While watching movies on Netflix is a lot of fun, there are times when your enjoyment is hampered because Netflix keeps buffering, right? While an unstable internet connection is frequently the cause of this problem, there may be other causes as well.
So, if you’ve been experiencing constant buffering on Netflix, keep reading to learn how to resolve the ‘Netflix keeps buffering’ issue on your devices.
Netflix makes every effort to avoid any buffering issues on its end. Still, a server problem or a faulty update can cause your Netflix binge to end abruptly. Nonetheless, the buffering problem is frequently related to our internet connection or the device we use to watch Netflix.
We will look at every possible cause of a buffering video on Netflix, as well as viable solutions to the problem.
WHAT IS BUFFERING ON NETFLIX?
Buffering occurs when the video takes longer to load than it does to play. It is usually caused by a slow internet connection. You may notice a frozen screen or a number in a red circle in the center of your screen.
If the number remains at zero or is unable to reach a hundred, it indicates that you are experiencing a buffering problem on Netflix. You’ll also notice that the red timeline bar at the bottom isn’t moving.
Under normal circumstances, the bar appears dark grey, with a red line indicating the currently played video and timestamp. The light grey line indicates the amount of video preloaded on your device for streaming.
If you have a larger light grey line, there will be no buffering issues. If you have a problem with your device, the screen may freeze. We won’t call it buffering because the video isn’t delayed as a result of incorrect loading.
Instead, the app could be stuck due to device issues. This problem is usually resolved by restarting the application or device. Let’s take a closer look at some other options.
HOW TO FIX WHEN NETFLIX KEEPS BUFFERING?
You could be watching Netflix on your phone, laptop, smart TV, streaming device, or any other device. Some of these solutions should be effective for resolving Netflix buffering on any device.
However, if none of them work for you, you should check to see if your device is functioning properly. Here are the most common solutions for Netflix buffering issues.
1. Examine your Internet Connection
The most common cause of Netflix buffering is a slow internet connection. As a result, make sure you have a fast internet connection in order to stream Netflix content. Fast.com allows you to test your internet speed.
The website determines whether your internet connection is fast enough to stream online videos. Netflix recommends a minimum internet connection speed of 3 Mbps for Standard Definition (SD), 5 Mbps for High Definition (HD), and 25 Mbps for 4K/Ultra HD streaming (UHD).
If your internet connection is slower than the specified limit, you should troubleshoot your internet problems.
2. Restart Your Wi-Fi Modem
The simplest and quickest way to resolve a slow internet connection is to check to see if your modem is functioning properly, and a quick restart will suffice.
Turn off your internet router and unplug it from the wall. Wait ten minutes before restarting your router. Check to see if your internet speed has been restored. If not, use the method described below.
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3. Use Wired Connection
If you are watching Netflix on your laptop or computer, you can connect to the Wi-Fi router using the LAN cable. A wired connection is faster than a wireless connection.
A LAN port is also available on modern smart TVs for connecting to the internet via a LAN cable. You can also use the LAN cable to connect your gaming consoles, such as the PlayStation and Xbox.
It will significantly increase your internet speed, allowing you to watch Netflix more efficiently. Unfortunately, there is no way to connect a LAN cable to your smartphone directly. If you want, you can quickly solve this problem by using an external LAN adapter.
4. Reposition Your Wi-Fi Router
This method may appear childish, but trust me when I say it works. The Wi-Fi signal is distributed unevenly throughout your home.
So, if your router is in another room, bring it closer. Removing any impediment between your device and the Wi-Fi modem will boost your internet speed. It may not work like a miracle, but you will notice a significant improvement in speed.
5. Contact Your Internet Service Provider
Finally, if you are still not getting the internet speed your ISP promises even after restarting the router, I recommend contacting customer service. They can restart your connection from their end in order to increase your speed and return you to the promised one.
Sometimes the internet service is unavailable due to uncontrollable factors such as inclement weather or physical damage to the internet wire. It’s best to either use another internet source, such as mobile data, or wait for your ISP to fix the problem.
