You Tube App freezing video only on fullscreen GS3 Android 4.1.1 fix

Not long after my (official, over the air) upgrade to Android 4.1.1 “Jelly Bean” on My Verizon Samsung Galaxy S3, I started having an issue with the official You Tube app. Whenever I would try to view videos in landscape, full screen mode the video would stop or freeze even though the audio would continue playing.

Bringing up the full screen HUD (play, pause, progress bar, etc), for lack of a better term, would catch the video back up and play it again, but only as long as the HUD is shown. The videos had no issues in the tiny portrait mode. My issue was not with the data connection, the settings or even the version of the You Tube app, or Android 4.1.1 itself (though, this could be very indirectly blamed in my case).

I’m not a hardcore You Tuber, but watching tiny portrait videos on the 4.8” screen of a flagship device was simply unacceptable. After “dealing with it” for a while, hoping for a fix, I was finally annoyed enough to figure it out. Goggling was no help, so I was on my own, and that is the reason I’m writing this article. It’s a fairly esoteric problem, and this post will likely only help a handful of people. But esoteric issues are kinda the only reason this blog exists at this point, so here we go.

I tried all the obvious, clearing the data and cache for You Tube, uninstalling updates and trying it on the old version, reinstalling the updates and trying again. Nothing. Then I realized what might be different on my phone than other peoples. I mean, this is a popular phone, so why weren’t there others having my issue?

A little back ground: I have two free games installed from the same company, Madfinger, which are great. There is a known issue with Dead Trigger and Shadowgun: DeadZone with the GS3 running 4.1.1 that causes the graphics to blur or “ghost” making the games unplayable on the phone. They still haven’t fucking fixed this, despite the numerous complaints. But, hey, the games themselves are great and are perfect examples of “freemium” done right on Android.

The work around to get the games to work normally again on 4.1.1 is to go to Settings > Developer Options > turn on developer options > check Disable Hardware Overlays. This is what was breaking my You Tube app. Something that simple. Un-checking this makes You Tube work perfectly again. So for those that are using this work around for these games, you just need to turn it off when you are not playing if you want You Tube to work full screen.