Technology in terms you understand. Sign up for my weekly newsletter, "Confident Computing", for more solutions you can use to make your life easier. Click here.

How Can I View Online Video Without the Starts and Stops?

//

I would like to view YouTube without the stops and starts. What causes that and can it be corrected?

In the past few years, video has exploded. There are amazing statistics about the number of hours of video being uploaded to YouTube every minute.

With the proliferation of video-capable mobile devices, the explosion – both of video creation and video consumption – is continuing to grow.

As is some frustration.

It’s frustrating, to say the least, to have an online video playback play a little, pause, play a little more, then pause, then play a little more, then pause, then play a little more…

You get the idea. Heck, it was even frustrating to type, much less watch.

There are several reasons this type of playback behavior happens. I’ll cover a few of them, and a few ways you might work around it.

Become a Patron of Ask Leo! and go ad-free!

The number-one cause: your internet connection

By far, the single biggest reason for videos that pause periodically while playing back is the speed of your internet connection.

Or rather, the lack of speed.

Video can require a lot of data, and that data has to be transferred fast enough across your internet connection for the video to play back smoothly.

If a video requires, say, three megabits per second (just an example) to play smoothly, and your internet connection is only 1.5 megabits per second, you are going to experience these stops and starts. The video player just can’t get the data fast enough for the video to play without interruption.

In that same vein, if some other program on your computer is simultaneously downloading something from the internet, then the available download speed left over for your video playback will be reduced. You may have the required three megabits per second1 connection, but if another program is simultaneously downloading something, your effective speed might be cut in half and your video, once again, begins to pause.

In addition, if another computer that shares your internet connection does the same thing, then the bandwidth available to your machine watching video is similarly reduced, and pausing can once again happen.

The number two cause: your computer’s too busy

In addition to requiring sufficient download speed, depending on your computer’s specific hardware configuration and the software you have running on it at the same time, it might just be too busy to keep up with the work of displaying video.

Other programs running at the same time might be placing high demands on the computer’s CPU, RAM, or disk, and can interfere with video playback. Symptoms like periodic pausing can be one result.

Fortunately, using programs like Process Explorer, you can peek into the inner workings of your computer, see exactly who’s doing what while you play back video, and identify any resource-hogging culprits.

There’s also a small chance that your video card might not be up to the task. This isn’t nearly the issue it once was, but it’s something to consider on older computers.

Solution number 1: pause

Most video player progress bars will typically show three stages of video playback:

Video Player Progress Bar

  • Video seen: This shows how much of the video you’ve seen2 so far and ends at the playback position indicator.
  • Video downloaded but not yet seen: This shows you the amount of the video that’s been downloaded into a buffer somewhere on your computer, but that you haven’t seen yet.
  • Not yet downloaded: This is the amount of video that has yet to make it from the video server to your computer.

If you never see the “video downloaded but not yet seen” during normal streaming playback, it’s likely that the download can’t keep up with playback, or can only just barely keep up.

More often than not, this results in the pauses we’re talking about.

My most common recommendation when faced with this is to start it playing, click on pause, and wait a while.

Video Player Pause Button

Most video players will either have a separate Pause button, or will change the Play button to a Pause button, as in the YouTube example above.

Pressing Play initially begins the streaming of the video. By pausing the video, we’re giving the download a head start, letting it fill the buffer with video ready to be played back.

Now, while this works with many players, YouTube has of late seemed to impose limits as to how far ahead it will buffer; it’ll buffer a certain amount and then stop before it’s done, apparently waiting for playback to catch up.

Unfortunately, when it chooses to stop buffering, it’s typically not buffered enough to finish the video without more starts and stops.

Thus, another solution might be called for.

Solution number 2: reduce the demand

Many video players provide the video in multiple formats, usually including different sizes of video and different qualities.

The players may choose a default, or they may guess and guess wrong.

On YouTube, you can click on the gear icon to select a different resolution.

Video Player Resolution Selection

The maximum resolution available is typically selected by whomever uploaded the video, and results in the largest and clearest picture.

It also requires the fastest internet connection in order to play smoothly.

By selecting a lower resolution, the image will typically be smaller and perhaps a little less clear, but it will also place less of a demand on the speed of your internet connection, and thus may play back without pausing.

What if you have a slow internet connection, but still want high quality? That calls for a different approach.

Solution number 3: download

Streaming and downloading a video are very similar. Oh, there are differences in protocols and software and whatnot, but the fundamental difference is simply this:

  • Streaming plays the video on your screen immediately
  • Downloading3 writes a copy of the video to your computer’s hard disk

The technical differences, while complex behind the scenes, are conceptually fairly simple. Unfortunately, the legalities are anything but.

