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15 Fixes: YouTube App Not Working On iPhone (2023 Guide)

YouTube App Not Working On IPhone

Black screen on your phone? 

Video playback error? 

Yup – that happened to my YouTube app, too. 

But really, you don’t need to be a YouTube expert to fix what’s wrong. 

So get those fingers ready. 

Because all it takes is a few taps and clicks on your iPhone. 

Continue reading to find out: 

  • How to reset the YouTube app on your iPhone.
  • 15 darn effortless fixes to save YouTube (and fix tough issues).
  • Why YouTube doesn’t open, and what causes the app to crash. 
  • What app cache means, and how it affects your iPhone’s performance. 

Why is the YouTube app not working on my iPhone?

The YouTube app isn’t working on your iPhone because it’s running on an outdated software version. A buildup of cache files might also be the problem. However, WiFi connection issues could be the root cause. Other reasons may include an iOS bug, server downtime, or your web browser needs an update. 

YouTube app not working on iPhone: 15 fixes

#1: Check the YouTube app servers

When YouTube crashes out of the blue, it might have nothing to do with your end…

You see, their servers might be down.

It’s worth noting that YouTube experiences outages sometimes. 

And that might just be what’s happening right now. 

So, check out Downdetector to verify the server status of YouTube. 

#2: Test YouTube using your mobile data

WiFi issues are a common problem in most apps. 

It could be the streaming quality, playback issues, or your router stopped working. 

In fact, this happened to my Spotify a couple of weeks ago. 

Although my router was working fine, the WiFi signal was weak. 

And as a result, Spotify stopped working on my iPhone

So, how can you tell if it’s your router or WiFi signal that’s the problem? 

It’s easy. 

Just turn on your iPhone’s mobile data and launch YouTube. 

If the app works without any buffers or doesn’t crash, you’ve found the root cause of your problem: 

Your router or WiFi signal isn’t strong enough. 

As an extra step, simply give your internet a quick refresh: 

  1. Unplug your router and modem. 
  2. Leave both devices turned off for 5 to 10 minutes. 
  3. Plug your router and modem back into their power source. 

Read also: Does Chromecast Work With an iPhone Hotspot? 5 Facts

#3: Reset YouTube

If YouTube displays a playback error or refuses to load, here’s the quickest and best fix: 

Reset the YouTube app. 

And believe me, this method even works on other iPhone apps like Apple TV, HBO Max, Netflix, etc…

Here’s all you need to do: 

  1. Tap your iPhone’s home button 2x.
  2. A list of apps should appear on your screen. 
  3. Scroll left/right until you see YouTube.
  4. Swipe up to close the app. 

#4: Restart your iPhone

So, resetting the app didn’t work, huh? 

Then, it seems like this iPhone glitch is a lot more stubborn than I thought. 

But, don’t worry.

I have the perfect fix for that: 

  1. Hold down your iPhone’s power and volume down buttons. 
  2. Wait for a “Power off” slider to appear on your screen. 
  3. Drag the slider to turn off your iPhone. 
  4. Wait for at least 1 to 2 minutes. 
  5. Hold down the power button of your iPhone. 
  6. Wait until the Apple logo appears on your screen and release the power button. 

#5: Turn on “Background App Refresh”

First off, allow me to explain what this means. 

“Background App Refresh” is a setting that allows apps to update their content even if they’re closed. 

Another way of explaining this is… it refreshes your app while it’s running in your background. 

The best part? 

Your apps end up working smoothly and seamlessly. 

Which also translates to less app freezing and hanging. 

By doing this, it should prevent YouTube from crashing often and get it to work normally.

And here’s how it’s done: 

  1. Open your iPhone’s settings (gear icon). 
  2. Scroll down and tap on “YouTube.”
  3. Tap the slider beside “Background App Refresh” to turn it on. 

#6: Soft reset your iPhone’s WiFi 

When you’re dealing with a video error on YouTube, it’s possible that…

The app couldn’t detect an internet connection. 

