Why is YouTube Not Working on Roku? [2023]

youtube not working on roku

On Roku streaming players, a wide variety of well-known streaming apps, including YouTube, can be installed. But what if the YouTube app on your Roku stops functioning?

Fortunately, you can use a number of tried-and-true fixes to resolve the problem.

ℹ YouTube not working on Roku? Try this quick fix first

If YouTube isn’t working on your Roku, you must reset it. Press the Roku remote’s HOME button 5x. Then, press UP 1x and REWIND 2x. Finally, press the FAST FORWARD button 2x. This will perform a safe soft reset on your Roku, allowing it to start right up and YouTube to work without any issues.

The above method is called a “soft reset” and will most likely cure the issue, but if it doesn’t don’t worry….because we have compiled a list of alternative ways to fix your YouTube not working on Roku problem.

How to Troubleshoot YouTube Not Working on Roku

Are YouTube Servers Down?

If YouTube is not available on your Roku, make sure the servers are not down.

It’s possible, but it doesn’t happen very often. As an alternative, you can also check your mobile or laptop devices to see whether YouTube is down as well.

Live status updates about YouTube outages are available HERE (via Downdetector).

Following the official YouTube account on Twitter may give you an idea of when the service will be back up and running. 

If the servers are indeed down the only thing you can do is wait for YouTube to fix the problem at their end.

Restart Network Equipment (Router & Modem)

To access the internet, your streaming device needs a working router or modem to make a strong connection.

Unplugging and re-plugging them is often all that is required to fix YouTube not working on Roku.

However, it may take a few minutes before your Roku is able to connect to the internet once everything has fully reset (lights will be blinking on and off).

Clear YouTube App Cache (Uninstall App)

Try deleting the YouTube app’s cache in order to get YouTube operating again.

If you didn’t already know, a cache is a group of data that is saved on your device to speed up specific processes.

It is possible that your cache is responsible for a variety of reported Roku problems, including lack of WiFi connectivity, HBO Max app crashes, streaming sluggishness, and audio stuttering.

Roku apps will accumulate cache files and cookies over time.

Your Roku’s memory will be swamped by these transient files and this could cause YouTube to experience buffering issues.

As a result, you should erase the YouTube app’s cache by uninstalling and reinstalling the app:

  1. Navigate to the Roku streaming device’s Home Screen and press the * button on the remote
  2. Select Remove Channel from the dropdown menu
  3. To confirm, press the OK button on your device to uninstall the app
  4. Turn your Roku off and on again
  5. Reinstall YouTube app

The YouTube app’s cache files will now be erased and with any luck, you should be able to watch YouTube again.

Check Internet Speed (Is it Fast Enough?)

The first thing you should do if you’re having trouble connecting to the internet is to check your internet speed.

Your WiFi router or modem must be connected to another device, such as a smartphone or laptop, in order to test your internet connection’s speed.

Roku’s YouTube streaming app requires a minimum download speed of 7 megabits per second (Mbps) for HD and 25 Mbps for 4K/Ultra HD content.

To help you out, we’ve even included an internet connection speed-testing app right here in this article 👇

The speed test will begin when you press the red Start button.

If your connection is weak, you can test to see if the problem is with your networking equipment by performing the following steps:

  1. Your modem and router will need to be restarted by unplugging the power cords from their sockets
  2. Plug your modem and router back into the power source after a minute of waiting
  3. Wait for the blinking lights to come back on before continuing

Alternatively, you may want to move the router closer to your Roku device in order to get a stronger WiFi connection.

Check Roku Internet Connection Quality

Check your Roku internet connection quality by following these steps:

  1. Navigate to the Roku streaming device’s Home Screen
  2. Press Settings
  3. Select Network
  4. Select About

At this point, you should see some information regarding your connection. What is of particular interest to us is the Signal Strength reading.

We are looking for a Good or an Excellent score here. Anything less than that is undoubtedly going to be a problem.

Lower Streaming Quality to 720p

Another option is to reduce the streaming quality if the videos are not loading properly or if they are taking an unreasonable amount of time to buffer.

It could be completely possible that your internet connection isn’t powerful enough to manage the bandwidth demands of YouTube’s high-resolution videos.

Follow these instructions to reduce the streaming quality:

  1. Launch the Roku Home Page
  2. Navigate to Settings
  3. Choose Display Type
  4. Adjust resolution to 720p

Additionally, you should perhaps think about toggling the Auto Detect setting which will allow the device to alter the resolution without requiring any input from you. A significant improvement in Youtube video buffering can be achieved just by reducing the settings.

