Have you ever clicked a link to a video on your mobile phone or tablet only to be presented with the message “This video is not available” stretched across the thumbnail of the video?

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This happens when an algorithm determines that the video contains copyrighted content such as music. My best guess is this ensures copyright holders can get revenues from pop-up ads (such as links to buy the copyrighted content). Pop-up ads work on desktop computers, not mobile devices.

There’s a simple workaround so you can play “This video is not available” videos on mobile devices and tablets.

Step 1: click the “vertical three-dot” menu link to the top right of the video.

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Step 2: select “Desktop” from the menu (to switch to desktop view)

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Step 3: click the big play button to watch the video (as you normally would)

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Step 4: Confirm this works. Click to play the following video and follow the steps from above.