Whether education, business, or entertainment-related, online videos from YouTube and Facebook are a goldmine of information and an endless stream of fun. Well, at least that’s the case when everything works as it should.
However, encountering video playback issues on these platforms is far more common than you’d think, and they can quickly turn your video consumption time and enjoyment into hours of frustration and troubleshooting.
Join us as we examine video playback issues on YouTube or Facebook, discuss how to recognize them, dive deeper into potential culprits, and show you how to fix them with numerous troubleshooting methods on various devices.
In this article
How to Recognize Videos Not Playing
Whether you’re trying to stream your favorite content creator’s videos on YouTube or Facebook, many indicators exist on both platforms when video playback issues occur. They can include the following:
- Constant loading – One of the most common issues you’ll encounter on these platforms is a video buffering endlessly but never starting or getting stuck at a particular point. It indicates a corrupted video on the uploader’s end.
- Black screen – Another widespread problem these platforms share is a video with an entirely black screen, where the video never loads or buffers.
- Error messages – More often than not, YouTube and Facebook will display something like “An error occurred,” “Playback error,” or “Video unavailable.” These often tie to the uploader or the platform; you usually can’t fix them.
- Audio/video only – Depending on whether you can see the video but can’t hear the audio or vice versa, your issues might be audio or video driver-related, and you’ll need to update or reinstall these drivers.
- Lagging playback – Although it can occur due to an overheating computer struggling to keep all your browser’s tabs and background applications open, a laggy video is often a telltale sign of a slow internet connection.
Recognizing these telltale signs of video playback issues can help you find the root cause behind the problem and point you toward a suitable fixing method.
Why YouTube Videos Aren’t Playing
Regardless of YouTube’s size, professionalism, and years of experience in the online video entertainment industry, the platform is not without its issues. Users can still occasionally run into some video playback problems.
These problems often occur due to your network speeds, browser settings, an outdated version, or a glitching device, regardless of whether you use a desktop, laptop, or mobile device like a smartphone or tablet.
How to Fix YouTube Videos Not Playing On Chrome/Firefox
Now that we’ve examined the various issues you can encounter with YouTube videos, it’s time to see how to fix them on desktop and laptop computers. Below are step-by-step guides for Chrome and Firefox, the two most common browsers, but you can also apply these steps to other browsers.
How to Fix Videos Not Playing on Chrome
Whether you’re on macOS or Windows, you can use the tips below to fix videos not playing, as long as you’re a Google Chrome user.
Step 1: Launch Google Chrome, click the three-dot icon in the top right corner, and select Settings.
Step 2: Head to Privacy and Security, click Clear browsing data , and select the Advanced tab.
Step 3: Specify the Time range to All time, tick the boxes next to Cookies and other site data and Cached images and files, and click Clear Data.
Step 4: After that, check whether the videos work on YouTube and Facebook. If not, go back to Chrome’s Settings.
Step 5: Select Extensions on the left side and disable them individually by toggling the switch next to each extension. After each disabled extension, close and relaunch Google Chrome, head to YouTube and Facebook, and check whether it fixes the video playback issues.
How to Fix Videos Not Playing On Firefox
The instructions are similar if you’re a Mozilla Firefox user, regardless of your operating system. Here’s what you’ll need to do:
Step 1: Open Firefox, click the hamburger menu icon in the top right corner, and select Settings.
Step 2: Head to Privacy & Security, scroll down until you find Cookies and Site Data, and click Clear Data.
Step 3: Tick the checkboxes next to Cookies and Site Data and Cached Web Content, and hit the Clear button.
Step 4: Close and relaunch Mozilla Firefox and try playing YouTube and Facebook videos. If the problem persists, go back to Firefox’s Settings.
Step 5: Select Extensions & Themes in the bottom left corner.
Step 6: Disable extensions individually and restart the browser app after each, checking whether a particular extension was causing the video playback problem.
How to Fix YouTube Videos Not Playing On Smartphones
Since YouTube exists as an app on Android and iOS, you’re likely not accessing YouTube videos through the browser on your iOS or Android smartphone. Therefore, you must follow these steps depending on your smartphone’s operating system.
How to Fix Videos Not Playing On Android
Fixing YouTube videos on smartphones also revolves around clearing cache and data, but instead of doing it in a browser, you must do it for the YouTube application. Here’s what you need to do on Android:
Step 1: Open the phone’s Settings app and navigate to Apps > Manage apps > YouTube.
Step 2: Click Clear Data at the bottom of the screen.
Step 3: Tap Clear Cache and test whether the problem persists on YouTube’s app.