Update Your Roku’s Software (OS)

If the software on your Roku is out-of-of-date, you may encounter numerous problems. Checking for new Roku OS updates can often fix issues with YouTube not working.

It’s as simple as checking to see if your Roku device has an OS update available. Sometimes these updates are missed, but they are usually done automatically.

how to perform roku system update

First, press the Home button on the remote. After that, select System from the drop-down menu.

Click on Systeme Update if it appears.

Now, your Roku will automatically start looking for updates.

If there are any software updates available for installation they will be done automatically by your Roku device.

Make sure to keep your Roku up-to-date with the latest software by performing regular updates.

Check for YouTube App Updates

When you check if there are any Roku OS updates using the steps above, it will also show you if there are any app updates available as well.

If there is a YouTube software update available, I’d strongly consider updating to the latest version.

Your current Roku operating system may not be compatible with older versions of the YouTube software and that could cause issues with loading, video playback, and audio quality.

How to Factory Reset a Roku Device

The factory reset option is recommended if either of the two steps above fixes your Roku’s YouTube app problems, but the problem returns at a later date.

If your Roku has an issue with YouTube not working, it could be because of a software error. A factory reset of the device can resolve this issue.

If you have access to a functioning remote control then try this method first (It’s the easiest)

  1. To access the menu, choose Settings
  2. Click the System option that should be present in the menu.
  3. Find Advanced System Settings
  4. Click Factory Reset

After entering the four-digit code that is displayed on the screen, you will be prompted to press the OK button on your remote control.

Once the process is finished, your Roku will return to the settings it had when it was purchased.

Factory Reset Modem/Router

If all other suggestions in this article fail, you may want to perform a factory reset on your modem and/or router.

You should be able to turn them on and off either with a paperclip or a ballpoint pen by pressing a small button located on the plastic shell.

Keep in mind that you’ll need to restart your Roku’s wireless setup and reconnect all of your devices to the new network.

Still, having issues? It might be time to speak with the Roku customer support team directly…

Roku Warranty Information

The good news is if you believe that your Roku is not operating properly due to faulty workmanship or material defects you may be able to exchange your device for a new one so long as it was purchased less than a year ago.

You may also get a full refund on any device purchased directly from the official Roku website if it is within the 30-day money-back guarantee period.

Roku’s customer support has been kind enough to provide an article with instructions for returns and warranty replacements.

If you purchased an extended warranty from a retailer like Walmart or Best Buy, verify what the terms and length of that third-party warranty entail as you may be able to get a refund or replacement device even if you are outside of the official Roku policy’s window.

Other Options (Nothing Has Fixed the Problem)

If you can’t find a solution to YouTube not working on your Roku, and it is out of the warranty window then you really have 3 choices:

Purchase a Replacement Roku

If your Roku is out of the warranty or return window, it may make more sense just to purchase a new Roku altogether.

Streaming devices have never been more inexpensive, so you may be able to get a Roku that’s newer and has upgraded features for the same price (or less) than what you originally paid.

Switch to a Different Streaming Device

While Roku is one of the best streaming devices on the market, there are plenty of other quality choices in the same price range.

Our favorite alternative to Roku is the Chromecast w/Google TV.

Is it Time to Upgrade your Smart TV?

If you have an older TV, it might be a good idea to upgrade it.

Many of the newest smart TVs have the same apps (like YouTube) preloaded as your Roku does.

Some brands like TCL even use the Roku operating system as the hub for their streaming apps.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about troubleshooting YouTube not working on Roku 👇

What is wrong with YouTube on Roku?

Having trouble streaming YouTube videos on your Roku? A slow or unreliable internet connection could be at blame. If your connection to the internet is working well, you may have an out-of-date Roku firmware or YouTube app.

Why is YouTube TV not loading on Roku?

You may need to reinstall the YouTube channel. Remove the channel from the Roku device and update it by heading to Settings >> System >> System Update. Once you’ve checked, reboot your Roku player and add the channel once more.

How do I restart YouTube on Roku?

You can quickly rewind a video on YouTube by pressing and holding the Rewind button. (The same steps apply for quick forward)

In Conclusion…

As mentioned previously, there are a number of ways to fix your YouTube not working on Roku problem:

  • Perform a soft reset
  • Check to see if servers are down
  • Restart network equipment
  • Test ISP speed
  • Check Roku internet connection
  • Lower streaming quality
  • Update software
  • Update YouTube app if necessary
  • Factory reset device
  • Factory reset modem/router
  • Contact Roku customer support

I sincerely hope this was able to help you resolve the YouTube on Roku problem. If you were successful in solving the issue by employing a different strategy, we would be very grateful if you shared your discoveries with us in the comments section below 👇

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