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MrMark
Level 9

Roku doesn't save YouTube search history

There is another thread with a similar title - it is marked as resolved, but it is most definitely not resolved.

I have three Roku Ultras.  On two of them, when I search YouTube, the search phrases are reflected in my search history.  It propagates between all of the other Rokus as well as my real computers and mobile devices.  That's how it's is supposed to work, and it has always done so  until I got my latest Roku Ultra 4800.  On this most recent Roku, the search history is updated only if I use my default Google ID, but if I use my YouTube "brand" ID (which is what I always do), the history doesn't reflect any of my search history on that particular Roku device.  Instead, the search history is filled with things that I have never searched for, and my searches never replace those things.

I have removed the app, restarted the device, power cycled the device, re-installed the YouTube channel/app multiple times, but to no avail.  I think it's worth mentioning too that each time I try to sign in, it never works with the phone option.  As far as I can tell, it doesn't even try.  It looks very much like the Roku is malfunctioning.  The only way I can get connected it to either tediously log in via the Roku interface, or resort to my laptop.  This may be connected in some way.

I have contacted YouTube/Google multiple times, but they contend that this is a Roku problem, so I really do hope that someone at Roku will take ownership of this problem and come up with an actual solution.

 

 

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28 REPLIES 28\
Psilobite
Level 12

Re: Roku doesn't save YouTube search history

It's happening to me as well, and I'm a Roku 4660X user.

I actually had the entire search section go blank in the YouTube Roku channel. It came back when I switched to Google DNS, but without personal search history. It only shows the same search suggestions that it would show if no user is logged in, with the little flame icons appearing to the left of them. I also am using my YouTube "brand" ID.

I have an older smart TV that has YouTube on it. It looks exactly the same as it does on Roku, and shows the same internal version as Roku (web_20211003_10_RC00). There, search is working as expected... no blanking, and shows personal search history, even with the YouTube "brand" ID. So, it would appear this issue is only affecting Roku. Update - I logged out of the YouTube app on the TV, then logged back in, and it now has the same symptoms as the YouTube Roku channel. So this does appear to be a problem on YouTube's end.

(My YouTube Premium account costs me $11.99 per month.)

 

MrMark
Level 9

Re: Roku doesn't save YouTube search history

Thanks for the reply.  I have YouTube Premium as well, so maybe that figures in somehow.  FWIW, I spent quite a lot of time on chat with Roku support last night, but got exactly the same reply that I saw elsewhere in this forum.  I had the impression that it was a copy/paste.  They kept passing the buck to another person and at the end, they hung up on me.  I tried to make the point, but they weren't having it.  They're just delivering the company line, whether it makes any sense or not.  I mean, I could have been talking to a bot because what I was saying didn't affect the responses at all.

YouTube is Google, so their arrogance is real, but at the same time, in a contest of arrogance where Google is blaming Roku and Roku is blaming Google, I would tend to believe that Google has superior expertise, if only because of the sheer magnitude of their user base.  I believe Roku has a problem, but have no idea how to get through to anyone who cares.

 

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J_Mo
Level 8

Re: Roku doesn't save YouTube search history

I have this exact problem.   The search page is empty.  I have search history turned off, but youtube is useless to me without the search page.

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MrMark
Level 9

Re: Roku doesn't save YouTube search history

I agree that your experience might be related to mine in some way, but to be clear, I have never seen a blank search page.  Nor do I have search history turned off, because I very much want access to my search history.  That's actually the subject of my post.

And I'm not sure if I made this clear before, but Roku also fails to update my watch history, so even if I manage to find the same video that I watched on some other device, Roku doesn't transmit that fact to YouTube, meaning that other devices also don't know what I already watched.  To borrow your own words, it makes youtube is useless to me.

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Psilobite
Level 12

Re: Roku doesn't save YouTube search history


@J_Mo wrote:

I have this exact problem.   The search page is empty.  I have search history turned off, but youtube is useless to me without the search page.


