How to stop constant video buffering

Updated February 21, 2017

"Buffering" refers to the process of downloading and storing a portion of a streaming data file in order to prevent media, such as video or audio clips, from starting and stopping while you watch it. You have several approaches to stopping or minimising buffering when watching video online, including increasing your usable bandwidth, reconfiguring the buffer settings in your media player, increasing your computer's virtual memory and disabling hardware acceleration. These methods for stopping buffering are simple to implement and can significantly decrease your time spent waiting for streaming video to load.

Click the red "x" in the top right corner of any open programs that may be using your available Internet connection bandwidth to update or communicate with servers, including instant messaging programs, torrent applications, e-mail clients and unnecessary browser windows. Right-click on program icons in the status tray in the bottom right-hand corner of the Windows desktop, and select "Exit" or "Close" to close any minimised programs.

Click "Start" and select "Control Panel." Click "Appearance and Personalization," "Personalization," "Display Settings" and click on "Advanced Settings." Click the "Troubleshoot" tab. Click and drag the "Hardware Acceleration" slider to "None." Click "Apply," and "OK." This will disable video hardware-acceleration settings that may be forcing video playback to conform to a configuration that causes slow streaming and choppy playback of video files.

Decrease the buffering amount for your media player. Most media players allow you to control the amount of data stored or "buffered" before starting video playback. Even if you have a fast broadband connection, you may experience buffering problems if you have the program set to buffer too much of the streaming data. In Windows Media Player, click the "View" menu, and click "Options." Click the "Advanced" tab, and click "Streaming Media." Click the "Change" button. Type "1" or "2" in the "Buffer x seconds of content" text field. Click "Apply," and "OK."

Click "Start," right-click on "Computer" and select "Properties." Click "Advanced system settings," and click "the "Advanced" tab. Click the "Settings" button in the "Performance" section. Click the "Advanced" tab, and click "Change" under the "Virtual Memory" section. Click to clear the check mark from the "Automatically manage paging file size for all drives." Enter the minimum and maximum paging file values as displayed in the "Paging File Size" column, next to your hard drive, and click "OK." This will increase your operating system paging file size. If the paging file, also know as virtual memory, is too small, you may experience video buffering issues due to the video file being unable to download completely.

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About the Author

Chris Hoke is a freelance writer, blogger and musician living in the San Francisco bay area. He began writing professionally in 2005 and his articles regularly appear on and