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Why do my videos keep pausing on YouTube? Here’s the answer

videos keep pausing youtube

A video marathon on YouTube is part of contemporary culture regardless of viewers’ age and not only for fun but for education and news purposes. One billion videos are watched on a daily basis which is not a small feat. You can auto-play videos, create your own playlists or use playlists of other users and creators for hours and hours of content. However, you’ve probably realized that YouTube videos keep pausing after some time. Now, this is normal unless it happens mid-playback. We explain everything below and provide some tips on how to keep YouTube playing until you decide enough is enough.

Why do videos stop playing on my phone?

Some things you should know before we move to troubleshoot this problem. The first thing is that YouTube will pause after some time if you don’t interact with your phone or PC. You’ll get the “Video paused. Continue watching?” prompt. Unless you click or tap Yes, playback won’t continue.

Another thing that applies only to Android is the background playback and PiP (Picture-in-picture). Sadly, you can’t use these features if you’re not a Premium subscriber. Of course, you can always open a browser on your phone and navigate to YouTube there. This will allow you to listen to YouTube in the background but not watch it. So, you have to keep YouTube open at all times with the screen on in order for playback to work.

With that out of the way, you can move to the instructions we provided below.

1. Enable Auto-play

If the playback is pausing after you finish one YouTube video and that’s where your problem lies, you should enable auto-play that will keep playing videos for some time. Still, playback will stop eventually if you don’t interact with your phone or computer in any way.

To enable Auto-play on your Android or your PC, play any video and look for the auto-play icon in the control tab. Once you enable this, the next video in the automatized queue will start playing after the current one finishes. YouTube uses an algorithm that relies on your viewing history and related topics to create an auto-playing playlist. It’s a bit of a hit-or-miss but that’s YouTube’s algorithm in a nutshell.

2. Check the network

On the other hand, if videos stop playing mid-playback the usual suspect is the network. Make sure that you’re connected to a stable Wi-Fi network or a moderately fast cellular network if you want to watch YouTube videos. If you run into constant buffering, make sure to lower the resolution. You can do that in the video. Just tap on the cog icon at the top and select a lower resolution. Also, you can navigate to YouTube > Account > Settings > Video quality preferences and select Data saver or Auto.videos keep pausing

Of course, if you’re sure that your network is not an issue and that all other apps and services work as intended, you should move to the next step.

3. Clear data from YouTube

Resetting the app should help, too. Just, before you go and reinstall the app or uninstall updates, try clearing the local data. You might need to tweak some settings afterward. Here’s how to clear data from the YouTube app on Android:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Select Apps.
  3. Open YouTube from the list of installed apps.
  4. Tap Storage.
  5. Clear data and go back to App Info.videos keep pausing
  6. Choose Battery and disable Battery optimization. Select Unrestricted.
  7. Restart your Android.
  8. Open YouTube and test it out.

If you still experience problems during playback, you can try reinstalling YouTube or uninstalling updates. If YouTube comes as a system app, you can only disable it and restore its version to the system version by removing all updates. To do this, navigate to Play Store and search for YouTube. Uninstall the app (or remove updates) and install/update it again. Hopefully, this helps you out.

4. Disable Remind me to take a break feature

Since Digital Wellbeing was introduced a couple of Android versions ago, Google is trying to bring more features that limit usage or at least showcase how long you’ve used some apps. YouTube has the Remind me to take a break feature that notifies you to take a pause from YouTube. Of course, you’ll need to enable this feature first but, if you did, it can be the reason why videos keep pausing. Once the reminder kicks in, the video will pause until you disable this feature or tap Play.

Here’s how to disable this feature on your Android:

  1. Open YouTube and tap on your Account in the top right corner.
  2. Open Settings.
  3. Tap General.
  4. Toggle off the Remind me to take a break and Remind me when it’s bedtime options.videos keep pausing

5. What to do if the video keeps pausing on your PC

Although the majority of users watch YouTube on Android and iOS based on statistics, videos keep pausing for PC users, too. We have some troubleshooting steps to suggest and, although we are quite certain that YouTube works best on Chrome, these apply to Firefox or Edge, too.

Here’s what to do:

  • Clear data from YouTube in your browser. Click on the padlock icon in the address bar and open Site settings. Clear all data, open YouTube, and check for improvements.
  • Disable all extensions that might have something to do with this. We are not aware that adblockers can cause videos pausing but you can disable them and try again.
  • Use add-ons to keep playing videos. The most prominent extension that does this is AutoTube. You can get it on Firefox, too.
  • Use YouTube with an account.

And, with that said, we can conclude this article. Thank you for reading and don’t forget to tell us if the provided solutions helped you or not. You can do that 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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