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YouTube Search Not Working? How to Fix It

You don’t have to go through the millions of videos on YouTube one by one to find your desired video. You can simply search for it through the search bar, and YouTube’s search function will fetch it for you and display it right away.

That’s how it usually works, but sometimes, this YouTube search feature can suddenly fail to return any results when you search for a video. If you’re facing such a problem, this post will be helpful. Here, we’ll explain why this YouTube search is not working and how to fix it completely. There are 12 easy solutions you can explore; let’s check them out.

Why is My YouTube Search Not Working?

You may wonder, “Why can’t I search on YouTube?” Well, it’s not just one specific thing that may be causing this issue. It could be because the videos you’re searching are deleted, you’ve entered the wrong spelling or too-long keywords, or maybe your internet connection is weak. These are just minor reasons, and there are some major reasons why YouTube search is not working correctly, and they include:

  • You Turned On Restrict Mode In YouTube – If you enabled the mode to prevent kids from watching certain content on YouTube, you’ll likely experience search glitches.
  • A Program or Setting Is Blocking Search – Incompatible applications may be behind the YouTube search not showing results issue, which can be solved by restarting your device.
  • You have Antivirus and Firewall – The Antivirus and Firewall can sometimes cause YouTube search to fail.
  • Issue with JavaScript or Browser – The search not working in YouTube is probably a problem with JavaScript or the browser affecting the search function.

How Do I Fix the Search Bug on YouTube [Browser]

Hard Refresh the Browser

A simple action of refreshing your browser can easily get the YouTube search function to provide the expected results. The hard refresh will clean up the browser by clearing the cache for the YouTube website and reloading the page. Follow these steps:

  • If you’re a Windows user, simply long-press “Control” and press the “Refresh” key.
  • If you’re a Mac user, long-press the “Command,” “Shift,” and “R” key combinations.

Clear Browser’s Cache and Cookies

Another simple way to fix this search not working in YouTube is removing all the cache and cookies from your browser. If you’re using Chrome, here are the steps:

  1. Open the Chrome menu by clicking the three vertical dots in the upper right corner.
  2. Go to the “Clear browsing data” option and click it.
  3. In the “Time Range,” select “All time.” Then check the boxes for Browsing history, , Cookies and other site data, Cached images and files.
  4. Finally, hit the “Clear data” button.

clear browsing data chrome

Once all the cookies and cache are cleared from your browser, open the YouTube page and try searching for any video to check if the YouTube search not working issue is fixed.

Try Incognito Mode

If you still see that the YouTube search is not showing results, you can try to open YouTube in incognito mode and see if it works. Opening incognito mode in the Chrome browser is simple. These are the steps:

  • Launch Chrome and press the Ctrl, Shift, and N (Ctrl + Shift + N) key combination.
  • A new window will pop up. Go to the window, open the YouTube page, and try to search for a video to check if the YouTube search function works again.

Enable JavaScript

When you have JavaScript turned off on your computer, it’s likely to affect how the YouTube search works or even cause it not to work completely. You can solve this easily by turning on JavaScript.

  1. Open Chrome, go to its menu (click the “three dots” icon) and click on “Settings.”
  2. In the “Search settings” bar, type in “JavaScript.”
  3. Scroll to the “Content” section and click the “JavaScript” option. Select the “Sites can use JavaScript” option to enable it.

enable javascript in chrome

From there, you can go to YouTube and search for your video again to see if YouTube search returns results.

Update the Browser

Sometimes, you may find that the search is not working on YouTube because you’re using an outdated browser version. Therefore, try updating your Chrome browser. These are the steps:

  1. Access the Chrome menu and place the mouse cursor over the “Help” option. Click on “About Google Chrome” from the options that pop up.
  2. The browser will start updating itself automatically. After it’s done, start the browser afresh by clicking the Relaunch button.
  3. Check if the search shows results by searching the video on the YouTube page again.

update chrome browser

Use YouTube on a Different Browser

Your browser could be the reason for the YouTube search not working – maybe it has a glitch or something that’s affecting the YouTube search. You can try to switch to another browser. For example, if you were using Chrome, you can try using Firefox to access the YouTube web page and check if the search works.

