Why doesn’t YouTube load on my MacBook?

YouTube rarely fails but when it does, it’s a threat to our entire existence. We’ve collected the most probable explanations and fixes below. Here are a few ideas to start your search:

  • Cached browser data
  • Wi-Fi connection
  • DNS-server cache
  • Bluetooth connection
  • Adobe Flash Player

Try cleaning your browser caches. For better results, use the free version of CleanMyMac X. This app removes tons of outdated browser relics, like cached files, broken downloads, logs, etc. This will most likely refresh the connection to YouTube. Get the free versison of the app here.

Why won’t YouTube load?

Answering this question is key to solving the problem. There are a number of different possibilities. In order of likelihood, they are:

  • Your web browser
  • Your Wi-Fi network
  • Your Internet connection
  • Your VPN, if you use one
  • YouTube itself

The last of these is so unlikely it can almost be discounted. But you can easily check by trying to access it on another device such as a phone, tablet, or smart TV.

1. Use a different web browser

The quickest way to identify whether the problem is your web browser is to open a different browser on your Mac and try to use that. If you’re using Safari, try Chrome. If you’re using Firefox, try Safari or Chrome, and so on. If it works in another browser, the problem is with the browser you were using originally. If it doesn’t, something else is at fault.

If it turns out your web browser is at fault, there are several things you can do to try and fix it.

2. Close tabs

Having lots of tabs open at the same time is convenient, but it occupies RAM and uses CPU cycles so will slow down not just the browser but everything else on your Mac. That could cause problems loading sites like YouTube that need RAM and processing power. So, close all the tabs you’re not currently using and bookmark the pages you want to refer to later.

3. Restart the browser

If closing tabs doesn’t make YourTube load, the next step is to restart the browser. Press Command-Q (you may need to hold it for a few seconds if you’re using Chrome) and then launch it again after it quits.

4. Clear browser data

Web browsers store all kinds of data from page history to auto-fill details, and caches of pages. That allows them to work more quickly and makes them more convenient to use. However, occasionally it can also cause problems when loading pages. To deal with that, you need to clear browsing data, specifically cookies and cache files.

The method for clearing browser data varies by browser.


  1. Click on the Safari menu and choose Preferences.
  2. Choose the Privacy tab and press Manage Website Data.
  3. Press Clear All.


  1. Paste the following into Chrome’s address bar: chrome://settings
  2. Scroll down to Privacy and Security and choose Clear Browsing Data.
  3. Check the boxes next to ‘Cookies and Other Site Data’ and ‘Cached Images and Files’
  4. Press Clear Data.


  1. Type about:preferences into Firefox’s address bar.
  2. Choose Privacy & Security.
  3. Scroll down to Cookies and Other Site Data and press Clear Data.
  4. Make sure both boxes are checked and press Clear.

5. Clear the DNS cache

DNS stands for domain name service. It’s an “address book” that matches readable website names to their numeric addresses, like 0034:9004:54. DNS has its own database of cache and if that cache is out of date, some websites may become unreachable.

So, the point is: Flush your DNS cache.

This is possible, again, with a free version of CleanMyMac X. This tool is notarized by Apple is helpful for basic Mac maintenance.

  1. Download the free edition of CleanMyMac X
  2. Install the app and click on Maintenance
  3. Now, choose Flush DNS cache
Flush DNS cache in Maintenance

Open the browser and see if that brought your YouTube back.

6. Check your web browser is up to date

It’s unlikely, but an out of date web browser may cause problems that mean YouTube won’t load.

To update Sarai, go to the Apple menu> About this Mac and press Software Update. If there is a macOS update available, install it.

To update Chrome, click on the Chrome menu and choose About Google Chrome. If it tells you there is an update available, click the link to install it.

To update Firefox, click the Firefox menu, then About Firefox. If there is an update available, install it.

7. Check your Wi-Fi network

The quickest way to check if your Wi-Fi network is the problem is to load another web page, or another browser, or any app that needs access to the internet. If none of them work, wi-fi could be the problem. Try switching Wi-Fi on your Mac off and then on again from the menu bar. If that doesn’t work, restart your router.

8. Check your broadband connection

To check whether the problem is Wi-Fi or your connection to your ISPs network, plug an Ethernet cable into your Mac (if you can) and then into your router. If that works, the problem is wi-fi. If it doesn’t, it’s likely your ISPs network. Look at the lights on your router. If any are red, check the manual to find out what it means.

9. Check your VPN

If you use a VPN or proxy server to connect to the Internet, that may be at fault. Try changing the server you use to connect or bypass the VPN or proxy altogether and see if YouTube works then.

How to use CleanMyMac X to fix problems when YouTube won’t load

Again, you may refresh your browser using this app.

  1. Download CleanMyMac X if you don’t already have it.
  2. Follow the instructions to install it and then launch it from your Applications folder.
  3. Click on Privacy in the sidebar and press Scan.
  4. Choose the browser that you were using to access YouTube.

Removing unseen extensions with CleanMyMac X

You can also use CleanMyMac X to manage Safari extensions, which can be another cause of problems.

  1. Choose Extensions in the sidebar.
  2. Click View All Extensions.
  3. Select Safari.
  4. Look through the list of extensions. If you see any you don’t use, check the box next to them and press Remove.

Check your Mac for malware

Finally, malware infections, though uncommon on the Mac, do happen and can cause problems accessing websites. CleanMyMac X can help here, too.

Malware removal module of CleanMyMacX

  1. Choose Malware Removal in the sidebar.
  2. Press Scan.
  3. If CleanMyMac X finds anything, it will tell you. If it does, press Remove.

You can also set CleanMyMac X to check your Mac for malware automatically so you don’t have to remember to do it. Click on the CleanMyMac X menu and choose Preferences. Click on Protection and check the box next to ‘Enable real-time protection’.

If YouTube won’t load on your Mac, it’s probably your browser or Internet connection. Or possibly malware. Follow the steps above and you’ll be able to find out the root of the problem and fix it very quickly. It will be even quicker and easier if you use CleanMyMac X to help clear out browser data or scan your Mac for malware.

Laptop with CleanMyMac
CleanMyMac X

Your Mac. As good as new.