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iPlayer Help Troubleshooting Troubleshooting problems on Mobile and Tablet

Troubleshooting problems on Mobile and Tablet

If you are having problems playing programmes on your phone or tablet the following troubleshooting may help resolve your problem:

  • Check your connection type and speed

Playback quality should change based on your connection speed. If you’re having pausing/buffering problems you should check your internet speed. Read our Internet connection checker guide to find out how to check. We've also got some advice on how to help resolve buffering issues on our What can I do to help with buffering/playback problems? FAQ.

  • Poor performance on WiFi

If others are using the same network, or if you have other devices connected to the internet then you might have some trouble playing programmes as all these devices are competing for available bandwidth. You could try switching your other devices off or even taking them offline. 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, then downloading programmes over WiFi will help.

  • 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:

Android

iOS (iPhone/iPad)

Amazon (Fire tablet)

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

  • Try reinstalling the app

Sometimes, reinstalling the app may resolve a playback problem. This is also a good way of ensuring you’re using the latest version. However, please be aware when you delete the app, you’ll also delete any downloaded programmes. 

  • Are you using the latest Operating System version for your device?

If updates are available then it’s worth considering updating as sometimes bugs can only be fixed by an operating system update. To check what version you are using:

iOS (iPhone/iPad) - Go to Settings > General > About. Check for updates at Settings > General > Software Update.

Android/Amazon Fire - Go to Settings > About Device. Check for updates at Settings > About Device > Software Update.

  • Check your system clock time

Sometimes, BBC iPlayer might have problems playing back 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:

Android - go to Settings > Date & Time and enable 'Automatic Date & Time' and 'Automatic Time Zone'

iOS - go to Settings > General > Date & Time and enable 'Set Automatically'

Amazon Fire - go to Settings > Device Options > Date & Time and ensure 'Automatic Time Zone' is switched on

  • Is your device trying to connect to an unknown Wi-Fi network (hotspot, work network etc)?

If your device is set to ‘connect to WiFi networks automatically’, you may think you’re connected via your 3G/4G mobile network or a known WiFi network, but your device may actually be trying to connect to a public/guest WiFi hotspot or another WiFi network. If you don’t have the password to the public/guest WiFi you won't be able to connect. So either try to get the password for the network, disable ‘connect to Wi-Fi networks automatically’ in your device setting to revert back to 3G/4G, or manually select the desired Wi-Fi network.

  • Android users should 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 app data entirely, select ‘Clear Data’ on the same page. Then sign back in and try playing a programme.

  • Do you have problems with Chromecast or Airplay?

When you Cast or Airplay a programme from the app you’re actually providing instructions to fetch the programme directly from the internet (so downloads are not supported). Your phone/tablet basically acts as a controller.

Ensure you’re using the latest version of the BBC iPlayer app and try restarting the Chromecast dongle or Apple TV device. Follow these links for more help with Airplay or Chromecast.

Still need help?

If you are still having problems and want to get in touch for help, providing the following information will give us a better understanding of your problem:

  • The version of the iPlayer app you’re using.
  • We can’t investigate possible issues with older versions of the app, so try to ensure you’re updated.
  • Manufacturer, model and operating system version.
  • Any error messages or error numbers displayed
  • Date and Time the problem started
  • Is it a particular programme affected? Check our Programmes - Latest issue updates and information to see if it’s known.
  • Does the problem affect live, on-demand, or downloaded programmes or Chromecast?


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

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