• BBC iPlayer
iPlayer Help Troubleshooting Mobile & Tablet Troubleshooting problems on a mobile or tablet

Troubleshooting problems on a mobile or tablet

If you are having problems playing programmes on your phone or tablet, try these steps in the order listed to see if they help. 

If you're using the BBC iPlayer website on your mobile or tablet, skip points 3 and 4.

  1. Restart the device
    We recommend turning off your device and switching it back on again before you try anything else. Make sure it's properly turned off and not placed in a standby or sleep mode.

  2. Check you're using the latest operating system version for your device 
    Sometimes bugs can only be fixed by an operating system update (the software that runs your phone). To check for operating system updates:

    Amazon Fire Swipe from the top of the screen to open the Quick Settings, then select More > About
    Android Go to Settings > About Device > Software Update
    iOS (iPhone/iPad) Go to Settings > General > Software Update
  3. Check you're using the latest version of the app
    App updates frequently include bug fixes, so please update if you’re not using the latest app version. You can check for updates in your app store:

    Amazon (Fire tablet) 
    Android 
    iOS (iPhone/iPad) 

    Android and Amazon Fire users should also check the BBC Media Player app for updates.

  4. Reinstall the app
    Delete the app then install it again from the app store. It's worth trying if updating failed to fix the problem (as your previous installation may be corrupt in some way). Please be aware that when you delete the app you’ll also delete any downloaded programmes.

  5. Check your internet connection
    Check how you're connected to the internet. Perhaps you're using a mobile network (e.g. 4G) when you think you're on WiFi?

    • Poor performance on WiFi
      Try switching off your other devices using the same network as you or even taking them offline as these will be competing for bandwidth. The further away you are from the router, the more signal quality will suffer, so try moving closer to your router. Restarting your router may also help.

    • Poor performance using 3G/4G
      Try turning your data connection off and on again. Sometimes even if it seems like you have a good signal on your 3G/4G mobile network, other factors such as a congested network (i.e. if you're using your data connection at peak times) may affect performance. Connecting to a WiFi network should improve playback and if it's a consistent problem, downloading programmes over WiFi will help. 

    For more help resolving buffering issues, see our What can I do to help with buffering or playback problems? FAQ.

Still not working?

Here are some more steps you can try:

  • Check your system clock time 
    BBC iPlayer might have problems playing content if your device time isn't quite right (and doesn't match what we think the time currently is). Here's how to check this:
Amazon Fire Settings > Device Options > Date & Time and ensure Automatic Time Zone is switched on
Android Settings > Date & Time and enable Automatic Date & Time and Automatic Time Zone
iOS Settings > General > Date & Time and enable Set Automatically
  • Android: try clearing the app cache & data
    Deleting locally saved information may help. Try this for both the BBC iPlayer app and the BBC Media Player app. You can do this by going to:

    Settings > Apps > BBC iPlayer/BBC Media Player and selecting the Clear Cache option.

    To clear the app data entirely, select Clear Data on the same page. Then sign back in and try playing a programme.
  • Having problems with Chromecast or Airplay?
    Check our Why am I having problems with my Chromecast? FAQ for advice on how to resolve issues with Chromecast.

    For help with Airplay, check Apple's support site: If you can't use Airplay or mirror your devices screen. 

  • Have you tried to download programmes in the app?
    If you're still having problems playing programmes, you could try to download programmes to see if that helps. 

  • Try the website
    While you could be having problems with the app on your device, you might be able to watch programmes on the BBC iPlayer website on your mobile or tablet instead. Just go to www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer on your device's internet browser.

 

Still need help?

We try our best to post updates about known issues on our Help Site. If you have a problem not already covered in our FAQs and you're using the latest app version and operating system for your device, please get in touch by clicking the Contact iPlayer Help button below.

Send us over as much information as possible including:

  • The type of device you're using (e.g. iPad Pro, Samsung S8)
  • Your device's operating system version (e.g. iOS 11.2, Android 6 - have a look at the Check you're using the latest operating system version for your device section above for advice on how to check your device's operating system version)
  • The version of the BBC iPlayer app you’re using (go to Settings on your device and select the BBC iPlayer app)
  • Whether this affects one programme or several, and which (check our programme issues and updates page to see if it's a known issue)
  • Any error messages or error numbers displayed
  • The date and time the problem started
  • The steps you've tried to resolve the issue
  • Whether it affects live, on-demand, or downloaded programmes or Chromecast


The guidance within this FAQ also applies to the iPlayer Kids app.

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