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How to fix YouTube playback error?

Youtube’s usage has surged over the past decade with wider internet coverage and more people on the internet. However, like any other online streaming platform, Youtube users also experience playback errors.

There can be various reasons that can cause the Youtube playback error, which includes spotty internet connectivity, glitchy app, Google account or cache issues, to name a few.

If you cannot play the video on Youtube web or app and all you see is a ‘Playback Error, Tap to Retry’ message, then here are 14 ways you can troubleshoot the Youtube playback error.


Internet connectivity: Reset the router

There is a possibility that your internet connectivity has a lag or glitch. Merely rebooting your router can potentially solve the playback error you’re facing on Youtube.

We recommend you wait for 2-3 minutes after you have rebooted your router before starting your video again, and this should resolve the Youtube playback error.

Also read: How to fix ‘YouTube Comments Not Loading’ in Chrome?


Change internet connection to WiFi or vice-versa

If you are playing Youtube using mobile data, shifting to WiFi might help if your cellular data is over or its connectivity is too slow to play high-quality videos. Similarly, if you’re connected to the WiFi and are facing issues, you can try connecting to cellular data or hotspot and see if that resolves the Youtube playback error.


Clear cache and cookies

Most of the websites store cache and cookies in the user’s system. While cookies store information about the user, which is temporary and deletes itself in some time, cache keeps various files like audio, video and flash files which need to be deleted manually by the user.

Deleting temporary and unwanted files from time to time is extremely important for streaming services to function correctly. So, clearing cache and cookies from your system might fix the Youtube playback error.

How to clear cache on Safari for MacBook?

Open Safari on your Macbook and follow the steps given below to clear cache from Safari.

Step 1: Click on Safari to open drop-down menu.

Step 2: Select Preferences from the list of options.

Step 3: Click on Advanced tab.

Step 4: Check Show Develop Menu In Menu Bar box then click on small red cross on the top-left side to close the window.

Step 5: Click on Develop located on the menu bar.

Step 6: Select Empty Caches.


How to clear cache from Safari app?

Open your iPhone or iPad’s settings and follow the steps mentioned below to clear cache and cookies from Safari.

How to fix 'Safari Can't Find Server' issue?
  • Tap on Safari.
  • Scroll down and tap on Clear History and Website Data.
  • Then confirm by tapping on Clear History and Data.

You can find our guides to clear cache on Google Chrome (Windows and Mac), Android, Edge and Windows below.

Also read: How to fix ‘YouTube not working’ issue?


Sign out and sign in to your Google account again

Another trick that might work for you to solve the Youtube playback error is re-signing into your Google account.

Follow the steps mentioned below to sign out and then sign in to your Google account.

How to sign out from Google account on web?

Step 1: Click on the profile picture icon, located on the top-right corner of the screen.

Step 2: Click on Sign Out from the drop-down menu.


How to sign in from Google account on web?

Step 1: Click on Sign In icon located on the top-right corner of the screen.

Step 2: Select the Google email address with which you want to sign in. You can input a new email by clicking on Use Another Account.

Step 3: Enter your Password. Then click on Next.


How to sign out from Google account on mobile app?

Follow the steps mentioned below to sign out from the Youtube app.

  • Tap on the profile picture icon, located in the top-right corner of the screen.
  • Select Switch Account.
  • Tap on Use YouTube Signed Out from the list of options in the menu.

How to sign in from Google account on mobile app?

Follow the steps mentioned below to sign-in to the Youtube app.

  • Tap on the profile icon located in the top-right corner of the screen.
  • Tap on Sign In.
  • Select the Google email address with which you want to sign in. You can input a new email by tapping on Add Account. It might ask you to provide a password if it is not saved already on your device. Enter it and continue.

Also read: How to fix ‘PS4 error CE-30005-8’?


Close and reopen YouTube browser tab

Another one of the more simpler fixes for the Youtube playback error is closing and reopening the Youtube browser tab.

You can use the shortcut keys: Ctrl/Command + W to close the tab and then Ctrl/Command + Shift + T to reopen the last closed tab.

