there are free proxy servers, but they’re often so limited that a paid service is worth it, especially if you can find one with a free trial. You’ll usually need to access the server through a web browser extension, and again, be sure to select a server located in a country that you believe will have access to the video in question. Then load YouTube and start watching.
Download YouTube Video
If all else fails, you may be able to download the YouTube video and bypass region blocking entirely. We have an entire article devoted to how to download YouTube videos to your phone, PC, tablet, or whatever, so we won’t go over the details here.
Keep in mind that while it’s not illegal to download videos from YouTube, it’s technically against Google’s Terms of Service and arguably unethical since you’re bypassing ads that help fund the site and, more importantly, the content creators. .