Fix YouTube Message: ‘An Error Occurred, Please Try Again Later’

For the most part, YouTube is a service that you can easily rely on. However, some users have been troubled by the message, “An Error Occurred, Please Try Again Later,” which we’re going to show you how to fix, below. Considering that it’s one of the most highly-trafficked sites across the world, it’s understandable that YouTube will run into the occasional error. But many users have been running into this particular obstacle over and over, which is far less acceptable.

If that describes your trouble fairly accurately, read on! We’re going to get it fixed, today.

Even though YouTube is ultimately very accessible and incredibly easy to use, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t a complex service. Think about how many hours of streaming video have to be available on-demand, at all times, and you can begin to fathom the scope of this particular corner of the internet. While it might only require a couple of click from us, there are quite a few things happening in the background that make videos viewable for us.

The message “An Error Occurred, Please Try Again Later” isn’t necessarily indicative of problems happening on your end. They could be problems with Google — the current owner of YouTube. It could be problems with online connectivity to YouTube‘s servers in general. Working our way down the line, it’s possible that your respective ISP is having trouble connecting to YouTube content. Or, in some circumstances, settings on your own PC are proving to be the obstacle.

Because the actual cause of this message is somewhat difficult to determine, we’ve prepared a set of troubleshooting steps, below. We’ll work our way up from the simplest fixes to the most complex so that you can hopefully get back to your streaming as quickly as possible. But even though we’re quite certain that we can fix this problem, there are still going to be outlying circumstances that are beyond our ability to help with.

Thus, if you still encounter this error message every time that you try to watch YouTube content, you might need to escalate your troubleshooting to YouTube itself, your ISP, or your computer’s manufacturer. It’s unfortunate that things can grow to that scope, occasionally, but most of those situations are rare.

YouTube Connectivity

As we stated above, there are quite a few things taking place in the background each time you search for and watch, a video on YouTube. The algorithms that Google has built into the service to aid in the accuracy of your searching are incredibly complex — we’re talking millions of lines of code. For the most part, these work flawlessly and help you to find the content that you most want to view. That’s because the algorithms were designed by exceptionally talented coders (who rarely get the visible credit that they deserve.)

However, problems sometimes happen, either when you’re searching for particular videos, or trying to watch a video that you’ve found. And because YouTube is a fairly simple interface, the error code that we’re talking about today is probably the one that you’re most likely to encounter.

“An Error Occurred, Please Try Again Later”

Frustrating, right? We understand. Especially since YouTube doesn’t tell you anything more than that, in most cases. It leaves you without a path to resolution for whatever problem you’re experiencing.

Tangentially, it makes our troubleshooting attempts more complicated because we then have to aim them in several different directions. But we’ll try to do that as concisely and accurately as we can, below. To begin, we’re going to reference some very obvious, quick fixes that you can implement with minimal fuss. If the problem persists beyond that, we’ll switch to different attempts to fix the problem.

“Growing up, I was always creatively inclined, and when YouTube came about, it was like getting the perfect platform to showcase what I wanted. Personally, I was going through a dark phase in my life, and I decided to make videos and basically go by the adage, ‘If you want to cheer up yourself, go cheer up someone else.” – Lilly Singh

First-Step Fixes

The first things that we’re going to try are the easiest. Handy, right? These will only take a few moments of your time, and surprisingly, they help people to move past this YouTube error all of the time.

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First, we’re going to ask you to flush your PC’s cached DNS information. This is easy to do by way of the Windows command prompt but is going to be a little bit more complicated on a Mac. Things often seem to be, don’t they?

In Windows…

  • Open the Command Prompt by way of the Windows search bar. Simply type in “cmd.”
  • Once the Command  Prompt is open (you may get prompted to run it as the computer’s administrator) type in ipconfig /flushdns. This will command your PC to flush its cached DNS data.

If your DNS data was corrupted, it might have been causing you to have trouble with YouTube‘s servers.

In Mac…

  • Open your Terminal Application, and then enter the following line of code — sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder
  • This will flush the DNS on your Mac, thereby clearing away any corrupted DNS settings.

