YouTube has recovered from a seemingly worldwide outage that prevented videos from loading for roughly an hour. During the outage, many Verge staffers were unable to watch videos, and YouTube confirmed at 7:23PM ET that something was going on:
If you’re having trouble watching videos on YouTube right now, you’re not alone – our team is aware of the issue and working on a fix. We’ll follow up here with any updates.— TeamYouTube (@TeamYouTube) November 12, 2020
The issue appeared to affect other services that use the YouTube infrastructure too, including YouTube TV and the movies and TV shows you’d purchase through Google TV (formerly known as Google Play Movies & TV). We couldn’t load them.
Early in the outage, the YouTube website itself seemed to load just fine, but videos themselves would continuously show the loading wheel. One Verge staffer got a video to load after about a minute. As of about 8:00PM ET, though, we saw error screens like this whenever we tried to watch a video:
At 9:13 PM ET, YouTube gave the all-clear:
...And we’re back – we’re so sorry for the interruption. This is fixed across all devices & YouTube services, thanks for being patient with us ❤️ https://t.co/1s0qbxQqc6— TeamYouTube (@TeamYouTube) November 12, 2020
Things seemed to be back as early as 8:30PM ET, but you might have hit a few quirks. At that point, videos played on YouTube’s website seemed to be working as they normally do. On the mobile app, one Verge staffer saw a few error messages, but those would clear with a refresh. YouTube TV worked on mobile for another Verge staffer at that point after he force closed the app.
DownDetector showed a truly tremendous number of user reports of problems with YouTube, indicating the problem was widespread — the DownDetector graph peaked with more than 280,000 user reports in less than an hour. Numerous users on Twitter reported that YouTube wasn’t working for them, either, and searches spiked for “is YouTube down.”
When reached for comment, YouTube pointed us to the tweet we included in this story.
Update November 11th, 8:51PM ET: YouTube seems to be recovering, so we have made numerous changes throughout.
Update, 9:16PM ET: Added YouTube’s all-clear.