Schools often restrict access to social media on their PCs and there’s nothing new about it. However, platforms like Instagram are no longer just a photo-sharing space, but a hub for connection, inspiration, and creativity. You tap the app, but a message pops up – Access Denied. The school’s firewall strikes again. It’s time to outsmart the gatekeeper, so you stay connected and entertained even on campus. This blog will explain to you various ways to unblock Instagram on school computers. Let’s get started.
How to Unblock Instagram at School
There’s a sense of FOMO that kicks in when you want to catch up on your Instagram feed during school breaks, but the Wi-Fi has other plans. We do not stand against educational institutions blocking websites and platforms that could tamper with their regulations. However, if you want to sneak peek into a moment and break the wall, read the guide further.
To unblock Instagram, connect the PC to a different source of internet, i.e., smartphone:
1. Turn on the Mobile Data and Mobile Hotspot on your smartphone.
2. Turn on Wi-Fi on the school PC and connect it to the phone’s hotspot.
3. Visit Instagram on any web-browser
Method 1: Use URL Shortner
URL shorteners modify lengthy web addresses into concise links, which also help users unblock a website if it has been blocked by the Firewall. Follow the steps below:
1. Visit the Short URL website on any browser on the PC.
2. Paste Instagram’s URL (https://www.instagram.com/) in Enter the link here field and click on Shorten URL.
3. Now click on Copy URL to copy the new link and paste it into the address bar of another tab.
You’ll be able to access Instagram.
Method 2: Connect to Mobile Data or Different Hotspot
Now this is a way around but it works effectively. You can change the source of the internet, i.e., the Hotspot. Let’s say you have your smartphone with you. You can use the phone as a hotspot and connect the PC to it. As the PC uses mobile data for the Internet, it creates a direct connection between the device and the Internet service provider. Hence, you’ll be able to bypass the blockage without your activity getting tracked.
1. Pull down the notification bar on your phone and turn on the Mobile Hotspot and Mobile data.
2. Enable Wi-Fi on the PC and connect it to the phone’s hotspot to access the internet.
3. Visit Instagram on the PC.
Method 3: Use Anonymous Browsers
Anonymous web browsers such as Tor or DuckDuckGo route your internet traffic through a network of volunteer-run servers called nodes to anonymize your identity. Each node is encrypted, which would make it difficult for your school administrators to trace.
Although Tor might not directly help you unblock Instagram, you can use the URL shortener or use your phone as a hotspot to unlock and browse Instagram through the Tor browser. Check out our blog on 14 Best Anonymous Web Browsers for Private Browsing for more options.
Method 4: Use VPN
Using a VPN could be one of the most reliable and effective solutions to unblock Instagram at school. What it does is it routes the connection through various servers in different locations. This can often bypass network restrictions, including website blocks set by your school. Here are some of our recommendations on the 20 Best Free VPNs for Windows 11.
For example, we choose Proton VPN. Follow the steps mentioned below:
1. Download and install Proton VPN on your Windows laptop.
2. Choose a server from Free Locations or click on Quick Connect.
3. Now launch Instagram on the PC. You should be able to access it.
Method 5: Connect to Proxy
Proxies create an intermediary network between the device and the internet. When you try to access a website, the web browser sends a request to the proxy server, which then further forwards the request to the target website. Then it receives the website’s response and forwards it back to the device.
Hence, it can bypass website restrictions set in your school by making it appear as if the requests are coming from the proxy server’s IP address rather than the device’s. Follow the steps below:
1. Open Settings and navigate to the Network & internet tab.
2. Click on Proxy.
3. Click on Set up beside Use a proxy server.
4. In the Edit proxy server pop-up window, toggle on Use a proxy server.
5. Enter the appropriate Proxy IP address & the Port number and then click Save.
Once the proxy is set up, you’ll be able to access Instagram. Do check out some of our recommendations for the Top 9 Free Proxy Software For Windows 10.
Method 6: Use Alternative or Smart DNS Server
DNS servers convert human-readable domain names into IP addresses. However, your school might have restricted Instagram by DNS filtering. Here, the server is configured in such a way that on trying to access a blocked website, your DNS server won’t return the correct IP address, preventing you from reaching the site.
Fortunately, alternative DNS servers are not subject to the same filtering rules and can provide you unrestricted access to Instagram Similarly, some providers also offer Smart DNS solutions that are designed to route your queries through the servers located in regions where the website, i.e., Instagram is not blocked. By doing so, DNS queries resolve with the correct IP address, thereby granting you easy access.
