How to Stop YouTube Videos from Cutting Off Early
YouTube is not just one of the most prominent video sites in the world today, but one of the most influential cultural mediums of this century. Though YouTube got its start as a small online community of folks sharing videos of their pets and vacation trips, it’s now a huge company under the Google umbrella that has become the go-to site for video of almost every description. Everyone from filmmakers to corporate marketing departments to garage-band musicians is using YouTube to showcase their videos and content. A whole new generation of YouTube video channels has arisen, filled with people making real money in all sorts of ways.
Of course, YouTube isn’t without its problems. In addition to societal critiques—genuine concerns over user privacy, online radicalization, the spread of false stories, and channels being punished at the hands of big corporations without justification—the site has its fair share of technical issues as well. Let’s say you’re showing a friend a video on YouTube, and just when you’re about to get to the good part, it cuts out, skipping right to the end of the video while YouTube suggest you check out something new. This is a frustrating problem, and it’s been a recurring issue for years.
Unfortunately, users seem to run into this problem pretty often, and the cause can be varied depending on your device and the video itself. Sometimes an error message means the video was unlisted or taken down while you were watching it; other times, your connection cut out without you even realizing it. But more often than not, it’s an issue with your cache download, which means you’ll need to clear your cache on your device. Here’s how to fix your YouTube videos when they keep skipping to the end.
If you’re watching on a desktop, you’ll want to clear the cache within your browser. Clearing the cache in your browser really depends on which app you’re using, so use our handy guide below to figure out how to clear your cache and get back to watching videos
- Chrome: Click on the settings menu in the top-right corner of the display, then select Settings. Select History from the menu, then select “Clear Browsing Data.” Make your selection from the list of options under the Advanced Tab, and make sure that your cache is among the things being deleted by checking “Cached Images and Files”
- Microsoft Edge (Non-Chromium): Open up Internet Options, and navigate to the “General” tab. Once there, click on “Delete Browsing History.”
- Opera: On the menu, select the Tools menu in the top-right corner of your display, then select Delete Private Data. Once you’ve done this, check all the options, then confirm the deletion.
- Firefox: Open up the options menu, and locate the “advanced” pane. From there, go down to “Network” and look for “cached web content.” There’ll be a button next to the information on how much space that says “Clear Now.” Click on it.
You might also want to try a different browser on your device to see if the problem persists. For example, if you regularly use Chrome, but the issue doesn’t appear in Microsoft Edge, you might want to investigate whether an extension or add-on within Chrome is causing an issue. Adblockers and other similar extensions can often interrupt your video streams while watching content online. You might want to try watching the video in a private browsing mode, without extensions, to see if this solves the issue.
The ways to solve issues on mobile are, unfortunately, much more limited than clearing your browser cache or trying a different app. Since you’re limited to the mobile app on your platform, you’ll need to find a way to make it work for you.
Our recommendation is to first try uninstalling and reinstalling the app, no matter what device you’re using. To uninstall the app on Android, click and hold the app in your app drawer and drag it to the top of the display, over the “Uninstall” tab. The app may not be able to be uninstalled on some devices, so you might need to dive into the settings of your app to clear your app cache instead. To uninstall on iOS, click and hold on the app icon until the app wiggles, then click the small X in the corner of the display. Once you’ve uninstalled the app, reinstall from the App Store or Google Play Store to get YouTube back on your device, then log back into your account and try to watch the video again.
Some other quick tips and tricks for resetting YouTube on your phone include:
- Rebooting your phone
- Clearing the cache on your phone (Android only)
- Factory resetting your phone
Ultimately, software—especially smartphone apps—can often get buggy over time, but resetting apps can typically solve the problem.
Smart TVs and Set Top Boxes
Your options for solving this problem on smart TVs and set top boxes are even more limited than mobile devices, since you can’t always uninstall an app or clear the cache of your device. That said, both smart streaming devices and televisions themselves typically have an option to perform a factory reset if apps or other software is acting up, and we recommend trying a factory reset to see if that solves the issue with these apps. Ultimately, outside of full resets, there isn’t much you can do to solve the issue.
Of course, if YouTube video playback problems continue to happen on multiple devices, and aren’t limited to just your mobile device, these solutions won’t solve the issue. If you’ve tried all of the above and you’re still having issues, try contacting Google’s own customer tech support to solve the problem. Make sure to include screenshots and detailed descriptions of the videos, the timecodes, and the devices on which you’re experiencing the problem. Google’s tech support doesn’t have the best reputation, but with time and enough details, a little patience, and a lot of luck, you might just manage to solve your issue.