How to Unblock YouTube at School or Anywhere: A Quick Guide

Have you tried to access YouTube from a computer at school or work only to find it’s blocked? Not sure how to unblock YouTube? We’ve got you.

YouTube can be blocked for various reasons, but generally, it’s because your network administrator has restricted access to the site. Schools, colleges, and workplaces often do this to avoid distractions for students or employees. Sometimes, a video (or the entire platform) may be unavailable.

Whatever the case, a top-rated VPN like NordVPN can change your IP address and allow you to access YouTube.

Unblock YouTube and Watch Videos With NordVPN
How to Unblock YouTube From Anywhere

If you can’t access YouTube from your school or work computer, the chances are that your network administrator is blocking outgoing traffic to the site. In the case of regional restrictions, YouTube usually blocks your access based on your IP address. Using a VPN is our favorite way to get YouTube unblocked.

Unblocking YouTube with a VPN

VPN (virtual private network) encrypts your internet traffic, preventing your network administrator from seeing what you’re doing online. So you can fly under the radar and freely enjoy YouTube videos.

If you can’t access YouTube or particular videos aren’t loading, you may be facing regional restrictions. A VPN changes your IP address by routing your traffic through a server in any location you choose. That way, YouTube will assume you’re in a different part of the world, and you won’t have to worry about regional restrictions on particular videos or the entire YouTube library.

Check out our guide to unblocking YouTube videos for more information.


Pick a US VPN server to bypass regional blocks on YouTube. Most regional restrictions don’t apply there.

Unfortunately, not all VPNs can unblock YouTube. While some can’t slip through restrictions, others may load YouTube videos slowly. You need to pick the right VPN to unblock YouTube. We tested dozens of VPNs and found that NordVPN is the best YouTube VPN. It’s fast, has thousands of servers across the globe, and unblocks YouTube successfully.


All the other YouTube unblocking methods below have a smaller chance of success. If you want to be 100% certain you can access the site, a VPN is your best bet.

Use a proxy server

A proxy is very similar to a VPN. It routes your internet traffic through a proxy server and hides your identity. A proxy server can unblock YouTube and allow you to browse the web anonymously.

Proxy servers are also easier to access — some are available on your browser. However, proxy services are more limited than VPNs. For starters, they can’t help if you watch YouTube videos on your phone or tablet. They also offer fewer servers and slow speeds. Plus, they’re not guaranteed to unblock YouTube.

While conducting tests to determine the best proxy sites, we couldn’t unblock YouTube videos with most proxy services.

A proxy can technically work in a pinch, especially if you use a premium tool like BrightData. This is arguably the best YouTube proxy, but we still advise that, for guaranteed results, you stick to a VPN.

Use the Tor browser

Tor is the infamous dark web browser, but there’s more to it.

The Onion Browser, as it’s also known, is a proxy service. Your outgoing traffic is routed through several layers and sent through multiple nodes in its network before it reaches its destination. In practice, you can use the Tor browser to circumvent restrictions on YouTube. And it’s free to use.

Unfortunately, Tor is not as fast as a VPN. Routing your traffic through different nodes can put a strain on your connection. And, if you plan to watch HD videos on YouTube, that strain can lead to buffering. It can even prevent you from watching YouTube videos in a higher resolution, depending on your base internet connection speeds. So, while Tor is free and secure, we don’t recommend it for unblocking YouTube.

Download YouTube videos


It’s against YouTube’s policies to download its videos with third-party tools. We don’t advise you to do this. This information is only for educational purposes.

The web is full of tools that allow you to download YouTube videos. And most of them are free, provided you’re willing to watch a few ads.

However, we don’t recommend downloading YouTube videos. First, it’s against YouTube’s policies and infringes on copyright laws, so you’re potentially at risk of legal repercussions for unblocking YouTube this way.

YouTube downloading tutorials also tend to be complicated — some even involve using Google Translate. And, if you choose to get YouTube downloaders, you risk infecting your computer with malware.

To unblock YouTube videos successfully without compromising your safety and privacy, a VPN is a much better choice. And there’s no better VPN for the job than NordVPN.

Bypass YouTube Restrictions With NordVPN
Why Is YouTube Blocked?

There are various reasons why YouTube may be blocked for you — from network restrictions to copyright infringement or the content creator’s choice. These restrictions can prevent you from accessing the entire platform or just particular YouTube videos. Below are a few reasons you may be unable to access YouTube.