How to Fix YouTube Search Not Working [App]

Check Your Internet Connection

Whenever you encounter any problem with YouTube, you should first check your internet connection. This is because issues like search not working on YouTube often occur when the internet connection is slow or weak. So, run a quick speed test or go to your browser and open a few websites to check if your internet works properly.

Close the YouTube App and Reopen It

If your YouTube app has minor glitches that are causing the search function to fail to work, you can effectively fix the glitches by restarting the app. Try that if you’ve confirmed that the internet connection works fine, but the issue still persists.

If the YouTube app is on your Android device:

  • Press and hold the YouTube app icon to bring up the menu. Now, go to the info icon and tap it.
  • Tap the bottom section for the “Force stop” option.

force close youtube app android

If the YouTube app is on your iPhone:

  • Access the app switcher by double-tapping the Home Screen button or swiping up on the screen starting from the bottom.
  • Close the YouTube app by swiping upwards on its icon/card in the resulting app switch.

After you’ve done that, start the YouTube app afresh to check if the search function returns search results as expected.

Correct Your Device’s Date and Time

Do you know that Google usually operates on a real-time basis? Yes, it does, and because of that, if your device’s date and time settings are incorrect, the sync with the server may get affected, which can, in turn, cause problems with YouTube functions such as YouTube search. Therefore, you need to modify your device’s date and time settings to ensure they’re correct. To do that on iPhone, for instance:

  1. Open Settings and go to General.
  2. Tap the “Date & Time” option and enable the “Set automatically” settings to correct your device’s date and time.

correct iphone date and time

With your device set to the right date and time, head back to your YouTube app and check if the search function works.

Clear YouTube App Data and Cache

All it may take to fix this YouTube search result issue is simply clearing your phone’s cache, which is easy on Android devices. However, if you use an iPhone, you need to uninstall and reinstall the YouTube app to clear its cache.

For those using Android:

  • Go to the Settings icon and tap the “Apps & Notification” option.
  • Tap on “YouTube” and open the “Storage & Cache” tab.
  • Tap on “Clear Cache.” Then restart the YouTube app and perform a search again to see if it works.

clear youtube app cache android

For those using iPhone:

  • Go to your YouTube app icon and long-tap it.
  • When every icon starts to wiggle, tap “-” in the top-left corner of YouTube’s icon or select the “Delete app” option.
  • Install the YouTube app again from the App Store, then open it and sign in with your credentials.
  • Search for any video on the YouTube app and see if any results will be displayed.

clear youtube app cache iphone

Update or Reinstall the YouTube App

Any glitch in your YouTube App causing the search not to work can disappear if you update the app. Therefore, head to the App Store if you’re using an iPhone or the Play Store for Android users and check if the YouTube app has a pending update.

update youtube app

If it does, update the app to the latest version. If that doesn’t work, try to uninstall the YouTube app and then reinstall it - this will allow the app to start afresh and possibly eliminate any app data causing problems.

Update Your Android or iPhone

When your apps suddenly start to malfunction, there’s a high chance of bugs in your iPhone or Android system. This is probably the reason for the search not working in the YouTube app, especially if the version of the operating system running on your device is outdated. To resolve this, try to get the latest version of your phone’s software.

For Android users:

  • Open Settings, go to the System tab and tap System Updates.
  • If updates are found, install them and restart the phone.

For iPhone Users:

  • Go to Settings, open the General tab, and tap on Software Update
  • Your iPhone will check for updates. If it finds the latest updates, tap “Download and Install” to get them.
  • Restart the phone and see if the YouTube search provides results now.

update iphone


It isn’t tricky to fix the YouTube search not working glitch. With the solutions listed above, you’ll be able to get the YouTube search function working again as it should, whether it’s on the Browser or the YouTube app itself. Once you’ve accessed your favorite videos, you can download them using a third-party tool like ClipDown Video Downloader so that you’re able to watch them offline. That’s much better because you can watch them whenever you want, even if the YouTube search function or YouTube itself stops working completely.


Carol J. Lee
Dec 28,2023 09:58:49 Post By Carol J. Lee to ClipDown Blog Center

Carol is a technical blogger with rich experience in writing video tips and tutorials. She has over 7-year experience in video and multimedia.

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