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Fix: YouTube preview not showing in WhatsApp [Android, iOS]

In this guide, we will show you how to fix the YouTube preview not showing in the WhatsApp issue. While there are quite a few instant messaging apps, with a much greater feature set, but none could compete with WhatsApp. Along the same lines, the Silicon Valley giant’s video streaming offering YouTube has already established itself in this domain. There are a plethora of reasons why it’s hard to imagine a life without either of these two apps. However, one of the least talked about feature of WhatsApp is the ability to generate a preview screen for the video shared from YouTube, Facebook, and the likes.

Apart from the video preview screen, they also generate the complete title of the video, some descriptions, and other related metadata. However, as of late, many users have complained about the issue that YouTube previews aren’t showing up when they share a video via WhatsApp. Rather, it only results in the URL being shared (without any meta-data). Fortunately, there now exists some workarounds through which you could easily fix this issue. And in this guide, we will be sharing three different methods to fix the YouTube preview not showing in the WhatsApp issue. Follow along for the detailed instructions.

Fix: YouTube preview not showing in WhatsApp

The internet is flooded with complaints regarding this issue. For example, one user has shared this issue in the Google Support Forum and over 600 people have already upvoted this question. In this forum itself, there have been over 150 queries regarding this same issue. So all this brings us to the all-important question- is there a method to rectify this issue? Well, fortunately, yes!

youtube link preview whatsapp issue

Given below are three different methods to fix the YouTube preview not showing in the WhatsApp issue. Do keep in mind that there is no universal method to fix this issue, different users were able to fix this issue using any of the three methods that we have shared. So you should also try each of these three methods (which would take only around one minute combined) until you achieve success. Follow along.

Fix 1: Update YouTube App

The first fix involves updating the YouTube app to the latest version. Some users were able to fix this issue after updating their YouTube app to the latest build. So Android users should head over to the Play Store and iOS users should visit the App Store and update the app to the latest version.

Check if it fixes the YouTube preview not showing in the WhatsApp issue. if there is no update available, or even after updating you are still facing this issue, then head over to the next fix.

Fix 2: Update WhatsApp

update whatsapp link preview

Browsing through the Google Support Forum, one user said that he was able to rectify this issue by updating WhatsApp to the latest version. So as before, Android users go to the Play Store and iPhone users head over to the App Store, download the latest version and install it. Once done, check if you were able to fix the YouTube preview not showing in the WhatsApp issue.

Furthermore, if you are using an Android device, then you could also try out the beta build of WhatsApp. For that, either enroll as a beta tester for WhatsApp from the Play Store or sideload the app from APK Mirror: WhatsApp Messenger beta. See if it fixes the issue or not.

Fix 3: URL Tweak to Fix YouTube preview not showing in WhatsApp

Well, this is the most interesting of the three methods. However, this is rather a partial fix. You would be able to generate the video title, description, and meta-data, but the video preview screen wouldn’t show. So why are we sharing this method? Well, this is because, for me and many other users, this was the only method through which they were able to taste some success, if not all. So here is what needs to be done in this regard:

  1. When you copy and share any URL, the format will be something like this:

    whatsapp link preview issue

  2. The bold text in the above URL will be the same for all. After the bold text is the video URL that will be different for different YouTube videos.
  3. So first off, change youtu.be to youtube.com. So the above URL becomes:

  4. Then add the embed/ keyword after youtube.com/ and before the video URL. So in the above example, the URL changes to:

    embed youtube url whatsapp

  5. You should now get the video title in a more polished form. While not true to its original self, but as the popular saying goes, “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush”!

[LATEST] FIX 4: Start Video from 1 Second!

As surprising as it may sound, but this nifty trick has managed to fix this issue. All you have to do is manually tweak the URL and instruct it to play the video from the first second. Here’s what needs to be done:

  1. Suppose you have shared a YouTube video with someone via WhatsApp. The link will take the form of
  2. You now need to instruct YouTube to play this video from the 1st second. So add ?t=1 at the end of the URL. So in our case, the above URL will become:

    start video after one second fix youtube link preview issue in whatsapp

  3. What does ?t=1 signifies? Well, YouTube measures time in seconds and it uses the letter t to denote time. So ?t=1 signifies that it needs to start the video after one second has elapsed. Isn’t this trick quite impressive?

