What to do if your iPhone 11 can’t play YouTube videos

Having trouble playing YouTube videos on  your iPhone 11? If that is so, then this post might be able to help you. Scroll down to view more detailed solutions.

Normally, YouTube videos should play right away when tapped or triggered to launch. However, there are some factors that can make things a bit complicated and you will just realize that something is wrong if you can’t play YouTube videos on your phone. Read on to find out why this happens and what to do if you cannot play YouTube videos on your iPhone 11 through the app.

YouTube video

Possible Causes

There are many factors that you should consider ruling out when dealing with problems involving YouTube services. And they are as follows:

  • Network connection problems. Sometimes, YouTube videos take time to load or may not be able to play at all because of internet connectivity issues. This is usually what happens if your iPhone is enduring slow internet browsing, intermittent connection or has no internet connection at all.
  • In-app glitches. Although YouTube is deemed among the most stable and robust applications, it isn’t totally exempted from having random glitches. Thus, there are still instances when the app is a bit shaky. And this is one of the moments when you may not be able to play videos through the app.
  • File format not supported. There are a lot of video file types that can be uploaded on YouTube and most of them are already converted into a file format that’s readable by or compatible with most, if not all smart devices that support YouTube app. Nonetheless, some of these videos files may not be converted into a file format that’s readable by your iOS device. As a result, it can’t be played on your iPhone. In this case, the problem is only isolated to that video file and not with your iPhone.
  • Corrupted video file/invalid URL. Your iPhone or any other device may not be able to play corrupted video files or video URLs that are broken or invalid.
  • YouTube server downtime. Although this rarely happens, it’s an inevitable circumstance not only for YouTube but also among other server-based applications. When the server is down, all associated apps and services will also be unavailable. Problems like this are usually temporary and immediately addressed by Google’s YouTube technicians.

In some cases, the problem is isolated to a certain YouTube channel that’s likely experiencing downtime. It is also possible that the type of video you are trying to view is blocked or restricted.

Troubleshooting an iPhone that can’t play YouTube videos

The following procedures are used to eliminate software-related factors that might have hindered your iPhone 11 from playing YouTube app videos. Any of these solutions will likely solve the problem unless for as long as the YouTube server is up and running.


First solution: Refresh your internet connection.

In most cases, the problem is due to network connectivity issues from slow internet browsing to no internet at all. Thus, start troubleshooting by checking your iPhone’s internet connection. If your internet seems to be very slow or intermittent, try to power cycle the modem or wireless router. Here’s how you do it:

  1. Turn off the modem/router by pressing its power button until it shuts down.
  2. While it’s completely turned off, unplug its AC adapter from the power source and keep it that way for about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  3. After the elapsed time, plug it back in and turn it on again.

Wait until the phone re-establish a stable Wi-Fi signal and then reconnects to the Wi-Fi network. If it does not connect to the network automatically, make sure that the Wi-Fi switch is enabled and then connect to the network manually instead.

Another way to refresh your iPhone’s internet connection is by turning Wi-Fi off and on.

  • To do so, go to Settings-> Wi-Fi menu then toggle the switch to turn Wi-Fi off for a few seconds and then turn it back on again.

You can also use the Airplane Mode trick to simultaneously refresh wireless features of your iPhone.

  • To do so, go to Settings-> Airplane Mode menu and then toggle the Airplane Mode switch on for about 30 seconds. After the elapsed time, toggle the switch again to turn Airplane Mode off.

After refreshing your internet connection, open a browser app to test your internet connection. After confirming that the internet is working, try playing videos on YouTube and see if the problem is gone.

Second solution: Restart/soft reset your iPhone.

The simplest yet very effective solution you shouldn’t miss implementing is a soft reset. A simple reboot on your iPhone not only dumps junk files and cache but also rectifies minor system errors that trigger random app problems. Thus, follow these steps to soft reset your iPhone 11 if you haven’t already:

  1. Press and hold the Side/Power button and either of the Volume button at the side of your phone for a few seconds.
  2. When the Slide to Power Off appears on your screen, release both buttons.
  3. Drag the power off slider to the right to turn off the phone.
  4. Wait for about 30 seconds then press and hold the Side/Power button until you see the Apple logo.

Allow your phone to finish the reboot sequence and then reconnects to the Wi-Fi network. Once it’s back online, retry playing YouTube videos and see if everything is working fine already.

Third solution: Disable restrictions on your iPhone.

When enabled, restrictions can also prevent apps like YouTube from working as intended. Having said that, it’s also imperative to check your iPhone’s screen time settings and if necessary, disable restrictions temporarily. Here’s how to get there:

  1. From the Home screen, tap Settings.
  2. Select Screen Time.
  3. Scroll to Privacy & Content Restrictions then tap the switch next to it to disable the feature.

This should lift all app restrictions on your device, allowing them to work as intended.

You can also re-configure your screen time settings to include YouTube among the allowed apps, if you wish to keep restrictions enabled on your device.

Fourth solution: Install updates for YouTube, if available.

Reinstalling the app is also an option. This is usually needed if the YouTube app has somehow become corrupted and stopped working. Should you wish to give it a shot, then here’s how to uninstall and reinstall YouTube app on your iPhone 11:

  1. From the Home screen, tap App Store. Doing so will launch the app.
  2. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen then tap on Today.
  3. Tap on the User Profile icon, on the upper-right corner of the screen to load up your account details.
  4. Scroll down to the Available Updates section to view any pending app updates.
  5. Tap on the Update button next to YouTube or tap Update All to install all pending app updates at once.

Restart your iPhone after installing all app updates. This is recommended to ensure that all recent software changes are properly implemented.

Then try to see if that solves the problem with your iPhone’s YouTube videos.

Fifth solution: Reset all settings on your iPhone.

To eliminate erroneous system settings from the underlying cause, you can use the command to reset all settings on your iPhone 11. Doing so will erase all your current system configuration and preferences without affecting the internal data. Any erratic settings or customization will likewise be obliterated in the process. If you wish to proceed, just follow these steps:

  1. From the Home screen, tap Settings.
  2. Select General.
  3. Scroll down to and tap Reset.
  4. Select the option to Reset all settings.
  5. Enter your passcode if prompted to continue.
  6. Then tap Reset all settings again to confirm that you want to reset your iPhone’s system settings to defaults.

Your iPhone will restart automatically when the reset is finished and then loads up the default system preferences. To use necessary features, particularly those that are disabled by default, you will need to re-enable them individually.

Still cannot play YouTube videos on your iPhone 11?

Performing more advanced procedures such as a factory reset or iOS restore can be considered among the last options if none of the given solutions is able to fix the problem. These methods however require backup creation because they will erase all saved information from your iPhone storage and hence, can result in permanent data loss.

If you’re getting an error that says, “unsupported file format” and the video doesn’t play, it means that your iPhone does not support the video file you’re trying to play. This is usually the case if the video format is other than MOV, M4V, or MP4. While this rarely occurs as YouTube videos are already converted into a file format that’s readable by most devices, it is still a possible factor that you should consider looking into.

To determine whether or not the problem is isolated to the YouTube app, try playing other videos from other platforms like Facebook, Splice, or Clips. If the other videos play, the problem is with the YouTube app.


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