The problem is, when you download a video, you are creating a copy of that video. That may be illegal or against the video-sharing site’s terms of service. I’m not going to weigh in on that other than to point out the possibility.

Some sites will simply offer a direct-download link. I do this with most of my more recent video offerings here on Ask Leo! and in any bonus videos I offer with my books. It’s by far the simplest approach. Click on the download link (or right-click and Save As…) and then, after the download completes, you’ll get a video file on your machine that you can play using your favorite media player.

Other sites, most notably YouTube, do not provide this ability.

However, if you search for “youtube downloader,” you’ll find many. The problem, of course, is that it’s unclear which to trust. In my brief research for this article, I checked out a few and found many to be discontinued, not working, or loaded with toolbars and other unrelated software.

One final note about downloading a video. If the download takes longer than the video would play – for example, it takes 15 minutes to download a video that only plays for three minutes, then almost by definition, it’s an internet connection speed issue. If you were able to download that same file in three minutes or less on a faster connection, you’d theoretically also be able to stream it directly without the starts and stops.

Footnotes & references

1: I’m NOT, NOT, NOT saying that all online video requires three megabits per second. This is simply an example of a video that requires a higher data rate than you might have available.

2: Assuming, of course, that you haven’t skipped ahead; in which case, this simply indicates the amount of the video prior to the current position whether you’ve seen it or not.

3: I know it gets confusing on top of confusing because even in this article, I’ve used the term “downloading” while describing the ins and outs of streaming a video. Essentially, any transfer of data from the internet to your computer can be considered a download, and that’s most often how the term is used. When we talk about media like video or audio, we make this specific distinction between streaming and downloading based on what happens to the data transferred: displayed or saved to disk, respectively.

96 comments on “How Can I View Online Video Without the Starts and Stops?”

  1. I have the same problem my Internet speed is 1.1Mbps is this fast enough? The same happens when I stream from TV eg. QVC TV channel picture freezes and start to rebuff. It is very annoying.

  2. I do wait and let it buffer all the way but when I play the video, the video stops in the middle of it and asks if I want to atch it again

  3. I have a playlist saved on you tube with 18 songs. It is the same 3 any and every time I play the list. I have plenty of hard disk space for the temp file. I think there’s more to it.

  4. I’d like play just an excerpt of youtube video on my web site. I know how to play youtube video, but not the excerpt (e.g., a segment from 15 sec. to 25 sec.). Would you advice what code should I insert to achieve that? Thank you. Art

    PS
    I use the following code to place youtube video on my web site:

  5. Hi Leo
    I have the stop and go of my youtube videos which is odd because it wasn’t happening 2 weeks ago. My laptop is brand new and the youtube was working perfectly then suddenly I started having the stop and go. I cleared my cookies & still no help. When I hit the pause, the red line stops completely so its not downloading while I wait. Even if I wait for the entire video to download and then hit replay, it starts the same stopping and going. Could I have done something to bring this on suddenly?
    thanks
    jane

  6. Here is my issue: latest version of Firefox, and after some day all flash videos (youtube, etc.) begin stopping after 1-2seconds. Also, no sound.

    Solution:
    – First, open Mozilla plug-ins folder (C:Program FilesMozilla Firefoxplugins)
    – Then, flash plug-in folder (C:WINDOWSsystem32MacromedFlash)
    – Check if NPSWF32.dll is present in Mozilla folder. If not, just copy it. Restart Firefox and it should be fixed.

    Some other workarounds I’ve found on the web: Uninstall RealPlayer (if you use it), or install previous build of Flash Player. Old builds can be found here: http://kb.adobe.com/selfservice/viewContent.do?externalId=tn_14266&sliceId=2

    Hope it helps!

  7. I had this problem crop up suddenly and found that it was due to a clutter of files and other junk I allowed to accumulate on my desktop. I ashcanned a bunch of videos and other files just sitting on my desktop and the problem with videos starting and stopping went away. You might try that.

  8. Thank you! Thank you!! Thank you!!! I hit pause and let the video completely download, went back and when I hit play – it played just as it “should” – no stops and starts. I am very grateful. πŸ™‚

  9. Is the buffering a Vista problem? I have a notebook with vista (w/3 megs of ram) that has this problem and a desktop with XP that does not.
    both are connected to the internet thru a broadband connection. What should I do?

  10. If it had been up to me, I wouldn’t have put You Tube up until that bug got work out. But then I would have made sure saccharine and cyclamates were harmless and not cancer-causing before putting them on the market.

    What bug? The fact that your internet connection is slower than the data rate needed to give you a seamless video is not a bug.

    – Leo
    06-Feb-2009
  11. I cannot tell you how much this info helped!! Been having this problem for awhile. Not just on Youtube! Very cool and no need to get frustrated anymore. I will just pause….

