How to Unblock YouTube on Mac
Updated: February 25, 2016
- Step 1, get a VPN account
- Next download and install VPN software onto your Mac
- Open VPN software and connect to server location that will unblock the YouTube video you want
- Repeat step 3 for every blocked YouTube video you encounter; connecting to the appropriate server location to unblock each video
- Enjoy unblocked YouTube on your Mac
How to unblock YouTube on Mac in more detail:
YouTube is brilliant. There's no denying it. The only thing as good as YouTube, for me, is my Macbook. The amount of time I spend on YouTube on my Mac every day definitely adds up to these being arguably two of my favourite things (sad, but true -- lol!)
So whenever I come across a video on YouTube that I really want to see, only to be presented with that eternally frustrating error message telling me that the video is unavailable to me because of my location -- I get a little annoyed:
After getting this message one too many times, I finally had enough. It was time to figure out exactly why and how YouTube was doing this, and to find a solution that would allow me to access such blocked videos whenever I wanted in seconds on my Mac.
And I did it! So I wanted to share my solution on how to unblock YouTube on Mac computers.
Why is YouTube Content Blocked on Mac?
In order to understand how the solution I describe below actually works, it is important to first understand why YouTube blocks some videos from being viewed.
A few reasons exist for why you may not be able to access a video on YouTube. for example, the uploader may have simply made the video private. However, by far the most common reason for videos being blocked on YouTube comes down to the uploader geographically restricting their video to only be watched by users within specified countries.
Uploaders do this either just because they want to, or -- if the YouTube channel is an official entity's -- to adhere to strict licensing agreements made between the content owner and the uploader.
How is YouTube Blocking Content on Mac?
So now that we know that uploaders do this, let's look into how they do this, technically speaking.
This geographic restricting of videos is done by the uploaders implementing a process known as geo-blocking. Geo-blocking is pretty self-explanatory, but the long and short of it is this: when the video is uploaded, the uploader edits the video settings so that a wall is placed on the video.
This wall checks the IP address of each and every user that tries to watch the video, and based on your IP address; can determine your physical location at the time you're trying to access the video. If your IP address shows that you are in a location that the uploader allows the video to be viewed in -- you get access instantly; if not -- you get that error message mentioned at the start of this guide.
So, by that logic, if you are able to change your IP address so that it shows your location as being in an area that the uploader has allowed access to the video from, then the video will be unblocked for you. Right? Right!
There are a few ways to change your IP address to show your location as being in different countries around the world. However, after researching all these methods, I quickly realised that the very best solution is to use a piece of software called a VPN, or Virtual Private Network.
How to Use a VPN to Unblock YouTube on Mac
Step 1: Sign up for VPN
NOTE: There are many VPN service providers out there, each offering different levels of quality at differing price points. I reviewed a bunch and decided to use ExpressVPN as it had the best quality-to-price ratio for me, personally. Thus, I will use it as the example VPN as I explain this quick setup process.
Step 1, as expected, is to go to the ExpressVPN website, choose your plan and payment method, then confirm your account details on the site. Here's how straightforward this process looks:
When you have confirmed your account details, you then want to go ahead and download the VPN software onto your Mac.
Step 2: Download & Install VPN
Luckily with ExpressVPN, when you complete signing up, you are automatically directed to the download area and presented with the exact download link for the Mac-specific software.
Should you want to also download the VPN software to some other devices you watch YouTube on, here's a list of all the devices ExpressVPN's software is compatible with:
Once the software is downloaded onto your Mac, you will be prompted to install it. This is simply a case of clicking through the installation process. Like I said -- it's a very non-tech process, so it will take you less than a minute to get the software fully installed and ready to use on your Mac.
Step 3: Connect to Desired Server Location on VPN
Open up your freshly installed VPN software, then you will be presented with choosing a location to join the VPN on.
This is step that will change your IP address to make your location "appear" within the location you select. So whatever location the video you want to access is available in, will be the server location you will connect to on your VPN software.
Here's how simple the connection interface is on ExpressVPN on my Macbook:
Step 4: Watch Unblocked YouTube Content on Mac
It will take literally a second or two for you to connect to the VPN. The moment you are connected, your IP address will have changed. You can check that your IP address has changed by click here before then after you've connected to the VPN.
As soon as you're connected, you can flick back to YouTube and that video that moments ago blocked will now be available and streaming instantly to you on your Mac. Yes!
If you then come across another video that blocks you, simply flick back to your VPN software (you can keep this connected and running on your Mac in the background as long/short as you like) and disconnect, then select the server location that will unblock the video, then connect.
So there you go -- a super quick walkthrough guide on how to unblock YouTube on Mac computers in under 5 minutes.
I mentioned earlier in this guide that there are many VPN service providers available that all offer different levels of quality and price. I personally reviewed a whole bunch of them and narrowed down the best five VPNs to unblock YouTube videos, which you can check out below:
If you followed this guide then you will have yourself a fully unblocked YouTube on your Mac and an awesome VPN software that in addition to unblocking YouTube also protects your online activity.
If you have any questions or feedback on this guide at all -- let me know in the comments below. I'm happy to hear from you and help out.