Fix YouTube Shorts Unable To Preview Video 2024

Two weeks ago, I searched for a YouTube Shorts video about healthy eating but unfortunately, it failed to show, which was very frustrating. 

This article discusses the issue of YouTube short videos not previewing; I’ll share with you the possible causes and solutions to this problem. 

In short: YouTube shorts may be unable to preview video because of so many reasons which include; network or connectivity issues, app or browser troubles, age restrictions, content restrictions, browser extensions, and app not being updated. 

What are video previews?

Video previews give hints about what is in the main video; more like a summary of the main themes in the full video. 

The main intention of a video preview is to provide viewers with a sense of what to expect and entice them to watch the full video.

Watching a video preview saves a lot of time because you quickly decide whether watching a particular full video is worth it or not.

Why YouTube shorts are unable to preview videos

It is important to identify and understand the cause of a problem before rushing to find a solution because this will better equip you to solve and prevent the problem from happening again.

The cause of the ‘YouTube Shorts unable to preview video’ problem may be either on the user’s end or the software developer’s end. 

In this case, let’s look at YouTube’s end. Below are some of the reasons why your YouTube Shorts videos may not be able to preview.

1. Network or connectivity issues 

If your internet connection is unstable; maybe because you are in a very remote area or your data is depleted, you are most likely to suffer the problem of YouTube shorts being unable to preview videos.

This is because when the internet is unstable, it can lead to longer buffering or failure of short videos to load properly, resulting in a preview issue. 

2. App or browser troubles

Usually, it is hard to think of the app or browser on which you are watching your YouTube Shorts video as the main cause for YouTube shorts being unable to preview. 

However, it is important to know that there could be corrupted data or app/browser bugs.

When an app or browser has glitches, the video playback of a YouTube Shorts video may be interfered with and cause preview issues.

3. Age restrictions

If a particular YouTube video you want to preview has age restrictions due to its content (such as sexually explicit content), not all viewers can access it. 

This is because YouTube limits access to such content to comply with legal and community guidelines and to ensure that only users who meet the age requirements can view that kind of content. 

4. Browser extensions 

To be specific, extensions that modify or block certain website elements can make it impossible for a YouTube Shorts video to be previewed. 

This is because extensions alter the way a page loads or processes content hence disrupting the preview functionality of a YouTube Shorts video.

5. Outdated app

If your YouTube app is outdated, you may face challenges like YouTube Shorts not being able to be previewed. 

This is because a YouTube app that is not updated is not compatible with the latest features on the YouTube platform, therefore it tends to struggle to interpret and display the new elements properly.

6. Geographical restrictions

If a YouTube Shorts video is restricted to a certain geographical location, say a country like Uganda, all users from Uganda may experience issues previewing the video. 

Geographical restrictions are set in place due to content licensing agreements, regional laws, and other regulatory considerations. 

7. Technical constraints

Technical constraints are usually issues on the software developer’s side. They may include issues with video encoding, server-related problems, or glitches with the platform’s code and they may lead to video preview problems.

Solutions and workarounds to the ‘Youtube shorts unable to preview video’ problem

 After learning about all the causes of YouTube shorts not being able to preview videos, you obviously want to figure out ways of working around this problem or even come up with alternatives. 

Below are some solutions to the problem of  “YouTube shots unable to preview video”.

1. Update the YouTube app

One of the common reasons for the “Unable to Preview Video” issue on YouTube Shorts is using an outdated version of the YouTube app. 

It is important to keep your device’s apps up to date to ensure compatibility and optimal performance. 

When you update your YouTube app, you will have bug fixes, performance optimizations, and adjustments to handle changes in video formats or streaming protocols.

Here’s how you can update the YouTube app:

For Android/iPhone Users: 

Open the Google Play Store and search for “YouTube.” If an update is available, click on the “Update” button.

Update YouTube from Google play store

Another option for Android Users: 

Open your device’s Settings and scroll down to “System” or “About Phone,” select “System Updates.” 

If an update is available, follow the on-screen instructions to install it.

Select phone settings icon
Select System or about phone
select System Updates

For iPhone Users: 

  • Go to Settings and tap on “General” then select “Software Update.” 
Iphone Setings 1
unnamed 7
Iphone Setings 3

If an update is available, click on “Download and Install” to update your device’s operating system.

