Why does my YouTube video not autoplay?

If you are a regular user of YouTube, then you will probably agree that one of the handiest things about it is the fact that it has the suggested videos and autoplay features. If you’re watching a video that you like then YouTube will automatically populate a long list of other, similar videos that you may also find interesting. Once your current video has finished playing, YouTube will then automatically play the next video in this populated list if you take no action.

The autoplay feature is great for situations such as parties where may want to just pick a song that you like and then let YouTube do the rest. This ‘set and forget’ method will enable you to play your favourite genre of music for many hours without having to do so much as press a button or click a mouse.

YouTube autoplay does come with one main disadvantage though. For many people, it simply doesn’t work. There’s nothing more annoying than watching a video on YouTube, and expecting more similar videos to play afterwards, only to find that the room goes silent and that nothing happens. If autoplay is not working for you the next time you’re trying to watch videos on YouTube, then try one of the methods that follow.

 

Make sure that Autoplay is enabled

Regardless of all of the other settings and options that you tweak and play with, if you haven’t enabled the autoplay feature on YouTube then it simply will not work. First thing’s first, make sure that autoplay is enabled when you’re watching a video. This is simple enough to do, as the autoplay button appears on the same page as any video that you may be watching. It’s a toggle switch that is highlighted blue if autoplay is enabled, or greyed out if it is not. If the button looks grey, simply click it once and wait for it to turn blue and for a tick to appear on the switch itself.

 

Check for Browser Profile Corruption Issues

If you’re one of the 15% of the internet population who use Firefox then the chances are that you will also be one of the people who have problems with the YouTube autoplay feature. Fortunately it’s a fairly simple fix, that just involved getting the latest version of the browser from Mozilla, and pasting a few lines of code into the profile in the AppData folder on your computer. Doing this and then restarting your browser will usually mean that autoplay starts to work again.

 

Alter the URL

If none of the above solutions work to enable autoplay on your YouTube video, then this little trick probably will. In your browser’s URL field where you typed in ‘https://www.youtube.com/’, simply add ‘?autoplay=1’ to the end of your video’s URL. This will set the value of the autoplay feature to ‘1’, which is translated into ‘true’ by the browser. The browser then knows to enable the autoplay feature on the video that you’re watching.

 

Disable AdBlock

People who are using various different internet browsers and have had problems with YouTube’s Autoplay feature in the past have found that the issue can often be resolved by disabling AdBlock. If you have AdBlock then you will find it under your browser’s add-ons or extensions, and adding YouTube as an exception will probably fix the issue so that autoplay works again. Of course the main disadvantage of this method is that you will be forced to watch the ads, and on YouTube there are a lot of them.

 

YouTube Web Video Stars

Can it really be only five years ago? YouTube is so culturally ingrained that thinking of a time before it existed is almost as mind-boggling as thinking of the pre-internet era itself. None the less, the site’s first video looks very much like the historical artefact it is. Uploaded on 23 April 2005 “Me at the zoo” is a poor-quality, 19-second clip featuring co-founder Jawed Karim standing in front of San Diego Zoo’s elephant enclosure. He says: “The cool thing about these guys is that they have really, really long, um… trunks.” He pauses. “And that’s pretty much all there is to say.”

Except of course, there was a lot more to say. Five years after Karim and two fellow PayPal employees Chad Hurley (now YouTube’s CEO) and Steve Chen (now chief technology officer) founded their video-sharing website, it hosts more than 120 million videos and 300 million accounts. Thanks to its founders, who sold it to Google a year after its inception for $1.65bn, the word “viral” now suggests a popular video before it does a nasty infection.

The site is a phenomenon that’s generated a whole culture of sub-phenomena with its canon of YouTube celebrities. Never before had anyone with a video camera been able to reach a potential audience of millions and for many – including pensioner Peter Oakley and BMX rider Danny MacAskill (both featured here) – they did so by accident. But when Hurley announced in 2007 that the site would start sharing advertising revenue with key “content providers” it meant that stars like Tay Zonday (also featured) were able to turn their hobby into financially viable, even lucrative, careers.

Tthe science behind what makes a video a hit and a vlogger a star remains vague. As Zonday says: “You could sooner herd cats than plan for the public to like or dislike something.” It’s an illuminating choice of phrase: cats are, of course, a pretty good bet. Likewise babies, though it’s still perplexing that a merely moderately amusing family moment is the most watched YouTube video of all time. “Charlie bit my finger” is a 56-second clip in which Charlie, aged one, bites the finger of his big brother Harry, aged three. It’s been viewed almost 177 million times.