My iPhone Won’t Play YouTube Videos: 14 Fixes

My iPhone Won't Play YouTube Videos

YouTube is among the most used platforms online for a variety of purposes. There is no limit to objectives for which it can be used, whether it’s outsourcing, marketing, earnings, entertainment, etc.

But there have been incidents where your favorite YouTube video won’t play like usual, specifically on iPhones. And you wonder why my iPhone won’t play YouTube videos.

If you’re going through this same situation, worry not. You’re in the right place. This article will take you through the tried and tested solutions to fix this issue. So without any further due, let’s get started.

What Are The Common Issues With YouTube On iPhones? 

Users of iPhones have recently observed the issue with YouTube, where their videos aren’t playing and showing a range of errors. As we discuss the fixes, it’s important to understand the common issues. They are:

  1. Playback Error, Tap To Retry
  2. Black Screen
  3. Video Not Available
  4. Video Not Loading

1. Playback Error, Tap To Retry

Playback Error, Tap To Retry

This is the most common issue on your iPhone with YouTube. You’ll see a blank screen warning of “Playback Error, Tap to Retry.” There are a few fixes you can try in this situation. 

  • Sign out of your Google Account and then sign in again.
  • Check in the Apple App Store for any updates available on YouTube. If yes, install the update immediately. 
  • Try reconnecting to your Wi-Fi connection. If possible, switch to mobile data instead. 
  • Try uninstalling and reinstalling YouTube.

2. Black Screen

Black Screen

You might also experience a black screen as you play the YouTube video on their official website. The main reason behind this is the lack of a stable internet connection. 

For this, you can try the following fixes. 

  • Check the internet connection.
  • Try refreshing the browser you’ve opened the website in.
  • Check for the web browser update.
  • Switch to the YouTube app instead of the website.

3. Video Not Available

Video Not Available

Sometimes, you might get a notification on screen while playing a video on YouTube on the web browser that the Video is unavailable on this device. 

For this, you can try the following fixes. 

  • Update your web browser.
  • Look for the Settings.
  • Choose a desktop version.

4. Video Not Loading

This issue only arises if there is a problem with the internet connection. This may be due to an unstable or weak internet connection. You can try changing the connection from Wi-Fi to mobile data or vice-versa. Or you can try reconnecting by turning Wi-Fi off and then On again, same with the mobile data connection.  

Above, we discussed some of the common issues. But that doesn’t mean they cover the entire reasons leading to the YouTube not playing videos situation. There can be plenty of other reasons behind this. Therefore, we have combined some of the most useful fixes that will work with any reason leading to the situation.

What To Do If My iPhone Won’t Play YouTube Videos?  

  1. Restart Your iPhone
  2. Troubleshoot YouTube
  3. Update The YouTube App
  4. Update To The Latest iOS Version
  5. Uninstall And Reinstall Your YouTube App
  6. Turn Wi-Fi Network Off And Back On
  7. Switch To Cellular Data
  8. Check YouTube-Server Status
  9. Turn Off Your VPN
  10. Reset Network Settings
  11. Turn Off Bluetooth 
  12. Clear YouTube App/Safari Cache
  13. DFU Restore Your iPhone 
  14. Repair Your iPhone

Let’s discuss each of these solutions in detail below. 

1. Restart Your iPhone

We think there is no explanation required for trying these fixes before anything. Restarting the iPhone has been responsible for fixing several issues. So, why not try in this situation as well?

Follow these steps to restart iPhone X, 11, 12, or 13. 

  • Press either the Volume or Side button and hold until the power-off slider appears on the screen.
  • Drag the slider to the right. Wait for around 30 seconds until your device turns OFF. Force restarting the device should be applied in case your device is frozen or is not responding.
  • Press the Side button of your device to turn it ON. Hold the button till you see an apple logo on the screen.

To restart iPhone SE (2nd and 3rd generation), 8, 7, or 6, follow these steps. 

