Video playback checklist

You may experience poor video quality -- slow loading, buffering or choppy playback -- due to a number of factors, such as issues with your Internet Service Provider (ISP), the number of connected users or devices, your hardware, your software and software configuration, your connection to the internet (wireless or ethernet cable), whether you have exceeded your allotted data quota, or problems with the video itself.

While the Video Quality Report provides information on how your ISP typically performs, this checklist includes troubleshooting tips to help fix playback issues.

Some of these steps require updating your browser or restarting your computer, so you may want to open this page on another computer or device so you can easily use it as a reference.
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Congratulations!

You've completed the video playback checklist. If you're still experiencing problems, try posting a question on our help forum.

Check your browser

Check whether the video is working after trying each of these internet browser (e.g. Google Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, or Safari) troubleshooting tips:

  • Refresh your browser window. On many browsers, you can press the F5 key or Command+R keys on your keyboard to reload the current page.
  • Close all other tabs and windows in your browser.

If you'd like the best YouTube viewing experience, always upgrade to the most recent version of your browser.

Find out if your browser is updated

  1. Go to whatbrowser.org and you’ll see what browser you are currently using.
  2. If you see “This is the most current version,” your browser is already updated!
  3. If you see “There is a newer version,” click the Update your browser button and download the newest version of your browser.

Update Adobe Flash player

Many videos on YouTube are streamed through Adobe Flash Player, a plug-in for your web browser. Having the latest version of Adobe Flash Player ensures the best viewing experience.

Here’s how to upgrade to the latest version:

  1. Check your Flash Player version
  2. Download the latest version
  3. Exit your browser once you’ve downloaded the file
  4. Open the Adobe Flash Player Installer on your computer to complete the installation process

If you have any issues during the installation process, visit Adobe’s help page.

Clear cache and cookies

How to clear cache and cookies

Google Chrome
Review the instructions in the Google Chrome Help Center.

Windows Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari or Opera
Review and follow the instructions provided by your browser:

Details and alternatives

Effect of clearing cache and cookies: Keep in mind that clearing your cache and cookies erases your settings for websites. Here are some examples:
  • If you opted to have sites remember your username and password, they will be cleared from your browser's memory when you clear cache and cookies, and you'll have to sign in again.
  • Websites might load a little slower because all of the images and content pieces have to be loaded from scratch.

Recommended first step: If you're seeing problems in how webpages are displayed in your browser, we suggest first using your browser’s incognito or private browsing mode to see if the problem you're seeing is caused by something other than cache or cookies.

If you've been redirected to this page from the sign-in box, please ignore this recommendation and follow the instructions in the section above.

Restart your home network

Here’s how to restart your home network:

  1. Turn off your computer
  2. Unplug your modem and your wireless router if it’s a separate device
  3. Wait for about one minute
  4. Plug in your modem and wait until no new indicator lights are blinking on. If you unplugged your router, plug it back in and wait until no new indicator lights are blinking on.
  5. Turn on your computer and try playing your video

Connect your computer to your modem

Try plugging your computer directly into your modem or router with an ethernet cable, rather than connecting wirelessly. If this fixes the problem, reposition your modem or router, as interference or range issues may have caused the poor connectivity.

If you're connected directly to your modem and still can't play your video, you may want to check with your equipment provider to make sure your modem and Internet service are working properly.

Check your internet connectivity

If the above steps didn't help, try these tips to improve your internet connectivity:

  • Make sure your internet usage isn’t at capacity -- for example, someone on your home network is downloading a large file while you’re trying to watch YouTube.
  • Check your computer for viruses, spyware or a hard drive that’s reached its full capacity.
  • Move your router to a new location to improve signal strength. Your router should be elevated off the floor (like on a bookshelf or desk), and placed in a central location in your home.
  • Move any cordless phones, microwave ovens, or other wireless devices away from your router. These devices often cause wireless interference.