YouTube is one of the most valuable video streaming apps. But it can be frustrating if it fails to work on your device, especially when seeing something. If YouTube doesn’t work on your iPhone or computer, learn how to solve this problem quickly!
- How to fix Youtube videos not playing on iPhone
- 5 Ways to fix YouTube not playing videos on the browser
How to fix Youtube videos not playing on iPhone
1. Check your network connectivity (Wi-Fi/mobile data)
Of course, YouTube requires fast internet connectivity, given the type of content it streams. So your Wi-Fi or mobile connectivity is the first culprit you want to check if YouTube isn’t playing videos on your iPhone. YouTube might keep loading the content tray video player if it’s a connection issue.
Hence, you might want to refresh your mobile network by turning on/off the Airplane mode on your iPhone. If your iPhone is on Wi-Fi instead, here are various Wi-Fi failure fixes you can try.
2. Close and relaunch YouTube
The YouTube player might fail to work if the app is frozen or has caching issues. This isn’t uncommon in many iOS apps, including WhatsApp. Therefore, force-closing the YouTube player and relaunching it might fix the problem.
3. Check YouTube’s server status
Server downtime isn’t a common problem with YouTube. But this might happen on a few occasions. If you’ve tried the above fixes and YouTube videos still fail to play on your iPhone, the YouTube server in your region might be down.
Unfortunately, Google doesn’t provide an official status checker as it does for Workspaces. So the best bet is to check YouTube server status using online web-based third-party tools like Downdetector. Once on that page, you’ll see the status report written boldly at the top of the page.
Also, you can use the status graph to determine if others have submitted similar reports previously.
4. Restart your iPhone
Since YouTube is only an app like others on the iPhone, it might fail to play videos if your iPhone is frozen. Thankfully, merely restarting the iPhone helps resolve RAM issues that cause the iPhone to freeze. So this is more like giving your phone a fresh start without closing previously opened apps.
5. Clear YouTube watch history
⚠️ Caution: Clearing your YouTube watch history will erase all tailored recommendations. So you won’t see the videos you like anymore after the fact.
A cluttered watch history might prevent YouTube from loading content or playing videos as it should. So if you find that YouTube is slow or still doesn’t play videos despite trying the above fixes, it’s probably time to clear your watch history on the app.
This is simple:
- Open the YouTube app on your iPhone.
- Tap your profile icon at the top right.
- Then go to Settings → History and privacy.
- Tap Clear watch history.
- Select CLEAR WATCH HISTORY again to confirm.
6. Update your iPhone and YouTube app
The YouTube app might fail to play videos on the iPhone if it’s not updated. So you might want to confirm this and update the app to see if it fixes the problem.
Also, the YouTube version on the iPhone might be more advanced or modern than what your iOS version can use. This is rare, though, and is less likely the case. But it happens.
But regardless, the best approach is to update your iOS version to the latest one. Besides matching the app with your iOS, this might fix underlying bugs preventing YouTube videos from playing on the iPhone.
7. Uninstall and re-install YouTube
If you recently installed YouTube and videos don’t play, this might be due to an incomplete installation. Uninstalling and re-installing YouTube might work in that case. Also, this approach might be handy if YouTube fails to play videos after updating the app.
8. Reset network settings
In addition to refreshing your mobile connectivity and fixing Wi-Fi connection failure, resetting your network settings might help fix other unknown underlying network problems.
To reset your iPhone network settings: Open the Settings app. Then go to General → Transfer or Reset iPhone → Reset → Reset Network Settings.
5 Ways to fix YouTube not playing videos on the browser
The following fixes are handy if you’re trying to play YouTube videos via Safari or other browsers on your desktop.
1. Reload YouTube
YouTube videos might fail to play in the browser if the page doesn’t load correctly. This might happen if the video or page loads longer than it should. And this might also be due to network issues. However, reloading the YouTube page might help jump-start your network and load the video accordingly.
Tap the refresh icon at the top of your browser if you’re on a Mac or PC. Or simply swipe down the YouTube page if you’re using the browser via an iPhone or iPad.
2. Try adjusting the video quality (for browser and YouTube app)
The video loading speed depends in part on its resolution. For instance, a YouTube video might fail to load or play if your network connectivity is slow to deliver the requested video quality. Reducing the video quality in that case often works.
Note: This method only applies if YouTube already delivered the video, but it fails to play.
To reduce YouTube video quality via the browser on your PC or Mac, tap the Settings icon on the said video. Then go to Quality to choose a lower resolution.
To do this via the YouTube app: Tap the three vertical dots at the top right → select Quality → go to Advanced → select a lower quality.
3. Check on a private browser
Browsing incognito might help resolve YouTube videos not playing on the browser. This helps if the video fails to play due to caching.
However, if a YouTube video fails to play because it’s unavailable in your region, using a private browser such as Tor helps. Moreover, this uses a proxy network.
4. Clear browser cache
Caching issues are some of the common causes of YouTube videos failing to play on the browser. Thankfully, merely clearing the browser cache helps fix the problem. You might want to see how to clean the cache on Chrome or Safari for a quick guide.
5. Reboot the router and fix Wi-Fi
A faulty router or poor Wi-Fi connectivity also prevents contents from loading on the browser. You can justify this by trying to access other websites besides YouTube. If they fail to load, your router to Wi-Fi connection might be faulty. I found these fixes valuable for fixing poor Wi-Fi connectivity on Mac.
However, to complement this, you might also want to reboot your router to fix connection issues.
With the introduction of Shorts and many more features on YouTube, most people can hardly do without using it in a day. As you know, it’s full of video content for every category of people. However, let me know if the above fixes got your YouTube video working alright on iPhone and desktop.
Have more queries? Share in the comment section below.
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Idowu is an avid tech writer and a software surfer who loves covering knowledge gaps in consumer software, including anything related to iPhones. Well, when he's not reading and learning new things, you'll find Idowu losing gallantly on a solid chessboard or virtually on Lichess.