How To Fix Showbox ‘cannot play video’ and ‘server not available’ on Android

Posted by Jamie on November 29, 2018

If the TechJunkie mailbox is anything to go by, Showbox is one of the most popular media streaming apps around. We receive a ton of mail about this app, which has matured a lot since release. But issues remain. One of the most common questions we get are about error messages such as, ‘Cannot play video,’ ‘Video not available, try another server,’ and ‘Server down or Server unavailable.’ Here’s what to do if you see those errors when using Android.

I’ve used Showbox quite a lot over the past year, and I rarely see issues. When I have, one of the following fixes usually works. Fortunately, the same fixes work for most of the errors you’ll encounter.

Reboot the phone

The first fix I always suggest with any app error is to reboot the phone. It only takes a minute and can flush out any configuration issues or memory errors that might be causing the problem. Even if it doesn’t fix it, you wipe the slate clean ready for more troubleshooting measures.

Just like rebooting your computer to fix many Windows issues, a quick reboot of your mobile device achieves the same thing. It works on Android and iPhone, and should always be the first step.

Showbox cannot play video error

Of all of the Showbox errors I hear about, the ‘cannot play video error’ is most common for new users. This error usually appears because your default media player cannot handle the format the movie is in. To fix it, we simply add a different video player.

Experienced Showbox users often recommend MX Player. It’s free, supports lots of formats, and plays nicely with Showbox. Alternatively, you could try VLC for Android.

  1. Download and install MX Player from the Google Play Store.
  2. Shut down Showbox and its background process or reboot your phone.
  3. Open Showbox and try playing the movie again.

Showbox should automatically pick up the new media player and begin playing.

Showbox server unavailable error

If you see ‘server unavailable’ or ‘server not available,’ this is also a common error. I’ve seen this one myself a few times, and each time, the issue was nothing to do with servers but the app cache. That makes the fix quick and easy.

  1. Stop the Showbox app and shut it down.
  2. Navigate to Android Settings, App Manager and then the Showbox app.
  3. Select Clear data and let the process complete.
  4. Select Clear cache and let the process complete.
  5. Restart Showbox and retest.


Showbox crashes and other errors

There are a couple of other random issues that occasionally occur with Showbox that don’t have specific fixes. If clearing the cache above doesn’t remedy the situation, you could try an app update or reinstalling the app completely.

To update Showbox, you can either select Update from the Showbox notification bar when it appears, or manually install a fresh version. Both work if there’s a newer version release. Sometimes it’s useful to download the APK anew and reinstall it completely. This should fix most issues.

  1. There are dozens of places to download Showbox, but I tend to get mine from here.
  2. Download the file and open it on your device.
  3. Select Install to do just that.

As you are reinstalling, you won’t need to set up Unknown Sources like you did when you first set it up. That’s an Android setting and doesn’t change. I have done this a couple times when I couldn’t fix server errors by clearing the cache. Reinstalling the app did the trick.

Showbox is a great little app that performs incredibly well considering it comes from an unauthorized developer. It streams well, offers access to a huge range of content, and has a simple, effective interface. It does have the odd issue, or throw up the odd error, but so do other apps. Perform any of these steps above and you should have Showbox up and running again in no time.

TechJunkie does not condone piracy or streaming content from anywhere other than legal sources.

Got any other fixes for ‘cannot play video’ and ‘server not available’ and other Showbox errors? Tell us about them below if you do!

23 thoughts on “How To Fix Showbox ‘cannot play video’ and ‘server not available’ on Android”

