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iPhone won’t play videos on Safari? Top 4 solutions

safari not playing videos iphone scaled

A lot of people prefer using Safari for watching videos because the browser’s default player often offers better video quality than some dedicated streaming apps. However, many people also say that sometimes Safari won’t play videos on the iPhone. Sometimes the video won’t play, sometimes it’s just a black screen, and sometimes the whole app crashes.

Regardless of the nature of the problem, we’ll try to deal with Safari’s video playback issues in this article.

Safari not playing videos on iPhone

If Safari won’t play videos on your iPhone, try some of the following solutions:

  1. Disable GPU Process: DOM Rendering
  2. Check your internet connection
  3. Update iOS
  4. Clear History and Website Data

Disable GPU Process: DOM Rendering

Disabling the GPU Process: Media experimental feature used to be one of the most common solutions for video playback issues in Safari on iPhone. However, Apple decided to remove this experimental feature with iOS 15. Since we don’t have an official statement from Apple, the reason for this decision is still unknown.

With GPU Process: Media now absent, we’ll have to find an alternative solution. I found a forum post saying that disabling another experimental feature, GPU Process: DOM Rendering can also help with video playback problems in Safari. However, there’s not enough positive feedback to confirm that disabling this feature will solve the problem for you. Nevertheless, you can try disabling GPU Process: DOM Rendering to check if it solves the problem for you.

Here’s how to disable GPU Process: DOM Rendering on iPhone:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Scroll down and tap Safari.
  3. Head over to Advanced > Experimental Features.safari not playing videos iphone
  4. Find the option GPU Process: DOM Rendering, and turn it off.

Check your internet connection

Poor internet connection might also be the reason why the Safari browser won’t play videos on your iPhone. So, make sure you’re properly connected to a Wi-Fi network or that you have enough data in your data plan.

If you notice there’s anything wrong with your internet connection, check out this article for additional solutions.

Update iOS

Most of the time, iOS updates introduce new features and improve the overall stability and security of the system. However, some updates can cause all sorts of problems. People have reported before that they couldn’t play videos in Safari after installing the latest iOS update. So, it’s possible that Safari won’t play videos on your iPhone due to a bug that’s inside the freshes iOS release.

If that’s indeed the case, there’s probably not much you can do, except wait for Apple to deliver a fix with some of the future iOS updates. Unless you manage to find a fix that’s exclusive to that very update. So, browse the internet, and maybe you’ll find a solution.

To check for new iOS updates, head over to Settings > General > Software Update. If the new update is available, install it and check if the problem still occurs.

Clear History and Website Data

And finally, if you’re still unable to play videos in Safari on your iPhone, you can try clearing history and accumulated website data. However, keep in mind that doing so will practically reset Safari, as it will delete all your saved passwords and other website data, so you’ll have to log in to all the websites again.

But if you’re willing to take the risk, here’s how to clear Safari’s history and website data:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Scroll down and tap Safari.safari wont play videos ios
  3. Tap Clear History and Website Data and confirm.

That’s about it. I hope at least one of these solutions helped you resolve the problems with video playback in Safari on your iPhone. If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions, feel free to let us know in the comments below.

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

Picture of Ivan Jenic

Ivan Jenic

Editor-in-chief at Mobile Internist. @ivan_jenic I founded Mobile Internist to help people understand technology better. And maybe solve some annoying problems. That's about it, cheers!
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