How To Change Chrome Proxy Settings In a Few Easy Steps

Romj Amon
Romj Amon

Updated · Aug 02, 2022

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The status of Google Chrome as the world’s leading web browser is indisputable. Like the iPhone’s swift rise, Chrome experienced rapid adoption and overtook more established browsers in terms of usage share—just as ubiquitous as Google itself. No wonder it’s the first platform developers think about when building web apps. 

Chrome's popularity stems from its parent's strong brand recall and its intuitive design and neat configurability. The Chrome proxy settings are a fitting testament to this.

What Is Proxy on Google Chrome?

Short for proxy server, a proxy is a specialized computer that acts as a bridge between end-user devices and the open internet. This intermediary isn’t necessary for surfing the Web, but routing your traffic to one has merits.

A proxy is a good pit stop to hide your internet protocol (IP) address.

Public IPs are numbers internet service providers assign to a batch of devices in an area. In contrast, private IPs are numbers routers automatically assign to the local network's individual devices.

A public IP doesn’t reveal your identity per se, but it can expose your vague location.

Learning about your device’s IP is a good starting point if someone wants to know more about you. When combined with other information—such as browsing activity—your IP can help profile you for advertising purposes.

Unless you don’t mind third parties watching your every move online, you’d want to hide your IP. Fortunately, you can do this on Chrome.

To be clear, Google Chrome doesn’t have proxy configuration settings. So you’d need to set up a proxy on the operating system (OS) level. Once this is in place, you’d be able to browse the internet with Chrome without broadcasting your public IP.

You don’t need to be paranoid about your internet privacy to find Chrome proxy server setups advantageous. For instance, they can be a godsend for businesses that need to get around IP blockers.

Configuring a proxy isn’t the only way to mask your actual IP address. There’s a bit of a trade-off between performance and cost, so you can’t go wrong with it. But it’s arguably the most viable way to stay under the radar online.

How to Change Chrome’s Proxy Settings?

The following is everything you need to know about rerouting your Chrome traffic to a proxy.

Get Proxies

First and foremost, you must have a proxy. But this is easier said than done.

Various types of proxies are available—each suitable for a particular purpose. So you should know how to identify the nature of the different options on the market. Only then can you select the right one for the job.

An in-depth discussion of all Google Chrome proxy classifications is outside the scope of this guide. But the following is a list of the most common ones.

  • Anonymity
  • Direction
  • Exclusivity
  • IP address version
  • Presentation
  • Price
  • Protocol
  • Rotation
  • Source

Once you understand each main proxy classification, you’ll be able to compare the merits of one product over another.

Set Up

Instructions for adjusting Chrome proxy settings for a PC and Mac are slightly different because they run distinct OSs. 

Windows

  1. Launch the Chrome app;
  2. Click the ‘Customize and control Google Chrome’ icon—the three vertical dots in the window’s upper-right corner;
  3. Go to Settings;
  4. Click the down arrow symbol near Advanced to show its menu;

Advanced menu open

5. Go to System;

System menu open

6. Click ‘Open your computer’s proxy settings’ to launch the Network & Internet dialog box;

7. Toggle off ‘Automatically detect settings’ under ‘Automatic proxy setup’;

8. Toggle on ‘Use a proxy server under ‘Manual proxy setup’;

Toggling on ‘Use a proxy server’ option

9. Enter the IP address and port numbers in their respective fields;

IP address and port numbers fields indicated

Proxy Server option enabled

10.Click Save.

Suppose you don’t wish to use your proxy for Chrome when sending requests to particular servers. In that case, you can make exceptions by entering their addresses in the appropriate field and separating them with semicolons.

appropriate fields shown

macOS

  1. Launch the Chrome app;
  2. Choose System Preferences from the Apple menu;
  3. Click Network;
  4. Choose a network from the list;
  5. Click Advanced;
  6. Select Proxies;
  7. Unlock the preference pane (if necessary);
  8. Decide how you want to set up your Chrome proxy settings.

If you prefer: 

  • Automatic configuration, go with Proxy Auto-Discovery.
  • Proxy Auto-Configuration (PAC), choose ‘Select Automatic Proxy Configuration’. Afterward, enter the PAC file’s address in the URL field.
  • Manual configuration, choose your proxy type from the list. Then, enter the IP address and port numbers in their respective fields. If necessary, enter your proxy service login credentials.

