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

  1. says

    Wow, the DNS change made a huge difference for me on my iPad. Why in the world does youtube (or IOS H.264 video player) require more than a couple of DNS lookups right at the beginning of playing the video? very surprising.

  2. says

    I’m using Google’s DNS (8.8.8.8) and my YouTube is pretty snappy.and i often download youtube to iphone by use Aneesoft youtube converter,.lol……..and now im very enjoy it.

  3. says

    I tried changing the DNS, but didn’t have any luck with that.

    I switched the wireless Channel in my access point from Auto to 13 and YouTube works perfectly on my iPhone now. This might also help you if your phone is dropping off the wireless network.

    You might need to set it to a different channel depending on invisible conditions around the wireless network.

  4. says

    Did not work. You only call the dns to get the ip address one time. This could not be a fix. I have two ipads and both are slow. apple we need flash

  5. says

    I have the same problem with iPad and YouTube.

    The view stops after a few seconds most of the time. Occationally it will play an entire video but 90% of the time it is slow and stops constantly.

    I would say that Youtube app on iPad in for me not possible to use at all.

    I see many reports this everywhere. I have also tried all the DNS hacking and I have tried different wireless routers. Nothing helps. Sometimes you do something and you think it helps. But 5 minutes later it is broken again. The randomness of the problem makes people draw the wrong conclusions.

    There is a real issue. If the root cause and “guilt” is Youtube’s or iPad’s is not really important. Apple needs to action this in next update.

    Meanwhile I would pay money for a 3rd party app for Youtube that actually works.

  6. says

    hey guys, i HAD the same problem with my ipad. DNS fixes DIDNT helped (why should they anyway).

    BUT what makes youtube real fast with the same quality is kinda weired.. just use the online version http://www.youtube.com. it buffers A LOT faster than the app.

    i dont know why this occures, but fact is, that you can play youtube videos with safari on the ipad and it does load so much faster, that ALL videos in high quality do run very smooth and instant without any buffering. youtube native app from apple must be badly coded. maybe it isnt a internetconnection thing, more an “out of memory” thing because of the app itself.

    just try it out, it does work!

    have fun watching youtube fast now :)

    cheers

    dom

    PS: btw take a look on casttoo.ch ;)

  7. says

    Thanks for putting up this solution. It worked for me. In fact I have noticed that not only is YouTube app buffeting faster, but videos on safari buffer really well as well. Thanks again.

  8. says

    Hello,
    Facebook is working very slowly on my ipad.
    Sometimes I even dont get acces. On my laptop in the same house everything works very good. Surfing on internet works good on ipad but also mail is very slow. what is the problem?
    Looking forward for your reply.
    Best regards Frode

  9. says

    Dom…why should DNS fixes work? Because they DO! YouTube.com only works with videos that have bee converted to HTML5; all others will give a Flash error, so using the web site is only a partial solution. DNS fix works. Telling the iPad to forget my wireless network and then re-adding it worked for about 2 days and the the pad slowed down again. Dns fixed it tho!

  10. says

    Want to boost your wifi for fast videos on the iPad? Me too. I tried the suggested DNS fix, and it helped only slightly. Then I stumbled across the best solution for the YouTube slow connectivity issue: a Windsurfer antenna. The EZ-12 12 dB Parabolic Reflector Template V2.0 is found here: http://www.freeantennas.com. Took me less than 10 minutes and costs pennies to construct.

  11. says

    That fix worked for 5 minutes and now youtube is slow again. Also does changing the DNS make the wireless connection on the iPad less secure?

  12. says

    I changed the DNS and I see no difference. This is on an
    ipod touch, 2nd generation. I don’t understand why youtube is so
    slow. It literally is taking up to 20 minutes just to load a 30
    second video. HELP!

  13. says

    The extra DNSs worked perfectly for me! Its not loading
    super fast, but it never needs to stop playback and buffer whilst
    the video is playing, user experience just went up! Here’s my
    settings: In your wifi setting under the DNS field you’ll have
    something like 192.168.0.x What I did was add a comma and put in
    the extra DNSs like this: 192.168.0.X, 208.67.222.222,
    208.22.68.222.222 (the numbers a wrong, use the ones in the post)
    THANKS!!!

  14. says

    I used Googles Namebench and the speeds on youtube have dramatically increased. I use firefox and don’t save my history or cache so I used the 2000 most common websites took 10 minutes and now I can watch any video without lag.

  15. says

    Hallo, I use an iPhone 4.

    I tried dns with no luck.
    I triedto change wifi from AUTO to channel 13 and now is ok!

    Very strange… using m.youtube.com on safari is ok even with auto channel!

