YouTube Playback Error: Quick Fix

It seems like a lifetime ago that YouTube first made its debut in December of 2005; for some of you younger readers, that actually was a lifetime ago! Since then, YouTube has maintained its commanding position at the top of the list of streaming services.

When YouTube was first launched, the website was riddled with a variety of different kinds of errors. However, over the course of its existence, the company has put a great deal of thought and effort into developing this global video streaming service.

 That does not mean that issues are never going to crop up again. Oh, they come up all the time. The majority of these problems, however, can now be resolved with a great deal less effort than they once did.

If you go online and type “YouTube playback error” into the search bar of your browser, you will immediately be presented with a plethora of relevant results. A significant number of users who have encountered this kind of issue have inquired for assistance in various discussion forums. I was once a member of that group of users not all that long ago.

I tend to watch videos on YouTube quite frequently. YouTube is something that’s always on in this house, whether I’m conducting research for my job, watching a documentary about true crimes, or looking for educational videos for my kids.

Therefore, whenever there was a playback error, it was necessary for me to find a solution as soon as possible. (On a side note, hearing two young children sob because they couldn’t watch Blippi is the kind of thing that completely ruins an otherwise enjoyable day.)

What was it that I picked up? Errors in playback can be easily remedied in a few different ways. In addition to those, there are some troubleshooting methods that are more involved. Because there is more than one kind of playback error, the solution that actually works for you will be determined by the specific cause of the problem. Let’s go over this topic in a bit more detail so that we can assist you in getting your YouTube channel back up and running.

Quick Fix for the Playback Error on YouTube

It’s possible that your browser is having trouble loading a YouTube video at times; therefore, the first thing you should try is to restart the browser. If that does not resolve the issue, you will need to delete all of your cookies and clear your cache.

In the event that this does not resolve the issue, you should try restarting your WiFi router to determine whether or not there is an issue with the connection.

Why should you try quitting and restarting your browser to see if it helps? What role do cookies and cache that are too full play in the creation of playback errors? What if the issue is caused by YouTube itself? Is the problem with your WiFi router? Continue reading to obtain additional information regarding the diagnosis and treatment of a playback error on YouTube.

Restart Your Internet Browser.

If you are using YouTube within a web browser, you should try closing the browser completely before continuing. After that, launch it once more, create a new tab, and navigate back into YouTube. This is the quickest and easiest solution, but it’s not always the best one.

Remove All Cookies and Clear Cache.

Next step? Delete all of the cookies and the cache from your browser. The use of the free software programme Cleaner, which will speed up and optimise your entire personal computer rather than just your web browser, is one of the easiest ways to accomplish this goal. However, it also does that.

In any other case, you can clean out your browser by using the tools provided by the browser itself. How to do it:

Getting rid of all the Chrome:

  • 1. Launch Google Chrome.
  • 2. Navigate to the top right corner of the screen and select the “three dots” option.
  • 3. Select More Tools and then Clear Browsing Data from the menu.
  • 4. Choose a time range to look at. You have the option of choosing Choose All Time, which will delete everything, or setting it to a specific time that is relatively close to when you first noticed these problems.
  • 5. Select the checkboxes that are located next to the headings that read “Cookies and other site data” and “Cached images and files.”
  • 6. Make sure to select Clear Data.

Safari: putting things in order

  • 1. Close all of the windows that are currently open in your browser, and then open a new tab that is blank.
  • 2. Select “Clear History” from the menu of the Safari browser.
  • 3. In the field labelled “Clear,” select All History.
  • 4. Select the option to clear your history.

Performing maintenance on Firefox:

  • 1. Open up the menu for the Firefox web browser by clicking the button that looks like three horizontal lines.
  • 2. Select Options (PC) or Preferences from the menu (Mac).
  • 3. Go to the Privacy menu and select the option to Clear Your Recent History.
  • 4. Select the time range you want to look at. To go down, click on the arrow that’s pointing down.
  • 5. Select the Browsing and Download History, Form and Search History, Cookies, Cache, and Active Logins options from the drop-down menus.
  • 6. Click the Clear Now button.

Sign out of YouTube and then sign in again.

