Chrome Not Playing Videos? How to Fix It

Troubleshoot Chrome and get your videos playing again

Google Chrome's logo

Google 

When videos stops working, it can be frustrating. If your version of Chrome is not playing videos, here's how to troubleshoot it, starting with the simplest and most common methods.

  1. Check that you're running the latest version of Chrome. Chrome is regularly updated, and often video websites will update in tandem to comply with Chrome's new standards.

    1. Select the three small dots in the upper right-hand corner.
    2. Select Update Google Chrome, if it's available.
    3. Restart the browser when prompted.

    You may also see a small green icon with a white arrow in it instead of the three dots; indicating an update is available.

    Alternatively, from the menu, select About Google Chrome. If an update is available, it will begin downloading.

    Updating Chrome will generally require restarting the browser, so save any work you've been doing before you start the update.

  2. Look to see if the video is publicly available. If you've been sent a link by a friend to a video, that video may have restrictions regarding who views it, or there may be tools such as an “age gate” in place, which requests your birth date in order to see the content.

    Enter the name of the video into Google or the hosting website's search bar and see if a result comes up. If you don't find it, it's likely only available to a select few people.

  3. Enable JavaScript. For security, Chrome or external software may sometimes disable programs like JavaScript. This is especially true if you've been subject to an attempted hack or a malicious website.

    To re-enable Javascript:

    1. Select the three vertical dots in the top right of the Chrome browser.
    2. Select Settings.
    3. Scroll to the bottom and select Advanced.
    4. Select Privacy and Security, then select Content Settings.
    5. Select JavaScript, then select Allowed.
    6. Restart your browser and try the video again.
  4. Download, or enable, Flash. Adobe Flash is a “legacy” program that has some security issues, and Google and other browser developers have moved to stop using it. However, some websites haven't updated their videos.

    1. If a video uses Flash, you'll be prompted to download and install Flash Player.
    2. Once that's done, look at your web address bar, and select either the lock or an I in a circle icon on the left. A menu will open.
    3. To the right of the word “Flash,” you'll see a set of arrows. Select them, then select Always allow. This will enable Flash for only this website; you'll need to enable it for each website that requires it.

    Flash can be risky and has multiple security issues. You should only enable it for websites you trust.

  5. Run a speed test. Videos are broadband intensive and if your connection has slowed down for some reason, it can leave videos endlessly loading. Go to a website such as speedtest.net and select Go. It should tell you if there's a problem with your internet speed. 

  6. Clear your cache. Sometimes these can hinder using video. To test this:

    1. Copy the web address of the video you'd like to view.
    2. Select the three vertical dots in the upper-right corner, then select New Incognito Window. Alternatively, you can press Ctrl+Shift+N.
    3. Paste the web address into the browser bar and see if the video works. If it does, follow our instructions to clear your cache, then try the video again.

    Remember that clearing your cache will log you out of most websites and may change your settings on others, so write down any crucial passwords you haven't saved or memorized. 

  7. Test your extensions and plug-ins. If clearing your cache didn't work, and the video functions in incognito mode, an extension may be the culprit:

    1. Select the three vertical dots.
    2. Hover over More Tools, then select Extensions. This will open a new tab in your Chrome browser.
    3. Keeping the video open in another tab, turn your extensions off one by one, reloading the video after an extension is disabled, and seeing if it plays.
    4. If the video plays after an extension is shut off, select Details and check for toggles and settings that may interfere with video, such as Disable JavaScript.
    5. If you can't find anything, simply leave the extension off and inform the company of the problem; you can find them in the Chrome Web Store by scrolling down and selecting View in Chrome Web Store.
    Google Chrome's advanced settings
  8. Disable hardware acceleration. Chrome will sometimes use your computer's graphics processing unit, or GPU, to help render web pages. If your GPU is being used for other tasks, if its drivers need to be updated, or if it's simply incompatible with the video format, it may struggle to play videos on the web.

    Disabling hardware acceleration might affect how quickly Chrome loads resource intensive webpages. You may want to consider re-enabling hardware acceleration after you watch the video.

    To resolve this:

    1. Select the three vertical dots, then select Settings
    2. Scroll down and select Advanced.
    3. Scroll down to System.
    4. Toggle off Use hardware acceleration when available, then attempt to play the video again.
    Google Chrome's advanced settings
    Lifewire

    If disabling hardware acceleration works, you should check to see if a new driver is available for your graphics card. It may resolve the issue.

  9. Reset your Chrome browser. If all else fails, you can completely reset Chrome. This may be necessary if programs or extensions have changed settings and you can't easily reach them.