Full Screen YouTube not working on Android? Here’s a fix

Watching videos in the shortened portrait orientation is not the way the developers intended. However, some Android users have had a hard time as, seemingly, the full screen on YouTube is not working and they can’t utilize the landscape orientation. Especially with auto-rotate enabled — rotating the device does nothing in YouTube. If you’re also affected by this problem, check the solutions we provided below.

How do I fix YouTube full screen on Android?

If full-screen YouTube is not working on Android, force stop the YouTube app and clear the cache. If that doesn’t help, clear the data or reinstall the app.

Alternatively, you can use an APK to sideload an older or newer version of YouTube for Android. Check the detailed instructions below.

1. Force stop the app and clear the cache

Let’s start with a simple restart. If that doesn’t help, you can force-stop YouTube, clear the cache data, and try again. There used to be a reoccurring bug where the YouTube landscape orientation won’t work with the rotation and you had to tap on the Full Screen icon at the bottom of the clip while in portrait mode. Based on our experience, that bug is a long-time gone but it seems that some users still experience it. The force-stop fix usually deals with it.

Here’s how to force stop YouTube and clear cache on Android:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap Apps.
  3. Select YouTube.
  4. Tap Storage.
  5. Clear the cache and get back to the App Info screen.
  6. Tap Force stop.
  7. Open YouTube, play a video, and check if YouTube’s full screen works as intended.

2. Check Full-screen settings

The next thing you should do is check the full-screen settings. With the introduction of notches, cutouts, and punch holes for selfie cameras, playback in landscape orientation changed a bit. To mitigate the glaring asymmetry, OEMs started offering an option to hide the notch and make it a part of the status bar at the top.

Now, you have the option to zoom in/zoom out with the two-finger pinch. The pinch-in gesture will, accordingly, zoom in on the content while the pinch-out will zoom out to cover the whole screen, including the notch or punch hole.

Interestingly, on some devices, you’ll need to allow the YouTube app to show content over the whole screen. The option is usually placed in Display settings but this is not a rule of thumb. You can choose to hide the notch which will shorten the screen a bit or choose to just show content over the notch when zoomed in.

Here’s an example of how to do it on Samsung devices:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Select Display.
  3. Choose Full Screen apps.
  4. Select Camera cutout and expand YouTube from the list.
  5. Choose to Show the camera cutout to enable true full screen playback.full screen youtube not working

3. Clear YouTube data and check permissions

If the previous steps didn’t work for you, you can clear YouTube data and ensure the app has all permissions. YouTube doesn’t need any permissions to work by default, but it’s worth a try. In addition, YouTube can pile up a lot of local data, and clearing all data should reset the app.

Here’s how to clear YouTube data and check permissions:

  1. Once again, open Settings > Apps > Youtube.
  2. Tap Storage and clear all data.full screen youtube not working
  3. Get back and tap Permissions.
  4. Grant all permissions to YouTube and check for improvements.

4. Reinstall YouTube

As an alternative to the previous step, you can reinstall YouTube or uninstall updates and update the app again. This can come in handy whenever clearing data doesn’t fix the problem. You can reinstall YouTube (or uninstall updates) from system settings or, even better, use Play Store.

Here’s how to reinstall YouTube on your Android:

  1. Open Play Store.
  2. Search for YouTube and expand the app.
  3. Tap Uninstall.
  4. Restart your device and open the Play Store again.
  5. Update YouTube and check if the full-screen playback works as intended.

5. Rollback to an older version

Using APKs to update or downgrade apps is a great way to tackle issues. Google Play Store doesn’t allow this and you can only download the latest stable or beta release. And, oftentimes, sideloading a different version allows you to download versions without feature-breaking bugs.

Follow these instructions to roll back to an older or newer version of YouTube for Android:

  1. Navigate to APK Mirror.
  2. Either download the latest beta or download an older YouTube version. Just don’t go for too old versions since the versions older than the factory app version can’t be installed.
  3. Run the APK and allow installation from third-party sources.
  4. Update the app and check if the issue is gone.

6. Tips for desktop users with Full Screen YouTube not working issue

If the full screen on YouTube is not working in a desktop browser, you can try some of these steps to fix it:

  • Disable browser extensions.
  • Clear browser data for YouTube and check permissions.
  • Sign out and sign in again to your YouTube account.
  • Open YouTube in an incognito window.
  • Reinstall the browser.

And, on that note, we can conclude this article. Thank you for reading and don’t forget to share your thoughts, questions, or suggestions with us. You can do that in the comments section below.

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in February 2022. We made sure to revamp it for freshness and accuracy.

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