  • Press the Side button and hold until the power-off slider appears on the screen.
  • Drag the slider to the right. Wait for around 30 seconds until your device turns OFF. Force restarting the device should be applied in case your device is frozen or is not responding.
  • Press the Side button of your device to turn it ON. Hold the button till you see an apple logo on the screen.

To restart iPhone SE (1st generation), 5, or earlier, follow these steps. 

  • Press the Top button and hold until the power-off slider appears on the screen.
  • Drag the slider to the right. Wait for around 30 seconds until your device turns OFF. Force restarting the device should be applied in case your device is frozen or is not responding.
  • Press the top button of your device to turn it ON. Hold the button till you see an apple logo on the screen.

2. Troubleshoot YouTube

After the restart, try the troubleshooting fix if your iPhone is still not playing YouTube videos. If something is wrong with the app you are using to play the YouTube videos; it’ll create hindrances in playing the video. 

If you want to find out if the YouTube application causes the issue, you try closing the app and then opening it again after a few seconds. This will give the app a fresh restart in case there is difficult for the app to run properly the first time. 

For this, follow these steps. 

  • Double-press the Home button.
  • Swipe up your YouTube app in the App Switcher.

In case your device doesn’t have a Home button: 

  • Open the app.
  • Swipe up the screen from the bottom. 

These steps will close the YouTube app.

3. Update The YouTube App

Possibly, your YouTube app is not updated with the recent version. Therefore, make sure that your app is updated. These updates make it a bug and error-free platform. 

To update the YouTube app, follow these steps.  

  • Open the App Store on your device.
  • Tap on the Account icon.  
  • Scroll down to see the updates section.
  • There will be a Blue button on the screen for the Update if there is any new update available for the app.
Tap on the Blue button on the screen for the Update

Install the latest update. Check now, and you won’t again complain that my iPhone won’t play YouTube videos

4. Update To The Latest iOS Version

When your device lacks the latest iOS update, it might cause an app issue. Hence, that might be responsible for the YouTube videos not playing on your iPhone. 

You can check for the latest iOS updates by following these steps. 

  • Open Settings on your device.
Open Settings on your device.
  • Tap on General. 
Tap on General.
  • Select Software Update.
Select Software Update.
  • Tap on Download and Install. The latest version of your iOS will be installed after this.
Tap on Download and Install.

5. Uninstall And Reinstall Your YouTube App

There might be some serious software issues with your YouTube app. Therefore, we recommend uninstalling and reinstalling it from scratch. This will erase all the data and settings of the app. And it will be reinstalled as a new app as if you’ve downloaded it for the first time. 

Follow these steps to uninstall your Youtube app. 

  • Press the App icon on the home screen and hold it for a second. 
  • A menu pop-up on your screen will be attached to the app icon.
  • Tap on the Remove App option.
  • Tap on the Delete App to confirm your action.

The steps to reinstall the YouTube app are:

  • Launch the Apple App Store.
  • Type YouTube in the search bar at the bottom of the display.
  • Tap on the Get Option. 
  • Tap on the Install button. 
  • The app will be reinstalled in a few seconds or minutes.

6. Turn Wi-Fi Network Off And Back On

Turn Wi-Fi Network Off And Back On

The issue of YouTube not playing the video also arises if you have an unstable or low-speed Wi-Fi internet connection. You can try turning it off and back on such a case. This will fix the bug issue in Wi-Fi that was causing the issue. 

For this, follow the below steps. 

  • Launch the Setting app on your iPhone.
  • Tap on Wi-Fi.
  • Tap on the switch next to Wi-Fi to turn it OFF. It’ll be off when the switch changes color to grey.
  • Wait for a few seconds or a minute.
  • Then, tap again on the button to turn on the Wi-Fi. It’ll be on when the switch changes color to green.

Now, check if your iPhone plays YouTube videos or not. 

