How to Fix YouTube Videos Not Playing or Showing a Black Screen

Are your YouTube videos not playing or showing a black screen on your PC? A myriad of different reasons can cause this issue.

From networking problems, flash updates, and outdated browsers can all be responsible for YouTube not working properly.

youtube black screen

YouTube is one of the most popular streaming sites on the internet – just looking at their statistics is mind-blowing.

They cater to over 1.3 billion users per month and upload an additional three hundred hours of content every hour of every day.

Starting from 2016, they now also offer a premium service and produce their own original content.

Where To Start If Youtube Won’t Play Videos?

YouTube is an online content delivery application and the best place to start troubleshooting issues is to check if their service is down. To do this, type “Youtube Down” into a google search and check the results.

If there are no reports of YouTube’s services being down, you have to investigate if the problem is originating from your PC or software.

Here are some of the things you can check if you are facing this problem.

Clear Your Browser Cache and Delete Cookies

A cache is a bunch of files that the local computer downloads and saves in order to increase the loading time of a website.

YouTube will push changes to the cache files to the local PC, but this process can sometimes fail.

A way to make sure you have the latest cache from YouTube is by clearing the cache in your browser.

Depending on your browser, you can clear the cache by going to settings or preferences and selecting ‘clear browsing history’.

Here are some additional quick guides on how to delete cookies depending on the type of browser you are using:

Another method – from the Windows OS Interface – is to hit the Windows key and type “Internet Options”. On the General Tab, choose “Delete” under the Browsing History section.

Restart your browser, go to YouTube, and try to play a video in again. If it is still not working, try one of the additional steps below.

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Fix Flash and HTML5 Browser Issues

In the past, YouTube used Flash – an Adobe technology – to play videos in your Web Browser. Since the release of HTML5 however, this is no longer required.

Some older browsers still use Flash and this can cause unexpected errors to appear – but if you’re on a computer or operating system past Windows XP, this shouldn’t be an issue.

These errors are most common after installing a Flash update. Regardless, it is better to update your browser to HTML5 than to search for or revert to the correct Flash version.

Examples of HTML5 compliant browsers are:

  • Chrome
  • Firefox
  • Safari

Ensure you have the latest version installed and then retry playing the video.

If you are using Internet Explorer, check that you have version 9 or later, as older versions will not support HTML5.

Disable Your Ad-Blocker

Ad-Blockers can also cause playback issues. If YouTube won’t play videos or shows a black screen, try disabling your ad-blocker and then refresh the page.

YouTube makes its money from ad revenue, so using an ad-blocker could get you… blocked.

Ad-Blockers blacklist some JavaScript queries and prevent their execution on a webpage. If a valid JavaScript query is blocked, you may be inadvertently preventing the video from loading by using the ad-blocker.

If this is the cause, update or change your ad-blocking extension or add-in.

Outdated VGA or Video Drivers

In some rare cases, an outdated VGA driver may also cause playback issues on YouTube and other video playback sites.

If YouTube has never worked or you installed a new VGA Driver recently, you should check that you have the correct VGA Driver installed.

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Start using Driver Support today and save time and frustration dealing with common Windows device issues. The software will inventory your computer for all active device types we support upon installation. When fully registered the service will update drivers for you and you get access to our technical support service for many common Windows issues.
Download Driver Support
Driver Support is an independent service provider for software products. It is a tool to help identify out-of-date or missing device drivers. Software Principles.
Full functionality requires $9.99 monthly subscription. By downloading you accept the Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions.

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