Network blocking

Schools, workplaces, and universities often block access to YouTube to ensure employees or students are not distracted. This is done by the network administrator, and it usually affects all the computers in the facility. In some cases, even Wi-Fi networks are configured to block access to YouTube.

YouTube is one of many websites that’s usually blocked. These restrictions target all platforms that could be a distraction, like Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and all the other places people go to waste time. Luckily, it’s easy to get YouTube unblocked. All you need is a VPN like NordVPN. If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative, Surfshark is also a good choice.

YouTube videos often get taken down because of copyright infringement, and some videos may be regionally restricted to avoid a DMCA claim. If that’s the case, you’ll see a “Video unavailable” notice when you try to access it.

YouTube videos may contain footage from movies or snippets from copyright-protected songs. If the creator doesn’t have distribution licenses over said media, their video might be restricted or taken down.

If a video is taken down, there’s no way to access it unless the creator republishes it. But if a YouTube video is regionally restricted, a VPN can help you see it.

Enjoy YouTube Videos With NordVPN
National censorship

YouTube has its fair share of political content, which has led to some countries blocking access to the site. While you can unblock YouTube videos in these countries, it’s risky. Here’s a list of all the countries where accessing YouTube is restricted.

Country that banned YouTube Date of restriction Reason for blocking access to YouTube
China 2007-2008; 2009-present Political censorship; China favors local alternatives like IQIYI
Iran 2006; 2012-present YouTube hosted a video offensive to Muslims
North Korea 2016-present The North Korean government blocks access to most of the widely-available internet
Sudan 2008; 2010-present Unclear, but it followed shortly after an election in the country
South Sudan 2012-present YouTube hosted a video offensive to Muslims
Tajikistan 2012-present Some YouTube videos were deemed offensive to the Tajik president
Turkmenistan 2009-present Unclear

To learn more about censorship in these countries and how to unblock sites like YouTube, read our guide to bypassing online censorship. You might like our articles about censorship in China, Iran, and North Korea. Besides blocking YouTube, these countries also block access to news sites and generally limit access to information.

Although VPNs can be harder to access in these countries, they can allow you to watch YouTube videos and access the web freely.

Watch Blocked YouTube Videos With NordVPN
Regional censorship by YouTube creators

YouTube creators can set regional restrictions on the videos they publish. However, most don’t do this to ensure they’re reaching a wide audience. In some cases, creators may block access in select regions. For example, if they don’t have distribution rights over a song or video they use in their video.

Creators may also restrict access to some countries to avoid political backlash. Regardless of their reasons, you can unblock videos on YouTube with NordVPN.

Age-based censorship

YouTube is not just about educational videos or funny gags. YouTube videos may feature inappropriate content, like sexually suggestive imagery, nudity, dangerous activities, violence, gore, and other heavy themes. If you’re not an adult, your access to such content will be limited based on YouTube’s content guidelines and community feedback.

There are ways to unblock YouTube videos that are age-restricted. But we advise you not to do so, or at least discuss it with an adult first. If you’re worried about what your kid might see on YouTube, check out our guide to YouTube safety for kids for some valuable tips.

Conclusion: Unblocking YouTube

YouTube restrictions can be very annoying, especially if you’re trying to research something on the platform. With a trusty tool like NordVPN, you can change your IP address and bypass YouTube restrictions at school, work, and anywhere in the world.

How to Unblock YouTube at School or Anywhere: Frequently Asked Questions
If you’re still unsure how to unblock YouTube, the FAQ section below should help bring you up to speed.
How do I unblock YouTube?

The easiest way to unblock YouTube is with a VPN. A reliable VPN like NordVPN encrypts your internet traffic and changes your IP address, allowing you to access YouTube without any restrictions. Check out our NordVPN review to discover why this is our top VPN for YouTube.

Can I unblock YouTube in a country?

Yes! If you’re in a country that restricts access to YouTube, like China or Iran, you can unblock it with a VPN, Tor, or any other tool that can change your IP address. However, this can be difficult in countries with strict censorship, where VPN access might also be limited.

How do I unblock YouTube in an office or in school?

A VPN allows you to unblock YouTube in an office or school. Since a VPN encrypts your traffic, the network admin at your school or office won’t see the outgoing traffic to YouTube’s servers — they’ll see outgoing traffic to the VPN server.

What is the best VPN to unblock YouTube?

NordVPN is the best VPN to unblock YouTube. It’s fast, has servers in different countries, and has a proven track record for unblocking streaming sites.

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