My iPhone 7 Won't Play YouTube Videos! Here's The Fix.

David Lynch

APRIL 7, 2017

You're getting a YouTube playback error on your iPhone 7 and you don't know what to do. Whether you're using Safari or a YouTube app, it can be incredibly frustrating when your video won't load. In this article, I'll explain why your iPhone 7 won't play YouTube videos and show you how to fix the problem for good. 

What's Wrong With My iPhone 7?

At this point, we can't be sure why your iPhone 7 won't play YouTube videos. There are lots of different apps that you can use to watch YouTube videos — such as Safari, the YouTube app, YouTube Creator Studio, ProTube — all of which use a lot of data and battery life. If you have many apps running in the background, or if one of your other apps crashes, it may significantly slow down your YouTube app or cause it to not work at all. Follow our step-by-step troubleshooting guide so you can diagnose and solve the problem that's causing you to see a YouTube playback error on your iPhone 7.

If You Use Wi-Fi To Watch YouTube Videos, Make Sure To Read This First

If you're using Wi-Fi to watch YouTube videos on your iPhone 7, we need to figure out whether the software or the hardware of your iPhone is causing your problem. Before going any further, turn Wi-Fi off and back on again by going into Settings app -> Wi-Fi and tapping the switch next to Wi-Fi. You'll know the switch is off when it is gray, and you'll know it's back on when it is green.

If you're iPhone 7 still won't play YouTube videos, try connecting to a different Wi-Fi network if possible. If your YouTube videos are playing on one network, but not the other, then you've identified the problem is with your Wi-Fi network and not your iPhone.

Now, let's focus on the hardware: a small antenna is responsible for helping connect your iPhone 7 to Wi-Fi. That same antenna also helps connect your iPhone 7 to Bluetooth devices, so if you've been having Wi-Fi and Bluetooth problems simultaneously, you may have a hardware issue. However, we can't be sure of this yet, so follow our troubleshooting guide to figure out what's causing your problem.

How To Fix An iPhone 7 That Won't Play YouTube Videos

8 Steps Total

Turn Your iPhone Off And Back On

When you turn off your iPhone, the operating system shuts down all the little background programs that keep your iPhone running. When you turn your iPhone back on, all those little background programs start fresh, and sometimes that’s enough to fix a simple software glitch.

How Do I Turn My iPhone Off And Back On?

  1. Press and hold the power button until "slide to power off" appears on the screen.
  2. Use your finger to swipe the red power button across the screen from left to right.
  3. Wait for your iPhone to turn all the way off. This may take up to 30 seconds.
  4. To turn your iPhone back on, press and hold the power button until the Apple logo appears on the screen.
  5. Let go of the power button and wait for your iPhone to turn on.
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Close Out Of All Of Your Apps

Closing out of your apps is like turning your iPhone off and back on — it gives your apps a fresh start. If one of the apps that you have open crashes in the background, it may prevent other apps you have open from functioning properly. It can be difficult to identify which specific app or apps are malfunctioning, so we'll close them all to save time.

How Do I Close Out Of All Of My Apps?

  1. Double-press the Home button to view the apps your currently have open.
  2. Use your finger to swipe up on the apps to close them.
  3. You'll know all your apps are closed when you only see a preview of your lock screen.
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Update Your Apps

Apps are regularly updated to fix bugs and minor software issues. If you're using an older version of an app, you may experience those bugs that are fixed with an update.

How Do I Update My Apps?

  1. Open the App Store.
  2. In the lower right hand corner of your screen, tap Updates. You'll know an update is available if you see a red circle with a white number inside. update available icon
  3. To update a particular app, tap Update next to the app.
  4. To update all your apps, tap Update All in the upper right hand corner of the screen.
  5. When you tap Update or Update All, a status circle will appear next to the app or apps being updated.
  6. When the app or apps have been updated, it will say Open next to the app and say the date the app was updated.
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Uninstall And Reinstall The App That's Not Working

Uninstalling then reinstalling an app can sometimes fix minor software glitches that cause the app not open or respond properly.

How Do I Uninstall And Reinstall The App That's Not Working?

