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?


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.


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


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

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