How do I listen to music on a blocked school Chromebook?

Blocking music sites and other websites has become a common occurrence in schools across the United States, with 98% of schools now restricting website access through filtering software according to the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) ( This is done with the intent of preventing students from accessing inappropriate or distracting content during school hours, but also blocks many popular music streaming sites and limits ways for students to access their favorite songs and media on school Chromebooks. Blocking sites often leads students to feel frustrated and limited in what they can access on school-issued devices.

Why Schools Block Websites

Schools block certain websites primarily to maintain focus on academics and learning. According to DFT Communications, schools block sites that contain obscenity, pornography, or other images deemed harmful to minors in order to comply with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) that was passed by Congress in 2000 ( explains that under CIPA, schools and libraries that receive federal funding for internet access must have content filtering systems in place. So blocking games, social media, streaming sites, and other entertainment content helps keep students focused on educational activities rather than getting distracted (

Quora discusses that many sites without any inappropriate content get blocked simply because they are considered distractions from schoolwork. Sites like YouTube, Facebook, online games, and music streaming services often get restricted to encourage students to stay on task instead of being tempted to browse fun but unproductive websites (

Methods that Don’t Work

One of the most direct ways students might try to listen to blocked music at school is by simply visiting music streaming sites like Spotify, Pandora, or YouTube Music directly. However, schools commonly block access to major music sites in order to prevent students from being distracted or listening to explicit content during school hours. As a result, attempting to visit these sites directly on a school Chromebook will not work ( The music sites will be blocked and inaccessible. Some students may try deleting their browsing history or using Chrome’s incognito mode, but these methods do not circumvent web filtering and blocks. Directly accessing blocked music sites without using circumvention tools will invariably fail on school Chromebooks.

Using a VPN

A VPN, or virtual private network, is a service that creates an encrypted tunnel between your device and a remote server run by the VPN provider. This allows you to bypass restrictions put in place by your school’s network, such as blocked websites or throttled bandwidth.

When connected to a VPN, all of your internet traffic is routed through an encrypted tunnel to the VPN server. This prevents your school’s network from seeing what websites you are visiting or blocking access. From the network’s perspective, it just sees encrypted traffic going to the VPN server.

The VPN assigns your device a new IP address, masking your identity and location. This allows you to access restricted content and sites as if you were in a different location. Many VPNs have servers all over the world, allowing you to choose an IP address in a different city or country.

To use a VPN to bypass school restrictions, first sign up for a reputable paid VPN service like NordVPN or ExpressVPN. Download the VPN app and connect to a server. Once connected, you can access any websites or services normally blocked by your school’s firewall.

VPNs are quick and reliable for bypassing school network blocks. Just keep in mind that using a VPN at school may be against your school’s acceptable use policy, so proceed with caution.

Browser Extensions

Chrome browsers allow you to install extensions that can help bypass website blocks. There are a variety of extensions available, but some of the most popular options include:

Stealthy – This extension lets you get around blocked websites with the click of a button. It routes your web traffic through its servers to unblock access.

Unblock Sites – Unblock Sites gets the correct IP address of blocked sites using Google Public DNS and connects directly to the site to bypass restrictions.

These browser extensions provide easy ways to gain access to blocked content right from your school Chromebook. Just install them and click to unblock sites as needed. Be aware that school IT departments can detect and remove these extensions if they violate acceptable use policies.

Using Bookmarklets

Bookmarklets are small JavaScript programs stored as bookmarks in your browser. When clicked, they execute code that can manipulate the current web page you’re viewing. Many bookmarklets exist specifically to help unblock restricted websites on school Chromebooks.

To use a bookmarklet, you first need to find and install one that suits your needs. There are repositories on Github like bookmarklet-unblocker containing various bookmarklet scripts you can browse. Once you’ve identified one you want to try, drag the bookmarklet link to your bookmarks toolbar in Chrome to install it.

Then, whenever you encounter a blocked site, click the bookmarklet in your toolbar. This runs the JavaScript code which can remove the block, disable tracking filters, or redirect you through a proxy. The page will refresh and allow you to access the previously blocked content. Bookmarklets provide a quick one-click solution without installing extensions or changing settings.

However, bookmarklet unblock methods often stop working as schools discover and blacklist their scripts. You’ll need to regularly find updated bookmarklets to keep this technique effective. Overall, bookmarklets offer a lightweight yet temporary means of bypassing Chromebook blocks if you stay on top of updates.

Portable Apps

Portable apps are self-contained programs that can run on any Windows computer without needing to be installed. Many popular music streaming services like Spotify offer portable app versions that you can run directly from a USB drive.

To use a portable app on a school Chromebook:

  1. Download the Windows .exe file for the portable app from the developer’s website.
  2. Copy the .exe file to a USB drive or SD card.
  3. Insert the USB drive into your Chromebook and open the Files app.
  4. Locate the .exe file on your drive and double-click to launch the app.

The app will now run locally on your Chromebook without needing installation or admin rights. You can use Spotify, Pandora, Amazon Music, and many other streaming apps this way. Just keep the app files on your removable media to access your music collection from any locked down school computer.


Proxies are servers that act as an intermediary between you and the internet. When you connect through a proxy server, the proxy requests web pages on your behalf. This allows the proxy server to hide your computer’s IP address, making it appear as if the proxy is requesting the websites instead of your computer.

There are many free public proxy servers available online that students can use to bypass school firewalls and website blocks. To use a proxy, you simply enter the proxy server’s IP address and port number into your browser’s proxy settings. Your web traffic then gets routed through the proxy server, allowing you to access blocked sites and content.

The main benefit of using proxies is that they allow you to hide your true location and identity. Schools typically block sites by IP address, so by routing your traffic through an external proxy server with a different IP, you can gain access to blocked content. However, proxies don’t provide full anonymity and schools can blacklist known proxy servers.

Downloading Music

One way to listen to music on a blocked school Chromebook is to download songs at home first and then transfer them over. There are a few different options for downloading music to listen to offline:

You can use streaming services like YouTube Music, Apple Music, and Spotify to download songs, playlists, and albums directly on your phone or computer at home. This allows you to listen offline wherever you go without an internet connection. Most services offer both free and paid options. With a paid subscription, you usually get access to higher quality audio, more downloads, and offline listening.

Another option is to use free apps like Musify that let you download music files to your device storage. This gives you full access to the songs without ongoing subscriptions or connectivity required.

Once you’ve downloaded your music library at home, you can transfer the files over to your school Chromebook using a USB drive, cloud storage, or syncing software. Just make sure to follow any rules about approved devices and content.


There are various ways to try to access music on a school Chromebook that has websites blocked, but most of them come with risks. Using a VPN or proxy can work but may be against school rules. Browser extensions like Unblocker can sometimes bypass filters, but may get disabled. Portable apps allow you to run unapproved programs off a USB drive, but can contain malware if not careful. Bookmarklets are scripts you can run from your bookmarks bar, but schools can easily block the domains they use.

Downloading music directly risks getting caught and punished if against school policy. The safest alternatives are to use a personal device with unrestricted access, listen to offline music you acquired elsewhere, or wait until you’re off the school network. While inconvenient, following school rules will avoid getting your Chromebook privileges revoked or facing disciplinary action. Patience and finding approved channels may be the wisest options long-term.

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