No matter which operating system you’re running, give this a shot and then check to see if YouTube is behaving, yet. If so, congratulations! If you’re still struggling, let’s move right along. The next thing that you’re going to want to do is reset your local network hardware — a modem and router, in most circumstances. Once again, this might seem like a simple step, but it can resolve quite a few connectivity issues.

  • Unplug your modem and router, allowing them to power down.
  • Wait 30 to 60 seconds, and then plug the modem in. Allow it to fully boot up.
  • Once your modem has finished booting, plug your router back in as well.
  • After both have finished establishing necessary connections, use your computer to connect to your local network, again.

As before, give YouTube a try. If the problem persists, we have other steps for you to take.

Change DNS Settings

In the same way that flushing your cache DNS data can help to resolve this problem, so can changing which DNS lookup address your chosen network connection is using. There are several DNS available apart from the default one that your computer is choosing, and one of the very best is Google’s publically available DNS.

In Windows

  • Navigate to your Control Panel, followed by Network and Internet.
  • Click Network Sharing Center followed by Change Adapter Settings.
  • Right-click on your active internet connection, and select Properties.
  • Click on the Networking Tab, and then Advanced.
  • In your DNS settings, change your IPv4 addresses to 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4. This will set your DNS lookup to Google’s public option, which tends to work extremely well with Google services, like YouTube.

In Mac…

  • Navigate to your System Preferences.
  • In the Network option, select your active internet connection on the left panel.
  • Click the Advanced option in the bottom right corner of the window.
  • Select the DNS tab at the top of the screen, then click on the button to add an additional DNS lookup.
  • Just as above, add 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4. to give your computer access to Google’s public DNS option.
  • After selecting the new DNS, click OK followed by Apply.

Changing your DNS isn’t a bad idea even if you’re not experiencing connectivity issues, but this is known to resolve the specific YouTube connectivity issue that we’re fighting.

If you’re having computer trouble, it could be worth trying out Advanced SystemCare (click to learn more). CNET describes it as a “Swiss Army Knife of a PC utility“. Once you download it, you get a suite of optimization tools, including an uninstaller, one-click registry fixes, defragmenters, and more.

Disable Adblock Services

It’s obvious enough that advertisements are the bread and butter of YouTube. They’re the grease between the gears, so to speak, and without an active, robust ad platform, we simply wouldn’t have YouTube. And it definitely wouldn’t be free, at the very least. Thus, ads are an important part of the YouTube ecosystem.

Whenever users choose to install and enable adblockers, then, you can see why that would cause a kink in the system. If you’re encountering YouTube errors at all, one of the important steps you should take is to disable or uninstall all adblockers. Google is constantly trying to fight against the prevalence of these things in any way that it can, and it’s definitely not unheard of for some ad blocking applications to cause problems when trying to use Google services.

Update Your OS

It might seem like another obvious solution, but you should make sure that your current operating system is up to date. Windows or Mac OS X, both feature automatic update utilities, and you should use them to make sure that everything is running on the current iteration. Many of the updates made to these operating systems have to do with security and connectivity, which means that an outdated OS can very easily cause problems in your access to online content.

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Try a Different Browser

We frequently advise our users to install a “backup” browser that they can use whenever connectivity issues start to crop up. This particular YouTube error is definitely one of those times to do so, as it can be helpful in diagnosing the problem. If another browser is able to access the YouTube videos that one cannot, you’ve found the problem — one of the browsers is having difficulty with the utilities that Youtube uses to display video content.

The solution? Update that browser, or wait until the browser’s developers issue a fix for the problem. However, if both browsers are unable to access the same content, it might be time to contact your ISP, and mention (as specifically as you can) the connectivity problems that you’re having.

We hope that the above steps have helped you to resolve the “An Error Occurred, Please Try Again Later” message on YouTube. When it can be fixed, it’s a relatively easy fix, but when it’s out of your hands, it can be a frustrating problem to encounter. If you’re still having trouble with it, or have further questions, let us know in the comments below!

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