  12. When running internet videos the red load line does load far ahead of the playing point. And the video still stops, skips frames, and starts and stops. Even going back to the beginning point and rerunning the video with the red line full the video still does the stop and start thing. The sound is doing the same. I am running windows XP with Internet Explorer. Adobe Flash player 10 Active X is loaded and Java Script is enabled. Memory space is clear. System is an Intel 866 MHZ, 512 ram with service pack 3. Display adapter is a Nvidia GeForce 2 MX 100/200. And the wireless connection is at 54Mbps.What possibly could be wrong or set to cause this video problem? Videos do run normal in Microsoft Media player. But are jumpy in Flash. Thanks

    My initial reaction is that your machine is underpowered. 866Mhz with 512Meg RAM isn’t much these days. Flash may simply take more power than your machine has. (Also perhaps highly dependant on what else is running and eating up system resources while you try to play video.)

    – Leo
    02-May-2009
  13. THANK YOU SO MUCH for the info. I have had problems trying to watch the news videos on my homepage with all the stopping every few seconds. I just hit the pause and let the line move to the right and NOW I have no problems watching.

  14. hi Leo
    thanks for the information but even when i pause the download progress wont happen or is very slow and it very annoying. so please please tell me what to do

  15. I had the same start and stop problem with watching videos online. I tried numerous sites to make sure it wasn’t the site. The problem came on suddenly so I tried all the fixes on the first page, but no luck. I finally uninstalled ITunes which I had recently installed and now everything is working fine again. ITunes installed a mess of programs that I would never even use and it made itself the main music player. I also noticed that Itunes had a lot of task running all the time, at least 5 or more. So, that’s my fix. Hope it might help someone else.

  16. Ive been having a similar problem but Ive found that if I reboot my PC the videos play faster what could be causing this?

    Usually that means that some application is eating up system resources – CPU, disk, memory, or network bandwidth. Pay close attention to what applications are running before you reboot – one or more of them may be interfering.

    Leo
    26-Jul-2009

  17. well my problem is a bit different than this…
    when i try to watch a video online sometimes its plays fine but after serveral viedeo watching or sometimes just one…

    the sound stop & the video stops playing if i click the video it plays for 2 secs.. then stops again only thing i can do is restart my PC
    to fix the problem & repeat

    Please help…

  18. I recently bought a canon fs20 camcorder and tried to download several videos onto my computer. When I watch the videos, they stop and start again, like they are buffering. Is this my computer, download program or something else? I am using the Imagemixer 3 program that the camcorder came with.

  19. My problem is similar, but not the same. I get fairly rapid initial download speed of the video, and download halts and does not resume. This appears on many sites. Is it possible that after a certain number of dropped packets, the download is quitting?

    In other words, I get rapid download – then download ceases and there is no rebuffering or restart. Sometimes this happens every 30 seconds (and I have to reload the page) sometimes after 20 minutes or 30 minutes.

  20. Yo have reason 100%, I discover that myself alone.What I want is to replace my pc or to find a way to repair it.Another family member has a pc, I try you tube and i can see video instantly, for that reazon is not my conection is may pc, Can I repair it or I should change my pc? Please if you know someone able to reir it let me know i am willing to pay.thanks

  21. The only disagreement with you is the reazons.Again a member of my family come tu my same conection with her laptop and is able to see without problems, then is my pc,how I fix that , I do not want to wait how you suggest, I am doing that and is a waiting of time

  22. does anyone know why vista download gets slower as the file progresses. it quickly gets down to as low as 1kB/s. i have an xp box on the same router and it works ok on the same site at the same time.

  23. I disagree with you answer, I have the problem with my pc, stop and star you tube videos,my daughter in the same network has no problems. If I do what you advice when the video is downloades I already lost interest to see, my daughter see videos immediately.

  24. well is it so common, but so difficult to fix, the start and stop ,for all video reviews.This is ask by millions daily so some tech resolve my issue.I see no reason to pay the server for faster internet services.when videos do now work anywhere the servers do not know that ?.

  25. I’m using Firefox 5.0 (however problem has been in every version)
    I allow video to load completely and audio continues while video stops and starts after a few seconds. Even as I type this it’s delaying some of my words. I wait and it auto fills if I keep typing.

    I’m using osx 10.6.7 All add-ons disabled.

  26. @Ddrt
    Sounds like you might have more programs running than your computer can handle which might be slowing it down. More RAM might help, or you might try stopping some programs that start up with your computer that you don’t need.
    http://ask-leo.com/how_do_i_determine_what_i_absolutely_need_to_load_at_startup.html
    Oops, I just noticed that you use OSX, I don’t know what the procedure is to stop programs from starting up on a Mac, someone who reads this might have an answer.