  16. says

    Hallo, I use an iPhone 4.

    I tried dns with no luck.
    I triedto change wifi from AUTO to channel 13 and now is ok!

    Very strange… using m.youtube.com on safari is ok even with auto channel!

  17. Meeee says

    When using the new DNS do you replace it or add on to it? Ex. If my current DNS is 1234.5 do I delete that and replace it with 208. Or add to it? 1234.5,208.

  18. Doesn't work says

    Does absolutely nothing. You guys are suppose to be geniouses apple and yet you are so obsessed with updates that end up making your “works of art” better. Also what kind of idiot has an iPhone an itouch and an iPad. What’s the purpose of all three.

  19. Doesn't work says

    Let me rephrase “and yet you are so obsessed with updates that end up making your “works of art” better”. Was suppose to say your “works of art” to become “supposedly” better but in the end do nothing except make the system worse. You create this us and them world and that’s why people hate your products. Your advertisements are annoying and they don’t deliver like nicole Kidman

  20. Doesn't work says

    I just want to watch YouTube in peace can someone please tell me what to do because the dns does not seem to help.

    Some assistance would be so appreciated as the YouTube program was so good before and I would love to have it back.

  21. Ricardo James says

    SUCK SUCK SUCK

    This DNS change crap does not work. There are two iPads in the house and both are slow as a snail with the DNS change implemented.

    Seriously is this a joke. Send out the patch and get this nonsense resolved already.

  22. Sergio Vera says

    Changing the dns server didn’t work on my iPod touch 4g :( apple should fix this on the next update for iPod touch 4g

  23. Techial says

    This works only because of that android phones uses googled dns wich also opendns uses too! Since google blocks phones coming from their own dns.

  24. Stephen says

    Wow! Changing the dns worked great, i wasnt going to comment but it worked great so i had to! Thanks so much

  25. Whitefang0511 says

    Woah! cant wait to get home to try this fixes..i have 2 options so far, the DNS & changing channels from auto to 13. Hope any of this works on my ipod touch 4g!

  26. Shawn says

    Did not help mine at all. It is so slow it is worthless. My IPhone is the first apple product I have had. For all the hype about how much better apple is, I am not impressed. How good can it be when I can’t watch a u-tube video and the stupid phone drops service constantly. The amazing IPhone that can barely make a phone call. Wish I had another so I could smash it with a hammer.

  27. Pablo says

    Hi,
    The solution for this issue is very easy. The iPad App for youtube does not permit to change between HQ and LQ video. If you are under Wifi, the HQ version in download automaticaly, under 3G the. Downloaded video version in LQ. So youtube only work fine in very good net condition. The solution is:
    Open Safari
    Go to m,youtube.com
    Do a direct access in your desktop

    Use this instead the iPad Youtube aplication, you now can chooske between HQ and LQ video depending of the Internet condition in each moment.

    Sorry for my bad English, I am spanish.

    Regards

    • JJ says

      I tried using safari and access YouTube through m.youtube.com with my iPod touch. At first it worked great. Super fast. I thought my problem was solved. But after a few days of doing that, m.youtube.com just stopped responding. I mean, you can still search YouTube but when you try to play a video on low quality or high, it just starts to buffer forever. I tried accessing m.youtube through my cellphone and it works just fine. Therefore, it’s not my connection that’s the problem but my iPod touch.

    • JJ says

      I tried using safari and access YouTube through m.youtube.com with my iPod touch. At first it worked great. Super fast. I thought my problem was solved. But after a few days of doing that, m.youtube.com just stopped responding. I mean, you can still search YouTube but when you try to play a video on low quality or high, it just starts to buffer forever. I tried accessing m.youtube through my cellphone and it works just fine.

    • JJ says

      I tried using safari and access YouTube through m.youtube.com with my iPod touch. At first it worked great. Super fast. I thought my problem was solved. But after a few days of doing that, m.youtube.com just stopped responding. I mean, you can still search YouTube but when you try to play a video on low quality or high, it just starts to buffer forever.

  28. Fred says

    I’m a poor sucker who still uses 3G and videos play normally but what’s slow is YouTube full site. Other full sites work fine most of the time but YT’s is nearly unusable as even responding to touch events crawls to a standstill. Posting comments is virtually impossible and their mobile site has no support for comments. After many years it’s still unsolved. :-(

    • 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.

  29. 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

  30. 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!

  31. 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!!! 

  32. 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

  33. 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

  34. 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

  35. Stella says

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

  36. 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

  37. 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…….

  38. Coco says

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

  39. 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.

  40. says

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

  41. 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.

  42. 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.

  43. 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!

  44. 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.

  45. 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

  46. 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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