How to fix iPhone 11 YouTube app that can’t play videos, something went wrong

When it comes to free entertainment, YouTube emerges among the most popular and widely used platforms. With YouTube app on your device, you can browse through various types of videos according to your preferences. All you need is a fast and stable internet connection in order to benefit from viewing online content through the YouTube application installed on your phone. YouTube is backed and monitored by the Internet giant, Google Inc. Having said that, it’s safe to say that this is a trusty platform. But despite being labeled as robust app, YouTube can still give into random flaws due to inevitable factors such as internet connectivity issues, server timeouts, YouTube channel or content errors. Tackled in this post is a common issue encountered by many iPhone owners when using YouTube app on their respective devices. Read on to learn what to do if something goes wrong and your iphone 11 YouTube app just can’t play videos.

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Troubleshooting a problem on the iPhone 11 YouTube app that can’t play videos

As mentioned earlier, internet problems are usually the main culprits. Thus, check and ensure that your iPhone has no trouble connecting to the internet and that the connection is stable. Otherwise, you will need to deal with internet problems first for online services and apps like YouTube to work properly on your iPhone again. 

The following solutions are used to eliminate common software-related factors that might have prevented your iphone 11 YouTube app from playing videos. Try performing each of these methods then see which of them is able to resolve the issue.


First solution: Quit the app then relaunch it.

Despite its reputation as a robust application, YouTube app may still succumb to random errors and that’s when the application portrays some flaws. For minor app problems inflicted by random software errors, quitting and restarting the app will usually fix it. Thus, you can consider this among the first potential solutions to try on. Here’s what you should do then:

  1. Swipe up from the bottom of the screen then stop when your finger reaches the middle and pause until the app cards/previews show up.
  2. In the app switcher, swipe sideways to find the YouTube app card/preview.
  3. Swipe up on the card preview to force close the app.

Repeat the same steps to clear out all other background applications to prevent any of them from causing conflicts the next time you launch YouTube app and play videos on your device.

After quitting YouTube and other background applications, restart or soft reset your iphone 11 to clear cache and to refresh its system functions. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Simultaneously press and hold the Side and Volume Up buttons for a few seconds.
  2. Release both buttons when the Slide to Power off bar appears.
  3. Swipe or drag the bar to turn your device off.
  4. After about 30 seconds, press and hold the Side button and then release when the Apple logo appears.

Allow your device to finish its boot sequence and loads up the Home screen. Then retry launching YouTube app when your iPhone has re-established internet connection. Try playing random videos to see if the problem is solved. 

ALSO READ: How to fix your iPhone X Netflix app that’s not working in iOS 13


Second solution: Refresh your Internet connection.

Intermittent connection or Wi-Fi drops, slow internet or no internet connection at all can also be the underlying cause of the problem. If any of these symptoms is transpiring on your iPhone, online apps and services will likewise become unavailable. This is when refreshing your internet connection is needed. There are many ways to get this done. And they are as follows:

  • Reboot or power cycle the network equipment. The network equipment that I am referring to is either a wireless router or modem (depending on your network setup). If the network equipment is near or accessible at the moment, then try to power cycle it with these steps:
    • Press the power button/switch to turn off the network equipment completely.
    • While the equipment is turned off, unplug its AC adapter from the power source and keep it unplugged for about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
    • After the elapsed time, plug it back into the power source and then turn it back on.
    • Wait until all the light indicators become stable. Once the Wi-Fi signal has stabilized, your iPhone should reconnect to your Wi-Fi network (if you’ve set it up to auto-connect). If it doesn’t, then you’ll have to manually connect it to the desired network.
  • Toggle Wi-Fi off and on. Turning the Wi-Fi switch on your iPhone can also help resolve minor issues affecting wireless functions and online applications. Doing so gives a quick refresh to your phone’s Wi-Fi system and thereby eliminates any existing connection errors Here’s how it’s done”
    • Tap Settings from your Home screen.
    • Select Wi-Fi.
    • Tap the Wi-Fi switch to the OFF position.
    • After about 30 seconds, tap the switch again to turn Wi-Fi back ON.
  • Perform the Airplane Mode trick. Another simple old trick that’s been used to rectify various wireless connectivity issues on an iPhone is the so-called Airplane Mode trick. It works by giving a simultaneous restart on your phone’s wireless features. Here’s how it’s exactly done:
    • Tap Settings from your Home screen.
    • Select Airplane Mode.
    • Tap the switch to turn Airplane Mode on. Doing so simultaneously disables wireless radios of your iPhone.
    • While Airplane mode is turned on, restart/soft reset your iPhone.
    • Then head back to Settings-> Airplane Mode menu.
    • Toggle the switch to turn Airplane Mode off again.
    • Wait for your iPhone to re-establish wireless signals.

