Windows 10 offers the ability to set a proxy server from its Settings app, without the need for third-party software. This feature made its first appearance in Windows 8.1’s touch-friendly PC Settings app, and it allows you to protect your online privacy by covering some of your tracks when surfing the web. In enterprise environments, using a proxy server might be the only way to access the internet. The proxy server, which acts as an intermediary between your Windows 10 device and the internet, is used to access online content from all web browsers that you have installed, as well as the universal Windows apps from the Microsoft Store. Read on and learn how to configure and use proxy servers in Windows 10:
NOTE: If you do not know what a proxy server is, why it is useful and when, read this tutorial: What is a Proxy Server & Why Would You Use One?
Where to find the proxy server settings in Windows 10
To configure a proxy server, you have to open the Settings app. One quick way to do that is to press Windows + I on your keyboard. In the newly opened window, click or tap the section labeled Network & Internet.
Here, you find several subsections with settings. The last one should be named Proxy. Click or tap on it. On the right, there are two separate sections that can be configured: “Automatic proxy setup” and “Manual proxy setup.”
We will discuss them one by one:
How to set a proxy server with an automatic setup script
Before you start setting up a proxy server in Windows 10, you need to find a few proxy addresses that you can use. Many of these proxy servers have an URL (web address) that is similar to any regular website (e.g., proxy.example.org). Still, you should know that proxy services greatly differ regarding quality and you need a lot of patience to find one that works well with your online habits and internet connection. Also, some of these proxy servers require you to specify the address of a configuration script that has to be loaded by Windows 10.
If your mind is set on using this type of proxy server, go to the “Automatic proxy setup” section. Here, check if the automatic detection of proxy settings is enabled and then turn the “Use setup script” switch On. Finally, type the URL of the proxy in the “Script address” field and press Save.
Your settings are saved and used by Windows 10, your web browsers and apps.
How to manually set a proxy server in Windows 10
If you want to configure a proxy manually, make sure that the switch next to “Use setup script” from the “Automatic proxy setup” section is turned Off. Then, in the “Manual proxy setup” section, turn the “Manual proxy server” switch On.
The manual configuration of a proxy requires you to have a specific IP address and port for the server that you want to use. After you obtain this information, you have to enter it in the Address and Port fields. You can also enter specific web addresses for which, no matter what browser you prefer, the proxy server will not be used. It seems to be a great way to configure which websites can see your information when you visit them. Finally, you can check the box that says “Don’t use the proxy server for local (intranet) addresses” on the bottom of the “Manual proxy setup” section. While it is not necessary to always do this, it might be a good idea to check this box if you are connected to a corporate network.
Click or tap the Save button after you are done manually configuring a proxy server so that your settings are applied.
NOTE: If you are not sure if the proxy server is working, check its status on websites like Find My IP. You should check before turning on the proxy, to see your IP address and then after you turn on the proxy, to see if your IP has changed with the one of the proxy server that you are using.
How to turn off the use of a proxy server in Windows 10
If you have taken your Windows 10 device to a new location and you use a new internet connection, you can turn off the use of the proxy server. To do this, you have to open Settings, just like you did when you setup the proxy server, and go to Network & Internet and then to Proxy. If you have enabled a proxy with an automatic setup script, set the “Use setup script” switch Off.
For a manually configured proxy, set the “Use a proxy server” switch Off.
You should remember that your proxy settings are stored by Windows 10, and you can always turn them back on.
What kind of proxy server do you use?
Proxy servers represent a reasonable solution for hiding some of your online activity or to access the internet in corporate networks. Luckily, Windows 10 offers a simple way to setup a proxy server in the Settings app. It represents an evolution of the way Windows-powered computers connect to the internet. If you have already used this Windows 10 feature, share your experience in the comments section below. Also, let us know what kind of proxy server you are using. We are curious to see.