FIX: YouTube green screen in Windows 10

Andrew Wafer
by Andrew Wafer
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  • YouTube is the most popular video-sharing platform in the world with millions of channels broadcasting content for every taste.
  • If you can't use YouTube due to the green screen issue, we compiled this in-depth guide to help you fix it.
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  • Visit our special Browsers Hub for additional guides related to these indispensable tools.
How to fix YouTube green screen in Windows 10
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YouTube is maybe one of the most popular websites available out there, being used by probably all the users who have access to the Internet.

YouTube can be accessed from touch based devices, and also from desktops computers no matter if the devices are running on Windows, Android, iOS, or any other platforms.

In most cases, the YouTube green screen issue is being reported by Windows 10 users who are using Internet Explorer as their default browser. Unfortunately, this is not the only video playback issue affecting IE users.

This annoying error appears when you’re watching a YouTube video and a green screen suddenly appears. In some cases, you wouldn’t even be able to play the video because of the green screen issue.

In this article we’re also going to cover the following issues:

  • YouTube videos green and distorted – This is most likely caused by your drivers, but you should be able to fix the problem by updating them.
  • YouTube video green screen Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer – This problem can appear on almost any web browser. However, you can fix the problem simply by disabling hardware acceleration in your browser.
  • YouTube green screen crash – Sometimes your browser might freeze or crash after getting a green screen on YouTube. This is most likely caused by problematic or outdated drivers.
  • YouTube green screen Windows 10 – This problem can affect any browser on any version of Windows. However, the solutions are almost the same for every version of Windows.
  • YouTube green screen playback, audio only, no video – The video is not working but the audio works without any problems.
  • YouTube green screen hardware acceleration – Hardware acceleration is the most common cause of this problem, and in this article, we’ll show you how to disable it for all major browsers.

How can I fix the YouTube green screen issue in Windows 10?

1. Try a different browser

Before you start more complicated fixes, you should take into consideration switching to Opera, a safer and faster browser tailored for streaming.

Nothing will disrupt your YouTube sessions because this browser comes with a built-in Ad blocker that will eliminate any distractions. Apart from that, the included VPN service will protect your privacy at all times.

If you’re not familiar, the Virtual Private Network conceals your identity by routing all your Internet traffic through safe servers all over the world. And this service is free and unlimited to use.

If you want to watch your YouTube video but still be aware of what’s going on on your desktop, Opera’s got you covered.

With the PIP function, your YouTube window will hover over the screen without obstructing all the other windows on your desktop.



Get on board with Opera, the perfect browser for streaming and privacy.
Get it free Visit Website

2. Disable hardware acceleration

In Internet Explorer or Microsoft Edge

  1. In the search field type internet options, then click on the Internet Options from the menu.start internet options
  2. Navigate to the Advanced tab, and under the Accelerated Graphics section check the Use software rendering instead of GPU rendering* box.
  3. Click on Apply and OK to save changes.
    YouTube green screen Windows 8.1

In Firefox

  1. Click the Menu icon in the top right corner in Firefox and choose Options.
    YouTube videos green and distorted
  2. Go to the General section and scroll down to the Performance.
  3. Uncheck Use recommended performance settings and Use hardware acceleration when available.
    YouTube video green screen Chrome
  4. Now close the options tab and hardware acceleration should be disabled on Firefox.

In Google Chrome

  1. In the top right corner click the Menu icon and choose Settings from the menu.
    YouTube videos green and distorted
  2. Scroll down and click on Advanced.
  3. Scroll down to the System section and turn off Use hardware acceleration when available.
    YouTube videos green and distorted
  4. Close Settings tab and restart Chrome.

3. Change your display settings

  1. Press Windows Key + R and enter control. Press Enter or click OK.
  2. Under Category you need to select Small icons.
  3. Click on Display.control panel display
  4. Then choose Change display settings from the left side of the Control Panel.
  5. Pick Advanced Settings from the window that will be displayed.
  6. Select the Monitor tab and choose High Color 16 bit option.monitor
  7. Click Apply and then choose Advanced settings once more; this time go for the Troubleshooting tab.
  8. Select the Change settings option and just move the hardware acceleration pointer all the way to the left.
  9. Click OK and save your settings.

