How to Correct Buffering Problems With Windows Media Player

Written by shanika chapman
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Buffering issues in Windows Media Player are typically related to your connection speed. For example, if you have dial-up, which is notoriously slower than broadband connections, considerably longer buffering will occur, depending on the size and quality of the video or music file you are streaming. However, no matter who your Internet provider is, you can adjust your Windows Media Player settings to help correct buffering problems. If you are using dial-up, keep in mind that you will encounter serious buffering and stuttering. In order to get rid of these issues, you’ll need to upgrade to a broadband connection.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Windows Media Player

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  1. 1

    Start Windows Media Player.

  2. 2

    Press “Alt” to bring up the toolbar, if it is not currently displayed. Then click on “Tools” then “Options.”

  3. 3

    Click on the “Performance” tab. Under “Network buffering,” select the “Buffer” option.

  4. 4

    Enter 30 in the box next to the option. Then click “OK.” This will increase the amount of time before a video or audio file begins playing, ensuring that a larger percentage of the file is loaded before playing. This allows Windows Media Player to download the rest of the file while you are playing it and will minimise pauses due to buffering.

Tips and warnings

  • If you are using a dial-up connection, consider avoiding streaming at all costs. Instead, download complete video or audio files prior to playing them. By playing them off of your hard drive you can avoid buffering.
  • If you have any other services running in the background on your computer that are using online bandwidth, consider stopping them while streaming audio or video.

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