YouTube has its bad days.
But it’s not to say the app’s a lost cause.
Because all it takes is 5 minutes of your time to make it work on your TV.
And don’t worry.
I’ve laid out each fix that’s easy for you to follow.
Read on to find out:
- 9 lifesaving fixes to get YouTube back up and running.
- How to reset and reinstall the YouTube app on your TV.
- Why outdated app/TV software can lead to issues or errors.
- And so much more…
Why won’t my YouTube app work on my smart TV?
Your YouTube app won’t work on your smart TV due to an app bug or a corrupted file. In some cases, YouTube’s servers might be down. Other reasons include incorrect time settings, WiFi issues, and outdated software. Finally, it’s worth checking if you’ve exceeded the device streaming limit.
YouTube app not working on TV: 9 fixes
#1: Check if there are too many devices streaming
Did you know?
YouTube Premium doesn’t allow more than 2 devices to stream at once.
So, if someone’s streaming on their phone and tablet, you’ve reached the limit.
Add a smart TV into the picture and well…there’s no doubt it wouldn’t work.
And this goes for other apps too, such as:
With that, it’s worth checking if anyone’s streaming YouTube at the same time as you.
However, if you’re not subscribed to YouTube Premium or the Family Plan, then…
#2: Make sure YouTube isn’t down
YouTube’s a reliable app that works 95% of the time.
The other 5%?
It could be a server downtime.
Occasionally, there might be a problem with your TV (more on that later).
But let’s address the former first.
If YouTube’s servers are down, the best way to verify this is through Downdetector.
Even if YouTube’s been working fine all these years, that doesn’t mean…
- There won’t be occasional outages.
- It won’t encounter an app bug or glitch that might’ve caused it to crash temporarily.
But if you’ve confirmed that YouTube’s servers are working smoothly, do this next:
#3: Restart your TV
Remember how I said, “there might be a problem with your TV?”
Well, you might be wondering…
“What kind of TV problem could it be?”
It’s mostly a bug or glitch in your TV’s system causing a malfunction in your apps.
Persistent system bugs can even cause your TV to turn on then off immediately.
Fortunately, there’s a simple fix:
- Unplug your TV.
- Wait for at least 3 minutes.
- Plug your TV back into its power outlet.
#4: Reinstall YouTube
What happens when a corrupted file makes its way to the YouTube app?
YouTube crashes and suddenly stops working.
The quickest solution?
And since this process requires deleting the app, you’d be able to remove the corrupted file.
So, here’s how it’s done:
- Delete YouTube.
- Restart your TV to refresh the system.
- Go to your TV’s app store and reinstall YouTube.
On Samsung TVs:
- Access your “Apps” by scrolling left on your main menu.
- Highlight the app.
- Tap “OK” on your remote.
- Hit “Delete.”
For Sony or Android TVs, here’s what you should do:
- Select “Apps” on your Sony TV home screen.
- Look for YouTube.
- Highlight the app and hold down the “OK” button on your remote.
- In the pop-up menu, select uninstall.
Once you’ve deleted the app, you can go to your TV’s App or Google Play Store.
From there, simply type YouTube on the search bar and reinstall it.
If you need help on how to delete apps on an LG TV, here’s a great video:
#5: Set your time to its correct setting
In rare occurrences, an incorrect time setting may trigger error codes in apps.
But here’s the good news.
Setting your time to its right format takes less than a minute to do.
You can find this on your “System” menu located in your TV’s settings.
Say YouTube doesn’t work on your Samsung TV.
To correct the time settings, you’d have to…
- Go to your Samsung TV’s menu.
- Scroll left until you hit “Settings” (gear icon).
- In the pop-up menu, tap “System.”
- Head to “Time.”
- From here, you can set the correct time settings for your TV.
- Launch the YouTube app.
For other TVs like LG or Vizio, you might find your time settings in the “General” menu.
On a Sony TV, it’s slightly different, though.
The time settings should be in your Settings menu, specifically in “System Preferences.”
#6: Test and troubleshoot your WiFi
“WiFi problems…we meet again.”
It should come as no surprise that an app might fail to work due to poor internet connectivity.
The best way to tell if your TV has trouble connecting to the WiFi is through a speed test.
However, you should run the test on your TV’s browser.
Because it could be that your smartphone has no trouble connecting to the WiFi.
Instead, your TV can’t establish a stable connection.
After running the test, I suggest trying to connect via a mobile hotspot.
If your TV has trouble connecting, here’s what you should do:
- Unplug your router and modem.
- Wait for 5 or 10 minutes.
- Plug your router and modem back into their power source.
Still didn’t work?
Here’s a bonus tip:
Try lowering the stream quality on YouTube.
If it’s a WiFi streaming issue, the problem may be due to the quality of your video.
To reduce the steam quality…
- Open the YouTube app.
- Select any video.
- Tap the gear icon in the bottom-right corner.
- Set the quality to a lower setting like “480p.”
#7: Update the YouTube app
If it’s not your WiFi causing the problem, then it might just be your software.
Put simply, if your current app version’s outdated, it could…
- Cause a conflict with your TV system.
- Prevent the app itself from loading or working.
That said, you know what the next step is, right?
Now, you can easily…
Update YouTube on your TV’s app store:
- Go to your TV’s main menu.
- Access the app store.
Note: For Android TVs, this’ll be Google Play Store.
- Search for “YouTube.”
- If an update’s available, you should see “Update” on your screen.
#8: Check for TV software updates
If an app runs on outdated software, what do you think happens if a TV does the same?
Well, it’s possible that your apps won’t run too.
Don’t believe me?
Here 1 example of this:
Hulu requires LG TVs to have an OS version of 3.5 or higher for the app to work.
Most apps nowadays require a certain OS version to run on a device without issues.
And with that, it’s worth performing an update, don’t you think?
For Samsung TVs, this setting is on your “Support” menu.
On an LG TV, you can find your updates in the “About This TV” section of your settings.
Finally, Sony TVs will have their update setting in the “Customer Support” menu.
You might also like: Smart TV Keeps Freezing: 4 Reasons & 5 Instant Fixes
#9: Reset your TV to its default settings
If YouTube refuses to work despite all the fixes, you’ve got to make a hard decision.
And I mean that… in a somewhat literal sense.
To be more specific, I’m referring to a hard reset.
You’ve probably come across this term before as it’s useful in solving stubborn issues, like:
- When your TV displays a picture but has no sound.
- Stubborn app glitches, malfunctions, and error codes.
- TV can’t connect to the network even after resetting your router.
Now, there’s a long list of things a hard reset can solve.
And that’s because it completely wipes all the data on your TV, including…
- Corrupted files.
- Persistent error codes.
- Stubborn bugs or glitches.
Just remember that performing a hard reset means setting up your TV again. It’s as if your TV’s brand new.
Here’s an example of how it’s done for Samsung TVs:
- Go to your Samsung TV home screen.
- Scroll left and click on “Settings.”
- Select “Self Diagnosis.”
- Tap on “Reset Smart Hub.”
- Input your Samsung TV PIN.
- Once the reset’s complete, set up your TV.
- Launch YouTube.
#Bonus: Check your cable port connections
Using a streaming device to access YouTube?
Because a damaged or loose cable can cause your TV’s screen to be green.
But mostly, a loose cable means you also can’t access the app itself.
If your HDMI cable’s damaged, the app may work but streaming a video becomes an issue.
So, here’s what you can do:
Try plugging your HDMI cable into another port and see if YouTube works.
Alternatively, you can remove your streaming device.
Then, access the app using your TV’s browser.
And finally, try using a new HDMI cable.