YouTube Not Working on Your Mac? Here Are Your Solutions

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When you’re watching your favorite videos on YouTube on your MacBook, whether they be your favorite TV shows, tutorials, or highlights, it can be super annoying to have it crash down on you. That darn Mac system!

In trying to find the issue, there could be a number of possibilities. Perhaps your macOS is outdated or you’re playing the videos in an unsupported format. Or the problem could be entirely outside your Mac system and have something to do with your Wi-Fi connection. Whatever the problem is, that’s something we’re going to fix today so that you never have to wonder again why YouTube is not working on your Mac. Without further ado, let’s jump right into the solutions.

How to Fix the ‘Mac YouTube Not Working’ Problem on Your Mac

Fix the Wi-Fi

No matter what system YouTube is running on, it’ll always be slow and glitchy if your internet connection is down bad. Plenty of YouTube videos out there require a high-speed connection to play normally, so take this moment to restart your router. However, if you’ve got no other choice, then you’re able to watch videos in a lower quality. All you need to do is to click on the Settings gear at the bottom where you can navigate to ‘Quality’ and select anywhere between 360p and 480p.

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Restart the MacBook

No matter how great technology is, it can sometimes be the most inconvenient thing in the world when we can’t figure out what’s wrong — especially when it comes to figuring out why YouTube is not working on your Mac. Sometimes, the best and quickest course of action is to just restart your whole MacBook. Go ahead and click on the Apple icon to find the ‘Restart’ button. Once it’s properly shut down, allow it to boot back on. Then, go ahead and open YouTube to see if it’s started working again.

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Update Your Adobe Flash Player

If YouTube isn’t working on your Mac, then chances are you’ve got an outdated Adobe flash player. Most videos these days need the newest version to properly function. To ensure that you’ve got the newest updates, you have to manually install them. The process is simple — all you have to do is navigate to the Adobe flash player home page, download the installer as instructed, and open it up from your Mac’s Downloads folder. As soon as the player is updated, restart your browser and check to see if YouTube is up and running again.

How to Fix the ‘Mac YouTube Not Working’ Problem on Safari

Because Safari is the default browser within a MacBook, you might have trouble accessing YouTube through that method. If so, there are several ways you can try to fix the Safari-related issue.

Reboot Safari

Just like how you restarted your MacBook before, you can also restart the web browser itself. All you need to do is to click the browser icon and click on ‘Finder,’ ‘Safari,’ and then ‘Restart Safari.’ As soon as you reboot the browser back up, hopefully YouTube should function as normal again.

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Clear Browser Cache

A little cache here and there is always a part of a computer’s normal functioning. However, when you’ve got too much, it can clog up the processes a little. That’s why it’s always healthy practice to clear it up from time to time. Such a moment is a great opportunity to help fix up YouTube. Click on ‘Go’, ‘Go to Folder’ on the Finder, type in ‘~/Library/Caches,’ and then find the specific YouTube cache folder. Without another moment’s hesitation, delete it off your MacBook.

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Change Website Permissions

Safari is a double-edged sword in that its function to block or enable certain websites can also prove to be a challenge. This can especially happen with YouTube-related problems. In the slight chance you may have accidentally blocked permission for YouTube on Safari, try to go on YouTube and then click on ‘Safari’ and ‘Settings for This Website.’ Then, you’ll see the key pop-up that will allow you to grant all the permissions necessary for YouTube to fully function regularly again.

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Delete Extra Plugins

When you’ve got too many plugins and extensions, it only takes one to malfunction and cause a mess for the rest of your apps and sites. It might be hard to even identify which plugin exactly is the culprit that’s making your YouTube act up. When you’re desperate, the best course of action is to launch Safari, visit ‘Preferences,’ ‘Extensions,’ and then uninstall as many plugins as you want with the ‘Uninstall’ button.

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Enable JavaScript

Because technology is so complicated, some issues can happen in all the code that makes everything function. Luckily, there’s a solution that lets you enable JavaScript in Safari. To try this method out, you can go to ‘Settings,’ ‘Show Advanced Settings,’ ‘Privacy section,’ and then ‘Content Settings.’ Once you locate the JavaScript Section, you can select the option ‘Allow sites to run JavaScript.’ As soon as you’ve done this, refresh your Safari and you’re good to go!

How to Fix the ‘Mac YouTube Not Working’ Problem on Your App

Got the YouTube app instead of the browser and had to suffer through some errors? Try some of the methods below to get it working again.

Reload the App

Without another moment’s hesitation, close out of the app, give it a few minutes to rest, and then restart it. If the app is frozen instead, then pressing onto the ‘Command + Option + Esc’ keys at the same time and holding should do the trick. It will immediately open the ‘Force Quit Applications’ window, which will allow you to quit the YouTube app even when it’s frozen.

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Update the App

When we’ve held onto a version of an app for long enough without updating it, the service tends to move on without us. Before you pull the hairs out of your head in wondering what the issue is, take a moment to check whether you’ve even updated the app. You can do so by visiting the Mac Apple Store and navigating to the ‘Updates’ area. If there’s an ‘Update’ button next to YouTube, be sure to click on it right away.

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Conclusion

Whether you’ve decided to use YouTube on your MacBook Pro, within the Safari browser, or on the app, it’s always frustrating when the video platform decides to malfunction. However, there are multiple ways that can fix the ‘Mac YouTube not working’ problem and enjoy your favorite videos again. As long as you do some troubleshooting with due diligence, you’re sure to get YouTube up and running in no time.

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By Mike Sangster , to Tips

Updated: May 31, 2021

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