Step 4: If you still can’t play YouTube videos, repeat the steps above and tap on Clear Data this time.
Step 5: Log back in on the YouTube app and test again.
How to Fix Videos Not Playing On iPhone
iPhone users must do the same, but the steps differ since you must entirely remove the YouTube app from the phone’s memory. Here’s how to do it on iPhones:
Step 1: Long-press the YouTube app icon and tap Remove App.
Step 2: Tap Delete App when prompted.
Step 3: Head to the App Store and redownload the YouTube app.
Step 4: Log back in and test whether the video playback issue persists.
What to Do if Videos Load but Won’t Play
Although videos that won’t play are incredibly frustrating, the videos that load but never start playing seem to hit the nerve, causing anger and frustration on a whole other level. Nevertheless, these issues are still fixable. You can try these troubleshooting steps to take care of them:
- Check the internet connection – Slow and unstable internet connections are often the main reasons videos load but don’t play. Check your internet connection by measuring its speed and testing different websites.
- Clear cache and cookies – Browser data accumulates over time, and that buildup can cause video playback issues. Refresh your browser by deleting cached data and cookies and test video playback afterward.
- Disable browser extensions – Various extensions can interfere with YouTube and Facebook videos. However, individually disabling each is your best bet to fix the problem.
- Try a different browser – Sometimes, your favorite browser can cause video playback issues. To get around that, you’ll need to use a different one.
- Close background applications – If your device struggles with multiple open browser tabs or background applications, it would be best to close them.
Once you go through the above steps, the problem should be gone. However, the issue can persist if you’re dealing with corrupted videos.
What You Can Do if the Videos Are Corrupted
Corrupted videos are some of the leading reasons you’re seeing black screens or experiencing error messages when playing videos. However, these issues are still solvable, and you only need a dedicated video repair tool to get you back on track and repair these corrupted videos.
One such tool is Wondershare Repairit. The app can quickly and efficiently repair videos, images, documents, and audio files. Furthermore, the repair process is exceptionally straightforward and only takes a few minutes and steps. Here’s what you need to do:
Step 1: Download the problematic YouTube or Facebook videos.
Step 2: Open Wondershare Repairit on your computer, select , and hit Add to import corrupted videos.
Step 3: Hit Repair to let the app fix your corrupted videos.
Step 4: Preview the video files and click Save to save the repaired files.
General Fixes You Can Try if Your Videos Aren’t Playing on YouTube/Facebook
As an unstable or slow internet connection and outdated systems and apps are some of the most common causes of unplayable YouTube and Facebook videos, you should fix these issues before moving on to advanced troubleshooting steps.
Update Your Browser
Updating all your apps is vital for the security of your system, and your browser is no exception. In this case, it can also resolve the issue of Facebook and YouTube videos that aren’t playing. So, let’s update it.
Step 1: Open Google Chrome, click the three-dot icon, and navigate to Help > About Google Chrome.
Step 2: If there’s an update, click Update. Otherwise, click Relaunch and test video playback.
Mozilla Firefox, Safari, Opera, and Internet Explorer will have similar settings, but you can also search online to see how to update your specific browser.
Update the OS & YT App
Microsoft has been moving to mandatory and automatic updates for years. These are vital in securing your system, updating your antivirus definitions, and getting you the latest version of Windows apps. However, most users turn off these automatic updates, so we’ve included a step-by-step guide to manually updating your operating system.
Step 1: Open your computer’s Settings and navigate to Windows Updates.
Step 2: Click Check for Updates and download and install all available updates.
While you’re at it, you should also toggle the Get the latest updates as soon as they’re available setting and go into Advanced options. Inside Advanced options, toggle Receive updates for other Microsoft products and further navigate to Optional updates. Install any optional updates to ensure your Windows operating system’s safety and security.
Mac users can do the same by following these steps:
Step 1: Hit the Apple icon and navigate to System Settings > General > Software Update.
Step 2: Click Upgrade Now if there are any updates available.
If you’re a Mac user with a dedicated desktop YouTube app, you can launch the Mac App Store, search for the YouTube app, and check whether any updates are available. If there are, download and install them and restart your Mac. Alternatively, you can uninstall and reinstall the YouTube app to give it a refresh.
Reset Connection Settings
An unstable or slow internet connection is not always the fault of your network provider, and to ensure the problem isn’t on your end, you’ll need to do the following:
Step 1: Press the Windows key on your keyboard and open Settings.
Step 2: Navigate to Network & internet > Advanced network settings > Network reset.
Step 3: Click Reset now to reset your connection settings to factory defaults.
