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How to configure a proxy server on your iPhone or iPad

How to configure a proxy server on your iPhone or iPad

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When you configure a proxy server for a Wi-Fi network, your iPhone or iPad will use it when accessing that network. This is sometimes required to access the Internet on a business or school network, for example. Your network traffic will be sent through the proxy you configured.

Related: What is the difference between a VPN and a proxy?

Generally, you will use an agent if your school or business provides one for you. You can also use a proxy to mask your IP address or access geo-blocked websites that are not available in your country, but we recommend using a VPN for that instead. If you need to set up an agent for school or work, get the necessary credentials from them and keep reading.

Head to Settings > Wi-Fi to access proxy settings on your iPhone or iPad. Click on the name of the Wi-Fi network you are connected to. Scroll down and you will see the “HTTP Proxy” option at the bottom of the screen.

By default, the HTTP Proxy option is set to Off. This means that your iPhone will not use a proxy at all when connected to the network.

To enable automatic proxy detection, select “Auto”. Your iPhone will use the Web Proxy Auto-Discovery Protocol, or WPAD, to see if a proxy is necessary on the Wi-Fi and automatically configure proxy settings if necessary. This feature is often used on business and school networks. If your current network does not provide proxy details using the WPAD protocol, your iPhone or iPad will not use a proxy, even if you select “Auto” here.

To use an automatic proxy configuration script, sometimes called a .PAC file, select “Auto” and enter the address of the proxy auto-configuration script in the “URL” box. iOS will instead use the automatic proxy configuration script instead of WPAD to enable your proxy.

If your network administrator or proxy service provider wants you to use a proxy auto-configuration script, they will provide you with the address of the file.

To manually specify the address and port of the proxy server, select “Manual”. Enter the proxy server address in the Server box and the port it requires in the Port box. Your organization or agent service provider will provide you with these details.

If the proxy server requires a username and password – your proxy provider will tell you if so – enable the Authentication option here. Enter the username and password requested by the proxy server in the Username and Password boxes.

If your iPhone or iPad can’t connect to the proxy server β€” for example, if the proxy server goes down or if you enter its details incorrectly β€” you won’t be able to access websites and other network addresses.

For example, in Safari you will see the message β€œSafari cannot open the page because the server cannot be found,” and in the App Store you will see the message β€œCannot connect to the App Store.” Other applications will display their own network error messages.

You will need to fix your proxy server settings before you can continue to access the Internet on this Wi-Fi network.

The proxy settings that you configure are unique to each Wi-Fi network. In other words, if you want to use the same proxy on three different Wi-Fi networks, you will have to enable it separately for each Wi-Fi network, and enter the server details three times. This is because you may need to use a proxy while connected to a Wi-Fi network at your workplace, but not at home or on other Wi-Fi networks.

If you want to set up a global HTTP proxy that is used when connecting to all Wi-Fi networks, you will have to “supervise” your iPhone or iPad and create a configuration profile that enables a proxy on all connections. Apple considers this a feature for businesses, schools, and other organizations, so it requires enterprise-grade configuration tools.

Related: How to put your iPhone or iPad into Supervised Mode to unlock powerful management features


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