Are you using Adguard? Add a custom filter rule:

@@||static.doubleclick.net^$important

This made search appear for me, but without personal search history. It appears to show "top" searches instead of the personal history, which is what it shows to a user who isn't logged in. "Top" searches have a flame icon to the left of them. Personal search history has a clock icon to the left of them.

I suspect this is going to go down the road of Roku blaming YouTube, YouTube blaming Roku, nobody knows anything about what happened (probably a typo or bug somewhere), and until someone can forward this issue to the people who actually code the channel, it's going to stay like this. If it goes any way I've experienced in the past, it could be months until this is fixed, or maybe even never.

Very frustrating for users.

 

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MrMark
Level 9

Re: Roku doesn't save YouTube search history

You got my attention with "Adguard".  What/where is that?   I know what it is as relates to real computers, but have no idea how that applies to Roku.  Perhaps a public DNS server?

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edburgos
Level 8

Re: Roku doesn't save YouTube search history

I was having the issue with the search page being empty. 

 

Turns out, long ago, I changed my router's DNS to use Adguard DNS which blocks lots of ads when you browse the internet. Looks like that may be causing issues with the youtube app. I switched the DNS to Google's and it's working now.

 

These are the DNS server I was using previously:

DNS1: 176.103.130.130
DNS2: 176.103.130.131

 

I am now using Google's 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4

The issue with AdGuard's DNS could be because of this: AdGuard DNS moves to new addresses

But I am not 100% sure. At a later time I will try to switch back to using AdGuard with the new DNS addresses. I would hate it if it doesn't work, I don't think it ever blocked YouTube ads (I ended up getting premium) but they did work amazingly for web browsing, now that I switched to Google's DNS I'm seeing a bunch of ads in pages I didn't previously (on mobile/iOS, on desktop I still use an AdBlocker)

You'll have to figure out if this is the case for you, I really wouldn't know. It could be DNS within your OS (Windows/Mac/Linux) configuration or it could be DNS at the router level like mine. It's your setup, if you don't think you've ever done a change like that then perhaps you have a different problem.

Chances are that by accessing 192.168.1.1 or 192.168.0.1 on the webbrowser (type it out as if it were a website) you may hit your router admin page. Those are the most common IP addresses for the gateways, there's always a chance yours is different.

 

How to set up AdGuard DNS

^ that page takes you through the steps to setup adguard in different systems. You could use these steps to see what DNS are configured on your system, if they are the ones I pointed out above (176.*) then you have the old AdGuard DNS setup. Remove it or change it to the new AdGuard or Google's DNS.

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Psilobite
Level 12

Re: Roku doesn't save YouTube search history

This now affects the watch history. Anything I watch with the YouTube Roku channel while signed in with my brand account does not record in my watch history. That is global... if I log in to YouTube on a computer with a web browser using my brand ID, videos watched on the YouTube Roku channel under my brand ID don't appear.

While the problem described above is still happening with the search history, anything I search for in the YouTube Roku channel when logged in with my brand account does seem to record and can be viewed in a web browser on myactivity.google.com.

Another thing I should mention, is that when I used to log in to YouTube on a clean web browser, it would prompt me for which account I wanted to log in with (I have two... the "Google" account and the YouTube brand account). Now, it only shows my "Google" account, but when I log in with that, it then defaults to my brand account, and I can switch to the Google account after logging in.

And another thing... that thing about this not affecting the YouTube app on an older smart TV? Well, I did the "Reset App" on the smart TV, then logged back in, and now it too has the same symptoms as the YouTube Roku Channel. So this appears to NOT be a Roku problem. I believe this will affect brand accounts (not sure how many... mine is quite old, created pre 2010) on ANY YouTube app for televisions (Playstation, Amazon Fire, etc.), but users may not notice an issue unless they either reset the app, or log out and log back in again, and select their brand account.

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Psilobite
Level 12

Re: Roku doesn't save YouTube search history

I tried creating a new channel (brand account). I logged into the YouTube Roku app and selected this new channel. Here, too, search history does not appear (only "top" searches with the little flame icons appearing to the left), and watch history is not tracked at all. So, this seems to affect *any* brand account on YouTube apps for television.

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