Why Facebook Videos Aren’t Playing
As one of the top online video platforms, Facebook plays a pivotal role in our entertainment. However, just like with YouTube, Facebook videos don’t always work. The frustration levels are the same. Also, multiple factors you’ll need to troubleshoot manually can cause the problem.
These include network issues, hardware acceleration problems, an outdated Facebook app, or a browser that needs a refresh. Below are several fixes you can try, which we’ve divided into computer and smartphone categories, so let’s dive straight into those.
Facebook Videos Aren’t Playing on a Computer – How to Fix the Problem
Apart from the few standard cache and cookie deletion fixes, desktop and laptop users can try two more troubleshooting steps to resolve the issue of unplayable Facebook videos. So, let’s dive straight into these fixes.
Fix 1: Reset Your Browser
When deleting cache and cookies and disabling extensions doesn’t work, you can always revert your favorite browser to its default settings. Here’s how.
Step 1: Open Chrome and go into its Settings.
Step 2: Select Reset settings on the left side of the screen, and click Restore settings to their original defaults.
Step 3: Confirm by clicking Reset settings.
Step 1: Launch Firefox, click the hamburger menu icon in the top right corner, and select Help.
Step 2: Click More troubleshooting information and tap Refresh Firefox in the top right.
Step 3: Confirm and click Refresh Firefox.
Fix 2: Turn off Hardware Acceleration
Although it improves performance, hardware acceleration can also cause video playback issues. Therefore, you must decrease its effects or entirely turn it off. Here’s how:
Step 1: Right-click the Desktop and select Personalize.
Step 2: Navigate to System > Display > Advanced display and select your display adapter.
Step 3: Tap Display adapter properties for Display 1 and switch to the Troubleshoot tab.
Step 4: Click Change settings and move the Hardware acceleration slider between None and Full.
There are several notches on the slider, and you can test different settings and see what works best for you. Once you do, click OK a few times to exit settings, restart your PC, and test whether it resolves the video playback problem.
Facebook Videos Aren’t Playing on Mobile – How to Fix the Issue
If you’re a smartphone user with the issue of Facebook videos that aren’t playing, your fixes will slightly differ. Nevertheless, we’ve included a few of the most common methods Android and iOS users can try to fix unplayable Facebook videos.
Fix 1: Restart Your Device
Believe it or not, a simple restart works wonders for billions of electronic devices, and smartphones are no exception. Therefore, regardless of your phone’s operating system, it should be the first fix you try. Here’s how:
Step 1: Press and hold the Power button until this screen appears.
Step 2: Tap Reboot or move the slider toward Restart, depending on your phone.
Step 1: Press and hold the Power button for a few seconds if you own an iPhone 6, 7, 8, or SE. Newer iPhones, like iPhone X, 11, 12, 13, 14, and 15, will require you to press and hold the Power and Volume buttons simultaneously (it doesn’t matter which Volume button).
Step 2: Drag the slider to power off your device.
Step 3: Press and hold the Power button again to power on your iPhone.
Fix 2: Update the Facebook App
On top of being unsecured and vulnerable to malware, an outdated Facebook app can also cause video playback issues. Thus, regardless of your phone’s operating system, you should keep your apps up to date, including the Facebook app.
Step 1: Open the Play Store on Android or the App Store on iOS and search for Facebook.
Step 2: Hit the Update button to get the latest version of the app.
Fix 3: Reinstall the Facebook App
If the problem persists after you’ve updated the Facebook app to the latest available version, you might benefit from completely reinstalling it instead, as it’ll refresh it.
Step 1: Head to Settings > Apps > Manage apps > Facebook.
Step 2: Click Uninstall at the bottom.
Step 3: Press OK when prompted.
Step 4: Open the Play Store and search for Facebook.
Step 5: Download the app, log back in, and check whether you can play videos now.
Step 1: Long-press the Facebook icon and tap Remove App.
Step 2: Tap Delete App.
Step 3: Open the App Store and redownload the Facebook app.
Step 4: Log back into Facebook and check whether the playback problem persists.
YouTube and Facebook are two of the most popular platforms for online video content, capable of providing hours of entertainment, education, and news. However, not everything is rainbows and sunshine on these platforms, as users often experience video playback issues.
These playback problems range from black screens and error messages to endless buffering. Fortunately, you can resolve most of these issues on Windows, Mac, Chrome, Firefox, Android, and iOS.
When all else fails, you can repair corrupted YouTube and Facebook videos with a dedicated video repair tool like Wondershare Repairit. You’ll only need to download and run the videos through the app to enjoy hours of entertainment without issues.