How To Change Location on YouTube TV

Watch your local networks miles away from home.

By
&
Aliza Vigderman
Gabe TurnerChief Editor
Last Updated on Aug 17, 2021
By Aliza Vigderman & Gabe Turner on Aug 17, 2021

If you subscribe to YouTube TV, chances are you have already selected a Home Area for your subscription. This area determines the local networks you can watch, which includes news, weather, and sports.

The problem? When you travel, your local networks will change to that of the area you’re physically in. Fortunately, there are workarounds, from changing your Home Area to using VPNs and browser extensions. Let’s dive in to see how you can access YouTube TV from other locations, in the United States and beyond.

How To Change Location on YouTube TV

The easiest way to change your location on YouTube TV is to change your Home Area. However, there are restrictions on how often you can change your Home Area, so if you’re already over the limit, keep reading for other options.

FYI: YouTube TV only lets you change your Home Area twice a year.

How To Change Your Home Area

How to Change Your Home Area on a Computer or Android

  1. Open YouTube TV.
  2. Click on your profile picture.
  3. Click “Settings.”
  4. Click “Area.”
  5. Click “Home Area.”
  6. Next to “Home Area,” click “Update.”

How to Change Your Home Area on an iOS device (i.e., an iPhone or iPad)

  1. Sign in to YouTube TV on a mobile web browser or a computer.
  2. Click on your profile picture.
  3. Click “Settings.”
  4. Click “Area.”
  5. Click “Home Area.”
  6. Next to “Home Area,” click “Update.”

How To Update Your Current Playback Area

How To Update Your Current Playback Area on a TV

The process works the same whether you’re on a computer, an Android, or an iOS device:

  1. Open the YouTube TV app on your TV.
  2. Click on your profile picture.
  3. Click “Settings.”
  4. Click “Area.”
  5. Click “Current Playback Area.”
  6. On your phone, go to tv.youtube.com/verify.
  7. Allow the website to use your device’s location, which will update your current playback area.

How To Update Your Current Playback Area on a Mobile Device or Web Browser

This process is also device-agnostic:

  1. Open YouTube TV.
  2. Click on your profile picture.
  3. Click “Settings.”
  4. Click “Area.”
  5. Next to “Current Playback Area,” click “Update.”

VPNs

Since YouTube limits the number of times you can change your Home Area, we recommend using a VPN to change your IP address. Any of the options on our list of the best VPNs for YouTube TV could work, but there are no guarantees, as YouTube is constantly updating its software to block VPN IP addresses.

If you need an Android VPN, we recommend Surfshark, which you can learn more about in our Surfshark review. Surfshark has a feature that will change your phone’s GPS location data, not just your IP address. That means it’s your best bet for setting up an Android VPN to change your YouTube TV location. Think of it like a one-two punch: Change your IP address, then your GPS location.

Note: Surfshark’s GPS-changing feature only works on Android devices.

For Mac users, there are tons of great Mac VPNs that make it easy to set up a VPN on Macs. Mac doesn’t like users to change locations, so VPNs are definitely the best workaround for changing Mac locations.

Browser Extensions

If you don’t want to use a VPN for Chrome, you can use the browser extension Manual Geolocation, which lets you override the HTML geolocation in Chrome. For Firefox users who don’t want to pay for the Mozilla VPN, we recommend a similar browser extension called Location Guard.

Changing Your Browser Location

On Microsoft Edge, you can set your default location manually.

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Click “Privacy.”
  3. Click “Location.”
  4. Scroll to “Default Location.”
  5. Choose “Set Default.”
  6. Search for the location you want to set.1

Opera is the only browser we know, aside from Firefox with the Mozilla VPN, to have a VPN. The best part? In contrast to Mozilla VPN’s pricing of $4.99 a month, Opera’s VPN is free, and you won’t have to download any external apps. Here’s how to connect to another location in Opera:

  1. Open Opera.
  2. Go to Settings by clicking Alt and P.
  3. In the left sidebar, click “Advanced.”
  4. Click “Features.”
  5. Click “VPN.”
  6. Toggle on “Enable VPN.”
  7. Switch to the server of your choice.2

Home Area 101

Now, let’s get into detail about Home Areas. When we first signed up for YouTube TV, Google asked us for our ZIP code, which determined our Home Area. Then, we confirmed this location through our iPhone’s device location permissions.

This location determined the local affiliate networks we could see, but when we traveled, we couldn’t watch these networks. Instead, we saw the local networks of the place we were in physically, and we couldn’t record anything. That’s when we started changing our YouTube TV locations.

Restrictions on Changing Home Areas

Unfortunately, you can’t change your Home Area as many times as you want. You can only change it twice a year, and you must physically be in your Home Area to change it. If you travel frequently and don’t use YouTube TV at least three times a month in your Home Area, you may stop getting your local networks.3 So, in the case of your Home Area, it’s true that if you don’t use it, you lose it.

Troubleshooting Location Permissions

We’re big Chromecast users, but when we travel with our Chromecast in our carry-on, we often have to troubleshoot our location permissions. Here’s how:

  1. Open Chrome.
  2. Click “Menu” or “More.”
  3. Click “Settings.”
  4. Go to the “Privacy and Security” section.
  5. Click “Site Settings.”
  6. Click “Location.”
  7. Change your location.

IP Addresses vs. GPS Locations

In all of our talk about changing locations, whether it’s changing locations on a PC or changing locations on an iPhone, we say a lot about IP addresses and GPS, but what do these terms really mean?

First of all, you should know that both IP addresses and GPS locations are forms of geolocation, with the approximate coordinates, or longitudes and latitudes, of geographic locations.

There are differences between the two, of course. GPS (Global Positioning System) locations are more exact than IP addresses, using satellites that orbit the earth. IP addresses, on the other hand, don’t pinpoint exact locations, but geographic areas. Each digital device has its own IP address, which VPNs hide. 4

Some apps and websites use IP addresses to determine users’ locations, some use GPS locations, and some use a combination of the two along with other methods, like device and Wi-Fi positioning. That’s what makes changing locations so complicated in some cases. But by using a VPN along with a GPS location changer, you are more likely to “change locations” without moving an inch.

Recap

That’s all we have for changing your location on YouTube TV, but if you’d like to watch other streamers, learn how to change your Hulu location or how to change your Netflix region. While you’re at it, check out the best VPNs for Hulu and the best VPNs for Netflix. After all, when you’re looking for something to watch, you tend to bop around different apps, so we’ve got you covered for all of the major players.

Frequently Asked Questions

Since changing YouTube TV locations isn’t always the easiest thing to do, we’ve answered your most frequently asked questions here.