Team says:
Downloaded widows and second act on showbox but it requires xvid codec, what do I need to do and how can I avoid this next time
Lindsay Richardson says:
Any answers why showbox doesn’t work on my android box. It was always good up to last month.
Taz says:
Has anybody found out what the issue is still not working
Nate says:
I think it is done. They are in a court case. I think movie execs and those type are fighting them. I heard it may come back but I doubt it which sucks. There r other apps but not as good as Showbox.
Jeanette Kelly says:
Uninstalled re installed just keeps sayin showbox not responding .wait-close.keep pressin wait but does not come on.hours of trying.
Ray says:
Has anyone figured it out yet?
Harri says:
When i go into app it just keep spinning on home page, nothing. Go on a tv file says downloading season but episode files not showing just blank screen
Joe says:
When I go to your recommended download site for Showbox, I get the skull and crossbones saying Showbox is not legal with links at the bottom steering you to other sites that cost money. WTF?
Kathy says:
I just updated Showbox. I keep getting the server unavailable message. Tried A & B. Same message. Cleared Data & Cache. Same message. Uninstalled & reinstalled. Same message. Restarted phone. Same message. HELP, PLEASE! I love showbox until today. I have a brand new Note 9.
Miranda Marshall says:
Yes it’s doing that to me now and just got a new LG stylo 4 which before I had a stylo 3 and I need this app back love it I most definitely need help!
Eric says:
I keep getting check your internet connection. There is nothing wrong with my internet. Please help!
Cori Keay says:
So sad I have tried numerous times install uninstall update showbox to no avail.
Ian Williams says:
Did you ever solve this problem? I’m getting the same message.
Rachel says:
I’m having all of the same problems. Showbox used to work great, and now it very rarely works. I have to pick “seeds” and it usually tells me there is not enough space on my SD card, or I get a “wait patiently” message and it never plays. I’m so bummed and am ready to delete the app.
Dink says:
I have read many articles and they show a link to a download site for showbox, but they all seem to end up at a different place. So, how do we know which one is the “Official” one. And when we are prompted for an update how do we know its an update without all the JUNK?
Ramin says:
My show box dose not finding server a without VPN. Do I need use specific DNS . I’m sure the address is blocked I’m from Canada but using even VPN thro us it is working I’m using 5.04 version
Thanks in advance
Janie says:
So i have had showbox do an update twice this week?? and absolutely nothing has changed…no servers only torrents and they buffer non stop or play for like 30 sec at a time and freeze and show play arrow and if you press it it takes it back to the beginning. Have tried fast forwarding to where it was when it froze and again i get maybe 30 sec of play before freezes again and have to do all those steps again..anyone able to help or have a solution yet? Am i the only one going thru this??
Junior UK says:
Hi guys, with just a “clear” data and cache everything start works fine in the app. Just needed to add your “favorites” again. But at least works!!!
Good luck.
Rik says:
I’ve done the clearing .. even updated to a newer version.. still getting connection errors.. can’t find server.. no internet connection.. an so on.. there seems to be quite a bit of forums and threads about this.. it’s been down for some time now.
YANA says:
My show box doesn’t stream anything with Wi-fi only with mobile internet. Does anybody know why?
Paul Hulme says:
Does anyone have any new updates on correcting torrents only issue ?
dmitri says:
tells me to choose a seed and then it doesn’t play never asked me to do that before
Martin says:
I a
M getting the same thing,Which ever one I used android vlc or other.The seeds cone on and I press one and it say sit back the film will start shortly. IT NEVER DOES. ON MY ANDROID BOX
Sanesh says:
Use a vpn… I worked for me..
Janie says:
Didnt help. Still no servers only torrents and only those worked if download first…then voice and pic didnt match up 🙁
Deniz says:
My show box app shows streaming through torrents only. Server A used to be my preffered choice of streaming as I watch in 480p. But Server A is unavailable for a week now. Need help on this. I’ve tried reinstalling, clear cave, clear data , all of it. Helps pls?
Brent says:
I’ve tried uninstalling and reinstalling 4 times with different versions, cleared data and cache, basically all the crap that is said to do on the internet. Nothing works. All I had to do was click (watch now) and that was it. Now if by chance I click it and it does work, I have to pick a seed (and that’s always freezing up) or I get (movie unavailable), please help.
Ash says:
I am having this exact problem too! Please someone post a remedy! 🙁
Asif says:
I cannot watch my movies anymore because before i used to select 450p or 720p now when i want to watch it tells me to choose a seed and then it doesn’t even play
delskie says:
its been 3 days cant watch video from server A other video are torrént cant watch ether! its there a problem?
Michelle says:
I am having the same problem. I have deleted and reinstalled and still nothing. Tech Junkie any thoughts??
Judy says:
I used showbox all the time and the last month it’s not working. I can’t watch my movies
basnik says:
Use a VPN, it works for me.
Richie says:
Yeah guys im not all that tech savvy but iv had no probs withshowbox til like a week ago. I even went and got a stupid hulu account which sucks in comparison. I dont know whatto do. I want showbox back! Any thoughts please email. Thanks this really sucks
Stephen k. says:
I have a Samsung note 5 and it won’t play without skipping or freezing through Chromecast. This app was good but as of now I’d rather pay for Hulu. It sucks. I went through all the “fixes” and nothing works. Boo. Fix it!!! Please
Tony says:
you probably casting to your chrome cast wrong.
Damian Madril says:
Did all of the above, still will not work.. Used it for a long time but all of a sudden it stopped working.
Denisia says:
Same here! If u figure it out on how to make it work, please let me know. Right now I’m not liking Showbox.
Martin says:
Will do.

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