If Your Play Bar on YouTube Is Yellow All of a Sudden, Here's Why

If you were watching a YouTube video and wondered why the play bar mysteriously turned yellow in color, it's probably a glitch caused by ads.

Mustafa Gatollari - Author

Mar. 31 2021, Published 11:26 a.m. ET

Yellow Play Bar YouTube
Source: YouTube

Advertisements are the bane of everyone's existence — especially when you're trying to watch, play, or use something for free. But it's because of those ads that you're able to gain access to something without having to shell any of your own money out of pocket. For some folks, it's worth going completely ad-free, and if you're a die-hard YouTube viewer then you're probably going to want to shell out the $11.99 for the advertisement-free version of the service.

And if you had it, you'd probably never had to ask: "Why is the YouTube play bar yellow?"

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So why is the YouTube play bar sometimes yellow in color?

If you're like most YouTube users, you'll notice that before your video starts and a cursed ad starts playing on your screen, the progress bar for said ad isn't the wonderful red color that you're accustomed to seeing while watching YouTube. Instead, it's yellow. When you're watching longer-form videos, you may notice that the ad break sections are also highlighted in yellow.

Sometimes, a video will "glitch" on screen and the progress bar on the YouTube video will become entirely yellow, as indicated in the image below.

While this may seem like a minor annoyance, it also effectively erases a user's ability to know when an ad in the video is going to take place, so they're forced to experience the dark ages of television all over again — except this time on their smartphone, tablet, or computer. Ick.

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why is youtube play bar yellow cover
Source: YouTube

While many people believe this to be a relatively new issue, it's been cropping up for several years for YouTube users. Redditor Daffy1234 posted about this very same issue in 2016:

"For some reason, videos sometimes have yellow timeline bars at the bottom. This isn't like showing where an ad will be, because it isn't a single stripe across the bar, but instead the entire bar is yellow."

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Some theorized that perhaps utilizing ad-blocking programs might have something to do with the bar's color change, but that was quickly put to bed by the OP when they indicated that they weren't running AdBlock and there wasn't an ad running when they encountered the error.

Redditor Waringham offered the following explanation: "I don't think that the bug does have anything to do with AdBlock, since I don't use AdBlock and I still experience this bug (quite frequently). Probably just YouTube being the buggy mess that it really is."

why is youtube play bar yellow
Source: YouTube
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It didn't take long for people to start sharing their own play-bar-color-changing stories. Some people mentioned that it turned green for them, while others stated that the bar turned colors regardless of the device that they were using. What became clear, however, is that it wasn't necessarily an AdBlock error.

reddit comments why is youtube play bar yellow
Source: YouTube
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Is there a fix for YouTube's yellow bar? You probably need to just refresh the video or page.

If the yellow bar is really bothering you that badly, then you'll want to hit the old ctrl+shift+r button on your laptop, or just refresh the video you're watching on whatever mobile OS application you're viewing YouTube videos on to get rid of it.

If you're still encountering a yellow bar, you may want to clear the data cache on your browser to get rid of it, though it shouldn't be "sticking" on your app though after you've closed it out and re-opened it.

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For whatever reason, people are treating the occurrence as if they're encountering a shiny Pokemon. Have you ever encountered the mythical yellow bar of YouTube?

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