How to fix iPhone YouTube videos that won’t play in iOS 13, YouTube app not working

Streaming YouTube videos is one of the favorite past times by many smartphone users to-date. Hence, bumping into some trouble playing YouTube videos is definitely a bummer. Nonetheless, app problems like this are inevitable and as several factors can trigger in-app errors to occur. Tackled in this post is a relevant issue on the iPhone YouTube videos that won’t play in iOS 13. Read on to find out why this happens and how to deal with this post-update issue on your iOS device.

Before moving on, feel free to browse through our troubleshooting pages to find potential solutions to other problems with your other Apple devices. If your iOS handset is in the list of our supported devices, then you can visit its exclusive troubleshooting page and find the problem that you need help dealing with. You can refer to or use our provided solutions and workarounds if needed. In the case where you’d prefer to get direct assistance from us, simply fill up our iOS issues questionnaire and hit submit to contact us.

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Troubleshooting an iPhone problem on YouTube videos that won’t play in iOS 13

Before you start, try to launch the YouTube app again and try playing other videos. If other videos play while certain videos won’t, there’s a good chance that the problem is isolated to those videos or video channel and neither the YouTube app nor your iPhone. In that case, there’s no need to troubleshoot the app or iOS. All you have to do is report the problem to the video creator/channel admin, if you really needed to view those erratic videos. If all videos on YouTube are not playing through your iPhone’s YouTube app, try playing them through them main YouTube website. Just open a browser app then navigate to and search for the videos that you are trying to play. If the videos play through the web, then there must be some problem with your iPhone’s YouTube app. At this point, you can go ahead and start troubleshooting the app and your iPhone


First solution: Check and refresh your Internet connection.

Internet problems such as slow internet, intermittent or unstable connection, or no Internet connection at all are usually the main reason why online apps would suddenly stop working. This is usually the case if your iPhone succumbed to random network connection errors following the recent iOS update installation. To clear out random Internet symptoms like this, refreshing or restarting your phone’s wireless feature can help. There are different ways to get this done. You can work on the Wi-Fi toggle or Airplane Mode toggle. Or you can also reboot the wireless router or modem if you can reach it. Otherwise, refer to these subsequent methods instead:

  • Go to Settings-> Wi-Fi menu, then toggle the switch to turn Wi-Fi off for a few seconds and then tap turn it off again.

Another way to restart your phone’s wireless internet connection is through the Airplane mode toggle. Here’s how it works:

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen. 
  2. Select Airplane mode
  3. Toggle the switch next to Airplane mode to turn the feature on. All wireless functions of your phone are then disabled simultaneously.
  4. While the Airplane mode is enabled, perform a soft reset on your phone. 
  5. Wait until your phone is finished rebooting and then go back to Settings-> Airplane mode menu
  6. Finally, tap the Airplane Mode switch again to disable the feature again. 

Reconnect your iPhone to Wi-Fi and once the Internet connection resumes, launch the YouTube app and try playing videos to see if it’s working already.


Second solution: Restart YouTube app and your phone.

The YouTube app might have gone rogue and glitching after the recent system changes. Things like this can happen to any apps after installing major updates. Luckily, such problems can easily be remedied by simply restarting the application. Thus, consider this as the next potential solution to try on.

On an iphone x or later models, clearing out background apps is done through these steps:

  1. Swipe up and hold from the bottom of the display. Doing so launches the App Switcher, which contains previews of the apps you’ve recently opened and left running in the background.
  2. Swipe through different app previews to find YouTube app.
  3. Then quick swipe upwards on YouTube preview to close the app.

If you’re using an iPhone 8 or earlier models, follow these steps to quit YouTube and other background applications:

  1. Double-press the Home button to pull up the Apps Switcher or Multitasking screen. This contains the previews/cards of all app you’ve recently used and left open on your phone.
  2. Tap and drag the YouTube app preview to the top-corner of the screen. Doing so will close the application.

Do the same to close any other background applications to prevent any of them from causing conflicts while playing YouTube videos.

After ending YouTube and other background apps on your iPhone, perform a soft reset to dump junk files from your iPhone’s memory cache. In iPhone X and later variants, a soft reset is carried out this way:

  1. Press and hold the Side/Top button and either Volume button on your phone.
  2. Release both buttons when the Slide to Power Off slider appears.
  3. Drag the slider to the right to power off your device completely.
  4. Allow several seconds for your phone to stay powered off.
  5. Then press and hold the Side/Top button again until the Apple logo appears.
  6. Release the button and let your phone finish its boot sequence.

