BBC iPlayer not working with a VPN? Here’s how to fix it

Nadin Bhatt
Nadin Bhatt | Writer
Last updated: January 31, 2023
BBC Iplayer VPN issues solved
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BBC iPlayer is a popular streaming service letting people enjoy some good British TV online. And while it’s only available to the UK due to licensing agreements, many outsiders found a way to access it by utilizing virtual private networks. But what do you do when you find your BBC iPlayer VPN not working?

Rest a bit easier knowing that it’s a common issue, all thanks to the platform’s robust VPN blocking methods. Of course, it might be happening for plenty of other reasons. Read on to learn more about BBC iPlayer VPN issues and how to solve them quickly.

How to fix a VPN not working with BBC iPlayer

  1. Subscribe to a reliable BBC iPlayer VPN. You can never go wrong with NordVPN, now 57% off
  2. Download and install the client on your device
  3. Connect to a server located in the UK
  4. Launch BBC iPlayer, pick a show, and enjoy!

Unblock BBC iPlayer today

Why the VPN is not working with BBC iPlayer?

BBC iPlayer is quite infamous for blocking various VPNs left, right, and center. And the rest that do work with the platform run into roadblocks from time to time. If the provider you’ve been using doesn’t bypass the streaming service’s geo-blocks, one or several things might be at play.

  • BBC iPlayer is blocking the VPN server
  • Actual IP address or DNS requests are leaking
  • Your device’s GPS location doesn’t match the one provided by the BBC iPlayer VPN
  • Browser cookies stored in the cache are revealing your general whereabouts
  • The VPN software is outdated or just isn’t capable of unblocking the streaming platform

Naturally, you won’t be able to watch BBC iPlayer from anywhere with these hindering your efforts. No need to panic just yet, though, since all of these can be solved quickly and easily by yourself.

Best VPNs that still work with BBC iPlayer

BBC iPlayer not working with a VPN? Maybe the service just isn’t cut out for the job. That’s why we highly recommend investing in premium VPNs known to bypass geographical restrictions without issues. You’ll benefit from excellent performance, enhanced security & privacy, and ensured access to almost any blocked content you want.

  1. NordVPN. Hands down, the best VPN for BBC iPlayer. It comes with plenty of servers in the UK, obfuscation tools for hiding the fact you’re using such technology in the first place, and the in-house NordLynx tunneling protocol, the fastest in the industry.
  2. Surfshark VPN. This is a BBC iPlayer VPN with unlimited connections and plenty of additional features useful not only for streaming. It’s exceptionally great at bypassing geo-blocks due to the massive network covering over 100 countries. Very useful for accessing other region-locked content platforms as well.
  3. PrivateVPN. A modest yet versatile VPN for BBC iPlayer that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg to boot. Instant access to this streaming service and plenty of others. And the viewing experience is made even better due to optimal speeds.

BBC iPlayer VPN not working: quick fixes

Since BBC puts lots of effort into preventing outsiders from accessing its content, VPN issues abound for many streaming enthusiasts. It’s more common than you think to see the dreaded message below.

Unable to watch BBC Iplayer

Again, this problem is not permanent – you just need to do some troubleshooting from your end. And once all is said and done, you’ll be watching the latest episodes of the most popular British dramas.

Change the server

Some (or all) of the VPN’s servers could be blacklisted by BBC iPlayer. It’s the most common reason users cannot stream on this platform. It might be a bit arduous, especially if the provider has lots of connection points in the UK, but you’ll have to switch servers until you land on one that works.

BBC iPlayer is well-known for blocking IP addresses if it detects suspicious activity. And several dozen users connecting from the same IP certainly raises eyebrows. Don’t have many UK server options? Switch to another VPN provider that does.

Check for IP & DNS leaks

Both IP addresses and DNS requests contain information about your general whereabouts. If one or the other is visible, accessing BBC iPlayer will be a bust. Thus, it’s time to perform an IP & DNS leak test.