  27. My dsl downstream rate was 765 and up was 132.
    They were upgraded to 7036 and 508 respectively and I had no problem w/starts&stops of video.
    For some unknown reason the rates have reverted to the lower nbrs and I now have that prob. again.
    How can I change the rates back to the higher nbrs from the Broadband DSL Line Diagnostics page?

    Make sure you’re not running other programs that download at the same time, but ultimately this sounds like you’ll have to talk to your ISP.

    Leo
    05-Sep-2011

  28. I’ve been trying to watch videos from a site called Paper Crafters Library. I do what you say, but its still an extremely slow process. At times I can let it spool in for ages, but when I click play I still only get a very short time, sometimes only seconds, before it stops again. I tried Videobox but the makers of that said the site uses streaming videos and Videobox will not work. Is there anything else? I’ve spoken to our provider and they say its all ok there. I can watch Youtubes with no problems. Thank you.

  29. Minor typo: can should be can’t in this sentence: The video player just can get the data fast enough for the video to play without interruption.

  30. If ya use Firefox which I would recommend, just use “you tube video quality manager”. This helps a lot. else just let it buffer and play later. Some VPN’s also increase download speed.

  31. For other types of streaming..just move cursor to left side of screen..right click and just find Quality..select Low (from high/medium or low)..this also helps a lot as we in Europe know.

  32. Use with care, I downloaded and before I could instal I received a virus warning (I use AVG). It hasn’t to the best of my knowledge caused me any problems, but that’s maybe only because I didn’t proceed.
    I appreciate the link was offered in good faith though, so not a criticism, just a word of warning.

  33. I used to think my Internet connection was slow, and that’s why video was taking so long and why web pages took so long to display. But then I hooked a Linux laptop to my home network, and wow … it was really fast. So, the problem was not the Internet connection, but rather my computer. My solution was to buy a new computer, the fastest and biggest I could get. I now have 16 GB of RAM, i7 processor, 10 MB cache, 1024 MB video card. Video never pauses. Web pages load like they were local. I am in heaven.

    My old XT computer? I will load Ubuntu Linux on it as a dual boot machine.

  34. In recent months my computer has begun encountering a different kind of video playing problem when playing videos from the Internet. I can see the downloaded, but not played, bar well ahead of the current display point, but the screen freezes anyway. Only if I move the mouse pointer up into the video does it free up and begin displaying properly again. In order to play a video smoothly, I have to keep the mouse up in the video and wiggle it around to keep the thing playing. This is MOST annoying, but I haven’t found a way to avoid it. I am mostly using Firefox, but I think it happens with other browsers too. Can you explain this? Better yet, tell me how to fix it?

    BTW, this happens when my fast (3gB/s), big (6 gB ram) computer is not overloaded or doing lots of other things. The video will continue playing smoothly as long as I keep wiggling the mouse around in the video.

  35. I’d really like to see an answer to Rene LeBlanc’s problem with some video’s as I have the same problem. If you have an idea, please post it. Thanks very much.

  36. My IE9 hangs all the time with videos, and I have a fast connection. Then switched to FF and/or Chrome and have no problems. But I must close the IE hog first.

  37. @Rene
    That sounds like a problem of not enough resources such as RAM or CPU. I’d run Process Explorer, as Leo suggested and see how I could free up some resources on my system. I had a similar problem where doing anything with my keyboard or mouse, even simple things like scrolling a window, would cause the video hesitate. Closing a few background processes solved the problem.

  38. In my documents on face book, when I go into doc to copy an image or quote to post on Facebook, when I click to see a doc all the documents fly by so fast I can’t even see them, much less choose one. Have any idea why this is happening?
    Thanks

  39. Hi Peggy,

    This is not really the best place to post a question, especially since the question does not appear to be related to the topic.

    The best way would be to click the link below that says “Questions? Ask Leo” and ask your own question.

    Of course if you are a subscriber, you should go to your email and click the link in the email you received from Leo because Leo always puts subscribers questions to the top of the queue and you’ll likely get a response in a couple weeks as opposed to a month or two.

    If your not a subscriber, it would probably be faster to subscribe (there’s a subscription box above). It’s free to subscribe and Leo doesn’t sell his mailing list. Then when you get the first email, click the link in the email to ask your question as a subscriber and move ahead in the queue.

  40. Sometimes a reboot will help, undoubtedly because that closes processes and programs that may have been taking up resources. Sometimes it’s easier than trying to figure out what’s slowing you down with process explorer. One day everything was dragging on my computer–not just video. I realized that my son was using his computer wirelessly from my router. Usually he and I are not on at the same time, but this time we were.

