As with any electronic device, Google’s Chromecast can face a wide array of problems.
Sometimes the streaming device will only work with YouTube for one reason or another.
So, what are some of the reasons a Chromecast may only work with YouTube?
Here are 9 reasons your Chromecast only works with YouTube:
- You have a poor internet connection.
- Your phone/tablet is out of date.
- Your app is out of date.
- The wifi networks are mismatched.
- You’re not using a 2.4 GHz band (for 1st Gen. Chromecasts).
- You aren’t using the Chromecast’s included power supply.
- One of your devices needs a reboot.
- Netflix data needs to be cleared.
- You’re using a VPN service.
In this article, I’ll be going over some of the reasons that a Chromecast might only work with YouTube.
In addition, I’ll be detailing how to fix these errors.
1. You Have a Poor Internet Connection
A poor internet connection can generate all kinds of weird errors, with any device.
Chromecast is no exception to errors, especially in its first generation.
If you don’t have a strong internet connection, one of the errors that may occur is only YouTube working on the device.
You may also experience an error where it displays the YouTube logo and hangs on a black screen.
To help strengthen your internet speed, make sure your router and modem are connected close to your Chromecast device.
The closer your router is, the stronger a connection your Chromecast will have.
Remove obstructions between the Chromecast and your router. If possible, clear out thick furniture that’s in the way.
The clearest possible path between the Chromecast and router is ideal.
Also, thick walls can impact internet speeds as well.
Ideally, your router would be in the same room as your Chromecast – 15 feet (180 inches) or under is perfect.
Finally, you may wish to check your router. If the router’s WiFi light isn’t green, the router could be not working.
This would be the fault of a router-modem connection or a problem with your internet service provider.
Reading recommendation: Does Chromecast Work With an iPhone Hotspot? 5 Facts
2. Your Phone/Tablet Is Out of Date
If your phone or tablet’s operating system is out of date, all kinds of errors can occur. Among them, your Chromecast might only cast YouTube.
To check, compare your system’s operating system version with the official requirements for using Chromecast devices.
For Androids, your phone or tablet must be running Android 6.0 or above. For iPhones or iPads, you must be running iOS 12.0 or above.
Devices below these versions may refuse to work at all with Chromecast.
It’s likely that you won’t be allowed to install Google Home from your app store. You may also find a message saying your device isn’t compatible.
3. Your App Is Out of Date
Years ago, Chromecast was controlled via an app called ‘Chromecast.’ This was phased out some time ago.
Google Home replaced that app, so Chromecast could be integrated with smart home systems.
For example, you can use a Google Nest to play certain things on your Chromecast: “Hey Google, play Netflix.”
If you still have the Chromecast app, check your app store for the ‘Google Home’ app. Install this app, then run its setup process.
To reset your Chromecast for this process, hold the button on its side for 10-15 seconds, or until it starts flashing.
Now that the Chromecast is reset, start the initialization process with the Google Home app.
Chromecast can face errors like only YouTube working when you’re using the outdated Chromecast app.
4. The WiFi Networks Are Mismatched
If you have dual-band networks, check your smart device and make sure that it’s connected to the same device as your Chromecast.
1st generation Chromecast was only compatible with 2.4GHz networks, but modern models work with 5GHz too.
Dual-band networks are often named identically, and may only differ by the number after the name: Home_Network2.4GHz vs. Home_Network5Ghz.
5. You’re Not Using a 2.4Ghz Frequency Band (for 1st Gen. Chromecasts)
The first generation of Google Chromecasts was only compatible with 2.4Ghz frequency bands.
These days, many bands are set on 5GHz by default because it gives better internet speeds.
Unfortunately, older devices aren’t always compatible with 5GHz.
This means you have to ensure your WiFi router settings are configured to operate on a 2.4 GHz band.
If you loathe to give up your 5GHz band, there’s an alternative: you can set up dual-band networks.
Dual-band networks provide both a 5GHz frequency network and a 2.4GHz network.
This way, you can use your 1st gen. Chromecast on the 2.4GHz network while enjoying the 5GHz band on your other devices.
6. You Aren’t Using the Chromecast’s Included Power Supply
The Chromecast comes with a USB cable and electrical block.
You may think that if your TV has a USB input, this will suffice to supply the Chromecast with power. Unfortunately, it doesn’t.
You need to plug the Chromecast into an open electrical outlet to supply it with enough power to operate.
Without enough power, the Chromecast may produce weird errors.
One such error is that it might only work with YouTube or may produce black screen errors.
7. One of Your Devices Needs a Reboot
Sometimes devices stop working properly for no clear reason.
When this happens, they just need to be rebooted.
Culprits may include:
- Your smart device
- Your modem and/or router
- The Chromecast
- The TV
If one of these devices is the problem, try rebooting them one at a time.
8. Netflix Data Needs To Be Cleared
Occasionally, YouTube works fine but Netflix gives you an endless loading screen. If you can’t get Netflix to work, check the Netflix app settings.
Go to your smart device’s app settings and select Netflix. Select storage options, and choose to clear data and cache.
Sometimes just clearing cache works, but clearing data is more of a sure fix.
After clearing data, log back into your Netflix account and try casting the app with your Chromecast.
9. You’re Using a VPN Service
VPNs are very useful for privacy, but they can sometimes mess up how our devices work – among them, Chromecast.
Chromecast does not work with VPN services.
Chromecast uses Google’s DNS settings – 126.96.36.199 as primary DNS and 188.8.131.52 as secondary DNS.
When you use a VPN service on your router or device, this interferes with the Chromecast’s default settings.
There are many legitimate reasons for running a VPN. Unfortunately, though, they can’t be used with Chromecast.
Try disabling your VPN and see if that fixes the problem.
Learn more: How to make a Chromecast private?
BONUS: When in Doubt, Reset Everything
If none of the previous fixes did anything, there’s a nuclear option: unplug and reset everything.
I’ll give you a step-by-step guide so you can keep what you’re doing straight.
Here’s how to reset everything step-by-step:
- Clear your device’s network settings by clicking on the network and selecting, ‘Forget this network.’ Turn your device off.
- Hold the button on the Chromecast until it flashes. This indicates a complete factory reset.
- Unplug your modem and router for 2 minutes.
- Plug the modem in, then the router. Ensure all the router lights come on before proceeding.
- Turn your device on and connect it to your WiFi network with corresponding credentials.
- Turn the Chromecast on and connect it to the same network as your smart device.
- Complete the setup process using the Google Home app.
Sometimes Chromecast works with YouTube, but not other apps. Thankfully, there are a lot of easy solutions to this problem.
Most of them are as simple as resetting or updating a device.