YouTube Isn’t Working? Here’s How to Fix It

Joe Keeley 29-11-2019

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.

Two sites to help you do that are downdetector.com and outage.report. They crowdsource user reports to show you what issues are being reported and from where in the world.

Screenshot of Outage Report website for YouTube

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.

Google Chrome version information

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.

Clearing cookies and cache on Google Chrome

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.

Chrome list of extensions

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.

Updating drivers in 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 How to Find & Replace Outdated Windows Drivers Your drivers might be outdated and need updating, but how are you to know? Here's what you need to know and how to go about it. Read More .

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.

Troubleshooting network issues

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 Network Problems? 7 Diagnostic Tricks and Simple Fixes Network problems must be diagnosed before they can be resolved. This article covers seven simple tricks for fixing your network. Read More 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.

Updating Android operating system

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.

Updating YouTube on Android

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.

Clear YouTube app cache

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.

Sync date and time on Android

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.

Reset network settings on Android

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 The Best YouTube Gaming Alternatives for Gamers YouTube Gaming is no more, so here are the best YouTube Gaming alternatives to fill the void. Read More instead:

Related topics: Online Video, Troubleshooting, YouTube.

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  1. Marsya
    June 24, 2020 at 12:13 pm

    i can open my youtube but it not showing anything

  2. Trish
    December 16, 2019 at 4:49 pm

    Youtube firmat has changed that I watch on my Roku on TV. I do not use apos to resolve TV issues. How can I get it reset?

  3. Pamela Fitzpatrick
    October 14, 2019 at 5:31 pm

    YouTube is working on my iPhone but not on my iPad Pro or Apple TV. I’ve tried all of your suggestions. Is YouTube having these problems in general because of the recent update to the app?

  4. Jaida
    October 2, 2019 at 2:47 am

    Every time I click on a video it loads and then stays paused and i can't get the video to play I've tried cleaning my cache and my data but it keeps doing it 🤬🤬

  5. Mucho Loco
    September 25, 2019 at 5:22 am

    My youtube on my laptop and phone works until I link it to the works Wi-Fi.
    Youtube opens, plays the previews of the videos and plays the ads of the videos, but the videos self doesn't want to play it just buffers until it connects to a different network

  6. Zachary Lewis-Duteau
    September 8, 2019 at 6:34 pm

    I cleared the cache and data but as soon as I left YouTube I needed to clear it again? Is there a pemanate fix?

  7. Dawn
    July 23, 2019 at 4:40 pm

    I was forced to load the Youtube app on my firestick now it won't work. Just keeps trying to load. Once it's stops spinning I can see the Youtube videos right underneath the can't connect right now. The internet is good. It works on my desktop and tablet fine. Help!

  8. nyeh
    June 26, 2019 at 6:47 pm

    Do you know how to fix it on 3DS? I've updated it and tried to get on many times. I'm confused.