The issue when Youtube displays a black screen instead of playing a video has different variations. Sometimes you may find the video black for the entire length of time whereas in some cases it turns black only for a few seconds. This problem can be caused by incorrect configuration of your browser, extensions, ad blockers, or even hardware accelerations.
No matter how giant a website or a browser might be, there are still some bugs here and there. This issue is widely known so not to worry. We have listed down some of the solutions which seem to fix this issue. Start with the first one and work your way down.
Solution 1: Checking your Connection
Before we proceed, you should check if you have a stable and a relatively fast connection. A smooth network connection is a must when you are streaming videos online. Poor network connection might prevent your browser from loading the complete video, display a black screen or in some rare cases, only output the audio.
After changing your network connection, refresh the webpage to load it and check if it is working correctly. Also, make sure that there are no proxies involved since they hinder the data traffic of your computer sometimes. Also, check the network status of other computers connected to your network. It is possible that they are using so many resources that there aren’t any left for your computer. Check all running programs on your PC and make sure that they are not consuming too much traffic.
Solution 2: Clearing browsing data
The cache and history present in your browser can sometimes cause the Youtube videos to become black. They may be piling up to an extent that your browser gets stuck. Sometimes some items in the cache also interfere with your browser. We have listed a method on how to clear browsing data of Google Chrome. Other browsers can also clear their data but with a slightly different method.
Note: This method will erase all your browsing history, preferences and passwords from your browser. You will have to enter all the passwords and adjust all the preferences again.
- Press Ctrl + Shift + Del on your keyboard to launch the “Clear browsing data” window. Click on “Advanced” tab present on its top and check all the checkboxes. Click “Clear browsing data”.
- Now restart your browser after ending all applications using the task manager and check if you can stream videos with ease.
Solution 3: Disabling AdBlockers and Extensions
If clearing the browsing data doesn’t work for you, we can check if browser extensions are making a problem. You should always disable those extensions which you think can be causing a problem. We still recommend that you disable all extensions from the browser before moving on to the next tip to determine whether the problem lies in your browser or the server.
To check your browser extensions on Chrome, type “chrome://extensions” in the address bar and press Enter. You can disable any extension by unchecking the “enable” option. This will automatically disable that extension from making any changes to your UI. Restart your browser and check. Make sure to disable all adblockers. Adblockers are known to cause problems while streaming YouTube videos as it tries to remove the ads from the video and in response, the video refuses to display.
Once you have disabled all the extensions, restart your browser and check if the video play as expected.
Solution 4: Disabling Hardware Acceleration
Hardware acceleration means assigning some tasks to your GPU instead of your CPU. This can sometimes boost the performance of some items and tasks such as playing videos. However, sometimes hardware acceleration can bring unexpected issues on your computer. We can try disabling hardware acceleration on your browser and check if this solves the problem at hand.
- Open Google Chrome and click on the menu icon (three vertical dots) present at the top right side of the screen.
- Once the drop-down menu has opened, click on Settings present at the near end of the menu.
- Once the Settings tab has opened, navigate to the very end and click on Advanced.
- Now navigate to the end of the tab again until you find the subheading named as “System”. Under it, uncheck the option which says “Use hardware acceleration when available”
- Once you have unchecked an option, a new option will appear right beside named as “RELAUNCH”. Click it to re-launch your browser and to implement the changes we did.
- Now check if the video streaming got fixed. If it didn’t, you can always revert the changes by re-enabling the option.
If this method still doesn’t work, we can try another workaround where we disabled “Hardware-accelerated video decode”. Do note that you can always revert the changes back using the same steps.
- Type “chrome://flags/” in the address bar of your browser and press Enter.
- Once in flags, navigate through them until you find “Hardware-accelerated video decode”. Click on “Disable”.
- A new pop up will come up asking you relaunch your browser. Relaunch it and check if video streaming works as expected.
Solution 4: Using Software Rendering (for IE and Edge users)
It is a known fact that Google Chrome requires hardware acceleration when available to run efficiently. The case is opposite for Microsoft Edge. It prefers software rendering to make its processes smoother and to make it work properly. We can try changing these settings through the internet options. If you having a problem while streaming videos in IE or Edge, try out this solution and hopefully, the problem will be solved for both the browsers.
- Press Windows + S to launch the search bar of your start menu. Type “internet options” in the dialogue box and open the first result.
- Once in the Internet Options, navigate to the Advanced tab. The first checkbox will say “Use software rendering instead of GPU rendering”. Check that option and press Apply to save all changes.
Restart your computer to implement all the changes and recheck the problem.
Solution 5: Streaming Videos without logging in or in Incognito Mode
Many users reported that they experienced this problem when they were logged into their Youtube accounts only. After logging out, they were able to stream videos without any problem. You can also achieve the same thing by opening a new Incognito window and try streaming videos there. It is highly likely that the problem will be fixed without any difficulties.
To open a new Incognito window in Chrome, right-click on the Chrome icon and select “New incognito window”.
Solution 6: Updating your Browser
YouTube black screens may occur if your web browser isn’t updated to its latest build. It is possible that it is still using the Adobe Flash Player plug-in which isn’t supported by YouTube anymore. Make sure that your browser is updating to its latest build. We have listed a method on how to update Google Chrome. If you are using another browser, you can uninstall it using the Programs and Features, download the latest browser from its official website, and then install it.
Note: Also try streaming videos in a different browser than the one you are using. This way we will be able to determine whether the problem is with your browser or it is happening with all the browsers on your computer.
- Press the three dots present at the top right side of the screen. When the drop-down comes, click on “Help” and select “About Google Chrome”.
- Chrome will automatically search for an available update. If there is an update available, it will download it accordingly. After downloading, it will prompt you to re-launch the browser. Make sure that you have saved everything needed. Press the “Relaunch” button.
- After relaunching, check if the problem is solved.
Adobe Flash Player is pre-installed in many web browsers and is widely used to embed videos on several websites. You can try uninstalling the Flash Player and installing the latest version from its official website.
YouTube has also switched Firefox users from Flash Player to HTML5 player by default. You can easily check if your browser is using HTML5 by checking the official YouTube page. However, there are still some add-ons available on different browsers which force Flash on YouTube for users who don’t have HTML5 working correctly. For example, Firefox Users have an add-on which automatically uses Flash to play videos. You can troubleshoot more on this issue by checking your browser if it supports HTML5 or not. Make sure that there are no conflicts with any Adobe software. They are known to cause a lot of issues.