7. Switch To Cellular Data

Switch To Cellular Data

If you’ve tried the above fix with Wi-Fi and the videos on YouTube are still not playing, you should try switching to a different connection. 

For example, you can switch to your mobile data. 

Turn OFF your Wi-Fi and then connect the iPhone with mobile data. After this, check if the videos are playing. If yes, there is an issue with a malfunctioning Wi-Fi connection. 

You should try the next fix if your iPhone is not playing YouTube videos on cellular data. 

8. Check YouTube-Server Status

Check YouTube Server Status

This should be your immediate fix after going through all the above fixes because there has been an incident where the server crashes and leads to issues such as videos not playing on YouTube. No matter what fix you try, it won’t work until the server starts running again.

Therefore you should check YouTube-Server Status if they are running. Otherwise, if several users face this issue simultaneously, it has something to do with the server. 

9. Turn Off Your VPN

Turn Off Your VPN

It has been observed that turning off the Virtual Private Network on an iPhone has fixed the issue that my iPhone won’t play YouTube videos. VPNs are important for protecting personal identity and maintaining privacy online. 

If they are configured incorrectly, it might cause problems. Also, there is a possibility that they appear to be connected with a country’s internet where YouTube is restricted. 

Therefore, you should turn OFF your VPN to check if it solves the issue. For this, here are the simple steps. 

  • Launch the Setting app on your iPhone.
  • Tap on VPN. 
  • Turn OFF your VPN by tapping on the switch next to Status.
  • If it’s showing as not connected, that means you have turned OFF your VPN.

After this, if the issue is solved, there is some problem with your VPN, not the phone or the app.

10. Reset Network Settings

If you’re trying this fix, all VPN, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi settings will be erased from your phone. So, keep this in mind. Resetting the network settings is helpful when it becomes next to impossible to figure out the software problem leading to the issue. 

Hence, with this fix, you’ll erase the network’s Settings on your phone. 

But before starting the steps, you should write down the passwords of your network as you need to reconnect them after resetting.

After this, follow the following steps. 

  • Launch the setting app on your phone.
  • Tap on General. 
  • Tap on Transfer or Reset iPhone. 
  • Tap on Reset. 
  • Tap on Reset Network. 
  • Enter the passcode. 
  • Confirm your action by tapping on Reset. 

Once the reset is completed, your iPhone will reboot. 

11. Turn Off Bluetooth 

Turn Off Bluetooth

We have discussed turning off the Wi-Fi fix, but that is not all. It would help if you also tried turning off the Bluetooth, as this might solve your issue. 

For this, the following are the steps. 

  • Open the Control Center by swiping up the screen from the bottom.
  • Find the Bluetooth icon.
  • Tap on it to turn it OFF.

Check if the issue is solved. If not, you can turn on the Bluetooth again with the same steps.

12. Clear YouTube App/Safari Cache 

The presence of caches leads to several issues on your phone, which might cause YouTube videos not to play as well. Therefore, you should clear your iPhone’s YouTube app or Safari cache.

To clear Safari cache, follow these steps. 

  • Go to the Settings. 
  • Tap on Safari. 
  • Tap on Clear History and website data. 
  • Your data, cache, and cookies will be deleted after this.

To clear the YouTube cache, follow these steps. 

  • Open the YouTube app on your device.
  • On the top left corner of the screen, tap on the Menu option.
  • Tap on the Gear icon to open the Settings.
  • You can select the options under Privacy to delete the data as per your consent. 

13. DFU Restore Your iPhone 

DFU restore will lead to erasing the problematic code in the software that might be causing the issue. The code will be renewed to the original state when your phone was first bought.

Follow these steps to DFU restore your iPhone. 

For iPhone SE, 6s or older, here are the steps. 

