As the biggest online video content platform on earth, YouTube has been playing a pivotal role in our daily life. It’s the first thing that comes to our minds when talking about online videos. Just like many other online streaming services, YouTube is not flawless because many users reported YouTube playback error when viewing on the web or mobile apps. The error ultimately ruined the viewing pleasure for YouTube users, especially those who have Premium subscriptions. If you are struggling with the same issue, read on to find out the solutions.

Part 1: What Causes YouTube Playback Error?

Many users might be experiencing YouTube video streaming issues, which left them clueless and don’t know what to do. The most commonly seen issues are video unavailable, YouTube playback error, and connection loss. The proper way of troubleshooting YouTube streaming issues is to identify the causes first, then move on to the solutions accordingly. The most likely causes are:


There are a few reasons when you have YouTube playback errors. Above all, networking is the first one that might lead to streaming issues. The quality of your connection, like the internet speed, can affect how smoothly the YouTube video plays. For instance, HD 1080p will require a sustained speed at 5 Mbps and 4K for 20 Mbps. YouTube does require high-quality internet to make it work correctly.

Cookies and cache

Cookies and cache are the files and data that are temporarily stored in your browser and devices, which might cause the YouTube playback error. When these data and files get corrupted over time, they lead to streaming issues.

Browser and extension

If you are having a YouTube playback error when watching with a browser, then it could be the browser causing the issue. Especially if you are using some extensions with Chrome, it might affect the video playback. Moreover, you might also have streaming issues when your browser is outdated.

Outdated YouTube app

If you haven’t updated the YouTube app for a while, it could be the old version that caused the YouTube playback error. YouTube has been constantly updating the app to fix bugs, and some streaming issues might require users to update to the latest version for the app to work correctly.

Part 2: How to Troubleshoot YouTube Playback Error?

Since we have learned all the possible causes that could give rise to YouTube playback errors, it’s time to work them out. Check out the guide below to see the ways to fix YouTube streaming issues.

Refresh and restart

Just like any glitch of smart gadgets, if it’s not working well, restart it and check again. If you are using a browser or YouTube app on the computer, just refresh the page, or close the browser and app, then restart it. Play the video again and you might surprisingly find the YouTube playback error has been fixed. If you are using mobile devices, for instance, Android, restart the app first and then the device. Turn off and on your mobile data connection and replay the video, see if it helps.

Google account trick

This is a trick that can fix the YouTube playback error. Go to your YouTube avatar and sign out of the account, then sign in again with the same account information. Play the video again to see if it works.

Check your network

When you have run out of the usual ways, you should probably look into your connection to see if it’s working well. To start with the internet speed, check if your speed is lower than the required sustained speed for smooth YouTube video playing. If it exceeds the minimum requirement, you shouldn’t be able to get the YouTube playback error. Then try to restart your router and modem, plug them back in after one minute. If your internet simply doesn’t seem to work with all of these tricks, contact your internet service providers (ISP) to make sure your network is properly working well.

Clear cookies & cache

Most people do not clear cookies, cache, and browsing history on the computer. These files and data have been stored for a long time that could have corrupted, causing the YouTube playback error. Clear all the cookies and cache on your computer and mobile device as well as the YouTube app. This might help fix the YouTube playback error. Follow the steps below to learn how to do it.

  • iOS(iPhone & iPad): Go to Settings > General > Storage > , delete and uninstall the app. Install it again from the app store.
  • Android: Go to Settings > Apps > See all apps > Storage and cache > clear storage and clear cache.
  • Web Browser(Chrome): Go to the three-dot menu on the top right > More Tools > Clear Browsing Data.
  • Apple TV: There is no way to clear cache and data on Apple TV. So just restart the device. Press the Menu and Home buttons at the same time, then go to Settings > System > Restart.
  • Fire TV: Go to Settings > Applications > Manage Installed Applications > YouTube > Clear cache > Clear data.