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How to fix ‘YouTube not working’ issue?

YouTube is one of the largest media streaming platforms out there but that doesn’t make it immune to random glitches here and there.

If for some reason YouTube isn’t working as it’s supposed to for you, here are 15 things you can do to fix the issue. 


Check if YouTube is down

The number one thing you’re going to have to do first is to check if Youtube itself is functioning properly or not. Google’s services have been down a few times in different part of the worlds because of a number of reasons.

You can check Youtube’s status here and here.


Clear out your browser’s cache, cookies and other data

More often than not, corrupted cache, cookies or browser data can cause issues with websites not running as they should. 

On PC

If you’re on Chrome/Edge, here’s how you can clear out your browser’s data.

Step 1: Type in chrome://settings/clearBrowserData in your browser’s address bar and hit Enter.

How to fix 'YouTube not working' issue? | Candid.Technology

Step 2: Select the cache and cookies options and make sure the Time range is set to All time. Click on the Clear now button to clear out all the data. 

How to fix 'YouTube not working' issue? | Candid.Technology

On Android

If you’re on Android, it’s a good idea to clear out the YouTube app’s data and check if that works. Here’s how.

How to fix 'YouTube not working' issue? | Candid.Technology
  • Tap and hold on the app icon and press the i button.
  • Tap on Storage & Cache.
  • Tap both the Clear data and Clear cache buttons. 

On iOS

iOS doesn’t really allow you to manually clear out an app’s data but you can give reinstalling the YouTube app a shot.

Also read: How to upload a video to YouTube from your iPhone?


Eye your extensions

Extensions take control over several settings in your browser and this can impact how several sites work. Try opening YouTube in an incognito tab which can be opened using Ctrl+Shift+N and check if it’s running properly. Make sure no extensions are allowed to run in the incognito tab. 

If the site is still not functioning, chances are some extensions are messing around. Follow these steps to diagnose the issue. 

Step 1: Head over to chrome://extensions/ .

How to fix 'YouTube not working' issue? | Candid.Technology

Step 2: Start by disabling one extension at a time and visiting the site. Keep on repeating this until YouTube eventually works. Now remove the last extension you disabled to get rid of the issue.

How to fix 'YouTube not working' issue? | Candid.Technology

Also read: What all can a Zoom host see when you screen share?


Update your browser/app

Often an out of date app or browser can restrict you from visiting certain websites. Update your browser and/or app to the latest version to see if it resolves the issue. 

On PC

Head over to chrome://settings/help and make sure you’re on the latest update. If you’re not, update immediately and try again.

How to fix 'YouTube not working' issue? | Candid.Technology

On Android/iOS

While it’s almost certain that your app would already be up to date, it doesn’t hurt to check. Head over to the Google Play Store or Apple’s App Store and make sure you got the latest update. 


Check your browser’s site settings

Javascript is a must to run YouTube. If for whatever reason the site settings on your browser are messed up, you might not be able to access the site.

Head over to chrome://settings/content/javascript and make sure Javascript is enabled on your browser.

How to fix 'YouTube not working' issue? | Candid.Technology

If in case you are having issues with your audio, head over to chrome://settings/content/sound and make sure the Allow sites to play audio toggle is enabled.

How to fix 'YouTube not working' issue? | Candid.Technology

Also read: How to block YouTube screen time on iPhone and iPad?


Check proxy settings

In a similar fashion to the last step, chances are your proxy settings are messed up because of a faulty extension or an incorrect setting. Here’s how you can check and make sure everything is in order.

Head over to chrome://settings/system. Make sure there are no extensions or anything else controlling your proxy settings. The page should look like this.

How to fix 'YouTube not working' issue? | Candid.Technology

Also read: How to enable Desktop Mode in Safari on iOS 14?


Update graphics drivers

As obvious as it sounds, playing videos or showing just about anything on the monitor requires proper graphics drivers. If your graphics drivers are out of date, chances are you might just see a black screen when opening YouTube.

Follow these steps to make sure your graphics drivers are in order.

Step 1: Press Windows key + R to open the Run prompt. Type in devmgmt.msc and hit enter.

How to fix 'YouTube not working' issue? | Candid.Technology

Step 2: Scroll down to find Display adaptors. Double click it to expand and see all your graphics cards.