  41. I use a browser called Fastpeak Slimbrowser because I like the interface, with menus which allow me to do everything I want and with very easy access to translation. I just noticed that it now offers a button for direct downloading of videos on YouTube too in all the formats available.

  42. My Mom developed this problem with watching youtube videos (would just buffer endlessly) and for months I blamed her old computer and even sadly her πŸ™ because I couldn’t figure out what the problem was. Never thought it could be a bad router! Replaced it, and that fixed the problem. Happy Momma, happy me πŸ™‚

    • I’m far from an expert on computers. In fact, I could barely understand these solutions. What I tried: I turned my router off for a couple minutes and then back on. What a difference! Better than throwing my computer out the window which was my first inclination.

    • Some streaming downloads the whole file, and you can watch it as it downloads. When finished, it deletes the file. Others download the file and only keep a portion of the file in a buffer, which is also a temporary file on your computer.

  43. I have wireless internet and can watch videos on my Kindle, but they will only play for a few seconds on my brand new lap top. I’m thinking that it must be the laptop, since they both use the same router, internet, etc. Does that make sense.

  44. Maybe I missed it but one should always do a speed test (try speedtest.net) to determine the actual speed of the connection first. This will tell you if the problem is related the speed of the connection or if you need to look elsewhere.
    Peak viewing times can slow down one’s connection significantly.

  45. Why can I watch a Netflix movie in HD on my 24″ ext monitor for two hours without a single glitch or pause, but can’t view a simple three minute news cast, about 2″ x 4″ without constant freezes?

    • Maybe the problem isn’t at your end. Maybe it’s the news website not wanting to spend the money on sufficient servers/bandwidth/etc. to be able to serve up the video to as many people as are using their website. Whereas, I’m sure Netflix has already and probably continues to upgrade its hardware/bandwidth to keep its paying customers happy.

      • Linux has a utility called WINE (which originally stood for WINdows Emulator but now people say it means Wine Is Not an Emulator) which can run many Windows programs, but if Linux itself doesn’t have the drivers using WINE wouldn’t help.

  46. Hi Leo,
    I have a solution for the DASH problem. That’s where YouTube only provides a short buffer rather than downloading the whole video to its end.

    It involves a third-party add-on for FireFox users. I am not affiliated with this product in any way. It provides many uses other than simply controlling DASH and is completely free to use.

    Note: There are scripts and plug-ins available for other browsers as well.

    I wrote a guest article for Dave’s Computer Tips that covers this very subject and it can be found at this link: http://www.davescomputertips.com/dont-like-dash-then-youtube-center-is-for-you/

    Thank you for all the helpful information you provide us.

    I hope this helps,
    Richard

  47. With an Android tablet, videos can be interesting. Some play fine. Some cause the tablet to completely freeze. And some start and stop every few seconds.

  48. What a useless article. Can you tell us why youtube no-longer buffers the full video when you pause? Seems completely senseless to me. I dont mind waiting for the the full HD video to buffer, why are they cutting this short?

    Please do some more research and come back to us.

  49. HI Leo,
    I Have a desktop computer which i bought about a year ago and it could load a 20 minute YouTube video on full hd in about a minute or two. My internet speed is the same 15mb/s as it was back then, and yes that is fast for Australia but if i change the quality to hd it stops and pausing doesn’t help because you tube videos don’t like to download when they are paused on my computer. So i tried my sisters new mac which was connected to WiFi not Ethernet as my desktop is and the exact same video on the exact same quality loaded almost instantly. So Please help!!!!!!!!

  50. My thoughts are not just uTube videos, but short clips on FB. I only have an Ipad and pay quite a bit for my not the top but next best available speed I can afford which is NOT cheap! I mean every second or two? It is so frustrating i want to throw this damn thing through the wall. Its a fairly new one and have no other problems with it but this. I will try the pause thing but I’m calling Apple next!

  51. Thanks so much for the clarity. Only one remaining question: Could you please comment on how the CPU speed might affect streaming? Would one notice any significant difference between using a computer with a 1.88GHz processor and one with a 3.2GHz processor. I’m in the market for a new computer and the slower one would meet all my other needs and be less expensive. If, however, the faster one would provide a perceptible improvement in streaming, I’d be inclined to spend the extra bucks. Thanks for your thoughts.
    John Meny

    • CPU speeds that you’re looking at shouldn’t have appreciable impact in general. Like I said, what matters most is the speed of your internet connection.

      • I am like John, looking at a new laptop. Does the available memory that the CPU uses affect streaming? Does 4GB have an advantage over 2G?

