Troubleshoot streaming and video issues

If your movie, show, or on demand content keeps buffering, lagging, or isn't playing correctly, try one of these solutions to fix issues on your computer or mobile device. If you’re having issues on your TV, try these steps. These troubleshooting steps can help with most playback issues and errors.

If you’ve tried these steps, and your video is still not playing correctly, you can test watching on a different supported device.

Fix video issues on your computer

Examples of common error messages:
  • Sorry, there was an error licensing this video.
  • This video requires payment.
  • An error occurred. Please try again later.
  • We are experiencing problems with our servers. Please try again later.
  • Something went wrong.

If you get an error similar to the ones above, try these steps:

  • Make sure your computer is up to date.
  • Close and re-open your web browser.
  • If you have many browser tabs open, try to close most of them except for the one you’re using for YouTube.
  • Update your browser to the latest version.
  • Use Google Chrome as your browser.
  • Restart your device.

Fix problems with buffering or loading videos

Try watching your video using Google Chrome as your browser. If you can't use Chrome, or are still having trouble, try the steps below.

  1. On your computer, refresh or restart your internet browser.
  2. Check your internet speed. If you're using a slower internet connection, try closing other browsers, tabs, and apps. You can also try restarting your modem or router.
  3. Update your browser to the latest version.
  4. Try clearing your cache and cookies.
  5. Try lowering your video quality.
  6. Restart your device.

Fix problems with your movie getting stuck

On the movie's timeline, click fast forward to the next couple of scenes to see if the movie will start playing normally again.

If this action doesn’t help, try closing and re-opening your web browser. If you're still having trouble, check for any browser updates or try a different supported browser, such as Chrome. If these actions don’t help, try clearing your cache and cookies.

Fix problems with missing purchases in library

To see your purchased content, make sure you’re signed into the personal account that the purchase was made on. Brand Accounts don’t support watching movies or shows, so you’ll need to switch to your personal account.

To switch to your personal account:

  1. In the top right corner of YouTube, click your channel icon.
  2. Next to your profile picture, tap Switch account and then. You'll see a list of the Accounts that you manage and your Google Account identity.
  3. Click the account you want to use. If you choose a Brand Account that doesn't have a channel, you can create a channel for that page.

Fix video issues on your TV

Check your internet connection

A minimum 7 Mbps connection speed is recommended for HD streaming. You can test your connection speed here.
We recommend doing this right next to the TV. If your internet speed is on the lower side, we recommend making sure your device or Smart TV is within range of your router and has minimal interference (e.g., isn't recessed in a wall, blocked by metal, etc.). Try moving your device to see if this improves connectivity. You can also try minimizing other devices connected to your network.

Check your streaming quality

Try adjusting the quality manually.
  1. Select Settings  in the video player.
  2. Select Quality and see if you have the option to manually adjust.

Quit and reopen the YouTube app

  1. Press the home button on your remote.
  2. Reopen the YouTube app.
  3. Try replaying your video.

Sign out of the YouTube app and sign back in

  1.  Open the YouTube app.
  2. Select your profile picture  and then the icon beneath to manage your profile.
  3. Select Next to continue and sign out.
  4. Go back to Settings and select Sign in. You may need to enter a code.
  5. Try replaying your video.

Restart your device

  1. Disconnect your device from power.
  2. Wait several seconds.
  3. Reconnect your device.
  4. Return to the YouTube app and try replaying your video.

Update the system software for your device

Check for any available updates to your device’s system. You can check for updates by looking in the system update section of your device settings. If an update is available, follow the on-screen instructions to update the system, then try your video again.

If you’re having trouble updating or seeing streaming issues across several different services, check your device manufacturer’s support site for help troubleshooting.

You can also try using another method to play the title on your TV:

  • If you have a Chromecast, play on another device and cast to your TV.
  • If you have an HDMI cable, play from a laptop and connect to your TV.

Similarly, try watching on another device to see if the same issue continues.

Reduce broadcast delay on your TV for Primetime Channels

Broadcast delay is the delay between the camera capturing an event and the event being displayed when you’re watching on your TV. 

The lower the broadcast delay, the less buffer the video player will have. With a lower broadcast delay, you’re more likely to experience playback interruption.

Network congestion and other factors may also cause live programming issues, which can delay the stream. Delays can happen even when you have a great network.

Update your broadcast delay in the YouTube app on your TV

  1. From the bottom right, select Settings.
  2. Select Broadcast Delay.
  3. Select Decrease or Default.

“Default” is best to minimize playback interruptions. “Decrease” is best to reduce live spoilers. Choose the “Decrease” option if you want low broadcast delay with minimal playback interruptions.

Send feedback

You can submit feedback about issues watching videos on the YouTube app by going to your profile icon and then Help and Feedback and then Send Feedback directly after your playback problem.

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