How to Set Up a Proxy in Windows 10

By Ciprian Adrian Rusen

A proxy server is an intermediary between your Windows 10 PC or device and the Internet. This server makes requests to websites, servers, and services on the Internet for you. For example, say that you use a web browser to visit www.wiley.com and your browser is set to use a proxy server.

After you type www.wiley.com, the request is sent to the proxy server. The server then sends the request to the server where the website is hosted. The homepage of the Wiley website is returned to the proxy server which, in turn, returns the homepage to you.

One reason companies use proxy servers is that doing so helps them save precious bandwidth. Proxy servers can compress traffic, cache files and web pages from the Internet, and even strip ads from websites before they reach your computer. This allows companies to save bandwidth, especially when they have hundreds or thousands of employees accessing mostly the same popular websites (such as CNN news or The New York Times). Other benefits include improved security and privacy.

Set up a proxy using an automatic configuration script

By default, Windows 10 is set to automatically detect proxy settings. However, this may not work when you’re connected to your company’s business network. One way to set up a proxy is to specify a script address that is given to you by the network administrator or by the company’s IT department. When using a configuration script for a proxy server, note that its address is similar to a URL (the address of a website), such as http://my.proxy.server:8000/.

To set a proxy using an automatic configuration script, follow these steps:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click Network & Internet.

    The list of network- and Internet-related settings appears.

  3. Click Proxy.

    The list of available proxy settings appears.

  4. In the Automatic Proxy Setup section, set the Use Setup Script switch to On.

  5. Enter the script address as it was given to you; then click Save.

  6. Close Settings.

    Setting up an automatic proxy configuration script.

    Setting up an automatic proxy configuration script.

To disable the proxy, follow the same steps and, at Step 4, set the Use Setup Script switch to Off.

Set up a proxy manually

Another way to set a proxy is to manually enter its IP address and port number. The address of a proxy server is similar to that of any computer on the network, and it could be something like: 192.168.1.211. The port can be any combination of up to four figures. It can be any combination of digits, including 80 or 8080, depending on how its administrator(s) set it.

The IP address and port of your company’s proxy server are given to you by the network administrator or by the company’s IT department. Here’s how to set a proxy manually in Windows 10:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click Network & Internet.

    The list of network- and Internet-related settings appears.

  3. Click Proxy.

    The list of available proxy settings appears.

  4. In the Manual Proxy Setup section, set the Use a Proxy Server switch to On.

  5. In the Address field, type the IP address.

  6. In the Port field, type the port.

  7. Click Save; then close the Settings window.

    Setting up a proxy server manually.

    Setting up a proxy server manually.

To disable the proxy, follow the same steps; at Step 4, set the Use a Proxy Server switch to Off.