On your mobile device, go back to the home screen and close the application entirely. Doing this simple process clears the Youtube playback error for most people and might work for you as well.


Update router firmware

Updating the router firmware is another fix suggested by many Youtube users, particularly those using the application on iOS devices. To update the router firmware, check the modem model and then visit the router website to read the detailed update instructions.


Update your devices’ YouTube app and browser

One way to fix the Youtube playback error is by making sure the Youtube application and the web browser are updated. Check the versions of your apps and update them for uninterrupted video playback.


Uninstall YouTube app and reinstall

A buggy app installation can also cause the Youtube playback error. Uninstalling and reinstalling the app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store might help.


Adjust video quality

You can stream up to 4K resolution videos on Youtube. The video quality is set at Auto by default, and it streams according to the available internet speed and also your device’s capability

. However, if you have manually adjusted the video quality to a higher resolution and do not have the internet bandwidth to stream the same, Youtube might give a playback error.

To prevent the playback error, go to the Gear icon on the Youtube video, then set the video quality to Auto or lower resolution to play the video uninterrupted.

Also read: How to fix ‘Sorry there was a problem with your request on Instagram’ error?


Change DNS address

Domain Name System resolves internet websites’ names with their underlying IP addresses and provides better security and efficiency.

If you are encountering a Youtube playback error, changing the DNS address might help you resolve it. Follow the steps given below to change the DNS address.

On iPhone

Open your iPhone or iPad’s settings and follow the steps mentioned below to configure DNS.

  • Tap on WiFi and ensure your mobile is connected to a WiFi network.
  • Tap on the Info icon located right next to the name of the WiFi network your device is connected to.
  • Scroll down and select Configure DNS.
  • Tap on Manual.
  • Tap on the green plus sign to Add Server.
  • Enter 8.8.8.8 and tap on Save, located on the top right corner of the screen.

On Macbook

Step 1: Open Network settings from your system preferences. Alternatively, you can click on the WiFi icon located on the top-right corner of the screen and then select Open Network Preferences.

Step 2: Click on Advanced button, located at the bottom right corner of the screen.

Step 3: Click on DNS (refer to the screenshot given below).

Step 4: Click on the small “+” sign and enter 8.8.8.8

Step 5: Click on OK.

Step 6: Click on Apply to apply changes to DNS address.

Check out our guide to change the DNS on your PS4 here.

On Windows

Follow these steps to reset these settings. 

Step 1: Press Windows key + R, type cmd and hit the Enter key.

How to fix the 'WiFi connected but no internet access' issue?

Step 2: Type in ipconfig /flushdns and hit enter. This will reset your DNS settings to their defaults.

How to fix the 'WiFi connected but no internet access' issue?

You can try out the following commands as well. Simply enter them in the command prompt one by one and hit enter after typing in each command.

netsh winsock reset
netsh int ip reset
ipconfig /release
ipconfig /renew

Also read: 6 ways to fix ‘com.apple.mobilephone error 1035’ on iPhone


Switch to a different browser

Youtube works easily on any browser; however, it works best on Chrome. Switch to a different browser, preferably Chrome, to avoid any playback errors from Youtube.


Disable AdBlock extension

AdBlock extension can cause playback issues on Youtube because it blocks certain cookies, which doesn’t always go well with Google’s algorithm. Try disabling your adblocker and see if that fixes the error.


Check Google server

Youtube playback error might also occur due to excessive traffic on the Google server. You can check if others are also encountering the same problem on Downdetector. If the server is down, then you will have to wait for Google to fix the issue at their end.


Troubleshoot playback issue

If none of the fixes listed above work for you, you can report the Youtube team’s playback error by following the steps mentioned below.

Step 1: Right-click on the video you are playing on Youtube, then select Troubleshoot Playback Issue from the list of options.

Step 2: A pop-up window will appear asking you to send the feedback. Report the playback error issue by writing in the section. You can also include the screenshot by checking the box.

Step 3: Click on Send to report your issue.

Also read: How to fix Discord Javascript error?

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