Experiencing 429 Errors? Please Read For Info

Hey everyone, we've been getting several reports of users experiencing Error 429 problems. I wanted to take a moment here to explain what these are and why they're happening.

What is it?

A 429 error means that your IP address has sent too many requests to the server (YouTube's server in this case). It's essentially a safety block to prevent a server from being DDOSed from bots and other automated software. Most servers might have something like this enabled with higher or lower limits.

With FreeTube, we have to send a lot of requests to YouTube, and depending on your usage of the app, it's possible to hit this limit.

The process of reloading subscriptions is the most expensive task that can be done in FreeTube, as each channel you're subscribed to is equal to 1 request. As you can imagine, having more subscriptions means that you can hit this daily limit faster than someone who has fewer subscriptions.

What's the limit?

I've done some unscientific tests on this and determined that YouTube's limit is roughly ~1500 requests. So far, we haven't even been able to confirm if this is a daily amount of requests or if it's within a set time. Early tests are showing that this is not a daily limit but we're still looking into it.

How do we avoid this?

As far as solutions go, there are a couple you could do. The first and easiest method to help avoid this is to go to your settings within FreeTube and enable RSS as your preferred method for refreshing your subscriptions. Calls to RSS are not counted towards your request limit and can go a long way to preventing this error from popping up.

The next solution would be to have a VPN enabled. Since VPNs change your IP, your limit will be reset (assuming someone else isn't attempting to make requests with that same node). You can also change the location your VPN is based in if the error comes up again.

This next solution would be to change your habits when you use FreeTube. Try not to refresh as often if you can get away with it. Taking advantage of FreeTube's built in profiles can help as well. Using a profile will only refresh the subscriptions within that profile, so it lowers the amount of requests being sent out. Use this to only refresh a select few of your subscriptions at a time.

The last solution is to simply wait it out. This limit doesn't seem to be permanent and will go away after a certain amount of time. Again, we don't know how long it will take but I've heard reports of it taking a couple of hours to a day or so.

What about more permanent solutions?

With this issue being so common, I'll be making some small changes with FreeTube to try and prevent this.

To start off, any profile that will have more than 125 subscriptions (including the “All Channels” profile) will be forced to load through RSS. You will receive a message that FreeTube is doing this whenever you attempt to refresh. If the 429 errors continue to be a problem, this limit might be lowered.

We'll be continuing to look at for possible changes we can make to improve on this.


Expect to see an update sometime this week introducing the new limit. I apologize for the inconvenience.

Thank you!