So this was all from this guide on how to fix the YouTube preview not showing in the WhatsApp issue. We have shared three different methods for the same. As you might have noticed, there isn’t a full-fledged fix for this. This is because we haven’t officially heard either from YouTube or WhatsApp.

Until and unless they release any official fix for the same, these above workarounds are the most that one could try out. With that said, do let us know which one of the above methods managed to give out favorable results in your case. And we will be updating this guide as and when there is further development regarding this. So bookmark this page and keep up to date!

UPDATE 1: 14th December

According to a Google Platinum Product Expert, the problem is infact related to the WhatsApp app on iOS and Android, and not because of an issue with the YouTube app. Here’s what he had to say:

It is not a setting or anything you have to change. It is a bug in the messaging application that occurs on both Android and iOS and has nothing to do with YouTube. The problem is foreign to YouTube and is beyond the scope of this forum, and from what it seems, it will be resolved in future updates of the messaging application, so always check that you have the latest version installed.

UPDATE 2: 22nd December

After updating WhatsApp to the latest version, many Android users were able to rectify this issue. However, some iPhone users are still facing this YouTube preview not showing in the WhatsApp issue. Well for them, we could suggest sticking with the FIX 4 that we have mentioned above as a temporary fix.

UPDATE 3: 11th January 2021

YouTube seems to have finally taken note of this issue. Replying to a complaint on Twitter, here’s what they had to say:

youtube whatsapp link preview issue tweet

So it seems, the fix is around the corners, and from the YouTube end (and not from WhatsApp, as was speculated by a few ). Anyways, we will update the guide accordingly to fix the YouTube preview not showing in the WhatsApp issue.

  • …and it’s not just YT Videos. All posted or forwarded Links gets no preview or Thumbnail

  • Still issues with WhatsApp Web in Win8 and Win10. iPhone and Android are working well. No Thumbnail or preview when you post or forward links in WA Web.

  • Still issues with Wahtsapp Web on Win8 and Win10. On iphone and Android it’s working well. Just on Web Version it still doesn’t work

  • Doesn’t work for me on iPhone 12, I have tried everything

    • Sadique Hassan

      Hi Nicky, some other iPhone users are complaining of the same issue. Let me check if there exists any other tweak/workaround and will then update this guide accordingly.

  • Bookworm

    Thanks for this article, it’s good to have all the info in one place instead of constantly trawling through the net to find the latest info. I had this problem a few months back and solved it simply by updating WhatsApp…it worked, but then a few weeks later the problem came back again. I updated WhatsApp again and it hasn’t worked. I send out videos for work all the time and have resorted to making my own screenshot preview and then sending the link. It’s time consuming and irritating, but better than just a hyperlink, which gets lost in groups etc.

    Going to try FIX 4 and see if that works as that will be better than what I am doing now. Thank you again. I’ve bookmarked this page so I can check updates!

    • Sadique Hassan

      Sure Bookworm, do let me know if the fourth fix worked out for you or not.

  • Hey Sadique, thanks for all that you’ve done so far. I’m on iOS and this is still an ongoing issue for us iPhone users. I’ve tried all of your methods to no avail. I even went as far as deleting the app and doing a full restoration from iCloud, hoping it would work. No luck. Surely, Whatsapp is aware of the issue?

    • Sadique Hassan

      Hi Steve, Unfortunately, I have got quite a few users with the same complaint. Let me see if I am able to find any other solution for this issue. What is strange is the fact that Android users were able to fix this issue using these workarounds, but it doesn’t seem to work out for iPhone.

  • I have problem when I try to share a video from Youtube to Whatsapp, on Whatsapps is not showing the video Preview screen. It happening on my Iphone and my Windows 10 PC, and my IMAC. What is wrong ?



    • Sadique Hassan

      Hi Miguel, apologies for the late reply. I have just updated the guide with FIX 4, could you please let me know if it fixes the issue or not.

      • it didn’t in my case (I have an iPhone)

        • Sadique Hassan

          Hi Fede, I have got a couple of other iPhone users complaining of the same issue. Let me find if there is any other workaround and will then update this guide.