How to Fix Slow YouTube Streaming on iPad

Is the buffering circle on the YouTube app taking all the fun out of watching videos? Here’s a detailed guide on how you can fix slow YouTube streaming on iPad the easy way.

Back in the day when the Apple and Google rivalry wasn’t as cutthroat as it is today, YouTube had a permanent spot on the iPhone. The original iPhone in 2007 was among the first mainstream smartphones to provide the official YouTube app right out of the box. The app came preinstalled on iOS with the classic “retro TV” icon that stayed on until iOS 6, after which Apple’s licensing agreement with Google came to an end.  

Considering the massive userbase of iPhone and iPad owners out there, Google has extended first-class support for the YouTube app. For iPadOS, the YouTube app takes on the tablet-centric user interface, which is easy to get around, allowing you to enjoy millions of hours of videos with a single tap. However, when using the iPad to stream HD videos from YouTube, the user experience has been less than perfect at times, with the dreaded buffering circle appearing now and then to ruin the fun for you.

RELATED: How to Download YouTube to iPad & iPhone for Offline Viewing

Why is YouTube Streaming Slow on iPad?

Several users have reported that although the YouTube service works just fine when launched from a computer, the issue seems to persist only on the iOS app. If you own a fast internet connection with Wi-Fi connectivity, watching HD videos on the iPad should not be a problem in most cases, but streaming YouTube on the iPad when traveling is a different story altogether.

Some of the common reasons why the YouTube app is streaming content too slowly on the iPad may be:

  • The YouTube servers are experiencing downtime, which could directly impact your ability to watch videos without buffering issues.
  • There is an issue with the YouTube app which needs to be resolved.
  • A problem with the network service provider or the ISP could also be slowing down your internet connection to the point where it affects the video streaming experience.
  • The iPad is limited by hardware to keep up with rendering high-definition videos being streamed from YouTube.

How to Fix Slow YouTube Streaming on iPad

While the issue of buffering on the YouTube app may be the common denominator for you and several others, the fix may not be universal. We’ve dug deep to find several possible solutions that can help you counter the problem of slow streaming speeds when enjoying videos on the iPad YouTube app and listed all of them below.

Solution #1 – Update the YouTube App

Most issues that arise with any app or service on iOS or any other operating system, for that matter, are due to bugs and server errors. YouTube is no different, which is why Google is quick to release updates for the YouTube app. If you are experiencing issues using the app on your iPad out of the blue, chances are you may need to update it, and here’s how to go about it:

  1. On the Home screen, press and hold the App Store icon to view the pop-up menu.
  2. Tap on Updates from the pop-up menu and find YouTube among the listed apps.
  3. Press the Update button next to the YouTube icon and wait for it to install.

With the latest version of the YouTube app up and running on your iPad, launch it to see if the slow streaming issue has been taken care of.

Solution #2 – Change the DNS Server

In most cases, your home network uses the DNS server issued by the internet service provider, which is used to send the server domain name and return the corresponding IP address. With all the technical gibberish aside, changing the DNS server to one provided by Google or Cloudflare might just be the tiny tweak that solves the issue of YouTube continuously buffering on the iPad.

  1. Open the Setting app on the iPad and launch to the Wi-Fi tab on the sidebar.
  2. Press the “i” button next to the Wi-Fi network you’re connected to.
  3. Please scroll down to find the Configure DNS tab and select it.
  4. Select the Manual option and then Delete the saved DNS server from the list below.
  5. Tap on Add Server and enter Google’s Public DNS (,, and hit the Save button.

Head back to the main screen and now launch the YouTube app on iPad to see if the video buffering issue is resolved.

Solution #3 – Check the Network Connection

More often than not, it is the network connection and its inability to connect to the internet, which causes the slow streaming speeds when watching YouTube. On average, playing YouTube videos in 720p HD on your iPad needs an internet speed of 5 – 6 MB/s, which increases if you are watching content in 1080p Full-HD or 2K Ultra-HD videos on the iPad Pro.

Start by performing a speed test over at Fast.com to see if your internet connection can stream videos without buffering. Secondly, do a quick wireless router reboot by unplugging it from the power supply for 30 seconds and then replugging it. Additionally, you can test out this theory by connecting the iPad to another wireless network, stream YouTube and see if it makes a difference.

Solution #4 – Change the Video Resolution

YouTube is designed to automatically match the quality playback quality of videos based on the network connection speed. The YouTube app may begin streaming videos in Full-HD to bring you the highest resolution possible, but the internet connection may not be stable enough to support it. In such circumstances, we recommend that you manually set the video resolution, which allows you to enjoy the video content without any hiccups.

  1. Launch the YouTube app on your iPad and open the video you want to watch.
  2. Press the three-dot menu button on the top-right corner and select Quality from the drop-down menu.
  3. The setting should be at Auto by default, so change it to 480p or 720p, to lower the resolution.

The lower the video quality you pick, the lesser there is chance of the buffering screen to appear and pause the video during playback.

Solution #5 – Save Videos for Offline Viewing

YouTube app has a feature, especially when you are either on a flight and stranded without a network connection or saving up your regularly watched videos for offline viewing. The ability to save videos for offline viewing within the YouTube app entirely eliminates the need to continually stream them and wait for the buffering cycle of pain to show up.

  1. Launch the YouTube app on your iPad and open the video you want to watch.
  2. Under the video screen, press the Download button that appears.
  3. Select the Download quality from the options available (Medium, High, and Low) and press the OK button.
  4. The video will begin downloading, and once completed, you will see the Downloaded icon under the window.

All of the videos you save for offline viewing in the YouTube for iPad app will be saved under the Library menu.

Alternative Solution – Download YouTube Videos

After plenty of demand from its userbase, YouTube finally caved in and brought the ability to enjoy videos for offline viewing. However, you may not be able to download all videos on the YouTube app, especially if the video is marked for copyright protection by the publisher. Moreover, the quality in which you can download videos on the YouTube app is limited to 720p HD, while 1080 Full-HD video quality download is reserved for YouTube Premium users only.

Moreover, the videos you download using the YouTube app can only be watched from within the app and cannot be shared as a media file. If you are sick and tired of slow YouTube streaming on iPad and can’t make the most out of the limited functionality to download and watch videos on the official YouTube app, there is a way out. To help you break free from the clutches of the YouTube app, Softorino YouTube Converter Pro (SYC Pro) brings a video downloader tool that allows you to fetch the latest content from YouTube in the highest quality possible and sync it to your iPad directly.

SYC Pro allows you to download videos all the way up to 2160p 4K-UHD resolution, and there is a built-in converter allowing you to turn the YouTube video into audio as well as a ringtone. Apart from giving you the ability to hook up your iPad and directly transfer the downloaded YouTube videos to your iPad, you can cut the cord and make all transfers wirelessly. Apart from YouTube, SYC Pro supports dozens of popular media streaming platforms such as Vimeo, Dailymotion, SoundCloud, and several others.

Final Words

Since YouTube and the millions of hours of entertaining videos aren’t going anywhere, you’re going to need a solution that helps you get past the annoying buffering cycle. In the steps we have listed above, you should enjoy a seamless video streaming experience watching YouTube on iPad. If streaming is something you don’t enjoy, the ability to download YouTube videos is also within the realm of possibilities.

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