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YouTube Music not working? Here's how you can try to fix it

You should be back in action by the time you finish this guide.
By
December 11, 2023

While YouTube Music might not be as popular as Spotify or Apple Music, it’s still something a lot of people depend on for daily listening. Going without it can feel like a minor crisis, especially for those of us who use it to survive the workday or long commutes.  With that in mind, here’s a guide to fixing its most common issues.

How to fix YouTube Music

YouTube Music on Nothing Phone 2
Damien Wilde / Android Authority

There are, of course, a variety of ways in which YouTube Music can break, but the good news is that there’s a pretty standard set of troubleshooting steps you can run through to get things back on track — no pun intended. Keep in mind that you can skip ahead if you think a particular step is the likely solution.

  • Check your Wi-Fi or cellular connection. This one might seem obvious, but it’s worth considering — if you’ve got a weak Wi-Fi or cellular signal, YouTube won’t be able to stream any music. Google recommends that you have at least 3Mbps of bandwidth on Wi-Fi, which is relatively easy to achieve. The company suggests 4 bars of signal strength on cellular, however, which means that streaming could drop out in some urban areas, never mind cellular deserts like rural Texas. You can get around weak 4G or 5G coverage by caching one or more playlists for offline playback.
  • Make sure you’re the only one streaming on your profile. While you can have multiple accounts if you’re on YouTube Music’s Family plan, each account can only stream on one device at a time. It’s easy for people to accidentally hijack your listening if you have a TV, smart speaker, or smart display signed into the same account as your phone or computer.
  • Check for app updates. Google tends to update its first-party apps pretty frequently, and most of the time, it’s to address bugs and performance issues. If you haven’t updated YouTube Music recently (or at all), check out our guides for updating Android apps via the Google Play Store, and iPhone/iPad apps via the Apple App Store. If you’re streaming on the web, try updating your browser.
  • Restart the YouTube Music app. Sometimes, temporary cache- or process-related glitches can interfere with streaming or other app functions. Force-quit the app, then tap its icon again to relaunch it. The web equivalent is restarting your browser.
  • Check for Android or iOS system updates. While it’s unlikely, there’s a non-zero chance that updating Android and/or its system components could fix performance or compatibility problems. When new versions of components are available, you can update them like you would any app. To update Android as a whole, check out our linked guide. That’s assuming your device qualifies of course — while Google itself is up to Android 14, the maker of your device may not have finished its custom version of the software, and even then it might not bring it to your specific hardware. If you have an iPhone or iPad you can’t update individual system components, but you likely have access to the latest version of iOS or iPadOS.
  • Restart your phone, tablet, or computer. If they’ve cropped up, it could be that temporary cache- or process-related problems are system-level rather than relegated to the YouTube Music app or your web browser. If that’s the case, a reboot is probably in order. It’s wise to reboot your device semi-regularly anyway, regardless of platform.
  • Manually wipe YouTube Music’s cache. This isn’t an option for iPhone and iPad owners, but Android users should try clearing the app’s cache, even if they’ve already restarted the app or their device. Yes, this should force the app to re-download any saved playlists, so we’d only recommend doing this when you have Wi-Fi and a few minutes to spare. If you’re listening via the web, it’s worth clearing your browser’s cache and cookies. Just make sure you don’t have any important tabs active before doing it.
  • Log out of YouTube Music, then back in. This is only going to help with account-related glitches, but if nothing else has worked so far, it’s worth trying. Once again, expect to re-download saved playlists, since Google needs to re-authenticate the content.
  • Delete the YouTube Music app and reinstall it. It could be that there’s a mobile app glitch so deeply rooted that the only way to solve it is to start from scratch. Delete the app, then reinstall it from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store, as appropriate. Don’t worry — once you sign back in, all your playlists and account preferences will reappear, though you’ll have to both re-download cached playlists and re-configure some app settings.