Sometimes when playing back YouTube and online video on your phone, or tablet can run slowly which can be kind of annoying because you need to wait for the video to download before you can continue watching.
The first thing you can do is switch to a lower quality mode like turning of HD if you are using the YouTube App, or tapping on the HQ button before you play the video if you use the mobile web browser version of YouTube on m.youtube.com. Turning down the quality mode means the video you are downloading will not use as much data because the file size is smaller, so it will download faster, but the quality is not as good. But, you may not notice the poorer quality because your phone has a smaller low resolution screen, so less sharp video is not noticeable when you hold your phone a few few feet away from your eyes.
The YouTube App also has preloading features in the YouTube App settings which will download your video subscriptions and videos in your watch latter section when you are charging your phone or tablet, and you are connected to Wi-Fi. This means your videos will play off your drive on your mobile instead of over the internet. However, you still need to be connected to the internet to use YouTube’s App. You can try using a different web browser for playing back YouTube videos, I found UC Browser to work pretty well for playing YouTube videos because it uses a custom video player which can download videos streams faster in my experience compared to the video player on other browsers. You can also try Google Chrome for iOS, or Google Android which works pretty well.
Clearing your history, cookies, and autofill on your Browser’s history/privacy settings, and closing all your tabs except YouTube, or other video sharing site could improve your web browser’s performance which may also improve your video watching experience.
Pressing the Pause button on an online video’s player, and waiting a few seconds before you un-pause the video to play it may make your Online video play without stopping because the online video save some of the video to your memory, so you can watch more of the video without waiting for it to download. Restarting your phone or tablet, or exiting programs may make your phone more responsive, so video playback is more smooth if it is a performance problem which is making videos stutter.
There are also Task killers and System Utilities like Clean Master for Android which you can use to Kill background tasks/apps, and clean up your system cache in Android to make your Android phone or tablet run faster and smoother while also cleaning up junk files, so you have more space to install more apps. Logging out of your social networking, e-mail, auto-sync, and other online Apps and Services could free up some bandwidth because they will no longer send you notifications when log off. This means your online videos have more bandwidth to download videos faster, Sitting closer to your wireless router should make online video playback faster on a phone or tablet faster. In some cases, it could be your device being too slow making videos buffer, and skip because the CPU, RAM, and internal storage is not fast enough to keep up with the video stream. Turning off HD or HQ in videos would help since low quality videos use less CPU, RAM, and storage when it is played back to you. It maybe time for you to buy a new tablet or smartphone which runs video better if you notice videos on YouTube don’t play very well, and your mobile is many years old. These days, you can get a quality tablet for around $100 or less than $200 dollars like the 2012 Nexus 7 which plays HD videos well even when it is streamed from YouTube on an average wifi connection with 2-3 out of 4 bars of signal.
Read my guide on optimizing your wireless router’s settings like changing your router’s broadcast channel, and using a Wifi booster/range extender for farther range, stronger signal, better reliability and faster speeds. Sometimes, restarting your router and modem by unplugging it from the power, and plugging it back in after a few seconds has past could make your internet connection faster, and fix other problems related to wifi.
You can also turn off Bluetooth, NFC, GPS/Location Awareness, and other features your phone, and tablet has, but you don’t use since they maybe causing your Wifi to be slower because of wireless interference, and could also affect the performance of your phone or tablet by being turned on. Some phones and tablets also has better Wifi reception when it is being charged because when it is charging the battery does not have to be in battery conserving mode like when it is not charging where the battery needs to save power to last longer between charge.
I also notice sometimes when I put my mobile devices on a table or stand could increase the signal compared to holding it with my hand. I think the signal is better because my hand is not blocking the Wi-Fi signal, or making it weaker when I’m not holding my devices.
In newer versions of Android like Android 4.1-4.3 Jellybean, you can disable Wi-Fi Power optimization in the Advance settings in the Wi-fi settings which may improve the Wi-Fi performance of your mobile by turning off power conservation for Wi-Fi while your mobile is not charging. If you use a protective case for your phone or tablet, taking off the protective case may improve the signal because if your case is made of metal, it may make it harder for the signal to reach your mobile.
I read on tech blogs that future versions of the YouTube Apps will let you watch videos offline, so soon you can download full videos to watch offline, so you don’t experience slow down because the video will play on your mobile’s storage instead of over the internet which is slower.
Also, popular videos with a lot of views by bigger channels like Vevo, Machinama, Smosh, Ray William Johnson, Nigahiga, etc may load faster than unpopular videos because they maybe cached around the world, and delivered on faster connections, so more people can watch it.
In rare cases, your ISP maybe slowing down YouTube to save bandwidth, so you can try using a VPN app from Google Play to hide your YouTube traffic from your ISP to see if it helps speed up your YouTube load times. A VPN connection also hides your browsing history from people on the same connection, your ISP, and others who has a connection to the internet. Subscribing to faster internet connections like Fiber, and T3 internet would make your internet load video, and pages faster, but Fiber, and T3 are very expensive in some countries. Alternatively, you can browse YouTube at less busy tines like the early morning, or late at night when fewer people in your home, or ISP are using the internet to do high bandwidth tasks like streaming media, downloading games, and uploading big files, so your internet maybe faster at times when fewer people use the internet.