How to Access YouTube Videos Blocked in Your Country
There are a few reasons why you might need to unblock YouTube:
- Political censorship prevents you from watching certain videos.
- Copyright restrictions related to geographic location.
- School and workplaces blocking access.
YouTube Blocked Due to Censorship
Since 2019 there have been 226 major internet shutdowns in 40 countries.
On any given day, countries including India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Sudan, Turkey, and Uganda impose new internet blocks. YouTube is very often the first website to be targeted.
YouTube is actually fully banned in a number of countries. This includes China, Iran, Syria, and Turkmenistan.
In the table and map below we’ve listed the countries that have either blocked YouTube in the past, or are currently blocking it. You may be surprised to see names like Germany and Denmark, showing that internet freedom is never guaranteed.
Whether you’re in a country with a permanent ban or a temporary block, you can beat this by using a good VPN.
Theoretically, any VPN can get around YouTube blocks. YouTube blocks are not as robust as those found on a streaming service like BBC iPlayer.
If you’re in a country like China, use a VPN that regularly beats aggressive web censorship, like:
VPNs Can’t Help with Sitewide Removals
Sometimes YouTube censors content by removing videos entirely from the platform.
This has been a feature of the coronavirus pandemic, as YouTube attempts to squash the spread of misinformation.
Also, following a policy update in 2019, YouTube terminated 25,000 accounts on hate speech grounds and, more famously, President Donald Trump for “inciting violence”.
However, no VPN can get around these blanket bans. These videos are completely taken offline.
Videos Blocked Due to Copyright Restrictions
Some geoblocks are a matter of copyright and licensing agreements. We’ve all seen the annoying error code that tells us: “The uploader has not made this video unavailable in your country.”
Unlike with China, to get around this it probably isn’t necessary to purchase a VPN. You can get a free VPN and it should work just fine.
Or, you can use a proxy, which you can read more about here.
All you need to do is choose a safe free service, install it, and select the country in which the video is available.
If you can’t access a specific TV show clip, a music video or a movie, launch the VPN and select an appropriate server location. Once connected, YouTube will think you’re in the right country, and play the video.
EXPERT TIP: Use a YouTube region restriction checker to see where certain videos are available or unavailable by copyright laws. This is very useful if you’re looking for a server on which you can watch the video.
However, there are risks with some of the most popular free VPNs, like Hola VPN. Many free VPNs take your data and sell it, and barely offer any privacy protection at all. Some have even been known to install malware and viruses.
We recommend you use any of the below free VPNs, which we’ve verified as safe:
Free VPNs are often limiting; they impose data caps and server restrictions, or refuse access to advanced features.
For the purpose of watching YouTube, though, they can be a great tool. Especially if you’re only interested in watching a video blocked on copyright grounds every now and again.