Troubleshoot YouTube video errors

If you’re having problems playing your YouTube video, try these troubleshooting steps to solve your issue. Some of the most common error messages are:

  • An error has occurred.
  • Playback error. Tap to retry.
  • Connection to server lost.
  • This video is unavailable.
  • Something went wrong. Tap to Retry.
  • Please check your network connection (Retry).
  • This content isn’t available

Check your internet speed

  • Restart your internet connection.
  • Run an internet speed test to make sure your internet can support the selected video resolution. You can also change the quality of your video to improve your experience. Note: Using multiple devices on the same network may reduce the speed that your device gets.
  • Check the YouTube video’s resolution and the recommended speed needed to play the video. 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
  • If you're interested in seeing more info on how your videos are played back, check out Stats for Nerds.
Check that you’re signed into YouTube

Make sure you’re signed into YouTube.

In order to protect the YouTube community, we may prevent signed-out users from accessing YouTube videos when they’re attempting to download material for offline use.

If you are a researcher trying to access YouTube data for your academic research, you can apply to YouTube’s researcher program. You can learn more about the process and available data here.

Restart the YouTube app or reboot your device

Try closing the YouTube app or rebooting your device. You can also uninstall and reinstall the YouTube app. 

Update your browser and check your extensions

Try updating your browser or clear your browser's cache & cookies. You can also check whether your browser extensions that block ads are affecting video playback. As another option, try opening YouTube in an incognito window with all extensions disabled and check if the issue continues.

Update the YouTube app

Try updating to the newest available version of the YouTube app. You can also try updating your device’s firmware/system software.

Check your data usage 

Make sure you’ve turned on data usage for YouTube:

  1. Go to your device Settings.
  2. Tap Cellular.
  3. Under the "Cellular data" section, go to YouTube.
  4. Next to YouTube, tap the button so it's on.

Other types of errors 

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 these troubleshooting tips.

Audio issues

If you can’t hear audio from a YouTube video, try to:

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

Age-restricted content

Sometimes content doesn’t violate our policies, but it may not be appropriate for viewers under 18. In these cases, we may place an age-restriction on the video. Note: a video may also have restricted mode turned on.

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 these downloading troubleshooting tips.

Account error issues

If you’re running into issues with your account, try these troubleshooting articles.

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.

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