YouTube is one of the most popular sites on the internet, and it isn’t hard to see why. You can watch just about any video you can find on YouTube, and you can even watch shows and movies on YouTube as well. YouTube is a great site, but it occasionally has it’s own hiccups and mess ups.
Follow this guide to fix the problem where you have audio but your screen is black when watching a YouTube video.
Why no picture?
From what I can tell this seems to affect multiple different web browsers, like Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer to name a few. It has also happened where one browser has issues but if you try another browser it won’t have any issues, which points to the problem of it being browser specific. It isn’t very clear why this happens, but there are a couple fixes you can try to try to get the picture to pop back up. Let’s look at each of the fixes for these browsers individually:
Note: This fix will only work for older versions of Safari.
Here are the steps to fixing the YouTube problem on Safari:
- Close Safari and all of your tabs
- Go to Finder
- Next go to the folder that says Applications
- If on Macbook hold down Control and click on the Safari button and select on Get Info
- If on regular Mac or have a mouse right click on Safari and click on Get Info
- From Get Info click on the box that says Open in 32 bit Mode
- Close out of Get Info and open up Safari normally and it should work
There are a couple fixes for Chrome, let’s go over each of them:
Clear Browser History and Update Chrome
To clear history:
- Go to the menu for Chrome (3 dots stacked on one another)
- Click on history then click again on history once the next box shows up
- Click on “Clear browsing data”
- Clear it “since the beginning of time” so you can ensure all cookies are gone and your cache is clear
You can also erase browsing history by going to settings and click on the box that says “Clear browsing data”
To update Chrome:
- Go to Chrome’s menu and go to settings
- Click on the About tab
- If Chrome needs to be updated you can find the update here or Chrome will tell you when you open up the menu
Check YouTube to see if that fixed your problem. If not, move to the next step.
Uninstall and Reinstall Flash Player
The next step is to uninstall and then reinstall Flash Player.
- If you have Windows go to this link to uninstall Flash Player
- If you have a Mac go to this link to uninstall Flash Player
Follow the instruction Adobe gives you to successfully uninstall the Player
- Go to this link here to reinstall Adobe
Follow the on screen prompts and instructions to reinstall Flash. This essentially resets Flash, so if there was a problem or a glitch in it that should have fixed it. If this fix didn’t work, try the final fix for Chrome.
Disable Hardware Acceleration
There are actually two ways to go about doing this. To check which way, right click on the video you are trying to watch. If you get the option “About Adobe Player” you can use this first method, if not use the second method.
Method One: Flash
- Go to this website here and right click on the tree animation and click on settings
- Uncheck the box that says “enable hardware acceleration”
- Close Chrome and restart it
This should work since the Hardware could be the cause of your problem.
Method Two: Chrome without Flash
- Put chrome://flags into the address bar
- On your keyboard hit CTRL F to do a search and search for hardware-accelerated
- Click on it to turn it off
- Close Chrome and then relaunch it
There are a couple fixes for Firefox, as well as these listed from Firefox’s website. Let’s look over the two easiest and most common fixes:
Clear your Firefox Cache
- Click on the Hamburger menu (the 3 lines on top of each other) and click on Options
- Navigate to the Advanced tab
- Click on the Network tab inside of the Advanced menu
- Click the Clear Now box next to Cached Web Content
- Close the browser and restart it
To update Adobe, if it isn’t already updated, go to this website. When the site pulls up make sure you read the check boxes so you know what you are installing, and then click on “Install Now”. There will be a series of on screen instructions you will need to follow to make sure that it is properly updated.
If you are, for whatever reason, still using Internet Explorer and am having YouTube issues, follow these instructions:
I do feel like I need to lead with this if you are using Internet Explorer. IE is extremely slow and does not operate well. The other browsers are all pretty comparable, but Chrome is definitely my favorite. You can download Chrome from Google here. If you prefer one of the other browsers all you need to do is Google them and pull up their download sites. For any of the browsers follow the instructions they give you and simply wait for them to download completely.
Disable Shockwave Flash Object
If, for whatever reason, you are actually using Internet Explorer and are having YouTube issues, this is the only fix that I am aware of, and it is possible that this isn’t a guaranteed fix. Here are the steps:
- Go to Tools then go to “Manage Add Ons”
- You will see “Shockwave Flash Object” under the heading “Adobe System Incorporated”
- Click the Shockwave box once and disable or enable it (basically the opposite of what it currently is set as)
- Close the browser and then reopen it and launch YouTube
Your network connection may be the cause of your issues. Check your computer’s internet connection to see if that is the problem. You may have to perform a hard restart on your modem and router to reset your internet. To do so, follow these steps:
- Unplug the power cord from both the router and modem
- Wait about 20 to 30 seconds then replug the power cord into the MODEM first
- Wait until the lights stop blinking then plug in the power cord into the router
Update Your Computer
Another solution might be to update your computer. Go into your computer’s settings and do a search for “updates”. You can check to see if anything in your computer needs to be updated and if it does go ahead and update it. This could very easily solve your problem because what you may have been using wasn’t quite up to date.
YouTube is Down
Another possibility, however unlikely, is that YouTube itself is having issues. I will say that this is somewhat unlikely, but nothing is perfect. To check, go to Down Detector (can be found here) and check on YouTube. You can see how many people reported it down and what issues they are having with it. You can also use Down Detector to see if other services from different companies are down, such as Playstation, Xbox, World Of Warcraft, etc. It is a great website to check out and it has helped me multiple times in seeing if I need to try to fix something if I can’t get it to work.
Hard Restart on Your Computer
The final thing that I know to do is to perform a hard restart on your computer. This step is probably overkill for getting a YouTube video to load, but it is still a tool in your arsenal. Follow these steps to perform a restart on your computer using the power icon on your computer’s menu:
- Close any and all apps running on your computer
- Once everything is closed go to the power icon on your screen and click on restart
- Let your computer reboot itself and try YouTube again once everything is loaded
If that didn’t work try performing a hard restart. Like I said, this is a pretty drastic measure because this is meant more for a non-responsive computer, but it could possibly work for you:
- Close all apps and either:
- 1) hold down the power button until your computer powers down, or
- 2) unplug the power cord from the back of the tower (or remove your battery if you have a laptop)
- Wait 20 to 30 seconds and power your computer back on again
- Your computer may try to boot up in safe mode, let it and wait for it to power on completely
- Try to pull up YouTube again
Like I said, a hard restart is primarily used for a non-responsive computer, but it could very well fix your problem because it will basically reset your computer to a point where it was working and running at it’s best.
I hope this guide helped you out, if not you may want to do a little more research and possibly even contact your computer manufacturer.