It's difficult to understand why technology doesn't work the exact way it's supposed to every time you engage with it. Barring any personal user error, like digging into your operating system's terminal code and messing everything up, or spilling coffee or cottage cheese or both on your device, there really isn't any reason for tech to just wig out out of nowhere. Which is probably what a lot of YouTube users were muttering to themselves recently after asking: "Why does my search bar not work?!"
Why does your YouTube search bar not work?
Recently, Google's ridiculously popular global video-sharing service received an influx of user error reports that indicated their search bars weren't working. This isn't the first time this has happened, and if you dig into enough YouTube video tutorials (funny, right?) that should've been one-minute blog posts, you'll find several fixes and workarounds throughout the years that show you how to address this problem.
But why does the search bar not work in the first place? There are a number of reasons why this could be happening. The first could be an issue with the specific medium in which you're using YouTube search. If you're rocking the application of your mobile phone of choice via its respective YouTube app, then that could be the root of your issue. It may start and end with the app itself.
If you're using Google image search on a particular web browser or shortcut bar on the browser, that could be the source of your video searching woes. But if you attempt YouTube queries over a variety of different devices, then that's a way bigger problem.
How do you fix the YouTube search bar when it's not working?
That depends on the nature of where you're having your issue. If you're just having it with your smartphone's YouTube app, then it could be that you're rocking an older version of the software. Go to your respective App or Play Store and update the YouTube app. If that doesn't work, then you'll have to dig into your YouTube app settings and try clearing your app data cache.
If that still doesn't work, then you might want to visit the YouTube site through a browser. If the search bar isn't working there or in your phone's app, then that means there's an issue with YouTube's search function itself, which has occurred in the past. If that's going on, then there really isn't much you can do about it.
But some users managed to find a strange workaround. Some slick tech nerds found out that you'll sometimes be able to use the YouTube search function in Restricted Mode even if there's a site-wide search outage.
To access Restricted Mode, click on your YouTube profile, then click Settings, then General, and then enable Restricted Mode.
Once you've done that, you should be able to browse videos for some reason. Since it's in Restricted Mode, you might not be able to gain access to some content, so keep that in mind the next time you're trying to watch the Eternal Champions fatality montage.
Just as cool as when I was 9. YouTube's the best.