I can’t install or update YouTube on my Android Phone? How to Fix?

Android smartphones have a tonne of apps and YouTube is one of them. It is certainly one of the most used apps on smartphones as well and it is constantly changing thanks to updates that Google sends via Google Play Store allowing the app to function properly, add or remove or alter a feature(s), and more. It is crucial to update the apps also because it prevents the app from getting bugged or suffer glitch due to bugs that developers might have found with the previous versions and so on.

Apps must update itself automatically if the auto-update feature is enabled. Even if it is not, you receive constant notifications whenever the update is available in case you want to stick to manually updating apps like YouTube. Although apps update without any glitch most of the time, some users have reported that they either get Error 501 or Error 901 or they get a notification that the app cannot be updated, etc. Considering all these issues, here’s how you can troubleshoot if an app is facing issues updating itself or it is not installing on Android.

I can’t install or update YouTube on my Android Phone? How to Fix?

I can’t install or update YouTube on my Android Phone? How to Fix?

Method #1: Reboot the device

Now, this is the most common troubleshooting method that you can use to fix any temporary issues. When using a phone, the processor, memory and other components are working hard to support all the apps that you run in the background and foreground. Here, it is possible that when you tried installing or updating the YouTube app or literally any other app, a glitch or a bug was triggered causing the operation to fail.

When you reboot a smartphone, you are literally putting nails to all the apps and processes allowing the memory and other resources to become free from hoarding. Thus, it works in most cases. You don’t need rocket science to know how to turn off the phone. Anyways, you can press the power button, select the ‘Reboot’ option from the menu and try installing/updating the app again.

Method #2: Check if your internet connection is working or not

You could be updating or installing an app over mobile data or Wi-Fi. In case it is Wi-Fi and you are facing trouble updating the app, check if the internet is working or not. You can search for something on Google Chrome to know the status. If the internet over Wi-Fi is not working, you can either wait for the internet to restore or turn on mobile data.

Note that although installing or updating apps on either type of network isn’t a problem, you might face issues updating an app over mobile data as by default, Google Play Store downloads updates only when the Wi-Fi is enabled. You can find and change the settings within the Play Store. If you are facing trouble installing the app over mobile data, try googling something and gauge if the internet is working or not.

Method #3: Turn on airplane mode

Also known as flight mode, enabling it tends to disconnect the phone from any cellular and other networks temporarily. As you were facing trouble updating the app or installing it, check if airplane mode works in your favor or not. For this to work, drag the notification panel or pane and tap on the ‘Airplane Mode’ icon to turn it on. Wait for a few seconds before disabling it to check whether it worked or not. You can enable & disable airplane mode a few times to get the system working again clearing any temporary glitches.

Method #4: Turn off Wi-Fi/mobile data

Similar to how rocking airplane mode a few times can restore the system’s ability to install/update the YouTube app, you can try the same with Wi-Fi or mobile data depending upon which one you are using right now to kick start the process. Drag the notification panel and tap on Wi-Fi or mobile data a few times to check if the internet is working or not. You can search for something on Google Chrome or any web browser to check if the internet is working or not.

Method #5: Remove SD Card

Although most of the smartphones now have only built-in storage, there are still a lot of smartphone manufacturers that offer either hybrid or dedicated microSD slot that users can use. If you are facing issues with apps, try removing the SD card and check if it works or not. You must put all the apps to phone storage so allow it to run smoothly. Let us know if this works or not.

Method #6: Clear app cache and data

Cache files are prominently tagged as one of the reasons an app or bunch of apps or even the system might not work properly. This is why it is crucial to wipe off cache files as overwritten or corrupted cache files can introduce a number of problems and the ability to use an app or some features might be compromised as well. Clearing data, on the other hand, would simply delete any videos and content you might have saved on the app such as YouTube and returns its app size to its original value. Here’s how you can do it both.

  • First of all, go to the Settings tool and proceed to ‘Apps & Notifications’.

I can’t install or update YouTube on my Android Phone? How to Fix?

  • You need to find YouTube listed within the given list and tap on it.

I can’t install or update YouTube on my Android Phone? How to Fix?

  • Next up, tap on Storage.

  • Press both the buttons that say ‘Clear Data’ and ‘Clear Cache’ to get rid of both.

  • Exit the app and open it again to see if it did make any changes to the issue or not.

Note that you can also clear app cache for Google Play Services as well in an effort to kickstart YouTube from getting updated or installed firstly.

Method #7: Uninstall & reinstall YouTube

In most of the Android smartphones, YouTube comes as bloatware or pre-installed app and in such cases, you cannot uninstall it. But first, if you can uninstall the app, go ahead and uninstall it. In case of bloatware, you can go to the Settings >> Apps & Notifications >> YouTube and tap on the three dots vertically stacked on the extreme top-left of the window and select ‘Uninstall Updates’. This will uninstall any updates and you will be forced to update the app. You need to check whether doing this works or not.

Method #8: Uninstall Updates for Google Play Store

Clearing updates for Google Play Store doesn’t delete any data but brings the app to its factory settings. It is possible that the error that you are facing installing or updating YouTube is because of any bug or issues with the Google Play Store. For this to work, you need to go through the Settings >> Apps & Notifications >> Google Play Store. Now, search for the three vertically stacked dots that should give you a single option to ‘Uninstall Updates’. Open Google Play Store and you will be prompt to install the update that you can do and check if the issue with YouTube is gone or not.

Method #9: Install YouTube APK

For those facing trouble updating or even installing the app from the Google Play Store, you can still use the app on your phone. For this, you need to sideload the app via its APK file which is literally a piece of cake to find on the web. You can search for the latest version of YouTube, download the file and install it. If it doesn’t work, you can try downloading an older version of YouTube to check if that works on your device or not. If not, proceed with the next method and hopefully, it will suit your requirements.

Method #10: Resort to using the mobile version of YouTube

In case you aren’t able to use the YouTube app which is at some point in time if you keep on skipping updates, you will have to resort to using an alternative. You can still go for ‘Method #11’ but here’s what you give it a try. Why don’t you use the mobile version of YouTube on your smartphone? This will automatically allow you to use the app on the smartphone although it lacks auto buffering so if your internet is slow, you will face a buffering issue. But what’s wrong in giving it a try, right?

Method #11: Try YouTube GO

Similar to Android GO, YouTube has a ‘lite’ variant called YouTube GO which consumes a lot less data, power, and other resources. This is exceptionally good for those with weaker internet connectivity and/or smartphones with less RAM on-board. Download it here –> YouTube GO

Here were the 11 methods on how you can resolve the ‘I can’t install or update YouTube on my Android Phone’. You can try the very first step and proceed if the previous one didn’t work. Also, let us know which error you were having on YouTube and what method aforementioned (or not listed) did help you get out of it.

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