YouTube links are not opening in-app on iOS? The fix

When you tap on a YouTube link on any app on your iOS device, it’s always expected that you’ll be prompted to open the link in either the YouTube app or safari browser.

Unfortunately, that’s not the case for some users, as their links automatically open in the safari browse, while others complained about their YouTube app crashing immediately after opening the link.

Let’s see why this happens and how to get YouTube links to open in-app instead of a browser.

Why are YouTube links not opening in-app on iOS?

These are the most common reasons why YouTube links are not opening in-app on your iOS device:

1. Software update

For most users, the problem of YouTube links not opening in-app starts after an iOS or App update.

This is confusing since new updates are known for features and bug fixes that boost security and performance. Well, they come with technical complications too.

2. Settings

Device settings will also influence where your YouTube links open. You might have triggered them unknowingly and have no idea how to undo the mess.

READ: How to play YouTube videos offline

How to fix YouTube links not opening in-app

To fix YouTube links that are not opening in-app, do the following:

1. Set the feature

After an iOS or app update, you may have to re-educate your app(s) to open YouTube links in-app. To do this, simply tap and hold the YouTube link until you see a pop-up menu.

Next, select “Open in YouTube.” Now, when you go back and click on the link, it’ll ask if you want to open in the app.

Also, you can copy the link and paste it into notes, then press and hold the pasted link to prompt a menu. Select “Open in YouTube.” This will trigger all YouTube links to open in-app when you click on them.

You can do the same for other links that don’t open in their respective apps.

2. Uninstall and reinstall your YouTube app

The second troubleshooting solution to force YouTube links to open in-app is to uninstall and reinstall the app. This helps fix system issues and bugs that might prevent links from opening in-app.

Follow this guide to remove the app:

  • Go to your Home Screen.
  • Press and hold the YouTube app icon until the apps start to jiggle.
  • Tap on the “X” next to the app.
  • Tap “Delete App” on the prompt that appears.
  • Tap “Delete” to confirm your decision.

After uninstalling the YouTube app, you can reboot your device. Now go to the App Store, search for the YouTube app and reinstall it. Next, click the YouTube link in other apps and see if it will open in-app.

READ: YouTube subscriptions list view is not working

3. Change Safari settings

If the YouTube link opens in Safari and you don’t see the bar at the top asking you to open the link in-app, change the following settings:

  • Launch “Settings”
  • Scroll down and tap on “Safari”
  • Look for “Remote Desktop Website” or “Request Desktop Website” and tap on it
  • Toggle it Off

When you return to Safari, you should find the top bar asking if you want to open the link in-app. You won’t be directed to the browser when you click on a YouTube link in a different app.

4. Save video in the playlist

This option is more of a workaround that helps while you figure out other solutions. So, when the YouTube link opens in your browser, click “Save” and add the video to your playlist. Now, open your browser, go to your playlist and click on the video to view it.


These are all the fixes for YouTube links not opening in-app on iOS. Hopefully, one of them solves your predicament.

We’ll update the list with every new solution, so check back. Also, you can comment on other fixes that you discovered and are not on the list.

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