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Unfortunately YouTube has stopped on Android (FIX)

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YouTube is probably Google’s most lucrative service. And the app is, in all truth, well-optimized and works well even on outdated Android versions. Usually. Unfortunately, some users are getting the “Unfortunately, YouTube has stopped” error on Android. Although it’s quite a nuisance, this error is simple to fix. Learn how below.

How do I get rid of “Unfortunately YouTube has stopped”?

If you are getting the “Unfortunately, YouTube has stopped” error on your device, the latest release is either bug-ridden or incompatible. Also, there’s a chance that the local data is corrupted. What you should do is force stop the app, inspect permissions, or, eventually, roll back to an older (or newer) version via an APK,

1. Force stop YouTube

The first thing to do is to try force-stopping YouTube as soon as the error prompt appears. Stop the app from working in the background, reopen it, and wait for it to load.

Here’s how to force-stop YouTube on Android:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Select Apps & notifications.
  3. Open All apps.
  4. Navigate to YouTube and open it from the list of available apps.
  5. Tap Force Stop."unfortunately youtube has stopped" android
  6. Open YouTube again.

2. Clear cache and data from the YouTube app

The next thing to try is to clear locally-stored data which includes configuration and cached data. Chances are that this data is corrupted, invoking the error in the process.

Here’s how to clear data from the YouTube app:

  1. Navigate again to Settings > Apps & notifications > All apps > YouTube.
  2. Tap on the Storage.
  3. Tap Clear Data and confirm."unfortunately youtube has stopped" android
  4. Restart your device and check for improvements.

3. Check YouTube permissions

YouTube is usually a system app and it has all necessary permissions granted from the get-go. However, chances are that permissions to draw over other apps or to create pop-up windows (picture-in-picture) are not allowed. For that reason, inspecting permission settings is a good idea.

Check YouTube permissions by following the steps below:

  1. Again, the same path.
  2. Once in the YouTube app settings, tap Permissions.
  3. Ensure that all permissions are granted.youtube permissions
  4. Additionally, make sure that YouTube is allowed to draw over other apps and that picture-in-picture permission is granted.

4. Reinstall the app or uninstall updates

Obviously, if you are still getting the “Unfortunately YouTube has stopped” Android error, reinstalling the app (or removing updates) is the next step to try. If YouTube came pre-installed (as a system app), you won’t be able to uninstall it, just remove the updates.

Follow these instructions to reinstall YouTube on Android:

  1. Open Play Store.
  2. Search for YouTube.
  3. Expand the app screen and tap Uninstall."unfortunately youtube has stopped" android
  4. Now, if YouTube is a system app, this will only uninstall updates. If not, it will remove it completely.
  5. Restart your device and update the app.

5. Rollback to an older YouTube version

Finally, if none of the previous steps prove to be a solution, you can always take a step back and get an older version of the app. This is one nifty workaround that completely fixes issues with the current version.

Here’s how to sideload YouTube APK:

  1. Uninstall YouTube completely or uninstall updates.
  2. Navigate to APK Mirror. Have in mind that this is perfectly secure and that these apps are not meddled with.
  3. Download an older version of the YouTube app. Make sure to stick to recent versions to avoid compatibility issues but avoid the latest version. Alternatively, if you are on the latest Android version, try the latest Beta or even Alpha.
  4. Allow installation from third-party sources and install the APK.
  5. Restart your device and check if the “Unfortunately, YouTube has stopped” error pops up again.

With that, we can call it a wrap. If the issue persists, you can also reset your device to factory settings, but keep that as the last resort. Thank you for reading and don’t forget to leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in December 2020. We made sure to revamp it for freshness and accuracy.

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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