After disabling Airplane Mode, you will need to re-enable Wi-Fi to reconnect to your Wi-Fi network and get back online. As soon as your Internet connection is restored, you can retry loading YouTube and play videos as you normally do. 


Third solution: Disable restrictions to fix your iPhone 11 YouTube app that can’t play videos.

When enabled, restrictions can also prevent certain apps from loading or working properly on your device. To make sure this isn’t barring your iphone 11 YouTube app from playing videos, follow these steps to check and manage restriction settings on your iphone 11:

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Then tap on Screen Time.
  3. Select Content & Privacy Restrictions then toggle the switch to turn the feature off.

You can also keep restrictions enabled but be sure to enable YouTube app under the Allowed Apps section.


Fourth solution: Install pending updates for YouTube app.

App updates may also contain the required solution. Similar to the periodic iOS updates released by Apple, app updates also embed necessary fix patches to address existing application errors inflicted by stubborn system bugs and errors. If you haven’t set your third-party apps to auto-update, there’s a great chance that you’ve missed to install some critical updates for YouTube and that eventually resulted in the application becoming unsteady. If your internet connection is fine and you’ve got ample battery life, follow these steps to manually check and install pending app updates for YouTube:

  1. From the Home screen, tap on the App Store icon to open the application.
  2. Tap on Today tab at the bottom. 
  3. Then tap on the user profile icon (Apple ID header) on the top right corner of the screen. You should see the account details. 
  4. Scroll down to the Available Updates section. 
  5. Tap on Update next to the YouTube app to install pending update for the app. 
  6. If multiple app updates are available, tap on Update All to update all apps simultaneously.

Installing the latest iOS version available for your iPhone may also help fix the problem if system bugs are inflicting it. 

  • To check on available firmware updates, just go to Settings-> General-> Software Update menu on your iphone 11 then follow the onscreen prompts to download and install the latest firmware available.

Reboot your iPhone after installing updates to apply the recent software changes and likewise to implement any embedded fix patches. Then try launching YouTube app and play random videos to see if the error is gone.

ALSO READ: How to fix iPhone XS Facebook app won’t open/load after iOS 13 update


Fifth solution: Uninstall then reinstall YouTube app on your iPhone 11.

The app might have been totally corrupted and is therefore not working unless you have it reinstalled. This also means uninstalling the corrupted version of the application firsthand. Just refer to these steps if you wish to proceed:

  1. From the Home screen, swipe to the YouTube app icon.
  2. Then touch and hold on the YouTube app icon.
  3. Wait for a few seconds for the pop-menu to show up and then red X to appear on the top-left corner of the app icon and the icons jiggle. This is an indication that you’re already entered edit mode.
  4. Tap Delete from the pop-up message to confirm deletion of the selected application.
  5. Then tap Done to exit edit mode. 

Restart your iPhone after deleting the app and once it’s finished rebooting, continue with these steps to re-download and install YouTube app on your iphone 11:

  1. Tap the App Store icon from the Home screen.
  2. Tap Search at the bottom right corner.
  3. Tap the Games, Apps, Stories, and More field.
  4. Type in YouTube in the search field then tap the Search key on the onscreen keyboard.
  5. Tap the GET button to start downloading the application.
  6. When the download is finished, tap the Install button to install the application. You can also use Face ID or your Apple ID password, if prompted to authorized download.
  7. Tap Sign In, to sign into your App Store account if necessary.
  8. Tap the OPEN button when the download completes. 

This should prompt the recently installed application to launch. Wait until it’s finished loading up and then try to play some random videos to see if they’re already working.

ALSO READ: How to fix your iPhone’s Snapchat app that’s not working in iOS 13

Still facing the same problem with your iPhone 11 YouTube app that can’t play videos?

If the problem only occurs when trying to play a specific YouTube video, then that could be an isolated problem with the video/content, if not with the YouTube channel where the video is published. The URL for that video might have been corrupted and is therefore no longer working. It is also possible that the video you’re trying to play is a restricted content and therefore only plays for authorized users. If the problem transpires on all YouTube app videos, then there might be some temporary problem with the application or YouTube server at the moment. You can also seek further assistance in performing more advanced in-app solutions from the internet giant’s YouTube support team. Just let them know exactly about the problem you’re dealing with and the workarounds you’ve already tried doing in an attempt to fix the problem on your end. Be sure to relay any error prompts and warning messages you’re getting as this could give more hints on what possibly went wrong and what needs to be done in order to be able to play videos on your iphone 11 YouTube app as it should. You can also try downloading the desired video and try offline viewing to see if it works.


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