You can also set your proxy to ignore simple hostnames and bypass specific hosting service providers and domains.

Proxy Manager Extensions

If you take the manual setup route, you’ll need to redo everything to change the proxy settings for Chrome, which can be quite inconvenient—especially when you want to use a high volume of proxies for your online activity.

To avoid frequent manual proxy setup reconfiguration, install a proxy manager. You can seamlessly switch servers whenever you want using a Google Chrome proxy manager extension.

Chrome extensions have a reputation for easy customizability. So you should be able to set up all your proxies with little technical knowledge.

Benefits and Risks

A Chrome proxy addresses many legitimate concerns when surfing the Web, but it’s not a cure-all for online threats.

Benefits

Consider the following merits of using a proxy.

  • Instant Anonymity: A proxy can make you anonymous when accessing the internet via Chrome.

Instead of revealing your public IP to site owners, you’d be using the proxy provider’s address, which can help keep your privacy intact. It can give you peace of mind if you’re uncomfortable with broadcasting your actual location online.

  • Effective Censorship Circumvention: A proxy for Google Chrome can spoof your location. It matters when specific sites have restrictions based on where you’re browsing from. 

Geo-blockers exist to enforce licensing agreements, ban certain content, and segment international markets. Geo-restrictions do serve logical purposes. But you’d view them as unethical if you firmly believe in an open and free internet.

  • Unrestricted Web Scraping: Using multiple proxies is a must if you need to scrape the Web. This task is vital to search engine optimization, price tracking, ad verification, and many other large-scale data-gathering online activities.

Without proxies, you wouldn’t get far. Sites would immediately notice what you’re doing and blacklist your IP.

  • Low Overhead: Exploring the internet via a proxy would impact the performance of your device. But any negative effect would be negligible and wouldn’t ruin your online experience.
  • Enhanced Speed. If your Chrome proxy server vendor stores site content, you’ll be able to load web pages more quickly because your request wouldn’t need to travel to the web host’s server only to fetch the necessary information.

Risks

Proxies have limitations, which may compound if you pick the wrong provider.

  • Unguaranteed Success: Following setup instructions to a tee doesn’t mean that everything will be clear sailing from then on. A browser extension may tamper with your proxy settings in Chrome, or a plugin may ignore it completely.
  • False Sense of Privacy. It’s not uncommon for proxy vendors to keep browsing activity logs. Plus, your service provider would know your actual public IP. So you’re only anonymous to web hosts and their clients.
  • Unencrypted Traffic. Unlike virtual private network companies that prevent Domain Name System leakage and encrypt data, proxy vendors can only mask IPs. Therefore, a proxy cannot meaningfully boost your cyber security.
  • Low-key Malware Installation. Dubious proxy providers might secretly infect your device via banners and ads during browsing sessions. Without robust antivirus software or a firewall with built-in malware protection, your proxy usage may expose you to cyber attacks.
  • Covert Sale of Data. Many unscrupulous proxy vendors are data thieves. They would abuse your trust to steal your sensitive information and sell it to the highest bidder with nefarious intent.

Wrap Up

Setting a proxy in Chrome can enhance your online experience on many levels. But you must understand where its benefits end to neutralize its inadequacies.

Fortunately, you can avoid most of the risks of proxy usage by only using trusted providers. So exercise your due diligence in choosing a vendor to make the most of proxies to achieve goals.

FAQ.


Does Chrome have its own proxy settings?

No, it doesn’t. You’d need to configure a proxy at the OS level, which isn’t as technical as it sounds.

How do I turn on proxy settings in Chrome?

There’s no such thing as Chrome proxy settings. If you want to hide your IP when using Chrome, you must change your Windows or macOS proxy settings. Manual setup involves 8 to 10 steps, which should only take a few minutes to complete.

How do I bypass Chrome proxy settings?

By default, your computer would send your traffic directly to web hosts' servers. So there's no need to bypass proxy settings. But if you configure a proxy, you can create exceptions to access specific sites as usual—only enter their IP addresses during setup.

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Romj Amon

Romj Amon

Romj is a veteran copywriter who used to be a Jack of all trades. Now, he's trying to be a master of one: technology. He jumps down the rabbit hole to size the latest innovations up. As a content contributor for TechJury, he hopes to help you keep up in our fast-paced world with his discoveries.

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