Ways to Fix YouTube Videos Not Playing on Mac (Monterey included)

Tips • Oct.9, 2021

youtube not play

Can’t seem to play YouTube videos on your Mac? Is YouTube having problems buffering or loading videos on your Mac? Well, we have the perfect solution to get the problem solved. Follow the guide below and learn the easy methods of troubleshooting on YouTube videos not playing/working on Mac.

So, you found an interesting video to watch on YouTube, and you clicked on it. However, instead of instantly playing, you are greeted with the dreadful buffering or loading screen. You think that your internet connection is slow, and you keep on waiting, but nothing happens.

Assuming that the same has happened to you and you can’t seem to figure out how to solve the problem. Then don’t worry, as we’ll be looking at easy and quick ways to fix YouTube videos not Playing on Mac.

Why is YouTube not working on your Mac?

There may be many reasons that some or all YouTube videos may not be working on your Mac. Bugs and errors are relatively common with streaming, and here are some issues that you might be facing:

  • Software issues interfering with your browser
  • Mac facing bugs while booting
  • Internet connection not working perfectly
  • Problems with older Macs and Flash Player
  • Video resolution causing loading errors

A quick fix for YouTube videos not playing is to change the video resolution and then try to load the video. In most cases, the video will start playing again. However, if this doesn’t work, then you would have to try something else.

So if you’re having any trouble with playing videos on YouTube, don’t worry, as most of these problems can be quickly solved with the fixes we have mentioned below.

How to fix YouTube not playing

1. Restart your Mac

The first solution that comes to everyone’s mind is to restart their computer. Now, this is a quick way to fix most errors or bugs that might have occurred with your Mac, and we also recommend you to give this a shot. All you need to do is follow the steps below:

  • Click on the “Apple” icon on the top left corner of your screen
  • Next, select the ” Restart” button and let your Mac restart

Note: If this doesn’t work, you can try to restart into safe mode by shutting down your Mac and then holding down the “Shift” key while you turn your Mac on.

2. Refresh your browser page

The following fix that you can try is also straightforward to do. It is relatively common and easy to access on iOS, Android, and Windows devices but is slightly hidden with macOS. This fix requires you to refresh your current browser page, and all you need to do is click the “Command + R” keys together.

Refreshing your browser can help clear the old cache and load the page again, fixing most issues with YouTube videos not playing or continuously buffering.

Note: You can also try to hard refresh your page by clicking the “Command + Option + R” buttons simultaneously.


3. Check your internet connection

The next thing you can do to play all YouTube videos quickly and seamlessly is check your Internet connection. Most of the problems we have seen with users are related to network troubles, so checking it first might be the quickest solution for you. So, follow the process below to check, connect and reset your Wi-Fi settings:

  • Firstly, click on the “Apple” logo on the top left corner of your home screen and then select the “System Preferences” option
  • Next, click on the “Network” icon, and a window similar to the screenshot above will pop up
  • Now, click on the “Turn Wi-Fi Off” button and then connect to your Wi-Fi network again and click on the “Show Wi-Fi status in menu bar” checkbox for easier access.
  • Finally, click on the “Apply” button, and you will be able to solve most network-related issues quickly.

4. Update macOS

macOS is constantly being updated with new releases and fixes that help improve your Mac’s overall experience. Hence, if you haven’t updated your Mac in a while and are facing issues with watching or streaming videos on YouTube, then you can follow the steps below to update your Mac:

  • Firstly, click on the “Apple” icon on the top left corner of your home screen and click on the “System Preferences” option from the drop-down menu
  • Next, click on the “Software Update” icon and let it scan for all available updates
  • Finally, click on the “Upgrade Now” button to update macOS

Note: You can also look for browser updates as that can solve your problems as well.

[ Related: How to Upgrade to (and Downgrade from) the macOS Monterey ]

mac storage

5. Free space on your Mac disk

As YouTube browsing requires some available cache space for some thumbnail space and other information, you should always have available storage space on your Mac. You can check your storage space and manage it by following the steps below:

  • Click on the “Apple” menu icon on the top left corner and select the “About this Mac” option
  • Next, click on the “Storage” tab and check your available storage space
  • If you don’t have any free storage, then click on the “Manage…” button
  • Finally, click on “Optimize…” and “Empty Trash” to make some available storage space

6. Disable Safari and Chrome plug-ins andextensions

Plug-ins and extensions are other reasons that can interfere with your browsing experience and stop you from having a seamless experience with YouTube videos. However, the only fix for this is to uninstall those extensions, and you can do this by:

  • Launch the Safari or Chrome browser app and then look for the “Preferences” option in the menu bar
  • Now, select the “Extensions” tab as shown in the screenshot above
  • Finally, choose an extension or plug-in and then click on “Uninstall” to remove that extension.

