For more best practices and resources designed to help you in a changing environment, please visit yt.be/creatoracademytoolkits  

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 have a look at our list of known issues.

You get an error starting your encoder

If you're using a third-party encoder 

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 Stream.
  4. If this is your first live stream in Live Control Room, edit your stream and click Create stream.
  5. On the bottom right-hand side, 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 in to YouTube from a third-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 probably a problem with this viewer's computer or Internet connection.
  • You can suggest that they try viewing or connecting to your stream in a different way.
  • Ask the viewer for the steps that 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 probably 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 that 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 that 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 that 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.
  4. Test your Internet connection: Visit speedtest.net to test the speed of your Internet connection.
  5. 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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