500 Internal Server Error on YouTube explained

World’s top video sharing website YouTube is reported to be down on occasions around the globe. At such times regular YouTube users complain of getting a continuous 500 Internal Server Error.

Frequently, YouTube users face 500 Internal Server Error problem for about an hour and or two, which stop them from accessing their favorite videos. In fact, users get so annoyed by this error that they started tweeting about this at a rate of two tweets in a minute, all are asking about this 500 Internal Server Error, nothing else.

YouTube may face problems from time to time … these days and major among them being the case of piracy. Some experts are saying that this error occurred once because YouTube wass trying to implement some new security features to stop piracy and other threats to the site. These changes might include stopping the users from downloading the videos, removal of copy-righted stuff, etc. So, this could cause the server the downtime resulting in a  500 Internal Server Error.

YouTube 500 Internal Server Error

The 500 Internal Server Error which annoys YouTube users is a general response error which occurs only when any request thrown off the server is not being able to find its right path or not bei ng able to perform, the particular task or when the root cause for the problem cannot be identified.

Some more info on 500 internal server error:

The Web server (running the Web Site) encountered an unexpected condition that prevented it from fulfilling the request by the client (e.g. your Web browser) for access to the requested URL.

This is a ‘catch-all’ error generated by the Web server. Basicallysomething has gone wrong, but the server can not be more specific about the error condition in its response to the client. In addition to the 500 error notified back to the client, the Web server should generate some kind of internal error log which gives more details of what went wrong. It is up to the operators of the Web server site to locate and analyze these logs.

500 errors in the HTTP cycle:

Any client (e.g. your Web browser) goes through the following cycle when it communicates with the Web server:

  • Obtain an IP address from the IP name of the site (the site URL without the leading ‘http://’). This lookup (conversion of IP name to IP address) is provided by domain name servers (DNSs).
  • Open an IP socket connection to that IP address.
  • Write an HTTP data stream through that socket.
  • Receive an HTTP data stream back from the Web server in response. This data stream contains status codes whose values are determined by the HTTP protocol. Parse this data stream for status codes and other useful information.

This error occurs in the final step above when the client receives an HTTP status code that it recognizes as ‘500’.

Fixing 500 internal server errors : This error can only be resolved by fixes to the Web server software. It is not a client-side problem. It is up to the operators of the Web server site to locate and analyze the logs which should give further information about the error.

More info on 500 internal errors

List of 5xx server errors:

  • 500 Internal Server Error: A generic error message, given when no more specific message is suitable.
  • 501 Not Implemented: The server either does not recognize the request method, or it lacks the ability to fulfill the request.
  • 502 Bad Gateway: The server was acting as a gateway or proxy and received an invalid response from the upstream server.
  • 503 Service Unavailable: The server is currently unavailable (because it is overloaded or down for maintenance). Generally, this is a temporary state.
  • 504 Gateway Timeout: The server was acting as a gateway or proxy and did not receive a timely request from the upstream server.
  • 505 HTTP Version Not Supported: The server does not support the HTTP protocol version used in the request.
  • 506 Variant Also Negotiates (RFC 2295): Transparent content negotiation for the request, results in a circular reference.
  • 507 Insufficient Storage (WebDAV) (RFC 4918)
  • 509 Bandwidth Limit Exceeded (Apache bw/limited extension): This status code, while used by many servers, is not specified in any RFCs.
  • 510 Not Extended (RFC 2774): Further extensions to the request are required for the server to fulfill it.
  • 530 User access denied.

This post on how to improve YouTube Buffering, Performance & Speed on Windows PC may also interest you.

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Posted by on , in Category General with Tags
Nitin Agarwal is an MVP alumni and a Pro Blogger. He was awarded as Most Valuable Professional for 3 times by Microsoft in Windows Expert - Consumer category. He is immensely inspired by Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and APJ Abdul Kalam.

31 Comments

  1. Ian Tresman

    I solved by this by clearing all my YouTube cookies. In Firefox, select Tools | Options, and then the Privacy tab, and click the link “Remove individual cookies”. In the Search field at the top of the page, enter: youtube
    Six youtube,com sites appeared, which I highlighted, and then click Remove cookies. Refreshing the affected page was then fine.