  1. Gently press and hold the icon of the app you want to uninstall until your iPhone vibrates and the icons "jiggle."
  2. Tap the "X" which appears in the upper left hand corner of the icon of the app you want to uninstall.
  3. Tap Delete.
  4. Press the Home button to return your Home screen to normal.
  5. To begin reinstalling your app, open the App Store.
  6. Find the app in the App Store and reinstall it.
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Update Your iPhone Software In The Settings App

Apple puts out new software updates to improve efficiency, fix bugs, and introduce new features. Updating iOS can fix problems with your iPhone's software.

How Do I Update My iPhone Software In The Settings App?

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap Software Update.
  4. Tap Install Now.
  5. Enter your passcode.
  6. The update will begin once it is verified.
  7. The update is complete after your iPhone restarts.
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Reset All Settings

Many iPhone problems are caused when Settings isn't set up correctly or by corruption within individual Settings app files. Restoring the Settings app back to factory defaults doesn't fix every iPhone software problem, but it is a go-to fix for Apple technicians because it does solve a lot of problems that would be very difficult to to track down by hand.

How Do I Reset All Settings?

  1. Go to the Home screen.
  2. Open the Settings app.
  3. Tap General.
  4. Use your finger to scroll down to Reset. It will be the last option in Settings -> General.
  5. Tap Reset All Settings.
  6. Enter your passcode.
  7. Tap Reset All Settings. You'll be prompted twice.
  8. A progress bar will appear on the screen.
  9. Your iPhone will automatically turn back on when the reset finishes.
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DFU Restore Your iPhone

A DFU restore has the potential to fix software problems by completely erasing the code which may be causing your problem. The code is rewritten as if  your iPhone is brand new, so the software problem may get solved.

Think of it like a house that has cracks in the foundation. Rather than try and fix the cracks, we are building an entirely new foundation.

If you can, back up your iPhone before completing a DFU restore. Any time you do a restore, it erases everything from your iPhone. However, after the restore is completed, you restore all your backed up data back onto your iPhone.

How Do I DFU Restore My iPhone?

Watch our DFU restore video walkthrough on YouTube, or follow the steps below:

  1. Using a Lightning cable, plug your iPhone into a USB port on your computer.
  2. Open iTunes. It doesn’t matter if your iPhone is on or off.
  3. On an iPhone 6s or older, press and hold the Home button and the power button. On an iPhone 7, press and hold the power and volume down button.  
  4. After 8 seconds, release the Power Button, but continue to hold the power button (iPhone 6s or older) the volume down button (iPhone 7).
  5. Let go of the power button or volume down button when iTunes says “iTunes has detected an iPhone in recovery mode.”
  6. Your iPhone’s display will be completely black if you’ve successfully entered DFU mode. If it’s not, try again from the beginning.
  7. Restore your iPhone using iTunes.
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Repair Your iPhone With Apple

Apple repairs iPhones at the Genius Bar in Apple Stores and through their online mail-in repair service. Apple repairs are high-quality, but out-of-warranty repairs can be much more expensive than third-party solutions. If you're looking to save some money you're not covered by Apple's warranty, you may want to check out our other recommendations.

How Do I Repair My iPhone With Apple?

How To Repair Your iPhone With Apple's Mail-In Service

  1. Visit Apple's support website to begin the online mail-in repair process.
  2. Alternatively, call 1-800-MY-APPLE (1-800-692-7753) to set up a repair.

How To Repair Your iPhone At The Genius Bar Inside Your Local Apple Store

  1. Visit Apple's website to make a Genius Bar appointment before you go into the store. Apple Stores are extremely busy, and if you don't have an appointment, you may have to wait for hours or end up being turned away. (Editor's note: I'm a former Apple tech and we're not exaggerating — please, do yourself a favor and make an appointment first!)
  2. When you arrive, go to the Genius Bar to check in for your appointment.
  3. Genius Bar appointments always include free diagnosis. If you're under warranty, many repairs can be done on the spot, but it all depends upon which parts are in stock. If you're not under warranty, the Genius will give you a quote for the cost of a repair.
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YouTube Playback Error: Fixed!

YouTube is working on your iPhone again and you can get back to watching your favorite videos. Now you know exactly what to do when your iPhone 7 won't play YouTube videos. Thanks for reading our article! We hope that you'll share it on social media, or leave us a comment down below if you have any further questions.


David Lynch

Hi, I'm David! I'm here to help you fix problems with your iPhone and help you find a better cell phone plan.


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