YouTube videos are not playing in Internet Explorer? Try this


Matthew Adams
by Matthew Adams
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YouTube videos won't play in Internet Explorer

Although Internet Explorer is no longer Windows’ default browser, it still has retained a loyal user base. However, some of its users have said on software support sites that YouTube videos don’t play in Internet Explorer.

One IE user stated that some, but not all videos show up as black screens, no controls no video, some do play audio, others don’t respond at all.

If you experience the same issue as well, these are some of the potential resolutions that might fix YouTube video playback in IE.

What can I do if YouTube videos aren’t playing in IE?

1. Check video (multimedia) add-ons are enabled

  1. Internet Explorer has numerous multimedia add-ons that enable it to play videos without any hiccups. To check if IE’s required video add-ons are enabled, click Tools in Internet Explorer.
  2. Select Manage add-ons to open the window shown directly below.Manage Add-ons window internet explorer youtube videos not playing
  3. Check that the Shockwave Flash Object, Windows Media Player, Shockwave ActiveX Control, and Java plug-ins are enabled there. If not, select those add-ons and click Enable.

2. Check Java is enabled

  1. Even though the Java extensions are enabled, Java might still not be activated in Internet Explorer.
  2. To check if Java is enabled, you’ll need to click Tools > Internet options in IE.
  3. Select the Security tab.Internet Options window internet explorer youtube videos not playing
  4. Click the Custom level bar button.
  5. Scroll to the Scripting of Java applets option shown directly below. Select the Enable radio button for that option.The Scripting of Java applets setting internet explorer youtube videos not playing
  6. Press the OK button.

If you want to know how to change Internet Options in Edge, take a look at this useful article.


3. Play the videos in Incognito Mode

  1. Playing videos in Incognito Mode might fix YouTube playback for some users. Click the Tools button at the top right of the browser.
  2. Select Safety and the InPrivate Browsing option.inPrivate Browsing option internet explorer youtube videos not playing
  3. A window will open that confirms Incognito Mode is active. Try playing YouTube videos in that browser window.
  4. If those videos then play ok, you might need to disable some plug-ins to fix video playback outside of Incognito Mode. Try disabling IE’s plug-ins that aren’t needed for video playback.

4. Clear Internet Explorer’s cache

  1. Video playback issues can arise due to a corrupted browser cache. To clear the cache in Explorer, press the Ctrl + Shift + Del hotkey.Delete Browsing History window internet explorer youtube videos not playing
  2. Select the Temporary Internet files and website files, Cookies and website data, and History check boxes there.
  3. Click the Delete button.

5. Select the Use software rendering option

  1. Users have confirmed they’ve fixed YouTube video playback in Internet Explorer by selecting the Use software rendering option. Click Internet Explorer’s gear button.
  2. Select Internet options on the menu.
  3. Click the Advanced tab shown directly below.Use software rendering instead of GPU rendering option internet explorer youtube videos not playing
  4. Select the Use software rendering instead of GPU rendering check box there.
  5. Click the Apply and OK buttons.

6. Turn off ActiveX filtering

  1. ActiveX filtering turns off ActiveX controls, which might have an impact on YouTube video playback in IE. To turn off ActiveX filtering, click the Tools button.
  2. Select Safety on the menu.ActiveX Filtering option internet explorer youtube videos not playing
  3. Click ActiveX Filtering to turn it off if it’s ticked.

7. Reregister the flash.ocx file

  1. YouTube videos not playing might be due to a corrupted flash.ocx file. To fix a corrupted flash.ocx, press the Windows key + R keyboard shortcut.
  2. Enter ‘cmd’ in the Run box. Press the Ctrl + Shift + Enter hotkey to open the Command Prompt as administrator.
  3. Input this command in the Prompt: regsvr32 c:windowssystem32macromedflashflash.ocx. Press the Return key.The regsvr32 command internet explorer youtube videos not playing
  4. Click OK on the confirmation dialog box that opens.
  5. Restart Explorer after reregistering flash.ocx.

If you’re having trouble accessing Command Prompt as an admin, then you better take a closer look at this guide.


Some of those resolutions have fixed YouTube video playback for numerous Internet Explorer users. Those fixes are not necessarily guaranteed, but they’re worth a shot nonetheless.

If you have any other questions or suggestions, leave them in the comments section below and we’ll be sure to check them out.

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