2. Clear YouTube Cache and Cookies

Cached files and cookies may at times cause playback problems or hinder the loading of content. 

When you clear YouTube cache and cookies, the YouTube app collects fresh information from the server, which can solve the problem of YouTube shots being unable to preview video or other issues preventing the proper previewing of YouTube shorts. 

You can clear the cache from your YouTube app by following the steps below;

1. Android Users: 

  • Go to your device’s Settings and find the “Apps” or “Application Manager” option. 
System Updates
Application Manager
  • Locate and select the YouTube app
  • Tap on “Storage” and then choose “Clear Cache” and “Clear Data” or “Clear All Data.“
YouTube app
Storage data
Clear data and cache

2. iPhone Users:

  • Open the Settings app and scroll down to find “General.” 
  • Tap on “iPhone Storage” and look for “YouTube” in the list of apps. 
  • Select “Offload App” to remove stored data related to YouTube. 

3. Check your internet connection

It is no no-brainer that a stable internet connection is crucial for smooth video playback on YouTube Shorts. 

Therefore, ensure that your internet connection is stable, and you may be able to solve the problem of YouTube shorts being unable to preview video.

4. Restart Your Device

Performing a simple restart can sometimes refresh the system processes and solve minor software glitches that may be causing the “Unable to preview video” error.  

This also helps to close any background applications or processes that might be interfering with the proper functioning of YouTube shorts. 

5. Disable VPN or Proxy

Some VPNs have a way of impacting network settings which may lead to difficulties in previewing YouTube Shorts videos. 

So disable your VPN or turn it off to give YouTube shorts the freedom to access the internet without any potential disruptions. 

6. Try a Different Device

Usually, when you have tried everything and things are still not working, you might want to try a different device. 

This eliminates potential issues specific to the device you were initially using.

If the problem persists even after trying a different device, it could mean that the issue is with the internet connection or the YouTube app platform. 

However, if you’re able to preview YouTube Shorts videos on a new device then the problem may be device-specific and there is a need to troubleshoot that particular device. 

7. Adjust account settings

If the problem is because of a video that has age restrictions, you need to adjust your YouTube account settings or use a YouTube account that meets the necessary age requirements. 

8. Disable browser extensions

Disable any browser extensions to remove any potential conflicts or interference that might be caused by the extensions. 

When you turn off browser extensions, you get a chance to test whether one of the extensions is causing the problem of a YouTube Shorts video not being previewed. 

This helps to identify and address the specific extension-related issue. 

9. Contact YouTube Support

If you try out all the above solutions and things fail, the last resort is to contact YouTube for support.  

YouTube has dedicated resources to address user issues and can provide personalized guidance to resolve the “Unable to preview video” problem.

Here are steps you can follow to contact YouTube for support;

  • Select the category that best describes your issue, such as “Troubleshoot problems” or “Fix problems”.
  • Follow the prompts and navigate through the available options to refine your issue.
  • Use the Help Forum (Optional); YouTube often directs users to the Help Forum.
    You can either browse existing topics or post a new question to seek assistance from the community.
  • YouTube may provide specific instructions or forms to fill out. Follow these instructions carefully.
  • Be ready to provide details about your issue, including any error messages, the device you’re using, and steps you’ve taken to troubleshoot.
  • Once you’ve filled out the necessary information, submit your support request.

Also read; Why Is My YouTube Shorts Thumbnail Not Showing?


How do I fix YouTube shorts not playing?

You can fix YouTube shorts not playing by clearing the cache for the YouTube app, restarting the phone, and also updating the YouTube app. 

Why are my YouTube shorts not being seen?

Your YouTube shorts may take some time to process and be visible to all users. So be patient for some time and check on the video later. 


To wrap it up, the problem of YouTube shorts being unable to preview video stems from various factors, from network or connectivity issues to app or browser troubles, restrictions, browser extensions, and many others as mentioned above.

Understanding the root cause of the problem should better equip you to solve it. 

Try any of the solutions provided above and hopefully, one of them will restore your YouTube Shorts to proper functionality.

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Timothy is a health and wellness professional and enjoys reviewing books on his blog Bookmeal1. Timothy writes on GoTechUG about social media and shares his experience with tech. In his free time, he loves playing piano, swimming or travelling.

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