The best way to fix that is by doing a soft reset on your WiFi. 

Earlier, you already tried refreshing the network. 

And although your router’s working properly, it could be the iPhone itself with the problem. 

Meaning, the refresh didn’t register on your device. 

So, the purpose of a soft reset is to turn off your WiFi and enable it again. 

Think of it like restarting your iPhone. 

And here’s how to do it: 

Step 1: Swipe up from the bottom edge of your iPhone’s screen. 

This will open your Control Center.”

On this menu, you’ll be able to quickly access certain settings like: 

  • WiFi. 
  • Bluetooth.
  • Brightness.
  • Airplane mode.
  • Volume control.

Note: For iPhone X and higher, swipe down on the top-right part of your screen. 

Step 2: Tap your WiFi. 

Make sure the WiFi icon is grey to indicate it’s turned off. 

Then, wait for 1 minute and click on your iPhone’s WiFi icon to enable it.

You might also like: (9 Fixes) YouTube App Not Working On TV

#7: Turn off “Airplane mode”

Airplane mode disables your iPhone’s signal, Bluetooth, and wireless connections. 

If this setting’s turned on, you’ll know because the icon displays an orange color. 

Or, you might see an airplane icon on the top-left part of your screen beside your iPhone’s signal. 

Put simply, if you accidentally enabled Airplane mode, you can’t connect to the WiFi at all. 

And that also means none of your apps, including YouTube, are going to work. 

Fortunately, it’s an easy fix: 

  1. Swipe up from the bottom of your iPhone’s screen. 

Note: On iPhone X or higher, swipe down from the top-right part of your screen.

  1. Click on the airplane icon to toggle off Airplane mode. 
  2. Tap your iPhone’s WiFi icon to establish an internet connection. 
  3. Launch the Youtube app. 

#8: Reduce YouTube video quality

Now, here’s a fix that might surprise you: 

Lower your YouTube app’s video quality. 

But why do this? 

Think of it this way. 

If your video resolution’s set too high, like at 1080p, this can cause streaming issues. 

However, it’s not the app that’s causing the problem. 

Instead, the issue lies with your WiFi connection. 

Streaming YouTube videos in 1080p use about 1.65 GB of data per hour. 

If you stream on a 720p resolution, you’re looking at about 870 MB for every hour. 

What this tells us is YouTube requires more data to load higher resolution videos. 

And if your WiFi isn’t strong enough, you end up with a video error or endless loading loop. 

So, here’s what you can do: 

  1. Launch any video on your YouTube app. 
  2. In the top-right corner, tap the 3-dot icon. 
  3. Click on “Quality.”
  4. Select “Advanced.”
  5. Choose a lower video quality like 480p or 360p. 

#9: Toggle off your iPhone’s VPN

VPNs come in handy if you want to access content that’s not available in your region. 

For instance. 

Say you wanted access to content in Japan but can’t because you’re located in the US. 

Well, a VPN solves that problem for you easily. 

Simply enable it on your phone, and voila, you have access to Japanese content. 

However, you’ll need a reliable VPN tool as well. 

ExpressVPN and NordVPN are great options, but you’ll have to pay a monthly fee. 

That aside, a VPN might cause playback and video errors on the YouTube app too. 

So try disabling it and see if it fixes your issue: 

  1. Click on your iPhone’s settings option (gear icon).
  2. Below “Cellular,” you’ll see “VPN.”
  3. Tap the slider to toggle off your VPN access.  

#10: Reset your iPhone’s network settings

If you’ve tried all the WiFi troubleshooting fixes above, it might be a software issue. 

But don’t panic. 

There’s a quick fix you can do when this happens… 

And it’s to reset your iPhone’s network settings. 

Note: Proceeding with this fix means you’ll have to set up your WiFi network again. 