  • Connect your iPhone to the computer using a USB Cable.
  • In case you have a PC or Mac with Mojave 10.14, Open iTunes. In case you have a Mac with Catalina 10.15 or newer, Open Finder.
  • Press both the Home and Power buttons and hold them.
  • After 8 seconds, keep pressing the Home button but release the Power button.
  • Release the home button when your iPhone appears in either iTunes or Finder.
  • If you have successfully entered DFU mode, your phone’s screen will be black in the opposite scenario. Try again from the first step.
  • Then, use Finder or iTunes to restore your iPhone.

For iPhone 7 or 7 Plus, here are the steps. 

  • Connect your iPhone to the computer using a USB Cable.
  • Open iTunes if you have a PC or Mac with Mojave 10.14. Open Finder if you have a Mac with Catalina 10.15 or newer.
  • Press both the Power and Volume Down buttons and hold them.
  • After 8 seconds, keep pressing the volume down button but release the power button.
  • When your phone appears in either iTunes or Finder, release the volume down button.
  • If you have successfully entered the DFU mode, your phone’s screen will be black in the opposite scenario. Try again from the first step.
  • Then, use Finder or iTunes to restore your phone.

For iPhone 8 or newer, here are the steps. 

  • With the help of a charging cable, connect your phone to the computer.
  • In case you have a PC or Mac macOS 10.14, open iTunes, or in case you have Mac macOS 10.15 or newer, launch Finder.
  • Press and release the Volume Up button.
  • Press and release the Volume Down button.
  • Press the Side button and hold it until the screen goes black.
  • After this, press and hold the Volume Down and Side buttons.
  • Hold both of these for 5 seconds. Then, release the Side button but keep holding the Volume Down button.
  • Hold the Volume Down button until your phone appears in Finder or iTunes.
  • Use Finder or iTunes to restore your phone.

 You must not be complaining that my iPhone won’t play YouTube videos

14. Repair Your iPhone 

Try this fix only if you are ready to spend much money on the phone. iPhones can be repaired at an online mail-repair service or the Apple Store. But out-of-warranty repairs are expensive, while the above fixes will cost you from little to nothing. 

But if there is no other option than this fix, you can try repairing your iPhone.

With Apple Mail-in service:

  • Visit Apple’s support website.
  • Or you can dial 1-800-692-7753

At the Genius Bar in the Apple Store:

  • Book an appointment with Genius Bar before visiting the store. Otherwise, you might end up waiting for hours for your turn.
  • Go to the Genius Bar to check your appointment.
  • Several repairs can be done on the spot if you are under warranty, and if you are not, then the genius will inform you of the cost of the repair.

Hence, we have mentioned all the possible fixes that can be done to solve the issue. We’ll always advise you to go for the last fix if nothing is working for you. Otherwise, you can ignore it. 

Conclusion

Therefore, we hope you have now got the answer to your query about why my iPhone won’t play YouTube videos. We understand the severity of this situation. YouTube has been engaged in several important activities that are part of our daily life. And when these types of situations arise, it can be pretty annoying. 

Before handing the phone to the care center, you should try some of the above fixes, as these work in more than 90% of cases.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

My iPhone won’t play YouTube videos. Why is it so?

There can be many reasons why your iPhone is not playing YouTube videos. For example, there might be issues with the internet connection, and the app is not updated, etc.

What is DFU restore on the iPhone?

DFU is responsible for erasing every code leading to the control of your iPhone, Hardware, and software. It erases everything on the device and restores it to its original state. 

What are the common issues with YouTube on iPhones?

Following are some of the Common issues with YouTube on iPhone. 
– Playback Error, Tap to Retry
– Black Screen
– The video is not Available
– Video Not Loading
To know how you can fix them, check the above sections. 

How do I clear YouTube cache iOS?

Follow these steps to clear the YouTube cache on iOS.
– Open the app on your device. 
– On the top left corner of the screen, tap on the Menu option.
– Tap on the Gear icon to open the Settings.
– You can select the options under Privacy to delete the data as per your consent.