For such an occasion, I like to keep offline content readily available. You can use Netflix’s smart download feature to have your favorite TV shows automatically downloaded for later viewing. More such features can be found in our comprehensive guide to Netflix tricks.
6. Change Your Video Stream Quality On Netflix
Netflix automatically chooses the best streaming video quality for your internet connection speed. However, it will only work if you have the streaming quality set to Auto.
So, if you have the streaming quality set to High by default, lower it to use less internet bandwidth. I’d rather have uninterrupted binge-watching than interrupted binge-watching any day.
Besides, watching a show in HD rather than UHD isn’t all that bad if you can avoid Netflix’s annoying buffering. This trick is especially useful if you are watching Netflix on your smartphone because it will save your mobile data.
Here’s how to change the streaming quality on Netflix manually.
- Open a web browser and navigate to the Netflix website (visit). Hover your mouse over the profile icon in the top-right corner and select ‘Account.’
- Scroll down and select the Profile for which you want to alter the streaming quality.
- Select Playback settings from the drop-down menu.
- For a lower video quality, choose Medium or Low. If you trust Netflix, you can leave it on Auto.
- Finally, click the Save button to confirm your selection.
You have changed the video streaming quality for your Netflix profile successfully. Each Profile has its own setting. As a result, other profiles on your Netflix account will continue to use the streaming quality that you have set for them.
7. Clear Cache on your Browser
If you’re experiencing Netflix buffering issues in your browser, you should consider clearing the browser cache and data. This is usually a good way to fix any problems with your browser, such as a bad cache memory.
Here’s how to clear your web browser’s cache and data.
- Ctrl+Shift+Delete (Shift+Command+Delete for Mac) opens your web browser. It will display the option to clear browsing data.
- Now, go to Advanced and choose “All time” from the Time range drop-down menu. Check all of the boxes (except the Passwords option).
- Finally, click “Clear data” to clear all cached data from your browser.
Log in to Netflix once more to see if it’s still lagging. If so, try another browser if you believe your current one isn’t working properly. If the problem persists, you can also update your browser.
8. Reboot Your Device
If you run your device for an extended period of time, it may malfunction. The RAM becomes clogged with unnecessary data, affecting device performance. Restarting your device is the quickest way to solve such a problem.
It will close all background apps on your device and give you a fresh start. Restarting your smartphone is as simple as long-pressing the power button and selecting the Restart or Power Off option. On your computer, go to the Start Menu and select the Restart or Shut Down option.
9. Close Unnecessary Applications And Tabs
If you don’t want to restart or power off your device for any reason, close any other unnecessary apps to free up more RAM for Netflix.
Some heavy applications, such as Photoshop or a game running in the background, may consume a large portion of your computer’s resources, preventing you from watching your favorite Netflix TV show in peace. Similarly, if you’re watching Netflix in a browser, close any unnecessary tabs to free up RAM for Netflix.
With Netflix as a top streaming platform, seeing the buffering error after trying to watch your favorite show is quite disappointing. Netflix has been dealing with this problem for a long time and has yet to find a solution.
Experts believe that this is due to their popularity and high volume of traffic. Netflix has experimented with various solutions such as updating their servers, changing their CDN, and limiting their bandwidth usage during peak hours, among others.
The buffering issue appears to have improved following the latest update, but it has not yet been resolved.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why does Netflix keep buffering?
Netflix may continue to buffer for a variety of reasons, including a slow internet connection, buggy updates, higher streaming quality than your device’s capability, or a Netflix server issue. This article went over every possible solution to Netflix’s buffering issue.
Why is Netflix lagging on my smart TV?
If you’re having trouble watching Netflix on your smart TV, it could be due to a slow internet connection or an unstable application update. To resolve the issue, I recommend restarting your device, checking your internet speed, and updating the app.
What is the preferred internet speed to stream Netflix?
Netflix recommends a minimum internet connection speed of 3 Mbps for standard definition (SD), 5 Mbps for high definition (HD), and 25 Mbps for 4K/Ultra HD streaming (UHD). If you download or watch content on a second device connected to the same network, the speed will be distributed.