You can’t open Control Panel? Take a look at this step-by-step guide to find a solution

4. Install an older driver

Uninstall the current driver

  1. Type device in Windows search and click on Device Manager from the results.
  2. Locate your graphics card, right-click it, and choose Uninstall device from the menu.
    YouTube green screen playback
  3. Check Delete the driver software for this device and click on the Uninstall device button.

Note: Some users are also suggesting to use Display Driver Uninstaller to remove all files associated with your graphics card.

In one of our previous articles we wrote how to use Display Driver Uninstaller, so be sure to check it out for detailed instructions.

Once you uninstall your driver, Windows will install the default graphics driver.

Download and install an older driver

install an older driver

We wrote a simple guide on how to update your graphics card driver, so be sure to check it out.

If the older driver works for you, then you’ll have to prevent Windows from auto-updating it in the future. To do that, follow the simple steps from this handy guide.

If using an older driver doesn’t help, you might want to update your graphics card driver to the latest version and see if that solves the issue.

Automatically update drivers

  1. Download and install TweakBit Driver Updater
  2. The program will start scanning your PC for outdated drivers automatically. Driver Updater will check your installed driver versions against its cloud database of the latest versions and recommend proper updates. All you need to do is wait for the scan to complete.driver updater scanning
  3. Upon scan completion, you get a report on all problem drivers found on your PC. Review the list and see if you want to update each driver individually or all at once.
  4. To update one driver at a time, click the Update driver link next to the driver name. Or simply click the Update all button at the bottom to automatically install all recommended updates.

driver updater scan finished
Note: Some drivers need to be installed in multiple steps so you will have to hit the Update button several times until all of its components are installed.

FAQ: Learn more about YouTube green screen issues

  • Why do I have a green screen on YouTube?

The most common cause for the YouTube green screen issue is not having the latest drivers installed. To find out more details, check our guide on this subject.

  • Why does my computer screen turn green?

Your screen turns green when you’re watching videos on YouTube or other platforms mostly because of hardware failure: the GPU is overloaded and cannot process the required tasks.

  • How do I fix the Green Screen of Death on my computer?

First, disconnect all the peripherals and install the latest driver updates. For detailed instructions, check our dedicated troubleshooting guide.

Editor’s Note: This article continues on the next page. Need more guides? Visit our dedicated Browsers Hub.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published in January 2018 and was revamped and updated in January 2021 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.


Helpful info. Fortunate me I discovered your website by chance, and
I’m shocked why this twist of fate didn’t took place earlier!
I bookmarked it.

Same here… but I have also found it interferes with other video playback (files local on the device, played through any media player) and with, so far all, camera video recording software.

had same problem the following step solved my problem

a) Press Windows Key + R, type devmgmt.msc.

b) Expand the Display Adapters.

c) Click on properties, click on Driver tab.

d) Click Update Drivers button.

e) Click on OK button.

After I chose display setting the rest of the direction are irrelevant because the options you say to pick are not there.

I found this. Windows 8 SUCKS.

System color depth

Desktop Composition cannot run unless the color depth is set to 32 bits per pixel. In Windows 7 the color depth of the system can be changed in these scenarios:

•An end user uses the Windows Display control panel or a 3rd party control panel to change the system color

•An end user runs an app that changes the color depth of the system through a public API

Unlike Windows 7, Windows 8 does not support color depth other than 32 bits per pixel. The user can no longer change the color depth of the system by using the control panel.
In addition, app developers cannot use APIs to change the color depth of the system. Windows 8 will detect apps that try to change the color depth of the system to less than 32 bits per pixel, and inform the user that an app compatibility shim must be applied to run the apps. After confirmation from the user, the app compatibility shim is applied and the shim virtualizes the low color mode to the app while keeping the system running at 32 bits per pixel.

I still haven’t figured it out, I just restart and it works fine, for awhile. Mozilla Firefox works a little better sometimes too.

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