What to do when BBC iPlayer is not working with VPN

Milan Stanojevic
by Milan Stanojevic
Deputy Editor
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Affiliate Disclosure

  • BBC iPlayer is an app that lets you enjoy all BBC TV channels and almost all programmes, online, using your favorite device.
  • Because iPlayer is funded by the UK TV license, it is restricted to UK residents only. If you are abroad, you can use a VPN to access the content.
  • Check out similar articles about this app in the BBC iPlayer section.
  • See how to get the most out of your service by checking out the articles from our VPN How-to section.
fix bbc iplayer vpn

BBC iPlayer is a pretty cool internet streaming, TV and radio, as well as catchup service from BBC, which is available for users of mobile phones, tablets, PCs, and smart TVs.

However, the service, which is only delivered to viewers based in the UK, usually has ads (what most people don’t like), but just for non-UK users, so if you’re in the UK, you’re safe from the annoyances.

But not everyone is able to reside in the UK at the same time to stream and enjoy the content, as some may be traveling, while others reside in countries where geo-restriction on content applies. This is why they get VPNs, so as to access such content.

Thankfully, the best VPNs for BBC iPlayer are in the know over how BBC bans their IP addresses, as well as other streaming services. Most providers usually replace the blocked IP with a new one, but then it becomes a huge game of cat and mouse between BBC iPlayer and the VPN vendors.

So what do you do when BBC iPlayer VPN is not working?

One of the easiest troubleshooting methods to use is restarting your device, but if this doesn’t help, and you don’t know what else to do, try the solutions below. You might also be interested in the best VPN services to watch British TV shows.

FIX: BBC iPlayer VPN is not working

  1. Preliminary checks
  2. Change your VPN
  3. Download the latest version of your VPN

1. Preliminary checks

Sometimes BBC iPlayer VPN is not working because your VPN account may have expired so you’re unable to connect. In this case, check with your VPN’s support team to confirm if your account is still valid, or has expired.

allow vpn through windows firewall

It is also good to check third-party app settings like your antivirus or firewall settings which sometimes block the PPTP and L2TP protocols, especially when your security level has been set higher than the normal level.

In this case, disable the third-party apps or security software and try connecting again. If this helps, allow PPTP, L2TP, and IPSec through your antivirus and firewall and then enable the security software again.

Check your router settings if you’re connected to a Wi-Fi router, and check for pass-through options for PPTP, L2TP, and IPSec, under Router Firewall/Security tab and enable them.

If you don’t have these pass-through options, disable the router firewall and try again. If this works, allow PPTP, L2TP, and IPSec through your router firewall, then enable the firewall again.

You also need to ensure first and foremost that you’re entering the correct user credentials, which is your username and password for logins. You can confirm these details also with your VPN provider.

2. Change your VPN

Find a VPN that will replace IP addresses as soon as BBC iPlayer blacklists them. Similarly, some time may pass between when the IP address was banned and when the VPN provider changes it, and this can be a few days up to several weeks.

In this case, disconnect and then connect again, and try until you find an IP and servers that work. There are good VPN providers like Private Internet Access and CyberGhost.

Private Internet Access (recommended)

Private Internet AccessOur top choice regarding VPNs is PIA. This US-based provider, owned by Kape Technologies, has been in this industry for some time now and has managed to keep a really good reputation among privacy-conscious users.

They are really focused on privacy and performance. Their huge network comprised of over 3200 servers is a testament to that.

Here are the top reasons we recommend it:

  • Over 180 servers in the UK in 3 different locations
  • No-logs policy
  • OpenVPN and WireGuard support on all servers
  • Connect 10 devices simultaneously using one account
Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access

A VPN service with multiple UK-based servers that will allow easy access to BBC iPlayer content. Now at a discount price for a limited time only!
$2.85/mo. Buy now


This VPN has 6300 servers in over 90 countries, so you can access BBC iPlayer, whether the services are blocked or not where you reside.

Its Unblock Streaming feature lets you access many popular streaming services including BBC, without testing servers manually. They are also owned by Kape Technologies.

By default, it provides features such as the hiding of IP, IP sharing as an additional security layer, and Leak Protection against IPv6 leaks, DNS and port forwarding leaks.

Once you’re successfully connected to the server, CyberGhost will send feedback about the website you’re connected to and want to watch, the current server location, and protection status.



Watch BBC iPlayer shows with no lag with this great VPN, now at a discount price for a limited time only.
$2.75/mo. Buy it now

3. Download the latest version of your VPN

Uninstall the VPN app you’re running, then sign in to your VPN account and follow instructions to set up the VPN. Find the latest version for your device and then connect again, then see if you can access BBC iPlayer.

For Windows 10 users, here’s how to set up a VPN:

  • Right-click Start and select Programs and Features

BBC iPlayer VPN is not working

  • Find your VPN from the list of programs and select Uninstall
  • In the SetUp Wizard, click You’ll get a notification after a successful uninstall, so click Close to exit the wizard.
  • If the VPN is still listed as available after uninstalling it, right-click Start and select Run
  • Type ncpa.cpl and press Enter to open the Network Connections window
  • Under Network Connections, right-click on the WAN Miniport labeled (your)VPN
  • Select Delete
  • Click Start and select Settings

BBC iPlayer VPN is not working

  • Click Network & Internet

BBC iPlayer VPN is not working

  • Select VPN

BBC iPlayer VPN is not working

  • If you see your VPN as available, delete it

Connect again to your VPN and see if you can access BBC iPlayer.

Let us know if any of these solutions helped fix the BBC iPlayer VPN is not working issue, by leaving a comment in the section below.

FAQ: Learn more about BBC iPlayer

  • Can BBC iPlayer detect VPN?

Yes, BBC iPlayer can detect VPNs quite easily. A quick scan of the same IP used to connect on multiple accounts raises a flag and blocks that IP.

When they do that, they block the entire VPN server , and all the users connected there.

  • Why does BBC iPlayer not work abroad?

Due to content licensing, there are geographical restrictions put in place to order to respect those limits imposed.

  • Which VPN is best for BBC iPlayer?

For an updated list, take a look at our top VPN for BBC iPlayer guide.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in March 2018 and has been since revamped and updated in May 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published in March 2018 and was revamped and updated in May 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.