31st Jul2013
Author: Gyro

This video is currently unavailable – YouTube bug using Chrome

The last couple of weeks I noticed that more and more YouTube videos would not play in Chrome with a message saying "This video is currently unavailable".

There is a link to a help page, but none of the tips solved the issue for me. I checked the flash player version, cleared the browser cache, all with no change.

Testing in Firefox, all videos played perfectly fine. In fact, I have started using Firefox for YouTube, because I was too lazy to find out how to fix this problem in Chrome, after the help page didn't help…

Today, I found the solutions… more or less by accident, and the solution is VERY weird.

As of recently, this may not work. If it doesn't, please read the UPDATE at the bottom of this post…

  1. Go to: http://www.youtube.com/html5
  2. If you haven't already joined the HTML5 trial, you have to join it now! Also, try loading the video again… it probably won't, but to follow my steps 100%, you have to do it ;)
    join
  3. If you have already joined the HTML5 trial, simply Leave the HTML5 Trial.
    leave

Once you have (joined and) left the HTML5 trial all videos that used to say "This video is currently unavailable" should play fine.

Very strange bug… I stumbled upon the solution because someone recommended to leave the HTML5 trial. That was the only thing I haven't tried, as I didn't even know a HTML5 trial existed. So, after going through loads of tips and messing around with my chrome plugins and whatnot, I thought this may lead me to something. Of course, I had not joined the trial, so I joined the trial and checked one of the videos, it still showed me this annoying ""This video is currently unavailable"" message. So, I left the HTML 5 trial again, and tada -- now the videos play -- no more "This video is currently unavailable", however weird it is that this worked, I am happy it did ;)

Enjoy!

UPDATE:

This work around seems to have stopped working as of recently, some reported that using the HTML5 player now works, but it doesn't for me.

I found a new way to get these videos to play, which is also a weird work around. Simply change the URL to an embed link in the address bar.
 
For example:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O_DQKQ-7J7E

change to:

http://www.youtube.com/embed/O_DQKQ-7J7E

And… it get’s even stranger at this point!
I have to click Play, wait for the spinning wheel to disappear, and then click on the video again (as if I want to pause it) to make it play.
 
And as a side note…at this time I recommend just using Firefox for YouTube. While changing the URL to an embed URL works for me, it destroys the user experience of YouTube.
 
It’s a bit sad, to say the least, that two Google products wont work together, especially since this problem is ongoing for so many months. All I can say is "Shame on you Google", and "Thanks Google, for making my post a top search result for your bug" :crazy:

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24 Responses to “This video is currently unavailable – YouTube bug using Chrome”

  • Ray

    Well it actually works…well done…and I did’nt even restart Chrome…just joined and unjoined
    Thanks

  • WOW it actually works been annyoing the shit out of me for a while!
    thanks!

  • Rick A

    THANK YOU!!!! This problem was driving me NUTS, and I hunted all over for a solution — yours is the only one that worked! :)

  • anom

    THANK YOU SO MUCH!!
    I actually didn’t think it’d work, but I figured what the heck, I dont have anything to lose, I’m desperate.
    Thanks again…

  • Sonya

    THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! I’ve been so frustrated lately because so many videos that normally played all of a sudden no longer played. Bizarre glitch and fix but very happy it worked!

  • Joy

    Thank you so much for posting this tip!
    It worked perfectly for me.

  • Still does not work for me :(

    • Gyro

      If you are using Windows, give SRWare Iron a try, it is based on Chromium.

      It’s basically a Google Chrome without all the spying/tracking extras that Google put in their version. So you can still use all the extensions, and features that come with Google Chrome.

  • Tenmiles

    Curiously, my Chrome was working fine, but it was SRWare Iron which was having this problem.
    I followed your suggestions, and joined the HTML5 Trail, then tried playing a video. Damn thing worked, and it was not necessary for me to leave the Trial to complete the fix.

    • Gyro

      I just had the same thing happen to me… got the damn error again, so I joined the HTML5 trial again and then tried to watch the video in order to follow my own instructions before leaving the HTML5 trial, and to my surprise the video played while being in the HTML5 trial?!

      Why can’t Google get it (youtube/Chrome) right, and make this work regardless of having joined the HTML5 trial or not?! Really makes them look like a bunch of amateurs, and I bet a bunch of people are moving (back) to Firefox, which just works as it should.

  • NOPE

    Wont work for me

    • Gyro

      UPDATE:

      This weird work around seems to have stopped working as of recently.

      I found a new one, which is also weird, simply change the URL to an embed link.

      For example:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O_DQKQ-7J7E

      change to:
      http://www.youtube.com/embed/O_DQKQ-7J7E

      Then click play, wait for the spinning wheel to disappear, and click on the video again. OR use Firefox, which simply works.

      • Kneedeep

        Strange. I tried changing the URL for a vid I was trying to see and it still wouldn’t play.
        Clicked your changed link and the tron vid played. Just for fun I clicked the original link and, surprise it played too.
        Joining and leaving the trial didn’t work for me and I’ve found that not all youtube videos seem to be affected, some – very few – will play alright but most will not.
        Curse you Google!

  • Uditha

    Simple solution
    1. Click on any suggestion video.
    2. Go back to original video by browser back button

    video will be started

  • David

    Firefox it is… I wonder if this bug had anything to do with youtube’s new comment format? Seemed to appear for me at the same time.

  • Tom

    Glad I’m not the only person experiencing this (I thought it was just my phone). Seriously, if Google doesnt fix this soon it will single-handedly drive people to alternative browsers like Firefox.

  • Thomas

    Thanks, hit another video, and then press back does the trick .. no other suggested moves does.

    I have also tried the following with no success
    1) Using HTML5
    2) Remove cookies and stuff
    3) removed chromium-codecs-ffmpeg and installed chromium-codecs-ffmpeg-extras

  • Ben Zyl

    Ridiculous (see also – it worked for me) thanks! Now I just have to find a way of installing Chrome without getting strange package dependency errors, this stuff is way harder than it should be (but cheaper).

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