Refer to our guide on 10 Best Public DNS Servers in 2022: Comparison & Review.
Follow the steps below to set up:
1. Open the Control Panel.
2. Click on Network and Internet, followed by Network and Sharing Center.
3. On the right, click on Change adapter settings.
4. Right-click on the appropriate source through which the device is connected to the internet. Let’s say, Wi-Fi for example.
5. Select Properties from the context menu.
6. Click on either Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) or Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6) and then on Properties.
7. Select Use the following DNS server addresses.
8. Enter the appropriate Preferred DNS server or Alternate DNS server based on the DNS service you’ve employed and click on OK.
Once connected, you’ll be able to log in to Instagram.
How to Unblock Instagram on a School Chromebook
You got a Chromebook from your school, but you find multiple websites such as Instagram blocked on it. Well, just like Windows PCs, you can also unblock Instagram on your Chromebook. Let’s have a look at the methods.
Method 1: Chrome Settings
Among the several security features the browser provides, one is the feature to block or warn users about insecure content. If Instagram is added to it, the website will be blocked. Follow the steps to remove it:
1. Open Google Chrome and hover the cursor to the three vertical dots icon at the top right corner.
2. Select Settings from the menu.
3. Move to the Privacy and security tab and click on Site settings.
4. Scroll down, expand the Additional content settings, and click on Insecure content.
6. Check if Instagram is added under Not allowed to show insecure content.
7. Click on the three vertical dots icon next to Instagram and select Remove.
Check if you can open Instagram now on the Chromebook.
Also Read: What is Edmodo Used for?
Method 2: Set-up Proxy Service
You can connect your Chromebook to any proxy service of your choice to access Instagram on it. All you need is to follow the steps below:
1. Click on the panel at the bottom-right corner of the Chrome OS desktop, followed by Settings.
2. Click on the Wi-Fi connection to which the device is connected.
3. Move to the Proxy tab.
You will see three options now:
- Detect internet connection
- Automatic proxy configuration
- Manual proxy configuration
4. You can either select Automatic proxy configuration or Manual proxy configuration.
Once the proxy is set up, you can unblock and access Instagram.
Method 3: Connect Chromebook to VPN
As we already know that VPN can help you bypass restrictions, connecting your school Chromebook to it can get Instagram unblocked. Follow the steps:
1. Click on the panel at the bottom-right corner of the Chrome OS desktop, followed by Settings.
2. In the Network section, expand the Add connection drop-down menu.
3. Click on + next to Add OpenVPN/L2TP.
4. Enter all the information required and select Connect.
Why Do Schools Block Instagram?
Schools have reasons for blocking access to Instagram alongside other social networks, such as:
- Distractions: Social media platforms, can be highly engaging and incredibly distracting and can impact students’ attention and academic performance.
- Protecting Personal Data: Allowing unrestricted access to social media could lead to the unintentional sharing of sensitive information and data.
- Cyberbullying and Inappropriate Content: Schools need to create a safe environment for students. Social media platforms like Instagram can be used for cyberbullying, online harassment, and sharing inappropriate content, Schools often block access to prevent misuse of these platforms and protect their students.
- Regulator Compliances: Schools need to comply with regulations such as the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA), which requires schools to filter internet access and protect children from harmful online content.
- Security Concerns: Accessing Instagram on school networks may cause security risks such as malware or phishing attacks, which is why it is blocked.
- Bandwidth Conservation: Instagram consumes a significant amount of network bandwidth. So, blocking such sites allows schools to use their internet resources solely for educational purposes.
Also Read: How to Find an Old Teacher Online
Is it Legal to Unblock Instagram on a School Chromebook?
Unblocking Instagram or any blocked interface on a school device may raise legal or ethical concerns if there is no authorization. Given below are some key considerations:
- School Policy: Most schools have clear policies about the use of their devices and network. Unauthorized access may violate these policies which can cause the school to take disciplinary actions.
- Legal Implications: Using blocked interfaces can violate computer misuse depending on the action done. Engaging in these activities can lead to legal consequences if seen fit.
- Ethical considerations: These actions can often be seen as unethical as they disregard the school’s rules and regulations. Such rules are made to maintain a proper learning environment and should be followed.
Recommended: How to Get TikTok Unblocked on My School Computer
We hope our guide helped you unblock Instagram at school. If you have any queries or suggestions for us, feel free to leave your comment in the box below. Share this with your friends and stay tuned to TechCult for more such tips & tricks.