Unable to Watch Youtube Videos (Black Video Screen Issue) on Safari Mac OS Browser?

By Sidharth | How-to

Mac users have raised their voices against the new sleek YouTube player. Apparently, when a YouTube video is loaded, Mac OS X users are able to hear only the audio part with a black video screen displaying nothing, leaving out the users on the ragged edge of frustration.

Update 1: Audio works fine.

The issue has hindered users from watching YouTube videos on their Safari browser. Also, users have complained on the Google forum that YouTube video doesn’t work on the Youtube site, which means: when the same video is embedded on websites and Facebook, they seem to work just fine.

Among the innumerable complaints dropped on the forum, majority of the users pointed out that the video rendering issue was seen while they were using the Safari browser on their Mac OS X. The good news is that the unprecedented issue of not being able to watch YouTube videos is worked upon.

YouTube Black Screen on Mac's Safari

Black screen on YouTube while watching a video on Safari

Unable to Watch YouTube Videos on iMac, Macbook Pro?

The issue was later noted by the Google employee, Diego, who comes up with these temporary fixes:

Solution 1: Try closing your browser and reload the video. Then right-click on the video player –> click on the Settings -> Disable Hardware Acceleration and refresh your internet Browser.

Solution 2: Right click the Flash object and click on settings. In the first tab of the window thing that appears, uncheck the “Enable hardware acceleration” box.  Now if you go back to a video page, the player will work just fine. There are a few side effects though; software rendering means that the CPU will be doing the job of resizing the video, which makes full screen video look pixellated instead of smooth.

This should solve the video problems. If YouTube still doesn’t work on your Safari browser, then read this comprehensive article: Fixing YouTube’s video loading problem.

About the Author

Hi, I am Sidharth. Full-time blogger. Editor of Blogote. And a self-proclaimed geek!

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(9) comments

DKs Vertix October 2, 2011

Ahh, damn.. there actually already is a proper fix for that:

On that video you can actually modify the settings without having to go full screen.

DKs Vertix October 2, 2011

Hey guys, I found a fix for this shit!
The problem is actually caused by Hardware Acceleration (This issue caused BSoD on Windows just recently.)

Ok, here’s the thing, if you set your Safari to 32bit, undo it – you won’t be needing that.

1. Go to YouTube.com, open a video, and set it to Full screen.
2. Now, right-click on the video, select Settings.. and uncheck the Enable Hardware Acceleration.
3. Reset Safari

Now you can watch YT videos again. Well this worked for me.

Abdallah October 2, 2011

I also have the same problem with snow leopard 10.6.8, videos from other sites play correctly (for example videos on Facebook) but the ones on google i can only hear the audio but the screen is black.
I will try to download google chrome or firefox and see if this is safari’s problem

Joe J. Leclair March 14, 2011

On YOUTUBE there is a pop up lower right on each video, click on same and pop-up alternative comes up and you can view video on the pop up as long as you have audio.

JoeMac February 23, 2011

Fixed this issue. Needed to run Safari in 32bit mode. Go to Applications/Safari and get info on Safari then check the box that says run in 32 bit mode.

incorrect February 21, 2011

The statement regarding audio playing is incorrect.
On a Mac running Snow Leopard and using the Safari browser, neither audio nor video will play.
Windows 7 users report being able to hear the audio, though vids will not show, however Mac users do not hear any audio.
All Mac 10.6 users get on regular youtube pages is a black box, and are unable to control click on the box, so the workaround recommended by Google employee Diego in the google support thread does not work for Mac/Snow Leopard/Safari users.
That is clearly detailed by dozens of Mac users in the thread on Google Support, found here:

Also, the recommendation in the comment, regarding changing Safari setting to 32-bit also does not work, not for Mac Snow Leopard users.

As of this date, there is no workaround for Mac/Snow Leopard/Safari users for viewing youtube videos on the regular youtube page.
The only way to view youtube videos on youtube is to click the user name of the video’s poster, located on the left, under the ‘Like’ button below the vid screen, then on the user’s channel page, locate the video one wishes to view and click it.
The vids will play on users’ channel pages, and also when embedded on non-youtube pages.

It’s only on regular youtube pages where the video and audio do not play.
Again, Mac/Snow Leopard/Safari users are unable to hear or see vids on regular youtube pages, and at this time there is no workaround that enables hearing or viewing vids on the regular youtube pages.

    Sidharth March 1, 2011

    Thanks for the clarification!

    Page has been updated.

fsfboy February 21, 2011

Or, start Safari in 32 bit. Right-clic on the icon and the read the informations and check “open in 32 bits”. Easier.

    Nezzzbot March 1, 2011

    Neither 32 bit mode works for snow leopard, nor does opening in rosetta.

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