Note: If you want to install any extension, you can follow the official Apple extension page linked here.


7. Enable JavaScript

JavaScript is another essential component for the browsing experience, and it can help smooth out and improve a lot of pages. You guessed it, YouTube is another page that takes advantage of JavaScript, and it can have a serious impact if you don’t have it turned on. Here’s how you can fix that:

  • Firstly, launch Safari and click on the “Preferences” option
  • Next, click on the “Security” tab
  • Now, check the “Enable JavaScript” checkbox as shown above, and you’re done. YouTube should be working perfectly fine now.

8. Clear browser cache and cookies

Cleating your browser cache and cookies is another way to clean and bugs and errors caused by some old video cache file that is causing loading errors and not allowing you to stream YouTube videos online. You can clean the cache and erase cookies by following the steps below:

  • Firstly, run Safari or any other browser and get into the preferences or settings menu
  • Next, click on the “Advanced” tab and then select the “Show Develop menu in menu bar” checkbox
  • Now, click on the “Develop” tab on the menu bar and then click on the “Empty Caches” option, as shown above in the screenshot
  • Finally, click on “Safari” on the menu bar and clear the history and other browsing data.

9. Set a new Wi-Fi location in macOS

This fix requires you to tinker with Mac’s network settings and add a new Wi-Fi connection and location. Hence, we don’t recommend it to many users as it can be a little lengthy and require you to have some basic knowledge of Wi-Fi networks and connections. Here’s how you can add a new location and Wi-Fi network on your Mac:

  • Firstly, click on the “Apple” icon on the top left corner of your screen and select the “System Preferences” option
  • Now, select the “Network” option, and you should be greeted with a window similar to the screenshot above.
  • Now, click on “Locations” and then “Edit Locations” and add a new name
  • Next, click on the “Options” button next to the + and – buttons as shown above and then select the “Set Service Order” button
  • Now, you need to choose your Wi-Fi network and then click on the “Advanced” button to configure a few settings
  • Next, go to the “Proxies” tab, make sure none are selected, and then go to the “DNS” tab and put in the following numbers accordingly: / / /
  • Finally, save the settings and click on “Apply” to have everything working again.

Note: You can follow the complete in-depth guide to understand the settings better on the Apple discussions page linked here.


10. Directly download the YouTube Video

Finally, if you’re still having troubles with YouTube videos, then you can download and run a third-party YouTube downloader app to download or stream YouTube videos through it. We recommend using Softorino YouTube Converter 2 as it has excellent downloading speeds and a clean user interface for easy downloading and streaming. You can use Softorino to download videos by following these simple and easy steps:

  • Download, install and run the Sotorino Youtube Converter 2 app from the link above
  • Next, click on the search icon and then enter the name of the YouTube video you’re looking for
  • Now, select the Video options and resolution
  • Finally, click on the big orange “Convert & Transfer to” button to start downloading the video

Is YouTube still not working?

If you’re still unable to play YouTube videos on your Mac, the final fix that we can recommend is resetting the NVRAM or PRAM and SMC. You can do this by holding the specific keys while you restart your Mac. The overall process requires many steps and can be challenging for beginners, so we recommend you follow the official guide from Apple.


Why do YouTube videos not play on Safari?

The most common or primary reason that can interfere with your YouTube watching experience issues with Safari is update errors or network connection issues. However, these are relatively easy to fix, and you can follow the guide above to get you started with the fix.

How do I fix YouTube not loading videos?

There are a few ways you can fix the YouTube not loading videos issue, and we recommend you first restart your Mac and then reconnect to your Wi-Fi network to see if that fixes it. However, if the problem persists, we hope you can use some 3rd-party downloaders to grab youtube videos for offline viewing.

Why is YouTube giving me a playback error?

YouTube is generally very stable, but sometimes network errors can interfere with your browser and show a playback error which can be a little troubling to deal with. However, refreshing your browser page by simultaneously clicking the “Command + R” keys and reconnecting to your Wi-Fi network would generally solve the issue.

Final words

Following the guide above will help you fix your YouTube playback issues and probably make the streaming seamless and faster than ever before. Some of the fixes above may be challenging, and we recommend you read the steps thoroughly so that you don’t end up making mistakes and break some settings.

We hope that you have YouTube running again and there are no errors with the playback. However, you can also just use a YouTube video downloader and download and watch YouTube videos offline. With that said, we bid you farewell and hope you have a great time streaming your favorite videos.