How to fix iPhone XS Max that can’t play YouTube videos?

YouTube is the most visited website after Google and Facebook and has content spanning over billions of hours if you choose to stream all the videos continuously with new content released every second or so. This means Google is required to keep up with the exponential growth in both uploads and views which although goes seamlessly a majority of times thanks to the extrinsic infrastructure and data centers across the globe, some users might end up encountering issues with either the YouTube app they are using on iOS or it’s website. One of the most common errors on the iPhone is you can’t play YouTube videos while others include the inability to load content, search, etc.

Note that this happens more than you think it does which is why we are actually here. I received tonnes of requests from users asking troubleshooting methods to fix iPhone XS Max that can’t play YouTube videos and so here I have clubbed plenty of workarounds and methods that can come handy.

How to fix iPhone XS Max that can’t play YouTube videos?

How to fix iPhone XS Max that can’t play YouTube videos?

Method #1: Look out for any intermittent issues

This must naturally affect any browser or app you are using but there’s a probability that it will affect YouTube only. This happens when there are intermittent issues at the ISP’s end that you can confirm by calling them. ISPs usually conduct maintenance where they might limit internet access to some users while server issues can throw all the users of the affected area or region off the rails. Call the ISP and inquire about the issue. You can ask them to send a technician to scrutinize the connection on your end which could also pose a problem if disturbed.

Method #2: Toggle Wi-Fi

YouTube needs a strong Wi-Fi connection to play videos at its optimum 1080p and above definition. The resolution changes based on the availability of the internet connection i.e. it could drop as low as 140p if the connection is poor or you could end up getting buffering over and over again whilst watching a video on YouTube. But one of the most concerning issues with a poor Wi-Fi connection is if the video doesn’t play and you might not have focused on it but it does happen quite a lot.

In that case, toggling Wi-Fi could do wonders. Toggling literally means you need to turn it OFF and turn it back ON several times to make it work properly. On the other hand, try getting closer to the Wi-Fi router or modem or get a Wi-Fi range extender if you can’t relocate. Also, remember that the more the obstructions, the less the signal. Thus, if you can’t move near the router, at least make sure that there are fewer obstructions that include walls, doors, etc.


Method #3: Toggle Mobile/Cellular Data

The ‘Method #2’ applied to Wi-Fi but what if you were using cellular or mobile data and point out the iPhone XS Max that can’t play YouTube videos issue. There are many moving parts here since network coverage is not uniform in every nook and corner of the home or if you are traveling or just pacing anywhere. A poor network can cause the YouTube app to face issues buffering the video and thus, it won’t play video or even if it does, it will either take a lot of time to commence or it would buffer in-between.

Next up, you could have run out of internet usage allowance imposed by the carrier unless you have an unlimited plan where there’s no cap on internet usage. Anyways, give it a try anyhow by toggling Mobile Data similar to how you did with Wi-Fi and compare the difference, in any.

Method #4: Clear app cache (YouTube)

Cache memory is, of course, the root cause of a plethora of problems related to apps. Usually, cache memory helps reduce the overhead by storing crucial data needed to relaunch the app without much of the processing needed for the first time. Cache data files speed up app retrieval but they are susceptible to issues such as they can easily get corrupted. Thus, if you are using the YouTube app and facing the error with videos not playing, here’s how you can clear the cache and get it working again.
Step 01: Launch Settings app and proceed to General >> Storage & iCloud Usage.
Step 02: Select ‘Manage Storage’ where a list of apps will appear.
Step 03: Search and click on the ‘YouTube’ app and hit the ‘Delete’ button.
Step 04: Enter the passcode if prompted to confirm and it is done.
Step 05: You can ‘Offload’ YouTube app although the data will stay intact while the storage will vanish.

Method #5: Clear app cache (browser – Safari)

Safari comes as a pre-installed browser on iPhone XS Max that you can use to play videos on YouTube’s website or you can use any other browser. For Safari, clearing its cache files will actually help to eliminate the videos not working issue. To clear Safari cache, walk into the Settings >> Safari and tap on ‘Clear History and Website Data’ >> Clear History and Data’ and it is done.

Method #6: Install the latest update for the YouTube app

Okay, I strongly believe that this particular method must work as even if it was caused due to a bug or malware or virus, etc, an update will render the said intruder obsolete while updating the app’s protection against any known and a few unknown bugs. You can find out if YouTube has received any updates or not by launching the App Store where you can search for ‘YouTube’ app or go to the Updates section and get the app updated to its latest version and hopefully, rendering out the error causing the iPhone XS Max that can’t play YouTube videos issue.

Method #7: Retreat to default settings on your iPhone XS Max

Unlike factory reset which eradicates all user data, apps, and content from the phone, resetting all the settings does not cause any loss to any data. If any settings may have been impaired or invalid either due to human error or due to a recent app or iOS update or bugs and malware, the issues will reflect on the phone itself.

  • To reset all the settings saved on your phone, go to the Settings app and tap & open General.
  • Proceed to ‘Reset’ and search for ‘Reset all Settings’  and click on the same.
  • A confirmation dialog box will appear prompting users to enter the correct passcode to confirm the step taken so enter it and bingo, all the settings are renewed.

Method #8: Perform a factory reset

Unless you feel that using YouTube is far more important, don’t go through with this particular method. I hope that if not any of the above, the ‘Method #6’ will be helpful but if not, you can proceed with this method which involves retreating to the original factory settings by clearing all user data including apps, photos, and more. This method is irreversible and literally means all your data will be lost if you haven’t obtained a backup of the same beforehand. There are several methods that you can work out here but here’s the easiest one.

  • Firstly, launch the Settings app that you can find on the Home screen.
  • Now, proceed to the General section and scroll to find ‘Reset’.
  • A lot of options w.r.t. resetting various aspects can be seen here where you need to select ‘Erase all user content and settings’.
  • The phone will ask to enter a passcode for confirmation purposes and once you enter it, wait for a few seconds until the process is done.
  • Restart the iPhone XS Max and set it up either manually or automatically.
  • Try using YouTube app now and stream any video to check if the problem is still alive (highly unlikely) or not.

Method #9: Seek help

Now, since you are facing issues with YouTube app or its website, you can actually visit the site and check out the ‘Help’ section that contains tidbits on what you could do to fix the iPhone XS Max that can’t play YouTube videos. I am sure that going through ‘Method #7’ will surely jumpstart the videos but if it doesn’t, ‘Method #8’ is sole powerful and must work anyhow.

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