Why Does YouTube Say My Video Is Unavailable?

By David Nield

Some YouTube videos are blocked on particular platforms such as Smart TVs.
i Ethan Miller/Getty Images News/Getty Images

If you're finding a YouTube video is unavailable, there are a number of potential causes: Platform or country restrictions can prevent you from seeing the clip, as can its privacy settings. If the video has been deleted or is still being uploaded, or if the YouTube platform is suffering technical difficulty are additional reasons why you might be seeing an unavailable message.

Country and Platform Restrictions

Some YouTube videos are restricted to certain platforms or geographical regions, as set by the original owner of the content. You may not have permission to view the video in your current country, or it may have been blocked from being played on mobile devices or other platforms outside the desktop browser. If one of your videos has been claimed by a copyright owner, then the copyright owner may have put these restrictions in place. In addition YouTube may block access to content in certain areas to comply with local laws.

Video Privacy Settings

The privacy settings associated with each video affect who is able to see it. If you're being prevented from seeing one of your own clips, check that are logged into YouTube using the correct account. If the video belongs to someone else, you may not have the rights to access it -- if possible, check with the original uploader. If you are having problems logging in to YouTube, or staying logged in, try clearing the cookies and cached data in your Web browser, or switch to an alternate browser.

Other Error Messages

Other error messages and problems with video availability can be caused by clips being deleted or still in the process of being uploaded. For your own videos you can return to your channel page by clicking on your avatar and choosing "My channel." From here you should be able to ascertain if videos have been erased or have yet to be fully uploaded. A slow or unstable Internet connection can also stop videos from playing correctly, and you can use an online testing tool such as Speedtest.net to see if you are getting the connection speeds that you think you should be.

YouTube Site Issues

If the YouTube site is currently experiencing problems then this may generate unavailable error messages for your videos. Wait a few minutes before trying your request again. Details of any current issues affecting the YouTube platform should appear on the Current Site Issues page within the official Help Center, as well as through other channels such as the official YouTube Twitter account. Bug reports are often accompanied by more details of the problem and an estimate of how long it will take to be fixed.