How to fix 'YouTube not working' issue? | Candid.Technology

Step 3: Right-click on your graphics cards and select Update driver.

How to fix 'YouTube not working' issue? | Candid.Technology

Step 4: Select Search automatically for updated driver software. Windows will automatically download and install any updates is available. 

How to fix 'YouTube not working' issue? | Candid.Technology

Also read: Can people see if I take a screenshot of their Facebook profile picture?


Check up Hardware acceleration

YouTube uses hardware acceleration to make the most out of its videos. However, if you’re running an older machine, disabling it might actually be a better idea. Here’s how.

Head over to chrome://settings/system. Make sure that the hardware acceleration setting is turned off.

How to fix 'YouTube not working' issue? | Candid.Technology

Also read: How to report a seller on Amazon?


Cross-check the date/time and region

Having the wrong date/time and region on your machine can cause issues with just about every site let alone YouTube. If you’re connected to the internet, chances are these settings are already in order, however, you should cross-check them once. 

Step 1: Press Windows key + I to open the Windows settings. 

How to fix 'YouTube not working' issue? | Candid.Technology

Step 2: Search for the date and time settings. Click on the option that pops up in the dropdown menu.

How to fix 'YouTube not working' issue? | Candid.Technology

Step 3: Make sure these settings are in sync with your current time/date and region. We suggest enabling the Set time automatically slider.

How to fix 'YouTube not working' issue? | Candid.Technology

Also read: How to change your YouTube channel’s name?


Uninstall unwanted/suspicious apps 

Just like extensions, unwanted or suspicious apps can also cause seemingly random issues. 

Fortunately enough, there’s a built-in utility in Chrome and Chrome-based browsers that can get rid of this. 

Step 1:  Head over to chrome://settings/reset.Click on Clean unwanted Software.

How to fix 'YouTube not working' issue? | Candid.Technology

Step 2: Click the Find button and wait for Chrome to automatically find out and remove any unwanted apps/software that might be causing this issue. 

How to fix 'YouTube not working' issue? | Candid.Technology

Also read: How to get unbanned from a Minecraft server? 


Check DNS settings

If you’ve changed DNS settings on your computer, they could very well affect your ability to be able to visit a website. 

Follow these steps to flush your DNS settings and reset them back to the default values.

Step 1: Press Windows key + R and type in cmd and hit enter.

How to fix 'YouTube not working' issue? | Candid.Technology

Step 2: Type in ipconfig /flushdns to reset DNS settings to default.

How to fix 'YouTube not working' issue? | Candid.Technology

If you’re on a mac, head over to your terminal and type in sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder. Type in your password when prompted for it and try opening YouTube again.


Reset network settings

If you’re unable to use the YouTube app on your Android or iOS device, resetting the network stack might be a good idea. 

On Android

Open your Android device’s settings and follow the steps mentioned below.

  • Scroll down and tap on System.
  • Tap Advanced.
  • Tap on Reset options.
  • Head over to Reset Wi-Fi, mobile and Bluetooth.
  • Tap the Reset settings button.

On iOS

Open your iPhone’s settings and follow the steps mentioned below to reset network settings.

  • Scroll down and tap on General.
  • Tap on Reset.
  • You’ll find a Reset Network Settings button there. Tap on it to reset your network stack and try again. 

Also read: How to change your Profile Picture on YouTube?


Try a VPN

If you’re trying to access YouTube over your school’s or office’s internet network, chances are they’ve blocked access to the site. 

You can try using a VPN to see if you can get around any such blocks. There are many free VPN options to chose from like ProtonVPN, TunnelBear and  Hide.me.


Update your OS

Although it’s a far shot, there’s a chance that a pending update on your OS’ side could be messing up your web browsing experience. Here’s how you can check for updates.

Step 1: Press Windows key + I to get to Windows settings. Click on Update & Security.

Step 3: Install any updates if available, restart your PC and try visiting YouTube again. 

Also read: How to increase your level/rank in Free Fire?


Contact your ISP

If you’ve worked your way down here in the article, chances are you’re all good and it’s your ISP that’s at fault here. Try contacting them and making sure that there are no restrictions imposed on what sites you can browse.

Also read: Top 10 most viewed playlists on YouTube Music

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