        • It really all depends on what else you do with the machine. Short answer is available memory absolutely can impact it. And more is always better. πŸ™‚

  52. Thank you for the insightful video. I have a 10 mb connection and most YouTube videos were almost impossible to watch. I didn’t know about the “gear” setting that would let you choose a lower resolution. That seems to have made a big difference. πŸ™‚

  53. And where are the solutions?
    So, barely explaining on why a video may stop and play, that is a solution to, what? Telling why it’s always stopping?

    Gee, if all the professionals are as professional as you, then I wonder how the videos are even play and stop and not just stop full on.

    This world certainly produces one kind of {removed} up brain dead pros. too much on facecrook, huh?

  54. My kindle fire keeps on saying my video is interrupted and the wick is ligit on. How can I solve this problem please help

  55. I wish you would not use the word “playback” as a verb: “Anytime you playback a video…” Better to write “Anytime you play a video…”

  56. Older iMac completely updated. Chrome.

    Why does video stop when I’m streaming — and never start again — even though, according to the ‘Video downloaded but not yet seen’ is completed? This happens frequently to me.

  57. Well I have a 65mbit connection and half the videos I watch online stop periodically and load then start again even at 720p. If this issue is my internet connection then it’s technically impossible to stream online video period. I would imagine anyway. I guess it could be the encoding. I’ve rented a few streams from Vudu at 1080p and google play and they both ran like 10 fps. The Vudu video issue was an encoding error on their part (email communication) and not sure about the Gplay issue.

    I’d suggest in this case it could also be the server in which the video is playing. The main reason I upgraded to 65mbit is because I assumed this would be plenty of bandwidth. Oh well, who knows. Do you know Leo?

    • If you’re getting anywhere near 65Mb, the connection speed shouldn’t be a problem. I have 50Mb and several internet devices on my home network and I have no problems streaming. Either your ISP isn’t delivering the promised speed or you might have a problem with your router. You can check your speed by running an internet speed check, but if that comes up slow, it won’t tell you whether the problem is with your ISP, your router or you computer’s network adapter. Maybe you can get a router at a store with a liberal return policy to check it out.
      http://ask-leo.com/how_can_i_be_sure_im_getting_the_internet_speed_im_paying_for.html

  58. Leo, I never had the video start/stop problem until Windows 10 came along and I was forced to get it. Now I just about don’t even try to watch videos anymore. It’s too maddening. Also I was never swamped with all this advertising stuff coming up like I now have with Windows 10. Every time I go to a site some ad pops up on it and I have to figure out how to get rid of it so I can get to the site I went to. I’m just getting fed up. I long for the good old days. Any suggestions on what to do?

    • All I can say is that ads are not related to Windows 10 at all. If you visit a web site and an ad pops up, either you have malware (rare, but it happens) or it’s simply the site doing the advertising.

    • As a former windows fanatic, I took the easy, but only way out. A cheap promotional android phone, although not as happy as the good old days with windows, much recent complacency acquired. Windows mobile (alone) has been cast out, virtually, by microsoft, its own relatives. Family issues? Im not into. Notes: my previous carrier was not windows friendly, current carrier not wholly compatible, android is becoming much more windows acceptable. Any ideas on a non windows, non Android, way to use a phone and do all that is required of one, for someone, or more, who does tend to find alternative methods of cash flow thats not always phone related. Im not professing a lot of knowledge here, but with experience to cover the gaps. Thx ms to make this possible.
      Side note, today is 4 years to the day that Leo presented the article, on thanksgiving day, that helped me a lot today (the stop/start thing)! A sincere thank you to askleo.com Thank You

  59. Hi Leo, I live on a boat and have to deal with slow internet speeds as a fact of life. Most of the times, I click the pause button as you suggest, but that doesn’t always work. Isn’t there a setting some place where I can tell all streaming videos to delay starting until most of the video is on the machine? I don’t mean downloading in the sense that violates copyrights and other legal issues; just a delay, a long delay. I have a ton of memory and storage on my computer, but I’m lucky if I ever achieve 0.1 mbps download speeds.

    • I’m not aware of any such setting. Complicating the matter is that there is not one video player, but dozens, for dozens of different sites and or browsers. Sorry.

      • Looks like I missed this post when I posted my very similar question below. Something has changed in most sites that stream video and audio programming content. YouTube is only the most obvious one. You press pause and it stops streaming in your computers memory till you press play again. HOW DO YOU DEFEAT THIS TYRANNY? That is the only question that needs a good answer. Like Rick Andrews, I don’t always have a good connection. Our only option is to sit forever while the pitiful stream catches up to where it stopped only to stop again as you go along. Press pause and the entire stream will stop after a predetermined amount has been loaded to your computer then something in your computer communicates to the server that you deliberately paused it. Different sites allow for differing buffered amounts and very few sites, if any, these days will allow you to fully buffer your program so you can take it with you to listen at your convenience.

