How to Configure a Proxy Server on a Chromebook

Chromebooks, Chromeboxes, and other Chrome OS devices allow you to set a proxy server through which you can route your traffic.This may be required to access the Internet on some networks—for example, on business or school networks.

Generally, you’ll use a proxy if your school or work provides it to you. You could also use a proxy to hide your IP address or access geoblocked websites that aren’t available in your country, but we recommend a VPN for that instead. If you need to set up a proxy for school or work, get the necessary credentials from them and read on.

You can set a proxy in Chromebook’s network connection settings. To access this screen, click the panel at the bottom-right corner of your Chrome OS desktop and select “Settings” or click menu > Settings in a Chrome browser window.

If your current Wi-Fi network is a “shared network”—that is, if you share the Wi-Fi network connection details with anyone who signs into your Chromebook—you’ll need to enable the “Allow proxies for shared networks” option under Internet Connection at the top of your settings screen. If you don’t, the Proxy configuration screen will tell you to enable this option before you can configure a proxy.

This option is disabled by default because it prevents other people on the Chromebook from modifying the shared network connection’s settings to route your web traffic through a proxy without your permission.

Then, click the name of the Wi-Fi network you’re connected to under “Internet connection.” Click the name of that Wi-Fi network in the menu that appears to change its settings.

Each Wi-Fi network has its own proxy settings. If you want to use the same proxy while connected to multiple Wi-Fi networks, you’ll need to configure this multiple times—once for each network.

Click the “Proxy” tab to access the proxy settings for the network you selected.

By default, “Direct Internet connection” is selected here. This means your Chromebook won’t use a proxy while connected to this Wi-Fi network.

To have your Chromebook automatically detect and apply proxy settings, select “Automatic proxy configuration”.

If you select this option, your Chromebook will use the Web Proxy Auto-Discovery Protocol, or WPAD, to automatically detect whether a proxy is necessary and automatically enter the proxy settings if one is. This protocol is often used on business and school networks, for example. If the network you’re connected to doesn’t provide a network via WPAD, your Chromebook won’t use a proxy.

If WPAD is used to discover a proxy, its address will be displayed in the “Web Proxy Auto Discovery URL” box here.

To have your Chromebook get its proxy settings from an automatic proxy configuration script, check the “Use an autoconfiguration URL” and enter the address of the proxy configuration script, or .PAC file.

If you select this option, your Chromebook will use the proxy configuration script instead of WPAD to configure its proxy. If you need to use a proxy auto-configuration script, your network administrator or proxy provider will provide you with the address of the script.

To manually enter your proxy settings, select “Manual proxy configuration”.

You can choose to either use the same proxy for HTTP, Secure HTTP (HTTPS), FTP, and SOCKS protocols, or use a separate proxy for each. Your proxy provider will tell you if you need to use separate proxy addresses for different protocols.

In most cases, you’ll want to check “Use the same proxy for all protocols”. Enter the proxy’s address into the “HTTP proxy” box and its port number into the “Port” box. The organization that provides you with your proxy will provide these details.

To provide separate proxy addresses for different protocols, uncheck the “Use the same proxy for all protocols” box. Enter separate proxy addresses and port numbers for the different protocols here. Your Chromebook will send your traffic to different proxies depending based on which protocol the connection uses. So, when you access “http://example.com”, your Chromebook will send your traffic to the HTTP proxy. When you access “https://example.com”, your Chromebook will send your traffic to the Secure HTTP proxy.

The “Do not use the proxy settings for these hosts and domains” box allows you to configure a list of host and domain names that your Chromebook will bypass the proxy for. By default, this box is empty.

For example, if you entered howtogeek.com into the box, your Chromebook would connect to howtogeek.com directly, bypassing the proxy. You can enter as many host names or domain names as you like. Type the host name or domain name into the box here and click “Add”.

This feature is often used to bypass host names on the local network. For example, if your organization has a web server on its local network and you access it at http://server/ , you may want to enter server into the box. When you connect to http://server/, you’ll connect directly without going through the proxy.

If you’re not sure which settings you need, just leave this box empty. Your organization will tell you if you need to bypass the proxy for specific host or domain names.

Click the “Close” button when you’re done here.

If there’s a problem with your proxy configuration—for example, if the proxy server goes down or if you enter the proxy configuration incorrectly—you’ll see a “There is no Internet connection” message when you attempt to access the web. More specifically, you’ll see an “”ERR_PROXY_CONNECTION_FAILED” message at the bottom of the error screen. You’ll need to fix your proxy settings before continuing.

Chris Hoffman is a technology writer and all-around computer geek. He's as at home using the Linux terminal as he is digging into the Windows registry. Connect with him on Twitter.