iPad, iPhone or iPod touch: Slow YouTube, Fixes

A number of users have reported inordinately slow YouTube download speeds on the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. In these cases, users have strong WiFi or 3G signals and experience fast throughput in Safari and other applications, but very slow, stuttering playback of YouTube videos due to poor throughput.

Anecdotal reports from posters to Apple’s Discussion boards:

  • “I tried watching a youtube video on my iPad and noticed it was buffering slowly on my wifi. I immediately switched to my macbook (which was right next to me) and streamed the same video super fast.”
  • “I have the same problem with my iPad and iPhone inside my wifi network. But my iPhone does fine on a 3G network so I’m baffled.”
  • “I’m having the same problem with my iPad (wifi, 16gb). Sometimes if I repeatedly tap the Play/Pause button it loads the video completely in a second or so and ends up playing just fine. However, that method doesn’t always work so it could just be a fluke.”

Potential fixes

Change DNS server Some users have found that using an alternate DNS server can alleviate the slowness. Try changing your systems’s DNS servers to those offered by OpenDNS. To do so,

    • Tap Settings
    • Tap Wi-Fi on the left-hand side
    • Tap the blue arrow next to your current Wi-Fi network
    • Tap the “DNS” field and enter the following:  208.67.222.222, 208.67.220.220
    • Exit Settings

Wi-Fi Fixes. Try the fixes listed in our iPad Wi-Fi Troubleshooting Guide, particularly those under “Weak signal/slow data transfer.

Comments

    • Jess says

      Yeaa didn’t help at all.. Here’s an idea. You probably have 29 apps using the internetmin multitasking… Close them. Works for me.

      • Edwin says

        I always clear my multitasking bar. Never helps. I tried everything except changing the DNS which I will probably do right now.

  1. Jackie says

    Thanks for nothing!!!! I put the number in and i got signed out of youtube. When i sign back in it says username and password are incorrect. Ive had this ipod touch for 2 years now so WTF APPLE!! get ur b.s together please. Btw Im getting a tablet thats not apple becuz they actually work when watching videos and flash

  2. Drdra says

    THANK YOU! After I followed the intructions it didn’t help at first but when I restarted my ipod the video buffered better than ever :D
    THANK YOU!

  3. xSpectr3x says

    I actually put in the 208.67.220.220 in the DNS for my 8GB iPod Touch 4th Gen. iOS 5.0.1 and it is loading videos with ease now. I have only tested one so far but it seems to be working better

    • says

      I agree but I tried this many many times and my IPod touch is still being slooooooooooooooooowwww idk wtf is going on!!! 

  4. applejet says

    heres a FIX for slow youtube streaming on ipod touch 4g and other new iphone 4 there the reason is because the ipod touch 4 and iphone 4 youtube app forces the videos streaming to highest quality like 720 or hd that causes too much buffering unlke the older ipod touch that limit the youtube to 360 in order to fix this just jailbroke your idevice and install 3G UNRESTRICTOR in cydia and then add youtube to 3g unrestrictor app to play medium quality thats it enjoy

    Read more: Is ipod 4g youtube slow to buffer than ipog 3g? – Ipod touch 4 gen youtube runs slowly? :: Ask Me Fast at http://www.askmefast.com/Is_ipod_4g_youtube_slow_to_buffer_than_ipog_3g-qna1106789.html#answerbox

  5. Ryan k says

    If you are reading this site you were probably like me, really fed up with iPhone’s YouTube app! Try downloading the app ‘playtube free’. I tried all of the above and nothing worked but this did! Finally I can watch a YouTube vid with out it stopping on me!
    http://www.cribs-to-college.com

  6. Jman says

    My iPod is my first apple product and so far I am unimpressed, with feed back from friends and family apple is a poor product and I am never going to invest money in it again

  7. Stella says

    Thks, work for me pretty well. Youtube became much more smoothy, right b4 that, i even cant load any clip from youtube.

  8. Coco says

    I think ipad is soo stupid i hate them…u can only play their stupid games wich u get bored of quickly and then u cant watch youtube without wanting to smash the ipad to the wall cant watch most official videos…..cant have adobe…whats the point to have ipad i rather have a small laptop and do anything i want…oh yes and it was a pain in the ass to use it since i had no bank account i had so much trouble it should be other ways except giving my personal details if i dont want to!!oh yes and another thing i registered the ipad to england cause i wanted to have the menu in english but i live in holland so now i can only use credit bought from england!!i bought two 50€ credits and didnt work cause was from holland!!whats the point?!omg so stupid a lot of publicity for a piece of crap

  9. Coco says

    Where is my message from before?why not aproved cause i said apple is not good and many other things like credit card …. Credits u can buy only from england but i live in holland just cause i wanted my menu in english ….no ADOBE…..cant watch certain videos on you tube or official videos….obviously i have same problem…sooo slow….everyone just be happy with your laptop not this…….

  10. Coco says

    Duplicate comment detected it sais cause i cant post my comment !!! U dont let people say the truth hey?

  11. Steve says

    I swear iPhone gets slower and buggier with every new OS update. Can’t even stream a 2 min YouTube clip. Safari freezes and crashes all the time. So annoying. Time to switch to an Android phone me thinks.

  12. says

    I tried this on my IPod Touch and it didnt work it made my iPod go slower! I Need Help!!!!!! 

  13. Sam says

    The reason YouTube doesn’t work well on an APPLE device is because YouTube is run by GOOGLE and what I’m trying to say is that google and apple are competitors meaning YouTube isn’t made to run fast on an apple device also the apple devices don’t have flash players meaning it runs even slower media so if you want fast YouTube just get a droid or a tablet instead

    • says

      No, you’re wrong – period.

      The first point is just wrong, yes they compete but Google isn’t sabotaging their page when used with an Apple product.

      The second point is about it not having flash.. that’s exactly the other way around – flash is extremely resource-hogging and slow. It works fine, but in no way is it more efficient than what iOS does. The original arrangement between Google and Apple for Youtube on iOS had them re-engineer Youtube explicitly for this: the video is made available in H264 coded MP4 format, and it is streamed from that to the iOS device directly, not requiring an intermediate. This is way faster than flash.

      Stop being some kind of fanboy and saying “just get a droid or a tablet instead” – you obviously don’t know anything from a technical perspective.

  14. says

    Obviously the same solution will not work for everyone, since this is a network issue and it will not always have the same cause. However, this helped my situation, so thanks for bringing up the possibility.. I really didn’t think DNS would play a part in buffering speed, but on the contrary it seems to make a hell of a difference.

  15. Christopher says

    Thank you soo much. It worked for me, and for all of you that this solution didn’t work have fun looking for someone else who gives a crap!

  16. RealleM says

    WOW. That actually helped for me, i’m surprized that i solved my problem so quick with this: video loads probably even faster than before :D
    Thanks man. Appreciate it.

  17. says

    So… Just reboot the app. Double click your button which brings up your active apps. Touch and hold any app will bring up the close button.

    Primarily, click the close button (the x) on your video app but if you’ve never done this you may have a lot of apps open. Close whatever you’re not using. Do this on a regular basis for better performance

    Start your video app again and things should load more efficiently

    Disclaimer: this may not work. Just sayin

  18. Suki says

    If you’re Is still slow, it means it’s your Internet. Try putting the DNS down and clear all the multitasking, restart your device and when it’s all black wait a couple of seconds now turn it back on. Then go try the YouTube. If it didn’t work then it’s your Wifi.

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