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Fix: Can’t download YouTube videos on Android

YouTube featured 2

Although some might deem it pricey, YouTube Premium brings a lot to the table in comparison to some other services. Not only that you’ll get to experience YouTube without ads on your Android, but you can also download videos to your device and watch them later when you don’t have an internet connection. YouTube Music Premium is included. However, some users report that they can’t download YouTube videos on Android, despite paying a premium subscription.

With that in mind, make sure to check the steps we listed below and

YouTube for Android suddenly won’t download videos

1. Make sure you have a Premium subscription

As you are already well aware, you need a premium YouTube subscription in order to download YouTube videos and store them locally on your device. There’s no known alternative to this and, although some third-party apps offer content without commercials and with Picture-in-Picture without paying a cent, downloading is still limited to the official app. And hidden behind a paywall. You can get some of those via APKs like NewPipe, TubeMate, etc.

So, open the YouTube app and then tap your profile. From there, select Purchases and memberships and make sure that your Premium subscription hasn’t expired. If that’s not the case and you are positive that your subscription is active but the issue persists, check the next step.

2. Check the Download settings

In case you use Mobile data to download YouTube videos, there’s an option that needs to be toggled off. By default, YouTube videos can be downloaded to Android solely when your phone is connected to Wi-Fi. So, you have a simple task of allowing downloads on mobile data, too.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Open YouTube.
  2. Tap on your profile icon at the top.
  3. Open Settings.
  4. Tap Background and downloads.
  5. Disable the “Download via Wi-Fi only” option.

3. Inspect the Network

It goes without saying that you need some kind of internet connection to download anything on your device. And, if there are some issues with the Wi-Fi connection or you are out of mobile data, you won’t be able to download YouTube videos and store them locally for later offline viewing.

So, make sure that you are either connected to a stable Wi-Fi network or have enough mobile data to work with. The best and the most straightforward way to check this is by testing it out in another app that requires an internet connection. Even YouTube playback should do.

Now, if you identified some issues, check the steps we provided in this article for Wi-Fi and this one for Mobile Data issues.

On the other hand, if everything is in order but you still can’t download YouTube videos to your Android, continue to the next step.

4. Reinstall YouTube and check the permissions

The next thing you can try is reinstalling YouTube and, after that, ensuring that the app has access to local storage. Have in mind that, on some Android skins, YouTube comes preinstalled as the system app and can’t be fully removed. What you can do, on the other hand, is uninstall its updates.

Here’s how to reinstall YouTube on your Android:

  1. Open Play Store and search for YouTube.
  2. Expand the app and tap Uninstall.
  3. Now, after you restart your device and get back to Play Store, you’ll have either option to Update or to Install YouTube.clear youtube data 1
  4. Tap Install/Update and look for improvements.

Once you’ve done that, navigate to Settings > Apps > All apps > YouTube and tap Permissions. Allow YouTube Storage access.

5. Sign out and sign in again with your Google Account

Finally, the only remaining thing that comes to mind is to sign out of your Google Account and re-add it again. You can remove your Google Account from Settings > Accounts.remove google account

In addition, report the issue to Google and check if this YouTube feature is temporarily down for some reason. You can find that out on their official Twitter handle or check the Down Detector.

That should do it. Thank you for reading and don’t shy away from sharing your thoughts in the comments section below.

Picture of Aleksandar Ognjanovic

Aleksandar Ognjanovic

Managing editor at Mobile Internist. @lemmingspain My fascination with mobile technology, particularly Android and iOS, began years ago and continues today. I'm captivated by the constant evolution in the smartphone industry and its impact on our daily lives, always anticipating the next big innovation. That’s the main reason why I found myself writing instructive content on the subject for users who are not as familiar with all the bells and whistles.
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