How to Fix Google Chrome Unable to Play Videos on Android

Google Chrome is one of the most popular mobile browsers out there. However, being number 1 on the list doesn’t make it immune to errors and bugs. One such major and common bug reported by Chrome users is the Chrome unable to play videos issue. This is a major setback and it is of utmost importance that a browser be able to play videos without fail. Well, though the error can be frustrating, it definitely is resolvable.


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There are many reasons why you could be getting this error. The major reasons being some wrong Chrome configurations or some corrupted data. Whatever be the reason, before you proceed with the advanced solutions, we would definitely recommend that you try restarting your device once. You can also try playing some other video on your Chrome to make sure the issue is not with the video that you are trying to play. If the basic troubleshooting tips did not fix the issue for you, without wasting any more time, let’s dive straight into the article.

Solution 1: Check your Network Connection

Definitely, Chrome cannot play videos if there is something wrong with your Internet connection. So check if everything is fine with your network connection first. For that, try playing another video from another platform, say YouTube, to verify whether the issue is from Chrome itself or not. If you cannot play the video from YouTube as well, it means that the issue is not with Chrome, but with your network connection or with your phone.

You can also try switching to a Wi-Fi network if you are connected to the Internet via cellular data. If you are already connected to the Internet via a Wi-Fi network, then try switching to another Wi-Fi network.

Solution 2: Force Close Google Chrome Application

Let’s now try to force close the Chrome application and see if that fixes the issue.

 Step 1: The very first step would be to launch the Settings application. For that pull down your Notifications Panel and click on the Gear icon from the top right corner of the screen.

 

 

Step 2: As next, from the Settings options, click on the Apps option.

 

 

Step 3: From the list of applications available, scroll down, locate and click on the Chrome application.

 

 

Step 4: Now at the bottom of the screen that follows, click on the Force stop icon to force close the Chrome application. That’s it. Try running the video again and see if your issue is fixed or not.

 

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Solution 3: Try Disabling VPN Connection

Sometimes, if you are connected to the Internet via a VPN connection, Chrome can act a bit odd. So, try disconnecting the VPN connection for some time and check if you can play the video from Chrome or not. If you can, maybe the video is blocked in the country to which the VPN connected your device to.

Solution 4: Use the Incognito Mode

Many people have reported that using Chrome in incognito mode readily fixed the issue for them. This happens because the incognito mode doesn’t save any data and the chances of data corruption are thus very less. So, let’s try the Chrome incognito mode in this solution.

Step 1: Click on the Chrome application from the applications drawer to launch it.

 

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Step 2: When Chrome launches open, at the top right corner of the screen, click on the 3 vertical dots icon to view the More options menu.

 

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Step 3: Now you need to click on the New Incognito tab option. That’s it. From the Incognito tab, try playing the video that was giving issues and check if it plays fine or not now.

 

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Solution 5: Enable JavaScript

If JavaScript is disabled for the website that you are trying to play the video from, then that might be the reason why Chrome is unable to play the video for you. Let’s enable JavaScript in this solution and check if that fixes your issue.


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Step 1: Once again, launch Chrome from the applications drawer.

 

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Step 2: To view the More options menu, click on the 3 vertical dots icon located at the top right corner of the screen.

 

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Step 3: Hit the Settings option from the menu that expands out.

 

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Step 4: Now from the Settings screen, click on the Site settings option.

 

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Step 5: As next, find and click on the option named JavaScript.

 

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Step 6: Make sure the toggle button against the JavaScript option is turned to the ON state. Also, under the Blocked section, if you find any site listed, click on it.

 

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Step 7: Choose the Radio button against the Allow option and then hit the Remove button to remove the site from the blocked list. You can repeat the same for any number of JavaScript-blocked websites, to unblock them.

 

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Once JavaScript is enabled, force close Chrome once, launch it again, and check if your issue is resolved or not.

Solution 6: Disable the Vulkan Flag

Before new features are officially added to Chrome and made available to the public, you can test them using Chrome flags. But since these are experimental features, if they are enabled, sometimes they can cause negative a negative impact on Chrome’s performance. Vulkan is one such Chrome flag. Some users have reported that disabling this flag fixed the issue of Chrome unable to play videos for them.

