Troubleshoot your YouTube live stream

If you’re having issues with your YouTube live stream, use the troubleshooting tips below. In addition to these tips, you can always post in our YouTube help forum or check out our list of known issues.

Note: Starting December 14th, you may see a decrease in your peak live concurrent viewership (CCV) count as we remove spam viewers. This effort is part of our ongoing effort of making sure YouTube is a fair and authentic community.

 

You get an error starting your encoder

If you’re using a 3rd party encoder 

You may be using a legacy stream key from the now deprecated Classic Stream Now. Your encoder may give an error like “Could not access the specified channel or stream key.” 

To fix it, get a new stream key in Live Control Room and update your encoder.

  1. Go to YouTube Studio.
  2. To open Live Control Room, from the top right, click Create and then Go Live.
  3. From the left, click the Stream tab.
  4. If this is your first live stream in Live Control Room: Edit your stream and click Create stream.
  5. On the bottom right, copy the new stream key, and then paste it into your encoder.
  6. When you’re ready to stream, start your encoder to go live. 

If you’re logging into YouTube from a 3rd party streaming software and are not using a stream key

Contact the software’s support team for more information. They may need to update their software to work with YouTube Live.

Review reported errors on your stream

Live streaming issues can vary depending on how many viewers are reporting errors with your live stream. You can see the number of viewers and the number of reported errors in your live stream metrics.

One viewer is reporting an error
  • There is likely a problem with this viewer’s computer or internet connection.
  • You can suggest that they try viewing or connecting to your stream a different way.
  • Ask the viewer for the steps they’re using to see the error, and check if you see it too.
Many viewers - using one internet connection - are reporting an error
  • There is likely an issue with the viewers’ shared network.
  • You can ask the viewers to check their internet connection and network health. They should have the capacity to view multiple streams - e.g. 10 users watching 10 streams requires 10x the inbound bandwidth.
  • Ask the viewer for the steps they’re using to see the error, and check if you see it too.
Many viewers - on different internet connections - are reporting an error
There may be an issue with your live stream encoder. Try the additional troubleshooting steps below.

Make sure your live stream encoder is working

A live stream encoder is the app, program, or tool you can use to capture and compress your live stream. You can use the steps below to troubleshoot some problems that may occur with your encoder.

  1. Make sure you are using the latest version of your encoder software. If not, update your encoder to the latest version.
  2. Check the look and sound of your stream directly in the encoder.
    • If your stream looks or sounds bad: There may be a problem with the quality of your audio and video sources routed to your encoder. You can look for encoder errors on the live dashboard, check the CPU load on your encoder, or try to find audio or video problems in your local archive file. If you don’t see any problems, you may want to try streaming using a different encoder.
    • If your stream looks and sounds healthy: There may be an issue with your outbound internet connection. Try the next step below.
  3. Test the strength of your outbound internet connection.
    • Test your internet connection: Visit speedtest.net to test the speed of your internet connection.
    • If you find issues with your internet connection: Contact your internet service provider to troubleshoot.

Report a bug

If you continue to have issues with your live stream, you can report a bug to let our team know.

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