7 ways to troubleshoot if YouTube TV is not working

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7 ways to troubleshoot if YouTube TV is not working
Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
  • If YouTube TV is not working on your streaming device, there are several things you can do to troubleshoot it.
  • Start by restarting the YouTube TV app, checking to see if the service is offline, and updating the app.
  • You might have also exceeded your device limit or your WiFi might be too slow to reliably stream YouTube TV in HD or 4K.
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If you've cut your cable after discovering YouTube TV as an alternative to paying for a traditional TV subscription, you probably enjoy having access to a wealth of live TV alongside all your streaming options. But sometimes problems arise, and YouTube TV doesn't work quite right. One issue is that you can't call the cable technician anymore — the problem is yours to solve on your own. With that in mind, here are seven relatively easy ways to troubleshoot and fix your YouTube TV problems.

Restart the YouTube TV app

If the problem is being caused by the YouTube TV app, an easy troubleshooting step that'll often fix the issue is simply to restart the app. That'll flush out the bad data that's causing the problem. Here is how to close an app on Android and close an app on iOS. If you're trying to use YouTube TV on a smart TV or streaming player like a Roku, you can close and restart the app there as well, though the steps will vary depending on the device you own.

7 ways to troubleshoot if YouTube TV is not working
Close YouTube TV and then open the app again.Dave Johnson

If you are trying to watch YouTube TV in a web browser on your computer, close the browser, open it again, and go back to the YouTube TV website. Another option: Switch to a different browser if you have more than one installed on your computer.

After closing the app, simply restart it and see if that fixed the issue.

Check to see if YouTube TV is down

The YouTube TV service is reliable and working the vast majority of the time. Nothing is perfect, though, and every online service has occasional outages. It's easy to see if the problem is with YouTube TV, not with you. To find out with just a few clicks, go to YouTube TV's network status page at Downdetector — or search for "is YouTube TV down" on your browser.

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7 ways to troubleshoot if YouTube TV is not working
Check Downdetector to see if there is a service outage.Dave Johnson

Restart your device

If you've gotten this far and it's still unclear what might be causing the problem with YouTube TV, it might be a good idea to restart the device you're trying to use. "Turn it off and then back on again" is time-tested troubleshooting advice. If you need a reminder, here's how to restart an iPhone. You can turn off many Android devices by pressing and holding the power button for several seconds or by pulling the control center down from the top of the screen and finding the power icon. If you have a smart TV or streaming media player, unplug it for two minutes and then plug it back in again.

Make sure the app is up to date

Another potential source of your glitch: You aren't using the most current version of the YouTube TV app. Google updates the app regularly, and it's possible that your out-of-date app is causing a conflict with your device's operating system or some other app — or the app is old enough that it can't work properly with the YouTube TV service itself. As a general rule, it's a good idea to enable automatic updates, but if you need to update YouTube TV, here is how to turn on automatic updates on your iPhone or update apps on your Android phone.

Make sure YouTube TV has the right permissions

Apps often require certain permissions to work properly, and YouTube TV is no exception. In fact, you must enable your phone's location permission or else YouTube TV won't work properly.

On an iOS device, start the Settings app and then choose Privacy. Tap Location Services and make sure it's enabled by swiping the button to the right. Then in the app list below, tap YouTube TV and make sure While Using the App is selected.

7 ways to troubleshoot if YouTube TV is not working
Make sure YouTube TV has location permissions.Dave Johnson

On an Android device, start the Settings app and select Location. Make sure Use Location is enabled by swiping the button to the right. Tap App location permissions to find YouTube TV and then select Allow only while using the app.

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Is your internet fast enough?

If you are having sporadic glitches or poor video performance, it's possible that your WiFi isn't fast enough. Thankfully, this is easy to check. On whatever device is giving you trouble with YouTube TV, test your internet speed. It should be at least 7Mbps to reliably display video in HD, or 25Mbps for 4K video. If necessary, you can lower the video quality in YouTube TV to better match your internet speed.

Are you trying to connect too many devices?

Finally, remember that YouTube TV limits you to a maximum of three devices at one time. You can install the YouTube TV app on any number of devices, but you can only stream three at one time. If you can't start streaming, check to see if other family members or people with whom you've shared login information aren't streaming at the same time.

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