Find out what you can do if YouTube videos won’t play smoothly on your Android devices.
There's nothing more annoying than when you're watching a YouTube video and the playback lags or keeps pausing. It's even worse when you can't play a video at all. Unfortunately, this can be quite a common issue if you're streaming YouTube over cellular data on your Android device.
In most instances, this issue arises if you're using a phone with low RAM, which makes it difficult to stream HD videos. But whatever the cause, you can learn how to prevent YouTube videos from lagging on Android below.
Before proceeding to the more technical fixes for this issue, you might consider conducting some preliminary checks first. For instance:
If those basic troubleshooting tips don't work, try out the more in-depth solutions below.
The next thing you need to do is update the YouTube app. This will ensure that you have the latest version of the app and that it's optimized for your device.
From this point, you can either choose the Update all option, which will update all the listed apps to the latest version, or scroll through the list and tap on the Update button alongside the YouTube application.
If you're an avid YouTube user, then you know that it requires a strong internet connection to play high-quality videos. However, you might not always have a strong internet connection, especially if you're using mobile data on your Android phone to play these videos.
Using mobile data might cause YouTube videos to lag or, if it plays them, they might be low-quality. An easy way around this is to switch from mobile data to Wi-Fi. Generally, a Wi-Fi connection is stronger, faster, and more reliable.
Most Android phones come with a feature called Data Saver. It is designed to reduce the amount of data used by apps running in the background so that you don't go over your monthly limit. However, this also means that any app using data in the background will be restricted from doing so unless it's necessary for proper functioning.
YouTube happens to be one of those apps which needs access to data all the time, so if you're using Data Saver mode, it could cause problems when trying to watch videos online. To avoid this, you can turn it off in the Settings:
If this doesn't resolve the issue, then you can proceed to turn off YouTube's native data saving mode, which also serves the same purpose. Here's how:
Android devices also have a built-in Battery Saver mode that kicks in when your battery drops to a certain percentage. It helps save battery life by reducing CPU performance and limiting background data usage.
While this feature is useful for conserving power, it also limits the performance of your device, including its ability to stream videos. As such, if your YouTube videos keep lagging on your Android device, turning off the Battery Saver might help fix it.
For some devices, you can easily turn off the feature by sliding down to open the Quick Setting panel and tapping on the Battery Saver button to disable it.
Alternatively, you can also achieve this in the Settings:
If the above solutions haven't worked for you, try uninstalling and reinstalling YouTube.
However, it's worth noting that this might be an issue for some users because the YouTube app is part of the pre-installed applications that come with an Android device upon purchase. In such an instance, you can force stop it instead:
If this doesn't resolve the issue, delete the application and reinstall it again:
Wait for a few minutes then tap on the Turn on button to restore the app's functionality.
As a last resort, you can choose to watch YouTube videos using your Android web browser instead of the app. The browser version provides an experience that's similar to that of the YouTube app, as it comes with most of the features. But hopefully it the browser will play videos more smoothly than the app.
By now, you should have been able to resolve the YouTube video lagging issue on your Android phone using the solutions listed above. The best way to prevent this issue from recurring is to ensure that both the data saver and battery saver are disabled at all times, but sometimes you need to try other solutions instead.
Kevin is a self-proclaimed nerd and enjoys learning new things, especially in the areas of technology and languages. He has built his tech knowledge from vast experiences and his unyielding curiosity to find out how things work. While not writing, you’ll find him on his motorbike.