There are times when the problem lies solely with YouTube’s end. In addition, logging out and then back in to your account can be helpful. Having trouble figuring out how to do that? What you should do is as follows:

  • 1. Start up your browser and navigate to YouTube.
  • 2. Click the icon representing your profile that is located next to the bell. This is located in the upper right-hand corner of the screen.
  • 3. Click the sign-out button.
  • 4. Exit out of that tab and open a new one, then navigate to YouTube in the new tab.
  • 5. Select the option to Sign In.
  • 6. Use the account you have with Google to sign in.

Change the quality of your video.

It’s possible that your older piece of hardware is having trouble loading YouTube videos with a high quality setting because the resolution is so high. YouTube will automatically adjust the video quality to the highest possible setting, but you may need to manually adjust it back down to a lower setting.

Tab in your browser should be refreshed, and then you should click the gear icon to pause the video. If you want the video to load, you might need to change the resolution to 720p, 1080p, or even 480p first.

Reinstall the Browser You’re Using.

If nothing else has worked so far, try removing and then reinstalling your browser to see if that fixes the problem.

In order to accomplish this in Windows:

  • 1. Navigate to the Add or Remove Programs option within the Control Panel after opening it.
  • 2. Locate the browser and remove it from your computer.
  • 3. Download Microsoft Edge again and start the browser download again.

It is important to keep in mind that you cannot delete Safari from a Mac because the macOS requires it. However, it is important to make sure that Safari has the most recent update. If you want to do this on a Mac that was manufactured after 2001:

  • 1. Navigate to your computer’s Preferences menu.
  • 2. Select the Software Update option from the menu (look for the gear icon).
  • 3. If there is an update that is available, click the Upgrade Now button to install it.

When using an older Mac:

  • 1. Launch the App Store on your device.
  • 2. Locate Safari by typing its name into the search bar.
  • 3. Select the Update option.

Run Updates

It’s possible that you need to perform updates on the apps and software on whatever device you’re using to access YouTube. Make sure you have the most recent version of YouTube installed on every device you use to access the site. It is also recommended that you perform a firmware update on the WiFi router that you are using. This can be accomplished by:

  • 1. Launch your web browser, then place “” (without the quotes) into the address bar of your browser.
  • 2. Navigate to your router’s login page. Your username and password can be found in the router’s manual or on a sticker that was placed on the router during manufacturing (usually on the bottom).
  • 3. Navigate to the section labelled “Update” or “Firmware” in either the “Advanced,” “Administration,” or “Management” subsection.
  • 4. Navigate to the website of the router manufacturer and search for the model number of the router on that website to locate any available firmware updates.
  • 5. When you find a new firmware version, download it to your computer and save the file to your hard drive. There will be a ZIP file containing it.
  • 6. Extract the file from the ZIP archive.
  • 7. Navigate to the Update section, then select either Browse or Choose File from the drop-down menu.
  • 8. Select the file you extracted from the archive.
  • 9. After the update has begun to run, wait until it has finished.
  • 10. Once the process of updating the router’s firmware has been completed, restart the router.

Please Restart Your Router.

Nothing else working yet? You could also try just restarting your router. Unplug it from the wall and wait five minutes before reconnecting it after you’ve done so.

Please give it a few minutes to reconnect to the network. Before you can see that a connection has been made, the lights on the front of the router need to be illuminated in their entirety.

Turn off add-ons for your browser.

The YouTube video can be stopped in its tracks by using a browser extension. Go into your browser’s settings and disable all of the extensions it has installed. After that, try watching a video to see if that resolves the issue.

Changing Your Domain Name System Address

In essence, DNS acts as an Internet address book by converting the Uniform Resource Locator (URL) that you type into the bar into something that the computer network can read. You should modify the DNS settings on the router because this is the most straightforward method. You will be required to:

  • 1. In the address bar of your browser, type “”
  • 2. Navigate to your router’s login page.
  • 3. Look for the field that is labelled DNS address.
  • 4. Alter the address so that it reads either or
  • 5. Make sure these settings are saved.
  • 6. Exit out of your router’s login screen.

A Few Parting Thoughts

Instead of personal computers or laptops, smart TV browsers are now the ones that have the most trouble with playback. You could try using a different web browser on your TV, or you could just watch the video directly from the YouTube app on your device. 

Errors that occur during playback on YouTube can almost always be fixed with a little bit of investigation and troubleshooting.


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