If you’re using an iPhone 8 Plus and earlier models with a physical Home button, a soft reset is done through these steps:

  1. Press and hold down the Side (Power) button for a few seconds until the Slide To Power Off appears.
  2. Drag the slider to the right to power off your device completely.
  3. After 30 seconds, press and hold down the Side (Power) button again until the Apple logo appears.

Wait for your phone to finish rebooting and then retry playing YouTube videos through the app again.

ALSO READ: How to fix iPhone X Gmail app keeps crashing after iOS 13 update


Third solution: Turn off app restrictions to fix your iPhone YouTube that won’t play videos in iOS 13.

Restrictions can also hinder YouTube app from playing videos. To make sure this isn’t the root cause of the problem, disable app restrictions on your device. Just follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Home screen, tap Settings.
  2. Select Screen Time.
  3. Tap Content & Privacy Restrictions.
  4. If prompted, enter your Screen Time password to continue.
  5. Then toggle the switch next to Content & Privacy Restrictions to turn the feature OFF.

App restrictions on your iPhone are now lifted.


Fourth solution: Install pending app updates on your iPhone.

For stability and reliability, apps must be updated regularly. App developers usually push critical updates soon before or after a new iOS version is rolled to keep their apps supported in the updated platform. If you didn’t set YouTube to auto-install updates, there is a good chance that you’ve missed to install critical updates for the application. As a result, the app turned out to be a bit shaky after the recent system changes. So here’s what you should do then:

  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. 

Wait for all updates to finish installing and then reboot your iPhone to apply the recent software changes.

Fifth solution: Reset all settings on your iPhone.

Incorrect settings on the phone can also be the main culprits. To eliminate all these, reset all settings to erase all recent configurations and restore the original values and options. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. From your Home screen, tap Settings.
  2. Select General.
  3. Scroll down to and tap on Reset.
  4. Select the option to Reset all settings.
  5. Enter your device passcode when asked to proceed.
  6. Tap the option to confirm that you’d want to reset all settings on your device.

All your phone settings including network preferences will then be deleted and the original values are restored. To use necessary features, you will need to re-enable them individually. Don’t forget to reconnect to your Wi-Fi network to get back online and use online apps and play YouTube videos on your device.

ALSO READ: How to fix iOS 13 FaceTime connection error on your iPhone, FaceTime not working in iOS 13


Last resort: Delete YouTube app from your phone then reinstall it.

The user interface in iOS 13 has some slight changes. This also denotes a little changes on how to access jiggle mode to delete apps from your iOS device. Here are the updated steps to delete an app in iOS 13:

  1. Long-press on the app icon (YouTube) you want to delete. 
  2. Stop pressing when the context menu appears.
  3. Tap the option to Rearrange Apps. Doing so will get you to the jiggle mode, where the familiar X buttons appears on the top-left corner of each app icon.
  4. Tap on the X button on the YouTube app icon.
  5. Then tap the red Delete button to confirm that you want to delete the app.

Once the app deletion is complete, restart your iPhone then open the App Store to download and install the latest version of YouTube app on your device. Just refer to these steps if you need further assistance in reinstalling the application:

  1. Tap the App Store icon from the Home screen.
  2. Browse the App Store by tapping on Apps at the bottom.
  3. Scroll then tap the desired category. You can also tap Search to search for apps by name.
  4. Tap to select the app (YouTube) that you want to download.
  5. Tap GET to continue.
  6. Then tap INSTALL to begin app installation.
  7. If prompted, enter your App Store credentials to confirm app download and installation request.
  8. Sign into the iTunes Store if prompted to complete the installation.

Follow the rest of the onscreen prompts until the app is completely installed on your device. Then reboot or soft reset your iPhone to apply/save the recent changes. To test if the recently installed YouTube app is working, launch it and try playing any random YouTube videos.

ALSO READ: How to fix an iPhone iOS 13 that won’t connect to App Store


Still having trouble with your iPhone YouTube videos that won’t play in iOS 13?

Performing the above solutions is usually enough to eliminate in-app glitches and network-related problems that might have caused your iPhone’s YouTube app to stop playing videos in iOS 13. If none of them is able to fix the problem, escalate the problem to Google/YouTube support for further assistance in performing more advanced solutions. There must be something wrong from within the YouTube app or YouTube server that needs to be corrected. 

You can also report the problem straight to Apple Support so that they can conduct necessary assessments from their end and determine whether or not the problem is inflicted by an iOS 13 bug. If that’s confirmed to be an iOS bug, then Apple will be obliged to create and roll out a permanent fix patch.

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