It's been some weeks now, whenever I try to used my Youtube app, it tells me it's impossible to connect to Youtube. Since it's an iPad 1, I have had trouble finding information online.

Did Google or Apple stop supporting the app? Is it finally obsolete? Is there another app I could use that works on iOS 5?

Just to be clear, I did not tinker with my device. I did not change its parameters, I did not jailbreak it, it connects to the Internet just fine and I've tried the app on different Internet connections. Also, this is not a login problem, the app just refuses to let me browse videos, whether I'm logged in or not.

Thanks for your help.

  • @Buscar웃 the OP stated they cannot browse whether logged in or not. – tubedogg Feb 18 '15 at 21:39
  • @Maximnicov YouTube finally switched completely over to HTML5 video as the default, so there is a good possibility something involved in that switch caused older clients to stop working. – tubedogg Feb 18 '15 at 21:39
  • @Buscar웃 I understand that, but the OP cannot browse while logged out. They don't need to login to browse videos, so I'm not sure what the point of your original comment was when they are not asking about a login problem. Also the fact that they cannot browse whether logged in or logged out, means that they were able to login successfully to try it. – tubedogg Feb 18 '15 at 21:42
  • @Buscar웃 OK, but that message does not necessarily have anything to do with logging in. Being unable to connect to a website at all (meaning you can't even get the page to load) is not the same thing as being unable to login (meaning you get an error when trying to login). As far as I know you do not have to login to use the YouTube app. I could be wrong. – tubedogg Feb 18 '15 at 21:45
  • Just tested and you can indeed use it without being logged in. (iOS 8) – tubedogg Feb 18 '15 at 21:47

Solution (Seems Bullet Proof)

Note: It is not a network issue, it is software. Native YouTube App worked on 3st gen iPhone OS 5.1.1 on same network where iPad 1 OS 5.1.1 did not.

I tried all suggestions found on internet and after 2 days I found no more options to try. This issue goes back years and no help from Apple! F..kng Frustrating!!!

But I learned enough from those suggestions to come up with this solution below.

Warning: I have only tried this with (2) iPad1 (mine and a friend) which is why I wrote "seems" bullet proof. Also, you must only use the PC which is tied to your device. The native YouTube device will be repaired BUT not all of your other apps will be restored if you use a different computer. If this happens, then simply reinstall each app on your device through the app store. (When I did this on my friends iPad the apps had not lost their data...Woo Whoo!)

Let's Get Started.

  1. Backup your iPad 1
  2. Download legacy OS ( In my case it was OS 5.1.1)
  3. Easiest way is to open it in iTunes rather than save it to your computer
  4. Plug your device in and open iTunes.
  5. When your device appears, click on restore. It should now display the version of the OS you just downloaded. (When I first tried this, iTunes wanted to upgrade my iPad 1 to OS6.1 which deletes the native iTunes app)
  6. When the reinstall is complete iTunes should ask you if you want to restore or configure a new install. (tell it to restore the copy you saved in step 1)
  7. Enjoy a fully functioning Native YouTube App, with Favorites restored as well.

No guarantees of course, but I hope this helps.

  • 1
    The solution that Julian Greigh wrote works! Just did it now and everything is back to normal with native youtube – user116781 Mar 3 '15 at 14:51
  • 1
    It worked, thanks a lot! (I did not even download legacy OS, as I wasn't sure what it was. I tried the rest of the solution anyway.) Now my app is back. It took two months, but it was worth it. Thanks again! – Maximnicov Mar 17 '15 at 19:03
  • How to "download legacy OS" ? – Nicolas Barbulesco Mar 29 '15 at 13:37
  • @NicolasBarbulesco check this out redmondpie.com/… – Ruskes Apr 27 '15 at 19:35

YouTube has stopped supporting the native iPad YouTube app, but if you turn off YouTube in Settings -> General -> Restrictions you can watch YouTube videos in the Safari web browser by vistiting youtube.com. It can be a bit crashy though on the old iPad 1 browser.

You may also be able to install an older version of the YouTube app from the app store which will work on the iPad 1. (I think this depends on whether you've ever downloaded that old version of the YouTube app in the past on another device.)


The app no longer is updating or working.

I have an iPhone 4 on iOS 5.1.1 and kept it that way because I liked the native YouTube and native maps. Tried to resynch, reboot, wifi, empty cache, etc. none of it worked. Always got the same "cannot connect to YouTube." stopped working about two weeks ago. Very sad. Really liked the layout, liked being ad free, and liked not having recommended videos. Good ole YouTube had a simple "most popular" list and a simple search bar. It was great while it lasted. Current YouTube is so much worse.


I have an original iPad with the YouTube app. I have just tested it. It works !

The YouTube servers may be doing some dirty selection on guessed location.

Come to Europe with your iPad and try !

  • You are using the native Youtube app? The one for which the icon is a TV screen? Or are you using the more recent app, the one for which the icon is a red and white play button? – Maximnicov Mar 1 '15 at 18:15
  • @maximnicov I have the tv screen youtube icon, not the red and white. – Tom Thumb Mar 2 '15 at 12:10
  • @Maximnicov - I use the good old YouTube app, whose icon is the green old TV. – Nicolas Barbulesco Mar 2 '15 at 23:46

I have just restored my wife's Ipad IOS 5.1.1 and have now got a working Youtube app again complete with all old favorites. What a relief.


I reset my wife's iPad 1 to factory defaults and now YouTube is working again. I didn't have to use iTunes (which I hate)—I just used the reset function in the settings menu.

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