When TikTok experienced a server error in July, it affected thousands of users. Unable to log into their favorite app, these users took a turn to alternative platforms like Twitter and Instagram to voice their frustration at TikTok not working. TikTok worked quickly to address the issue within a few hours. However, some people are experiencing unexpected issues.
The internet is usually remarkably resilient, especially when you consider how busy it is: Cisco estimates that by next year, 350 exabytes of data will be transferred each month. But like any complex system, there are many parts that can go wrong and as an end-user, it's hard to work out where the problem is. When the app doesn't show the usual feed, it might be that TikTok stopped working for everyone, or it might be just that device that is suffering a temporary glitch. So, what can you do when your TikTok not working?
TikTok may be popular because of its relative simplicity for users, but it is still a complicated app and service. There are lots of errors that might occur but don't affect the whole experience. You might, for example, be able to view your stream, but you can't upload your content.
DownDetector is a popular crowd site on which people can report problems they are experiencing. Forty thousand people reported their problems on the site when TikTok had server issues. The most common reports are people being unable to view videos, which accounts for around three-quarters of reports, although that also reflects that most TikTok users are viewers, rather than creators. The remaining reports tend to be shared among people having problems uploading content and problems logging in.
However, despite its popularity, DownDetector's reports are only a small sample of those affected. There might have been over forty thousand reports of the server error, but that's nothing compared to the more than one billion users that TikTok boasts. Even if you aren't seeing other people complaining that they've found TikTok not working today, that doesn't mean there isn't a problem.
Collectively, around one-third of the world's population are in countries that have TikTok bans in place. However, if you are not in one of the countries, or you're using the app via VPN, it means that the most likely reason TikTok stopped working for you is because of an error somewhere. And, just because you are not in one of those countries, it's still unlikely to be a server problem. Remember those forty thousand complaints at DownDetector? DownDetector's baseline for "TikTok not working" reports are less than ten at any one time. When you consider those one billion users, it's unlikely that the service has an error that is only affected a handful of people. The most common problems will have a solution, often literally, in the users' hands.
One issue might be at the door of the developers for not testing their apps enough. There is always a rush to get apps into the hands of users and make sure that updates are pushed through. This can mean that the testing is not as thorough as it might be, especially testing on real devices in real situations. However, it's impossible for developers to test every conceivable device and configuration. Everyone will have their devices set up differently, and be running different apps. It might be that a setting or another app that hasn't been tested or even thought about, can affect TikTok and other apps.
The device itself might be a problem. While modern devices are incredibly powerful, they have limits. It might be that you have filled up your device's storage, and that can impact performance. Even if you haven't got hours of video saved on your device, other apps might have poor memory management, and be hogging the resources TikTok needs.
And, even when it isn't banned, your location can play a part. If you do not have a good network connection or are on a slow Wi-Fi network, then you might struggle to use an app that needs a fast connection to download and stream video content.
If you find TikTok not working on your iPhone or Android, there are several steps you can take. Most of these will work whatever OS you use.
It is a classic solution, but that's because it will resolve many problems! If you are experiencing issues, try the following steps:
Close the TikTok app.
Use your app switcher to kill the app, this will clear any data the app has temporarily stored in the phone's memory.
Reboot your phone.
Hopefully, the clean start will have resolved any problems you are experiencing.
Check to see how your device is connecting to the internet. You might have disconnected from a Wi-Fi network, or have a poor connection. If everything seems to be OK, test a few other sites, especially video-heavy ones like YouTube, to see if the problem is limited to TikTok.
Phones will have settings to control what apps can and can't use, this is to prevent them from harvesting information without your permission. When these are changed, they can prevent an app from functioning normally.
If TikTok is not working on Android, then:
Open Settings on your phone.
Tap Apps & notification.
Tap the option to see all installed apps, then open TikTok.
Select the Permissions tab and ensure these have all been correctly set.
For iPhone issues:
Scroll down to the list of apps, then tap on TikTok.
Check the permissions are all correctly set.
Clearing your cache can help. This will contain locally saved content to speed up your experience, but can sometimes create problems. To do this, open the Settings in the TikTok app, then scroll down to find and tap on Clear cache.
It's worth double-checking there isn't a server issue (especially as the next steps are the nuclear options). The best place to check is on Twitter, where issues will be reported by the official TikTok account for your country or region.
If you are on Android, it's possible that a system component called Android System WebView is causing a problem. The bug was identified earlier in the year when an update affected numerous apps. Although it has been addressed, some people report there are still problems associated with it.
Tap on Apps, then the three dots menu.
Tap on Show system apps.
Search for Android System WebView.
Try updating this to the latest version. If this doesn't work, try Uninstall updates.
If all else fails, try uninstalling TikTok. This will not delete your account, but means you will start afresh on your phone. Everything will still be there when you reinstall and log in again, but hopefully without the problems you encountered before!
Another method that you can fix TikTok keeps crashing issue is using repair software. This type of software makes it much easier for you to troubleshoot any issues with iPhone. Simply follow their instructions. A notable repairing software is WooTechy iPhixer.
If you are having problems, or are in a country that has banned TikTok, using a VPN and changing the location can help. This will make you appear as if you are in another country, as well as encrypting your network traffic. This may also help if your ISP is throttling internet speeds for social networking.
TikTok is a massively popular social network, and sometimes things do go wrong. If you are having problems connecting to it or using it as normal, then it might be another server error that TikTok will have to fix. Most times, though, it will be an issue you can address quickly and easily.
Following these tips will — most of the time — help you get back to watching the videos you love.
By Taylor Clark , to App Tips
Updated: Sep 19, 2022