Step 1: From the applications drawer, launch the Google Chrome application.

 

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Step 2: When Chrome launches open, at the URL bar, type in the following URL and hit the Enter key to view Chrome flags.

chrome://flags

 

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Step 3: On the Search bar at the top, type in Vulkan and click on the Default button associated with the Vulkan flag from the search results.

 

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Step 4: You now have to choose the radio button associated with the Disabled option.

 

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Step 5: That’s it. Since you have made a change to one of the flags, you need to hit the Relaunch button that you can see at the bottom of the screen, for the changes to take over.

 

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Once Chrome relaunches, check if can play the video without any issues.

Solution 7: Update Google Chrome Application

A simple application update can often do wonders, Chrome is no exception to this. In this solution, let’s see how to update your Chrome to its latest version in some simple steps.

Step 1: Launch Google Play Store.

 

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Step 2: Search for Chrome and click on the Google Chrome application from the search results.

 

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Step 3: Now, if you have any pending updates to be downloaded and installed, you will be able to see the Update button instead of the Open button. Click on it.

Note: I don’t have the Update button available because my Google Chrome is up-to-date.

 

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Solution 8: Enable Standard Safe Browsing

When you browse, chances are huge that you might end up at some malicious sites as well. So Chrome comes with a very useful built-in feature to protect you from malicious sites and downloads. There are 3 types of safe browsing protections. They are enhanced, standard, and have no protection. If you have enabled the Enhanced protection, that can sometimes block videos from playing on your Chrome. Thus it is recommended to choose the Safe browsing protection level. Let’s see how.

Step 1: Launch the Google Chrome application.

 

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Step 2: From the top right corner of the screen, click on the 3 vertical dots icon.

 

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Step 3: As next, click on the Settings option from the menu that pops out.

 

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Step 4: Now from the Settings screen, click on the Privacy and security option.

 

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Step 5: As next, click on the Safe Browsing option from the list of Privacy and security options.

 

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Step 6: You now need to choose the radio button corresponding to the Standard protection option. That’s it.

Note: You can even try the No protection option if the Standard protection option doesn’t work for you. However, it is not recommended that you leave your Chrome with no browsing protection enabled.

 

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Solution 9: Clear Google Chrome Browsing Data

Sometimes, the issue can be caused because of some corrupted browsing data. Clearing Chrome browsing data, thus, can readily fix the issue for you if that’s the case.

Step 1: Once again, launch Google Chrome

 

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Step 2: Click on the More Options icon located at the top right part of the screen.

 

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Step 3: As next, click on the Settings option.

 

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Step 4: Next, click on the Privacy and security option.

 

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Step 5: Now on the Privacy and security screen, click on the Clear browsing data option.

 

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Step 6: On the Clear browsing data screen, make sure you are at the Basic tab. Choose All time from the Time range dropdown menu. And tick the checkboxes corresponding to the options Browsing history, Cookies and site data, and Cached images and files. Once you are all set, hit the Clear data button at the bottom. That’s it.

 

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Relaunch Google Chrome and check if you can now successfully play the video that was giving the error.

Solution 10: Clear Google Chrome Application Data and Cache

Step 1: Pull down the Notifications panel and click on the Gear icon to launch the Settings application.


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Step 2: Click on the Apps option.

 

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Step 3: As next, find and click on the Chrome application from the list of applications installed on your device.

 

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Step 4: Click on the Storage option next.

 

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Step 5: At the bottom of the screen, click on the Clear cache button first. Then click on the Manage storage button.

 

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Step 6: On the screen that follows, hit the CLEAR ALL DATA button as shown in the screenshot below. That’s it.

 

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Solution 11: Switch to an Alternate Web Browser

If none of the solutions detailed in this article fixed the issue for you, you could try getting another web browser for your Android device. Though Chrome is beyond great, there definitely are other options like Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Safari, etc. You can get them easily from Google Play Store.

Please tell us in the comments section whether you could successfully resolve the Google Chrome unable to play videos issue. If so, please tell us in the comments section which method did the trick!

Do come back for more and more amazing and mind-boggling tricks, tips, solutions, how-tos, and hacks, all on your favorite technical topics!

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