YouTube Not Working? Try These Quick Fixes First

why is YouTube not working

Photo Credit: Souvik Banerjee

Are you wondering why YouTube is not working on your device? Here’s a quick guide to fixing it.

YouTube is the largest online video streaming service in the world. It has more than 1.5 billion visits each month, with 400 hours of content uploaded each minute. With so much content available, you may inevitably discover YouTube not working sooner rather than later.

YouTube intermittent outages have increased in 2020-21. The @TeamYouTube account on Twitter usually announces these outages within a few minutes of them becoming available. If you don’t see a YouTube outage on the official Twitter feed, and you wonder why YouTube is not working on your device – it’s probably something we can fix.

Why Is YouTube Not Working? – Android & iOS Devices

There are many reasons why you may experience a spotty connection on your Android or iOS smartphone or tablet. We can diagnose a few of them with some quick actions like restarting your device and checking your internet connection. Sometimes a simple device restart is all that is needed to clear up video streaming issues on YouTube.

How to Restart Most Android & iOS Devices

  1. Hold down the power button on your device.
  2. Tap the restart button on the screen.
  3. Confirm the restart and then open YouTube.
  4. Play a video to see if YouTube is working.

Update the YouTube App

Sometimes people go long periods without updating the apps on their smartphones. Check the Google Play Store or App Store to see if there is an update for the YouTube app. If there is, install it and then see if you can play the video. You would be surprised how often this step can fix issues.

Clear YouTube App Cache

If you’ve updated the YouTube app and YouTube is not working, then clearing the cache is the next step. Clearing an app’s cache gets rid of all app data, including any custom settings.

  1. Tap the ‘Settings’ icon on your device.
  2. Tap ‘Apps’ then scroll to find ‘YouTube.’
  3. Choose the ‘Storage’ option, then ‘Clear Cache.’

Time and Date Settings

It may seem strange, but check the time and date settings on your device. Google’s servers may have trouble syncing with your device if it isn’t following the actual date and time. This problem is more common on PCs and tablets, which may move between time zones without automatic time zone settings. Here’s how to fix it.

  1. Tap the ‘Settings’ icon on your device.
  2. Tap on ‘Date & Time.’
  3. Find ‘Automatic Date & Time’ and turn it on.

Your device should now be synced to pick up date and time information from the towers from which it connects. This uncommon issue is one of the strangest reasons why YouTube is not working on many smart devices.

Why is YouTube not Working? – Internet Issues

If you are still experiencing problems playing videos on YouTube, it might be because of your internet connection. Check whether or not your device is connected to the internet by opening the ‘Settings’ menu and viewing your network connections.

If you are connected to a WiFi network, you may have a router issue. If you are connected to a cellular network, you may be connected to a congested tower. Moving somewhere else may help ease the issue in both of these cases.

Why Is YouTube Not Working? – Browser

If you are trying to watch YouTube videos in a browser like Chrome, Firefox, or Safari and you’re experiencing issues – there are a few fixes we can try.

Update Your Browser

No matter which browser or operating system you’re using, you should always have the latest version. Check to see if there are new versions of Chrome, Firefox, and Safari by clicking ‘About’ and then view build info.

Check Your Internet Connection

Just like with Android and iOS devices, you should check your PC’s internet connection. Try going to a random site or performing a search to see if it loads. If other sites are experiencing problems, your connection is messed up in some way. If only YouTube.com is down, then you know the problem exists somewhere else.

Turn on JavaScript

JavaScript must be enabled to watch YouTube videos. Many ad blockers and privacy extensions turn off JavaScript by default. You can turn it back on by heading to your browser’s settings.

Check Extensions

If JavaScript is enabled and you’re still wondering why YouTube is not working, you may have an extension conflict. Sometimes ad blockers and privacy extensions break how video players work. You may need to turn these extensions off or add YouTube to the whitelist for the site to work properly. You can diagnose this by seeing if YouTube normally plays in your browser’s incognito mode.