YouTube is one of the best-designed and well-optimized Google apps and it usually works without issues. However, some Android users report that YouTube is lagging and stuttering. For some, it lags while watching videos, for others, it lags even when browsing the Home page. If that’s the case for you, too, check the instructions we provided below.
Table of contents:
- Force stop the app and clear the cache
- Clear local data from YouTube
- Reset Google services
- Reinstall YouTube on your phone
- Update the firmware
Why is Youtube stuttering on Android?
YouTube lagging is primarily related to network issues and, rarely, an app or system bug is causing issues. So before doing anything, ensure that you are connected to a stable Wi-Fi or Mobile data network and that you have serviceable internet speeds. YouTube will automatically reduce video quality based on your bandwidth but it won’t help if you try streaming videos on a super slow internet. For that, you’ll need to set Video quality preferences in (Account > Settings) to Auto.
When it comes to mobile data, 3G speeds can hardly work so we hope you have 4G/LTE or 5G at your disposal. If you pay for YouTube Premium, you can download YouTube videos and watch them offline when you are out and about.
On the other hand, if you are absolutely certain that the network isn’t the problem, restart your phone, clear cache or clear local data, reset related Google services, or reinstall the app. Keeping your device up to date is a good idea, too.
You can also navigate to Settings > Account image at the top right corner > Settings > General and disable Playback in feeds to speed things up a bit.
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 the app and clear the cache. Some users report that this was enough to fix the YouTube lag and stutter issue, although it might not work for everyone.
Here’s how to force stop and clear cache from YouTube on Android:
- Open Settings.
- Tap Apps. Expand All apps.
- Open YouTube from the bottom of the list.
- Tap Force stop at the bottom.
- Open Storage.
- Tap Clear cache.
- Restart your device, open YouTube, and check for improvements.
2. Clear local data from YouTube
If the previous step failed, you can go a step further and clear all local data that YouTube accumulated over time. Ideally, this data will speed up the app but it can do quite the opposite if it piles up over time.
Here’s how to clear YouTube data on Android:
- Once again, navigate to Settings > Apps > YouTube.
- Open Storage.
- Tap Clear data and restart your device.
3. Reset Google services
If the issue persists and YouTube is still lagging, you can try resetting Google services. Google Play Services and Google Services Framework deal with a lot of background processes and integration of native apps under the same Google Account. Resetting them by clearing the local data from time to time is a good idea.
Here’s how to clear data from Google Play Services and Google Services Framework:
- Open Settings.
- Tap Apps. Expand all apps.
- Tap on the 3-dots menu and choose to Show system processes.
- Open Google Play Services and select Storage.
- Tap Manage Storage and clear all data.
- Now, get back and open Google Services Framework.
- Restart your device and test YouTube.
4. Reinstall YouTube on your phone
Alternatively, you can reinstall the app or at least uninstall updates from YouTube and update it afterward. This is especially recommended if the issues start after a major system update.
To uninstall YouTube from Play Store, open Play Store and look up YouTube. Expand the app. Tap Uninstall and restart your device. Get back to the Play Store and install/update YouTube once again.
As another option, you can download an older version of YouTube via an APK, uninstall the app first, and then install the APK. Learn more about APKs and how to roll back an Android app to an older version from this article.
5. Update the firmware
Finally, we can only recommend updating the firmware on your device. We can only hope that a possible system bug causing YouTube to lag on Android is patched up. If not, you can report the problem to Google support in the YouTube app > Account (tap on your profile picture in the top right corner) > Help & feedback.
You can check for system updates by navigating to Settings > System > Software update. You can also disable or uninstall the app and stick to YouTube in a browser for the time being.
And, on that note, we can conclude this article. Thank you for reading and don’t forget to tell us if the solutions we provided helped you address the problem or not. You can do that in the comments section below.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published in February 2022. We made sure to revamp it for freshness and accuracy.