Here’s how it’s done: 

  1. On your iPhone’s home screen, tap the gear icon. 
  2. In your settings menu, click on “General.”
  3. Select “Reset.” 
  4. Click on “Reset Network Settings.”
  5. Wait for your iPhone to reboot. 
  6. Set up your WiFi network and launch Youtube. 

#11: Update the YouTube app

Update YouTube App

There might be a pending YouTube update to resolve bugs or glitches in the app. 

To make sure YouTube’s using the latest software version, follow these steps: 

  1. Go to your iPhone’s App Store. 
  2. On the search bar, type “YouTube.”
  3. Click on the app. 
  4. If an update’s available, you should see a blue text labeled “Update.”
  5. Install the new update and launch YouTube after. 

#12: Clear your YouTube app’s cache

Cache is mostly temporary files stored on your device. 

Typically, caches are created from any app or web browsing activity.

Think of it like this: 

When you launched YouTube on your iPhone the first time, it had to load things like: 

  • Your preferences. 
  • Images of the video. 
  • Other related media on the app.

But after opening YouTube several times, the images load faster. 

Not to mention, scrolling through several videos appeared seamless and smooth. 

And that’s all thanks to your cache. 

However, the downside is it takes up storage space on your iPhone. 

And all that cache sitting on your phone could be why YouTube stopped working. 

So, here’s how to clear your app cache: 

  1. On your iPhone’s home screen, tap on settings (gear icon).
  2. Click on “General.” 
  3. Select “iPhone Storage.” 
  4. Tap on the YouTube app. 
  5. Click on “Offload App.”

#13: Sign out of YouTube and log back in

If clearing your app cache didn’t work, you might be dealing with an account problem. 

Specifically, there could be a corrupted file or a bug in your YouTube account. 

So, how do we fix it? 

By logging out of your YouTube account and signing back in. 

To do that, you’ll have to…

  1. Launch the YouTube app. 
  2. Tap on your profile photo (upper-right corner).
  3. Click on your account name. 
  4. Select the “Switch Account” option. 
  5. Tap on “Use YouTube signed out.”
  6. Close the app and restart it. 
  7. Launch YouTube again. 
  8. Click on “Account.” 
  9. Tap “Sign in.”

#14: Reinstall the YouTube app

Sometimes, you’ll have stubborn, corrupted files that refuse to go away. 

When this happens, you’re left with the option to reinstall the app. 

Since you’re deleting YouTube on your iPhone, you’re also removing any app-related issues with it. 

Here’s how to do it: 

  1. On your home screen, press and hold the YouTube icon. 
  2. Wait for a pop-up menu to appear. 
  3. Select “Remove app.”
  4. Tap on “Delete app.”
  5. Head to your iPhone’s App Store. 
  6. On the search bar, type “YouTube”
  7. Select the app and reinstall it.

#15: Update your iPhone’s iOS software

Just how important are software updates? 

In a nutshell, running on outdated software can lead to apps not working properly. 

Not to mention, updates are useful in resolving glitches and bugs in your device’s system. 

And on an iPhone device, it’s easy to do: 

  1. Go to your iPhone’s settings menu (gear icon). 
  2. Tap on “General.”
  3. Choose “Software Update.”
  4. Click on “Download and Install.”
  5. Hit “Install Now.”
  6. Once the update finishes installing, restart your iPhone. 
  7. Launch Youtube. 

#Bonus: Request a proper diagnosis on your iPhone’s iOS

No – I don’t mean contacting Apple through email or phone. 


Because your iPhone’s iOS may be corrupted. 

And this isn’t an issue you can resolve over a phone call or email. 

But rather, it’s better to go to an Apple Store in your area and ask for a proper diagnosis. 

In some cases, a service technician might suggest wiping all of your iPhone’s data. 

This is also known as a factory reset.

However, they may be able to repair the iOS corruption issue in another way too. 

That said, the best way to know is by bringing your iPhone to an authorized Apple center.