How to fix an Apple iPhone XS that can’t play videos on YouTube app

Playing YouTube videos on your iPhone is supposed to be as easy as tapping on a video or video URL from the YouTube app. But there are just some factors that can make such simple things very complicated and you would just realize that you’ve got a problem because you just couldn’t play YouTube video(s) on your iPhone for some reason. Read further to have some clues on how to fix the same problem on your iPhone XS that can’t play videos on YouTube app.

Before troubleshooting, try playing the problematic YouTube video on a browser using other device. If the video plays on the other device via browser, then that’s an indication that the YouTube app on your iPhone XS needs to be fixed. But if the YouTube video doesn’t play on any of your devices via browser while other YouTube videos are playing just fine, then that could be an isolated problem with that specific video you’re attempting to play. It could be that the video has been corrupted, no longer existing, or the YouTube channel/server where that video came from is currently under maintenance hence, unavailable. In that case, there’s not much can be done on your end.

Should the problem be attributed to some software glitches on your iPhone XS, then performing these following procedures will likely fix it. Don’t forget to test play the video via YouTube app again after performing each method to determine if the problem is solved or not.

To make sure that this isn’t due to poor or unstable Internet connection, try to open your browser and navigate to different websites. If you’re able to browse in normal speed (based on your data subscription) then your iPhone’s wireless Internet connection isn’t to blame. If it turned out to be an Internet-related issue, then that’s what you need to deal with first. Otherwise, continue with these methods.

First solution: Quit and restart YouTube app.

If this is the first try you encounter an error playing a video on your phone’s YouTube app, then it could be just a random in-app glitch. Usually minor symptoms like this are easily rectified by restarting the application. Thus, if you haven’t done this yet, consider this as the first possible solution to try. Here’s what you should do then:

  1. Swipe up from the bottom of the Home screen and then pause slightly in the middle of the screen.
  2. Then swipe right or left to navigate through the app previews.
  3. Swipe up on the YouTube app card/preview to close it.

After a few seconds, return to the Home screen and then tap on YouTube icon to launch the app again.

Wait until the app is fully loaded and then retry playing that same video and see if the problem is gone. If it’s still not playing, then you’ve got to try other options to fix it.

Second solution: Reboot your iPhone XS.

Another easy yet very effective solution to random app glitches including those depicted by this YouTube app symptom is a soft reset or reboot on your phone. This clears out random system flaws that caused certain apps or features to suddenly stop working. To soft reset or reboot your iPhone XS, just follow these steps:

  1. Press and hold the Side/Power button and either Volume buttons simultaneously for a few seconds.
  2. Release the buttons when the Slide to Power Off command appears and then drag the power off slider to the right.
  3. After 30 seconds, press and hold the Power/Side button again until the iPhone reboots.

This process does not affect any saved information on the phone’s internal memory, hence creating backups won’t be necessary.

After your phone boots up, retry launching YouTube app and see if the video is already able to play or not.

Third solution: Disconnect your iPhone XS from the Internet then reconnect.

Among the factors that can affect YouTube app’s normal operations are network connectivity issues like slow browsing, intermittent connection or no internet connect at all. To rule this out, you can try refreshing your iPhone’s Wi-Fi function. This can be done in different ways including the most common that is to toggle the Wi-Fi switch off and then back on shortly. Here’s how:

  1. From your Home screen, tap on Settings.
  2. Select Wi-Fi.
  3. Then toggle the Wi-Fi switch to turn OFF.
  4. With Wi-Fi turned off, restart your iPhone XS.
  5. After it restarts, head back to Settings-> Wi-Fi menu.
  6. Then tap the switch to turn Wi-Fi back ON again.

Wait until your iPhone re-established Internet connection. Once it’s connected, open YouTube and retry playing the desired video.

Fourth solution: Install pending updates for YouTube app.

