Support » Fixing WordPress » YouTube auto-embed not working

  • Hi all. I notice that WordPress’s feature for auto-embedding YouTube videos is now broken. Normally, I just put a YT link in a line on its own, and the embed auto-magically shows up (using I believe the oEmbed system). But now, nothing but dead unlinked text.

    Kind of a problem, as all my site’s video links are now broken.

    I’m running the latest WordPress, and also tried disabling all plugins and switching to the twentythirteen theme. No difference, sad to say.

    Anyone have an idea why this might be happening or what if anything I can do?


Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 17 total)
  • Moderator James Huff


    Hm, I’m not noticing that myself: those are all embedded just the same.

    Have you tried with all of your plugins temporarily disabled and the Twenty Fourteen (not Thirteen) theme?

    Also, can you give us a link to a post with the problem?

    Thanks James. I set it to Twenty Fourteen and no plugins, but same situation. Here’s a link:

    And they’re all like that – both Vimeo and YouTube links.

    Moderator James Huff


    Ok, let’s focus specifically on that post.

    Try changing that line to:


    Tried that, but it just makes the URL into a link.

    Bewilderingly, a client of mine just now reported the same situation – an embedded YT vid was now just an unlinked URL. There, I tried adding the [embed] code – and it worked! But on my site… no luck.

    Moderator James Huff


    Hm, ok then, very strange indeed.

    Sorry to be a pest and ask again, but did you definitely disabled all plugins? I’d be rich by now if I had $5 for everyone whose definition of “all” was “all but the one causing the problem.” 🙂

    Also, try updating the post with all plugins disabled, trying both:



    If it doesn’t work again, try one more time, but use the Text editor tab, not the Visual tab.

    Also, make sure that you are just pasting these as-is on their own line, no additions like alignment and such.

    Thanks James. Yep, I hear you about “all” plugins being off, but I was super-thorough and turned them ALL off even if it was going to play havoc with my site.

    So, I stayed in the text editor just to be safe, and pasted both the pure link, and the one wrapped in embed codes, into my post. Definitely in their own line. Updated and viewed, and both times get the same result: with just a link, I get dead text, and with embed codes, I get a link. But no actual embed.


    Moderator Ipstenu (Mika Epstein)


    Lead Plugin Wrangler

    cosmocanuck – I have to ask the obvious. Did you test with all plugins off, like the folder renamed off, and the default theme active?

    Other plugins and themes have been known to break embeds all the time. I try and catch any that submit to the .org repo, but … people insist on reinventing the wheel the hard way.

    Moderator James Huff


    Ok, running out of ideas here, so let’s try a few of the almost-nuclear options.

    Believe it or not, some plugins may remain active even though you deactivate them, kind of like “turning off” a modern TV, they’re always on.

    For force them all to shut down, navigate to /wp-content/ via SFTP, FTP, or your hosting provider’s file manager and rename the /plugins/ directory to /plugins-old/ then check your site.

    Did the embeds work? I hope so. If so, name it back to /plugins/ and start re-enabling each individually until you find the cause.

    If not, perhaps one of the core files was corrupted. Try downloading WordPress again and delete then replace your copies of everything except the wp-config.php file and the /wp-content/ directory with fresh copies from the download. This will effectively replace all of your core files without damaging your content and settings. Some uploaders tend to be unreliable when overwriting files, so don’t forget to delete the original files before replacing them.

    Moderator James Huff


    Whoops, sorry to cross there Mika. That’s what I get for re-writing this reply several times. 🙂

    No worries asking the obvious, Mika, and I did indeed turn everything off… AND tried the renaming-the-plugins-folder trick too. No joy.

    I’ll re-download WP using your suggested method, and let you know!

    I’m sorry to say, that after moving all my stuff (minus plugins; twentythirteen theme selected) to a fresh WP install… I get the same result.

    Moderator James Huff


    Ok, running low on ideas, 2 left.

    1. Are you running any sort of web application firewall (Cloudflare, Sucuri, mod_security, something server-side, etc)? oEmbed reaches out to the URL in question and gets the embed code back from it. If oEmbed suddenly stopped, perhaps something suddenly began blocking that 2-way communication.

    2. Does a normal embed code from YouTube (their iframe embed) work?

    Moderator James Huff


    I did just think of a third idea/question.

    3. Are you running any caching, either via plugin or server-side?

    Morning James. To answer your questions:

    1. No firewall that I’m aware of.
    2. Yes, a standard embed (which uses an iframe) does work.
    3. No caching that I’m aware of.

    I’ll confirm whether anything related to 1 or 3 might have changed at my web host.

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 17 total)
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