Why is Netflix freezing?

Updated April 17, 2017

Netflix offers a video streaming service that gives you access to thousands of movies from the comfort of your own home. Occasionally you may experience the frustration of Netflix freezing. There are many reasons a streaming video can freeze, including problems with the hosting site, traffic shaping by your ISP, problems with your broadband router and connections, or computer problems from your hardware, software, drivers and plug-ins.

Hosting site, Netflix app or your ISP

Occasionally there may be a problem with the hosting site or with the Netflix app not working on your device. Netflix recommends you turn the device completely off for a few seconds, then turn it back on and load the Netflix application again. Your ISP can also experience downtime or glitchy service, and may use traffic shaping if Netflix is using too much bandwidth. You can check the policy of your ISP to see if streaming video performance may be diminished during the peak evening hours.

Broadband router and connections

If you are using a Wi-Fi connection, try connecting, to your router using a good quality Ethernet cable. This may give a stable fast connection that stops freezing due to poor wireless coverage. It is also possible that someone is running BitTorrent over your network and slowing your connection. Try rebooting your router by turning it completely off for 30 seconds then restarting it again.

Computer hardware

If your computer is getting old it may freeze because it has not got the capacity to handle large amounts of streaming video. Check the RAM and the processing speed. Also check the RAM card and if it feels very hot it is probably short-circuiting and needs replacing. Close down other browser windows on your computer so that more resources can be devoted to the Netflix video. You may have to restart your computer and open as little as possible to stop Netflix freezing.

Software, drivers and plug-ins

Out of date software and drivers can cause poor performance. Check you have up-to-date software versions that are fully supported. Browser plug-ins can cause freezing and poor quality playback. Plug-ins allow your browser to perform additional tasks like video streaming. Netflix uses Silverlight for its instant video streaming service, so make sure you have the latest version of Silverlight downloaded. If you have tried your own troubleshooting Netflix have their own support that you can contact.

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