Updates can also be considered a potential solution to app problems on your iPhone. Like iOS updates, app updates also offer fix patches to get rid of certain bugs and malwares that might have caused certain apps to suddenly fail. If you haven’t set your third-party apps to auto-update, chances are that you’ve missed to apply some critical YouTube updates on your device. To rule this out, follow these steps to check for and manually install pending app updates for YouTube on your iPhone XS:

  1. From the Home screen, tap on App Store. Doing so will launch the Apple Store application.
  2. From the App Store main app, scroll down to the bottom section.
  3. Then tap the Updates tab. A list of pending app updates will then show up.
  4. Find YouTube then tap the Update button next to it to manually install available updates for the application.
  5. If multiple updates are available, then you can tap the Update All button on the upper-right side of the screen. Doing so will update all apps simultaneously.

Wait for the apps to finish updating and then restart your iPhone when all updates are completely installed. After the phone reboots, launch YouTube app then retry playing the desired video and see if it’s already working. If it’s still not playing, then you may troubleshoot further and try other applicable solutions.

Fifth solution: Disable/turn off restrictions on your iPhone XS.

When enabled, restrictions may prevent or limit certain apps or features from working on your phone. That said, this could be what’s halting you from playing a certain YouTube video on your iPhone XS. To eliminate this from the possible causes, here’s what you can do:

  1. From the Home screen, tap Settings.
  2. Select Screen Time.
  3. Tap Content & Privacy Restrictions.
  4. Navigate to the Allowed Apps section and make sure that YouTube app is not restricted.

Or you can also disable restrictions on your iPhone XS completely to rule it out from the possible hindrances.

Sixth solution: Uninstall YouTube app from your phone and then reinstall it.

The worst possible reason as to why you won’t be able to play YouTube videos is that the YouTube app might have been totally corrupted and is no longer working. Should this be the case, you will need to uninstall and then reinstall YouTube app on your phone. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Tap Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Select General.
  3. Tap iPhone Storage.
  4. Navigate through the list of apps then tap to select YouTube app.
  5. Tap the option to Delete App.
  6. If prompted, tap Delete to confirm app deletion.

A faster way to uninstall an app from your iPhone is using the Home screen gesture. Here’s how:

  1. Touch and hold the YouTube app icon until it wiggles.
  2. Then tap the X on the upper left of the YouTube icon.
  3. Tap Delete when asked to confirm.

The app will then be removed from the Home screen and uninstalled from your iPhone storage.

Other ways to uninstall or delete apps from your iPhone XS is using iTunes or other iOS management tools that work with or compatible with your iPhone and the iOS 12 platform.

Seventh solution: Reset all settings on your iPhone XS.

Settings that aren’t properly configured can also trigger some apps to suddenly become erratic and stop working as intended. This is usually the case after installing new updates, particularly those that automatically override settings. To make sure this isn’t the root cause of the problem, follow these steps to reset all settings on your phone. Doing so will erase all customized settings including automatic overrides from recently installed software updates on the phone. This does not affect any saved data in the phone memory so you won’t lose any personal and critical information in the process. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. From your Home screen, tap on Settings.
  2. Select General.
  3. Scroll down to and then tap on Reset.
  4. Select the option to Reset all settings.
  5. Enter your passcode then follow the onscreen instructions to confirm all settings reset.

After the reset, your phone should reboot automatically and then loads the default values and original options. Features that are disabled by default must be re-enabled so that you can use them again on your phone. And that includes Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connections.

Reconnect your iPhone to the Internet through your Wi-Fi network and once it’s connected to the Internet, try playing that YouTube video to see if it’s already working.

Still cannot play that YouTube video on your iPhone XS?

The above solutions should normally be enough to fix the problem if it’s attributed to minor app errors and software glitches. However, if you still end up having the same problem or unable to play that YouTube video on your iPhone XS, then that’s likely not a problem on your end. In that case, you may opt to report the problem to the publisher of that video or verify if that video still exists on the YouTube channel.

You can also contact Google’s YouTube support for further assistance in performing more advanced troubleshooting procedures.

I hope that we’ve been able to help you fix the problem with your device. We would appreciate it if you helped us spread the word so please share this post if you found it helpful. Thank you so much for reading!