The most common reason most people aren’t able to access YouTube Premium after paying subscription fees is that they haven’t upgraded or activated their accounts. Other reasons include a bug affecting YouTube or a declined payment.
In this article, I will address each of these issues in detail and help you to determine which one is locking you out of YouTube Premium.
Having researched these problems in detail and testing them, too, you should be able to get back to streaming your favourite shows on YouTube TV in no time.
Why is YouTube Premium not working?
From our research, these are the most common reasons why you cannot access YouTube Premium even after paying subscription costs. We’ve explained how to address each of them.
1. Your account is not upgraded
The first and most obvious reason you cannot access YouTube Premium is that you have not upgraded your account.
To upgrade to YouTube Premium, follow these steps:
- Launch the YouTube app on iOS or Android.
- Log in to your account and click the profile icon.
- Scroll to Paid Memberships and tap to open.
- Update to your Membership.
Alternatively, you can go to your profile icon, then click on Settings, and scroll down to Your Account. Under Memberships, choose Upgrade to YouTube Premium.
2. Your account is not activated
If you had a free trial period, you could access all the same benefits as a premium member.
However, after the free trial ends, your account is automatically rolled over into the membership, and you will now start being charged for your membership.
Your membership will not be activated if something goes wrong with the payment processing that causes it to decline. It is only possible to activate YouTube Premium after payment has been processed.
So how long does it take for YouTube Premium to activate? Essentially, as soon as the payment is approved and you have received an email receipt, then it should be active.
Depending on your location, payment method, and bank, this could take a few minutes or even days.
3. Declined payment
Your payment could be declined due to an issue with the card or whatever form of payment you are using. Fix or avoid this by:
- Make sure your card information is up to date: open your account profile on your web browser or mobile app. If you see the message’ current payment method could not be processed, it is probably no longer valid and needs updating. You can also use Google Pay if it is available in your country.
- Identify verification: If you receive an error message requesting more information, such as identity verification, update it to be able to make purchases using your Google account.
- Ensure you have enough funds on the chosen payment method to avoid declined payments due to insufficient funds. Check your balance before making payments and top it up if needed.
- Sometimes, your bank may have put certain restrictions in place: If you cannot see why your payment was declined, contact your card issuer to find out why the transaction was declined.
- Make sure that your card supports international transactions if you are outside the US, as some banks do not transact internationally, and others need to provide authorization for international transactions
- Try using a different mode of payment. To change your payment method, open your account profile and click on Paid memberships. Click the information icon next to the ‘payment could not be processed‘ message, and then click on ‘update payment method.’ Now, select a different payment method.
4. Pending payment authorization
If the payment was charged, but you still cannot access premium benefits, it could be that the payment is still being processed and awaiting authorization.
If a charge is pending, it means that it has not yet been processed and, thus, has not yet been charged to your account. You should, therefore, be a little patient.
Your account will be billed if the payment is authorized, and you will gain access to premium benefits. If not, the authorization attempt will drop off and will not be billed to your account.
If the payment is still pending, your Google Pay billing statement should be labeled ‘Pending’ rather than ‘completed’. Alternatively, check for an email receipt sent after the payment is processed.
5. Poor connection
Sometimes, the issue is as simple as a poor or unstable connection. First, make sure that the network your device is connected to is working properly.
You can disconnect and reconnect to it or reboot your router if the connection is poor. Once you have stabilized your connection, try making the payment again.