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Is YouTube not working? Have no fear, we’ll get you back to watching those cat videos soon enough. It’s possible that YouTube is down for everyone, but the problem is more likely on your end.
Whether videos are endlessly buffering, the app isn’t loading, or something else entirely, our troubleshooting steps for Chrome, Android, and iOS should help you get YouTube working again.
Check If YouTube Is Down
It’s rare for YouTube to have a complete outage, but it has happened before. The first thing to check before anything else is whether the problem is with YouTube itself, rather than anything on your side.
When YouTube has major downtime, news outlets will also report on it. The quickest way to check is by going to Google News and searching for “YouTube down” or “YouTube outage”.
Have you established that YouTube seems to be working for others? If so, crack on with these troubleshooting steps.
How to Fix YouTube on Chrome
If you’re using YouTube on a desktop version of Chrome, follow these steps to try and fix YouTube.
1. Update Chrome
You should always be using the most up-to-date version of Chrome. It should automatically update, but it’s always best to double check this.
Paste chrome://settings/help into the URL bar and press Enter. You should see “Google Chrome is up to date”. If you don’t, click Update Google Chrome and then click Relaunch.
2. Clear Cookies and Cache
Try clearing your cookies and cache on Chrome to clean out the browser. Paste chrome://settings/clearBrowserData into the URL bar and press Enter.
On the Time range dropdown, select All time. Tick Cookies and other site data and Cached images and files. Click Clear data.
3. Disable Extensions
Extensions can cause compatibility problems with YouTube. To view your extensions, paste chrome://extensions/ in the URL bar and press Enter.
Disable each extension in turn by clicking the slider so it turns gray. After each, try YouTube again and see if the problem is fixed. If it is, keep the extension disabled, and try contacting the developer to see if they can patch the issue.
4. Update Video Drivers
If your video drivers are outdated, it can cause problems playing videos. Try updating them to see it resolves the issue. To do this, press Windows key + X and click Device Manager.
Double click Display adaptors. Then right-click your adaptor and click Update driver. Click Search automatically for updated driver software and follow the wizard through.
For more support, check out our guide on how to find and replace outdated Windows drivers.
5. Check Internet Connection
Even if you can access other websites, it doesn’t mean your internet connection isn’t at fault. It might not be stable enough to stream YouTube. Use Windows 10’s native troubleshooter to detect and resolve problems.
Press Windows key + I to open Settings. Go to Update & Security > Troubleshoot > Internet Connections > Run the troubleshooter.
If this doesn’t work, see our article on diagnosing a network problem for more advice.
How to Fix YouTube on Android and iOS
If you’re using YouTube on an Android device or an iOS device, like an iPhone or iPad, try these troubleshooting steps.
1. Update Operating System
Your operating system may be outdated and thus YouTube is unable to run correctly.
On Android, open Settings and look for Software update (or System update.) It might be within an About phone section. If there’s a new version available, download and install it.
On iOS, go to Settings > General > Software Update and download and install an update if there’s one available.
2. Update YouTube App
The YouTube app should always be running the latest version so you can benefit from the latest features and bug fixes.
On Android, open the Play Store, swipe from the left to open the sidebar, then tap My apps & games. You will be on the Updates tab. Any apps that need an update will be in the Updates pending section. If YouTube is here, tap Update.
On iOS, open the App Store and tap the Updates tab. If you see YouTube on this list, tap Update.
3. Clear YouTube Cache and Data
If you have been using the YouTube app for a while, a large amount of cache and data could have built up and be causing issues.
On Android, go to Settings > Apps > YouTube > Storage. Tap Clear cache and see if it fixes the problem. If not, return here and tap Clear data.
On iOS, the best way to do this is to uninstall and reinstall YouTube. Press and hold the app on your home screen and tap Delete. Then head into the Play Store and download YouTube again.
4. Sync Date and Time
The YouTube app can have problems if your device’s date and time is out of alignment with that of the YouTube server. The best way to resolve this is to allow your network to automatically handle the date and time.
On Android, go to Settings > General Management > Date and time and slide Automatic date and time to On.
On iOS, go to Settings > General > Date & Time and slide Set Automatically to On.
5. Check Internet Connection
YouTube might not be working if your internet is struggling to connect properly. On Android, go to Settings > Connections. On iOS, go to Settings.
First, turn Flight mode on and off. This can often refresh your network settings and solve the problem. Next, try connecting via Wi-Fi or your phone network (whichever one you aren’t using by default). If this doesn’t work, try disabling Bluetooth.
Still no luck? You can reset your network connection entirely. On Android, go to Settings > General Management > Reset > Reset Network Settings. On iOS, go to Settings > General Settings > Reset > Reset Network Settings.
Enhance YouTube With Extensions
If you have followed all of these troubleshooting steps, YouTube should be back up and running again. If it isn’t, then feel free to ask for further help in the comments below this article.
Assuming YouTube is working again, why not make it even better? You can do so with these YouTube web apps and extensions that allow you to clip videos, search text within videos, add notes to videos, and more.
Looking for YouTube’s gaming site? That’s not around anymore. Try these YouTube Gaming alternatives instead: