How to unblock YouTube on iOS

How to unblock YouTube on iOS
(Image credit: Pemika Chedpiroon/Shutterstock)

With the iOS app for YouTube, you can watch videos, listen to music, and view live streams from the video-streaming giant. It’s one of those apps that you simply must have, making it all the more irksome when it doesn’t work for you.

Workplaces, schools, libraries, coffee shops, and many other premises block YouTube because it’s a distraction or uses a large amount of network bandwidth. An iPhone VPN can be used to circumvent this type of block. The best VPN services for unblocking YouTube also let you unblock geo-blocked content. If you’ve ever tried to watch a YouTube video only to be told that it’s not available in your country, you can recognize how useful this can be. 

Setting up a VPN on iOS

You can try to watch blocked YouTube videos by connecting through a proxy server, but this method is unreliable – the best way to unblock YouTube on iOS is by downloading and using an VPN. While free VPN services do exist, we recommend a paid solution like ExpressVPN because they are far more reliable at circumventing geo-blocks, and you’ll be able to stream an unlimited amount of content without issue.

Setting up a VPN is fairly simple, but make sure you go directly to the provider’s site to sign up. There are too many copycat VPNs on the App Store, so getting the right one is easiest if you sign up for your VPN first.

Let’s use ExpressVPN as an example. Signing up requires entering your name, email address, and payment details. There are three payment plans from which to choose, but if you just want to try out the service, you can sign up for the monthly plan. It has a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can cancel the service at no cost if it doesn’t suit your needs.

Once you’ve signed up, check your email for a welcome message from ExpressVPN. Open it on your iOS device, and sign into your new account. You’ll see a list of VPN clients, so choose the iOS option and install the VPN from within the App Store. Open up the installed app, fill in your user credentials again, and press OK to complete the installation process.

Unblocking YouTube on iOS with a VPN

Now that your VPN is installed, select a VPN server location from the list. If you only need to get around a local network YouTube block, you can choose any server. If you choose the automatic option, ExpressVPN will choose the VPN for you that will give you the fastest connection – usually the nearest geographically to you.

To access geo-blocked content on YouTube, connect through a VPN in the relevant country. For example, if you’re in France and trying to view a US-only video, connect through a US-based VPN server. YouTube will now see your connection as coming from within the US, and you’ll be able to watch the content that you desire.

Which iOS VPN is the best?

Many iOS VPNs can unblock YouTube, so the best iOS VPN for you depends on your precise needs. NordVPN has a massive number of servers around the world – but not in a huge amount of different locations. Surfshark has the best prices, but lacks a little in-depth functionality. Overall, our top pick is ExpressVPN thanks to its excellent streaming VPN performance.

ExpressVPN is the best iPhone VPN available.

ExpressVPN is the best iPhone VPN available.
ExpressVPN has the widest range of features of all the iOS VPNs that we’ve tested, yet its user interface is simple to understand. In our testing, we could unblock streaming content from YouTube, Netflix, Disney+, and BBC iPlayer, among others.

ExpressVPN has one of the strongest levels of security that we’ve ever seen on a VPN, and no logs are stored of your browsing activities. There’s even a Privacy and Security Tools menu on Android, so you can check that your IP address is hidden and that you don’t have any DNS leaks. It’s easy to recommend ExpressVPN as the top iPhone VPN overall.

You'll have 24/7 live chat support for the unlikely situation that anything goes awry, and you'll also get a 30-day money-back guarantee to test it out. On top of that, Tom's Guide readers can claim three months free on an annual plan. What's not to like?

Richard Sutherland

Richard is a technology writer with over 20 years experience in website development, marketing, and SEO. A graduate in Computer Science, he has lectured in Java programming and built software for companies including Samsung and Walmart. Richard writes for TechRadar, IT Pro, Tom's Guide, and PC Gamer.