Why Won’t My Snapchat Play Videos? [Simple Fix Guide]

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Messages on Snapchat are known as Snaps, and it’s a fun way to connect with friends. No wonder Facebook and TikTok have copied this particular feature.

However, a lot of Snapchat users have run into problems with not being able to open videos and Snapchat stories. You might experience getting an error message or a grey or black screen.

Getting a video from someone and not being able to watch it properly is frustrating.

So why won’t Snapchat play the video normally?

The short answer is that are several possible causes. In this article, I’ll share some troubleshooting tips to help you.

1. Check your internet connection

Internet issues might be to blame for the videos not loading. If the video won’t play, perhaps it means that your internet connection is bad.

So the first thing to check is if you can browse the web or receive messages through other apps. In that case, your internet connection is not the issue.

Notice that receiving an SMS or MMS isn’t a check since these are received through the GSM network and do not depend on WiFi or mobile data.

Your mobile phone can connect to the internet through WiFi (connecting to your local router or modem where you’re staying) or mobile data (connecting directly to a phone tower in your neighborhood).

If it turns out your mobile phone isn’t connected to the internet, there are a couple of things you can try out:

  • If your Android or iPhone is connected through WiFi, try switching to mobile data and vice versa. Case in point, the internet service provider (ISP) for my phone’s mobile data connection isn’t the same as the ISP for my WiFi connection. So if one is down, there’s a good chance the other might still work.
  • Try moving to another place in your home. This is true for WiFi and mobile data connections – especially if you live in buildings with concrete walls, which can cause an unstable internet connection.
  • Try moving outside if you’re using a mobile data connection.
  • Restart your router and modem if you’re using WiFi. Sometimes this will solve the issue.
  • Check that your phone isn’t in Airplane mode.

If none of these work, it’s time to move on to another common issue below.

2. Errors with Your Phone

Sometimes you’ll have trouble playing videos in apps due to problems with your phone.

This issue often boils down to one of two things: your phone needs to be restarted or updated.

Has it been a very long time since you restarted your smartphone?

iPhone and Android users experience complications with their phones when they haven’t been restarted for a long time.

Try restarting the phone and see if that fixes things. As I often say: when in doubt, restart!

If you’re still having a problem, check if you need to update the phone. Perhaps you ignored a recent phone update causing compatibility issues with Snapchat.

3. Clear the App Cache

Another reason why Snapchat videos won’t play has to do with the cache files.

To clear the Snapchat cache, do the following steps:

  • Open Snapchat
  • Tap your profile icon in the top left corner
  • Tap the cogwheel in the top right corner
  • Scroll down to Account Actions
  • Tap the Clear Cache button
  • Click Continue on the pop-up to clear the app cache.

Sometimes errors will occur when files have become corrupted. Clearing the cache can eliminate corrupted files, so Snapchat will work properly again.

4. Clear the Snapchat Conversation

It’s possible that your videos won’t play due to having too much information in your Snapchat chats. Clearing the conversation should allow you to fix things.

To clear the Snapchat conversation, follow these simple steps:

  • Open Snapchat
  • Tap your profile picture in the top left corner
  • Tap the cogwheel in the top right corner to open Snapchat Settings
  • Scroll down to Account Actions
  • Tap Clear Conversation
  • Tap the X for the conversations you want to clear

Notice that this will cause you to lose sent and received snaps permanently. But the good thing is that you can choose which conversations you want to delete.

Regardless, it might be necessary to fix the issue if the above options don’t work.

5. Update Snapchat

Of course, you should ensure that Snapchat is updated. If you’re using an older version of the Snapchat application, you might be experiencing a compatibility issue.

To update to the latest version of Snapchat on an Android device, do this:

  • Open Google Play Store
  • Tap on your profile picture at the top of the screen
  • Tap Manage apps & device
  • Tap Updates available
  • Tap Update next to Snapchat

To update Snapchat on an iOS device, do this:

  • Open App Store
  • Tap on your profile picture at the top of the screen
  • Scroll down to see any pending updates
  • Tap Update next to the Snapchat app

Uninstalling and reinstalling Snapchat might also help. You could give that a shot if simply updating the app doesn’t do the trick.

6. Check to see if the Snapchat servers are down

Sometimes even big popular applications like Snapchat crashes.

To check the Snapchat server status, you can use a service like IsItDownRightNow? to check it.

The Snapchat Support team also has an official Twitter Account where they write if there are any current Snapchat issues.

7. Clear space on your phone

If your phone’s internal storage is almost full, it will make it harder for apps to do things such as load videos.

Videos take up lots of data compared to text or even images, so if there isn’t room on your phone to download the video Snap, all you’ll get is a black screen.

The solution is to remove junk files from your iPhone or Android phone.

You should delete apps you no longer use to ensure you have enough space.

Deleting unused apps from your phone is generally a good idea for security reasons – especially if you don’t update those unused apps regularly.

In Closing

Snapchat is a popular social media platform for staying in touch with family and friends from your mobile phone. You can use it to text back and forth with your partner or your crush.

You can even send photos and videos with fun effects using some of the new lenses, which are constantly updated.

Using the above methods should allow you to get things back to normal for Android and iOS users.

Not being able to play videos or a Snapchat story is annoying, but you can fix things by taking the right steps.

You might need to clear the cache, or you could simply need to update the Snapchat app. Try several methods above to see if you can fix the problem.


Me myself and I profile

About the author:

Jan Sørup is a videographer and photographer from Denmark. He’s the owner of filmdaft.com and of the Danish company Apertura, which produces video content for big companies in Denmark and Scandinavia. Jan has a background in music, has drawn webcomics, and is a former lecturer at the University of Copenhagen.

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