Troubleshoot video playback issues

Many factors can cause video playback issues, such as internet or device connection.

If one of these notifications surface, you may be experiencing a video playback issue:

  • An error has occurred.
  • Playback error. Tap to retry.
  • Connection to server lost.
  • This video is unavailable.
  • Something went wrong. Tap to Retry.

By troubleshooting your internet or device connection, your video may play without playback issues. Start by checking your internet speed, then check the steps for your device.

Troubleshoot internet and device connection

Try following the steps below to troubleshoot your internet and device connections.

Internet speed

The quality of your home or mobile network can affect how smoothly YouTube videos play, and whether videos play in HD. 
  • Check the YouTube video’s resolution and the recommended speed needed for the video to play. The table below shows the approximate speeds recommended to play each video resolution.

Video Resolution

Recommended sustained speed
4K 20 Mbps
HD 1080p    5 Mbps
HD 720p  2.5 Mbps
SD 480p 1.1 Mbps
SD 360p 0.7 Mbps

Note: The actual speed that your device gets may vary from the number given when you run an 'internet speed test.' The difference can be due to numerous factors including: 

  • Wi-Fi performance
  • Time of day
  • How your ISP connects to YouTube 
  • How many devices are on your network: If there are a few devices on your network, then the connection is shared between them. Using numerous devices on the same network may reduce the speed that your device gets.
  • You can also find out if your internet Service Provider is HD Verified, by visiting the Video Quality Report.
  • If you're interested in seeing more info on how your videos are playback, check out Stats for Nerds.
  • Try restarting your internet connection if the above suggestions don’t improve your connection.

Smart TVs, Chromecast, and game consoles

If you’re using a Smart TV, Chromecast, or game console, here are some steps you can take to try to fix playback issues:

  • Restart the YouTube app.
  • Restart your device: Do a hard restart by disconnecting the power and then reconnecting.
  • For game consoles: Uninstall and reinstall the YouTube app.
  • Update your device’s firmware/system software.
  • Check if any of your browser extensions that block ads affect video playback.
  • If you have many browser tabs open, try to close most of them except the one you’re using for YouTube.
  • Restart your browser.
  • Restart your router.
  • Restart your computer.
  • Update your browser to the latest version.
  • Use Chrome.

Troubleshoot a green or black screen in the video player 

If you can hear the audio of a YouTube video, but the video player is green or black, try to: 

If that doesn’t work, try some of these troubleshooting tips.

Troubleshoot audio issues

If you can’t hear any audio from a YouTube video, the volume button may be turned off . Try some of the following troubleshooting steps:

  • Make sure the sound/volume is turned on for your browser or device.
  • Check your device’s sound settings.
  • Restart your browser or device.

Other types of issues

Issues with YouTube Paid Products;

If the above steps don’t work and you:

  • Bought a movie or TV show on YouTube, OR
  • Are an active paid member of Youtube Music, YouTube Premium, or YouTube TV

You can get in touch with us for support with purchases or memberships.

Age-restricted content

Sometimes content doesn’t violate our policies, but it may not be appropriate for viewers under 18. Age-restricted videos may not be viewable to users who:

  • Are under 18 years of age
  • Are signed out
  • Are watching YouTube videos embedded on most third-party sites

Learn more about watching age-restricted videos.

Restricted Mode

Restricted Mode is an optional setting that screens out potentially mature content you or others using your devices may prefer not to view. When Restricted Mode is turned on, comments may not be viewable. You can turn Restricted mode on or off.

Note: Restricted mode works on the browser or device level, so it must be turned on or off for each browser or device you use.

Issues downloading videos

If you don’t have YouTube Premium or if downloading videos isn’t available to you, you can’t download videos. If you can download videos, but you’re running into issues, try some of these downloading troubleshooting tips.

Account error issues

If you’re running into issues with your account, these articles may have more info:

 

If the above steps don’t work and you’re still having trouble, let us know by submitting feedback.

 

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