  60. The following shows the internet speed recommendations for streaming the videos on Netflix.
    Required broadband connection speed – 0.5 Mbps.
    Recommended broadband connection speed – 1.5 Mbps.
    Recommended speed for SD quality – 3.0 Mbps.
    Recommended speed for HD quality – 5.0 Mbps.
    Recommended speed for Ultra HD quality – 25.0 Mbps.

    Netflix Slow Streaming – Remedies

    Because of seemingly endless choices that are provided by Netflix, it’s quite obvious that you might need a convincing purpose to go outside, otherwise who would want to leave the shows on Netflix? Remember the time before Orange is the New Black? When you needed the sun? Now, you just have a self-tanner, Vitamin D capsules, and a Netflix account!!
    If you think nothing is more annoying than Vee in OITNB, then think again because Netflix buffering can be much worse. If you are exhausted of the Netflix quality and Netflix loading slow, here is a tip for you!
    More: https://netflixmovies.org/internet-speed-for-netflix/

    I found it helpful.

  61. Why it buffers is NOT the right question. The question I have is why it STOPS buffering when I pause the stream. In the old days, you could pause the stream especially if you have a slow connection and simply wait to get the whole show fully buffered on your computer. Then you can watch or listen to it without the stops that a poor or interrupted signal can cause. I’m a truck driver who uses the wifi and many truckstops. I often don’t have time to sit thru the whole show so I’d like to load the whole thing, go out of range down the road and listen as I go. But most sites don’t allow this anymore…buffering stops at whatever amount predetermined by the server once it somehow detects you’ve deliberately paused the program. What’s up with that? I want to know where in my browsers source code that sends the signal to these servers so I can switch this outgoing information off that lets the servers know you have paused the program so you can continue loading the full show to listen or watch offline. This new policy these sites have is ridiculous. Any solutions? Thanks for your attention on this and for any truly helpful responses even if its to say, “Hey pal, this is how the corporate thugs do it now. They got your computer by the groin and you are stuck with their crap”…LOL!

    • There are many third party programs which download streaming video. I personally use YDT YouTube Downloader which downloads from Youtube and some other sites. Many antimalware websites flag it, but I’ve found that if it is installed carefully, saying no to any additional software, I’ve never had any problems. I’ve used it for years.

  62. Troubleshooting Buffering Issues on Your Computer

    You can access a hidden menu to eliminate Netflix slow streaming. If your Netflix keeps buffering, then you can access the secret menu by performing the following action:

    Open the Internet browser and go to http://www.netflix.com.
    Select your choice of program to start playing.
    For Windows PC, pressing Shift + Alt + Left click on your mouse and for Mac, pressing Shift + Option + Click on your mouse will pop up the hidden menu.
    Select the Stream Manager.
    Match the buffering speed with your playing speed.

    If you still have the problem of Netflix loading slow even after following the steps mentioned above, then you can manually set-up your buffering settings: learn more: https://internetflix.org/internet-speed-for-netflix/ here.
    If you are still experiencing the buffering issues, you should consult your internet service provider to find out if there are some problems on your network. Or if you think there is something wrong with Netflix itself then Contact Netflix Customer Service for help.

  63. I was watching a Hindi telly drama on Netflix on my laptop and when i was watching it half was it stoped and a web page came saying there is an error and to reload I click the reload and it went back to the show and then it stoped and went back to that web page, I deleted everything on history but when i typed Netflix and went back to history all what I deleted was there , how?
    Thank you

  64. I updated windows 10 recently and it caused delays in streaming video. I was using firefox. Microsoft edge would not work at all. I installed the latest firefox and now it works fine.

  65. It doesn’t matter how fast Your INTERNET speed is! It wouldn’t matter if You had 1 gig of memory! The problem isn’t Your Laptop/PC! It’s not Your Internet speed! It is Your Web Browser! and no it wouldn’t matter if You switched to another one like, Firefox, Opera, Internet Explorer, or even Google Chrome, You will still have the buffering hell! The error Hell! Use to, I would go into Firefox about config, and fix the video buffering problems, but it seems like they fined out the fix, and do something to mess it up! Yes You are reading right, the purposely fix it where You watching experience, is one big headache! It is almost like they don’t want You to watch a video on their browser! All browsers have gotten into bed with Google! The biggest Spyware company in the bossiness! well next to Microsoft! The days of enjoyable video playing on the web, is over! From all the trackers, and Google ware running in the background, eating away at ones data plan, we don’t have a chance! An example of this is take a look at Windows task manager while Your Running The Firefox browser! Now pop open a YouTube video! Now take a look at how much memory is being used? upper 80’s, all the way to 100%! You can thank Google for this! Their snooping, is draining the life from Your PC/Laptop! an here is the real kicker! If You watch a lot of videos, Your memory sticks is taking a pounding, and the life expectancy is probably cut in half! and if it is that ruff on the memory, well the mother board hasn’t got a chance either! The only solution, is to boycott YouTube and all the other video streaming sites for a month or two, I guarantee, it wouldn’t take long for Google, which owns YouTube from pulling their noses out of our bums, and stop the spying! Then all these other streaming sites will follow suit! What really tics me is I can’t even watch Movies I bought on Vudu, without the same Ole buffering bull, when they stop one from viewing that which they paid for, they have gone to far! Just saying! You can take what I typed here with a grain of salt, if You wish, but in doing so, I say prove me wrong! Enough Said!