  2. Aaron

    This is happening to me right now. I’m so annoyed D:

  3. kody

    epic fail this is pissing me off

  4. lucas

    i got this message when i tried loging in to youtube to see if my friend actually deleted my youtube account but i can’t seem to see if it is deleted or not… =(

  5. Asd

    THANK YOU !!!

  6. Fuba

    Sorry, but YT pisses me off because I get this errors randomly for YEARS now. Im since 2006 on YT, well ok, I accept it that the worlds largest video portal could have some performance issues from time to time, but they don´t do anything against it so it seems. Instead they disimprove YT constantly with new features now one needs or cr@p like new designed thumbs or nonsense like this. Now they try their Cosmic Panda – it sucks. Their stupid security systems don´t work good either. A friends video was removed because YT said it violates their community guidelines. In fact it didn´t, it was online for over a year, don´t has content with Copyright issues or shows something harmful.
    YT engineers should be fired, to be honest.

  7. Awa

    Still not working!

  8. buyke

    same here :/

  9. Mirte_angel

    I honestly do not understand the big deal. Every website has maintainence from time to time and cannot be in the air forever.
    I get more annoyed by the fact about the changes the website forces on us by changing profile layouts, removing the starrating system which I even find more professional then the like or dislike.. The commercials and the fact that it has morelike become TheirTube then Youtube. Or that even your own original musiccompositions are flagged because some moment sounds simulair. It is just no longer what it used to be

  10. T.N.

    Awesome Dude!!!

  11. Confused Person #3

    Although it is not supposed to be a client-side problem, I’m having a weird issue with it. I get the 500 error ONLY when on the home page of my account on my home computer. Any other computer works just fine, I can access the home page if not logged on, and I can watch videos and go anywhere but the home page from my home computer. It is only the home page of my account on my home computer that has the problem.

  12. T Royter45

    Doe wat aan you tube

  13. T Royter45

    Fix it you tube that schit now!!

  14. T Royter45

    Fix it that schit you tube

  15. Ihearya

    I hear ya bro.

  16. stimpy04

    gracias funciono a la perfeccion, se resolvio el problema de volada,muchas gracias

  17. newparkshire

    happened on my galaxy s 2 so I uninstalled the app then reinstalled it and now it is locking me out of my account. I need help.

  18. Ian is an idiot

    You are an idiot. You will probably never see this, but you cannot ‘solve’ the YouTube server issue by clearing your personal computer’s cookies. You just cleared them at a coincidental time to when YouTube fixed the problem themselves. Do not give computer or web advice, ever.

  19. Prisonplanet

    No, you are an idiot because Ian’s solution works.

  20. Fran

    I found videos wouldn’t download. They had no warnings about copying, but my downloader would say there was no live video to download—until I used NoScript to disable some of the scripts from Google and YT. Then it worked fine, but is that what they call pirating? If I see warnings I don’t download. Now it looks like they don’t want us downloading ANYTHING. I’m disgusted with this as well.

  21. Alize McCowin

    I got this error when trying to go into (not my own but other) youtubers playlists. For example i just tryed to go into totalbuiscet’s wtf is playlist i got the error. And when i tryed to go into SSoHPKC’s gta 5 playlist i got the error aswell. I also get it for everyone elses playlists other than my own. But when im not logged in to my youtube and go into youtube as a guest i can get into the playlists. Any help?

  22. noseefood

    “500 Internal Server Error

    Sorry, something went wrong.

    A team of highly trained monkeys has been dispatched to deal with this situation.

    If you see them, show them this information:”

    apparently those monkeys can’t work fast enough…

  23. aaro4130

    Ian is no idiot, Because this solution may work somethings

    But it doesn’t work 100%, Youtube has its own server side issues many times.

  24. Jae

    thanks!! solved the problem 🙂

  25. Diego

    DUDE THANKS SO MUCH! This was driving me crazy

  26. Sandra Evans

    GOD BLESS YOU!!!!!!!!

  27. tester

    Thank you, you’re the best!

  28. June Summer

    Aw, it didn’t work… Thanks for the tip tho

  29. i just went back to youtube.com and refreshed the video i was looking for LOL

  30. MCPE@user

    All I did on chrome was close and reboot PC. If still, I recommend removal of all history.

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