Checking for IP address leaks

There are plenty of websites for this you can find via Google. And if they are leaking, then toggle your VPN’s security settings. Cycling through the available tunneling protocols is also recommended.

Delete the browser cache

All web browsers have a cache that stores cookies, which track your online activities. The problem with them is that they also reveal your general location. It’s very likely BBC iPlayer is reading them and blocking you from accessing the streaming platform.

Cookie cache on Safari

Thus, you’ll have to delete the cookies and clear the cache. You can do so by navigating to the browser’s settings:

  • For Chrome and Firefox, it’s under Privacy & Security
  • For Edge, it’s under Clear Browsing Data
  • For Safari, it’s under Manage Website Data

Disable the GPS

It won’t be an issue for desktop users, but those trying to unblock BBC iPlayer on phones will probably run into this. The platform also tracks your GPS location data and prevents you from viewing content if it sees that you’re not from the UK.

Disable GPS on Android and iOS

One option is to disable GPS tracking. For iOS, you can do this by heading to Settings > Privacy & Security > Location Services, and for Android, it’s Settings > Personal > Location access. Another method is using a desktop to stream on BBC iPlayer instead of mobile.

Upgrade the VPN

Of course, your current provider might not be suited to access BBC iPlayer, and that’s it. You can find it out by contacting customer support. And if it turns out to be true, then it’s time to pick another streaming VPN. Our top-rated services unblock many popular content platforms, offer excellent performance, and simply work like a charm.

Avoid BBC iPlayer issues with NordVPN

Get a VPN that always works with BBC iPlayer – NordVPN. It circumvents even the strictest restrictions with ease, facilitates the fastest speeds in the industry, and secures your internet as well.

9.6 /10
Plenty of UK servers
Easily bypasses geo-blocks
Excellent performance

Do free VPNs work with BBC iPlayer?

Free VPNs are notorious for abysmal speeds and subpar functionality. So, unblocking and watching content on BBC iPlayer by utilizing this kind of service is highly unlikely. Besides serious privacy issues (extensive user tracking and data selling), finding a provider that even has servers in the UK is a challenge.

If you really don’t have a penny to spare, you’ll be better off opting for trial versions of reliable VPNs. They don’t monitor users, include plenty of servers in Britain, and ensure a great viewing experience. And once one trial ends, no one’s stopping you from starting another with a different provider.

Yes, using a VPN for BBC iPlayer is completely legal, and you won’t get in trouble with the law for it. However, accessing the platform using VPNs or proxies goes against its Terms of Service.

If caught, your account might be suspended at most. And even then, you can go and create a new one. But it won’t come to that if one is utilizing the best BBC iPlayer VPNs.


BBC iPlayer not working with a VPN is a more common problem than you think. And if all troubleshooting methods fail, the one at fault might be the provider you’re using right now. Not every service is capable of circumventing geographical restrictions, after all.

Thus, we recommend arming yourself with VPNs that have no issues with BBC iPlayer, like NordVPN. It offers numerous servers in the UK, some of the fastest speeds in the industry, and top-notch security measures few can surpass. Plus, the provider is quite versatile, proving to be useful for more than just streaming.

What is your go-to VPN for unblocking BBC iPlayer? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

You might also like to read:
Disney+ not working with a VPN
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VPN not working on Android
VPN not working on iPhone
Amazon Prime not working with a VPN


Why does BBC iPlayer not work outside the UK?

BBC iPlayer is available only to UK residents due to geographical restrictions. The streaming service blocks access to outsiders due to strict licensing agreements. Thus, if you live in another country, you have to change your IP address to a British one to view the shows and movies there.

Why does VPN not work on BBC iPlayer?

There are many reasons why a VPN is not working with BBC iPlayer. You might be connected to a blocked server, or your IP & DNS might be leaking. Some VPN providers aren’t even capable of unblocking BBC iPlayer in the first place.

How can I tell if a VPN has been blocked by iPlayer?

You will see a message that reads, “BBC iPlayer only works in the UK. Sorry, it’s due to rights issues.” You also won’t be able to play shows, as the start button will disappear from the menu.

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