    • That’s crazy cuz my problem is trying to watch videos on bing.com. they pause every 3-5 min and wont play until I actually push play, even the youtube videos. When I watch the same videos on google, I have no problem at all. I’ve found videos under bing that I couldn’t find on google which way my only reason for using it but with this headache it’s not worth it.

      • Bing doesn’t play or host the videos. Bing is a search engine which points you to the websites that do have the videos. It’s those websites, not Bing, that you’re likely having problems with.

      • One of the most frustrating problems for video hosts from a variety of different servers is that each one contains a set number of advertisements stacked onto each other. This means that when you click on a video either in youtube, vimeo, bing, msn, or other video host sites their third party servers rely on click friendly viewers. So even if you update all of your video programs like Adobe flash or shock wave or silverlight it won’t matter because nearly all of the video sites use embedded ads within the third party player itself. This can cause disturbing interference through the I/O connections from the third party server to your computer (via) your favorite video sites like putlocker, sockshare, 123 videos, yesmovies, gomovies, etc etc. Between the arguments from your movie sites and their third party customers, is that the complaint is… That if you want to watch a movie, you have to endure the continuous ads placed on their site otherwise they cannot keep up server maintenance costs. In laymen’s terms they do not care who you are, where you hail from nor how much connection speed you have. Since its free to use they can basically say why complain using our pirate site unless there is a little discomfort for next to no cost to you because of those same ads? What they feared most is that other movie sites are beginning to pop up using Solid state drives in their servers, and not the platter drives which are going way of the dodo bird. There is no heat issues or moving parts in a SSD so there is no fear of it breaking down too quickly. I used to work in a server room and know a bit about the mechanics of such drives and the cost to run a server room of about a dozen cabinets is about 500 per month depending on the customer usages. SO if the influx gets higher so does the cost. Yet the fact remains that the ad companies are the real bad guys here and not the host sites although there have been arguments between each CEO that too many ads get in the way of the movie’s playback. Of course under the table negotiations take place so you can draw your own conclusions as to who gets rich and doesn’t give a damn or you are stuck finding another site without unneeded malicious ads, which by the way are very rare and few. The only thing you can possibly do to stop the companies from using too many unwanted ads is to start a petition. Though that would be redundant anyway since they can fall back on another outlet source for their servers. Using adblock can be useful but now a days, all ad companies have hired techs to overthrow its basic function to stop ads from running within a video but they also have placed a hunting program to shut off the adblock’s authority protocol via message with… “You are using adblock, please shut it off for full functionality of our site.” And so on, and so on. So adblock is useless in any case. The bottom line is… no company wants you to use their site for free anymore. They don’t believe in friendly fire without a dollar amount attached to it and now a days it’s all they think about. All you can do is complain to your movie site about the ads getting worse and how it disturbs the I/O connections inside of the player itself. Perhaps if they had too many complaints on that level, then maybe they can rethink a strategy of getting the company clients to just limit or place ads on the sites’ splash background or front page in a separate index and leave the player free and clear so it has an open path for sending back and forth its pinging messages. In either case… it’s all about the money and no longer any honest relations with the public viewer. They rely on your continuous patronage by way of clicking too fast, which causes the irritation in the first place. Remember… complain to the movie site about taking out the ads from the players. Otherwise, they’ll just keep continuing using their ignorance.

Leave a reply:

Before commenting please:

  • Read the article. Comments indicating you've not read the article will be removed.
  • Comment on the article. New question? Start with search, at the top of the page. Off-topic comments will be removed.
  • No personal information. Email addresses, phone numbers and such will be removed.
  • Add to the discussion. Comments that do not — typically off-topic or content-free comments — will be removed.

All comments containing links will be moderated before publication. Anything that looks the least bit like spam will be removed.

I want comments to be valuable for everyone, including those who come later and take the time to read.