Why and How to Fix YouTube Videos Lagging or Stuttering Issue [Solved]

By Bertha Miller to YouTube Videos, YouTube Problems | July 17, 2018

In the era of video streaming, the representative YouTube is enjoying overwhelming superiority. But constant YouTube problems, such as the typical videos lagging, catch YouTubers a little off guard. To help play YouTube 4K/HD videos back to normal without lagging or stuttering, this guide is here for you.

solve video lagging on YouTube

How to Solve YouTube Videos Lagging/Freezing?

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Part 1: Cases and Why Do YouTube Videos Lag on Chrome, FireFox or so

There are various YouTube videos lagging phenomena and the culprits causing the laggy video playback on YouTube can be various, from the browser caches, driver-related problem, to hardware configuration. Move on and check why the video they play on YouTube lags or stutters frequently?

Case 1: YouTube 4K 60fps videos lag and stutter terribly

From time to time, your 720 60fps works fine, but switching to 1080 60fps or 4k UHD resolution on YouTube causes bad lagging and freezing, with very high CPU usage. This is because 4K video is computer intensive, you will need a much stronger computer for 4K. Most importantly, GPU-based hardware acceleration is especially a must for playing 4K/2160p videos, if your laptop or notebook is configured with Intel, Nvidia, or AMD for acceleration. (see why Hardware acceleration is a must for 4K video processing) Also the internet connection has a decisive factor to avoid YouTube video lagging in 4K/HD and smooth the playback process.

Case 2: YouTube video is lagging ONLY in Chrome

YouTube video is lagging, choppy, stuttering, or jerky only in Chrome, especially when it is in full screen mode, but it is running without lag on other browsers. Some users blame the problem for Flash. But actually, Chrome use a buildin flash, not the adobe one. Besides, YouTube has left off Adobe Flash and use html5 by default for their videos. Troubleshooting Flash is pointless.

Frankly, Handbrake acceleration is blamed for messing Chrome up. When it is checked, the processor speed for other programs is reduced. So please make sure this is not causing the YouTube videos lagging issue on Chrome. If so, turn of HW acceleration. And check if the fullscreen YouTube video playback lagging problem persists on Chrome Canary.

Case 3: YouTube video lags on Mac

There are grumbles that each time when Mac users start a YouTube video Safari starts to lag and is paralyzed till the video finished loading. This is because Safari doesn't like the HTML5 experiment of YouTube at all. So you can choose to disable HTML5 and use Flash instead. Or sometimes too many data that take up the room while lead to YouTube videos lagging behind audio. To fix this, you will do the following:

Case 4: Old YouTube videos have lagging problem

Users reported the old uploads on YouTube are jittery and get lag so much, even when they tried Chrome and Firefox, different networks or computers. This seems to be a problem on YouTube's end with the player for your videos. So we suggest you just to download YouTube videos and then watch them offline to fix YouTube lag problem.

Case 5: FireFox is extremely laggy when playing videos on YouTube

If you are experiencing choppy or laggy YouTube playback with Firefox, this can be due to a bandwidth issue. So you can pause the video for a few minutes and go back to it. Also, the YouTube videos lagging issue is the same as that on Chrome, which is resulted from the graphics hardware acceleration that comes with a few glitches.

Related YouTube issues: YouTube videos constantly loading, YouTube black screen, YouTube videos won't play

Part 2: Solutions to Fix All YouTube Videos Lagging/Stuttering/Freezing

1. Ensure a stable 15mbits connection at least. 4K 60fps takes really good internet speed. So you must ensure a good connection speed. Check your internet connection speed with tools like speedtest when the 40k YouTube videos stutter terribly.

Try another 4-capable display. If not, your current display will re-sample the entire picture, with frame dropping and stuttering as the result. You can switch to a 4k monitor when the 4k quality video has lag in YouTube. You may be interested in: 4K video player >>

3. Enable a HTML5 player. If you are still using flash your 4K quality video in YouTube will show with lag. Be sure to download the latest HTML5 player. Note: old PCs or Macs support Adobe Flash player, you need to check what player your YouTube videos support by by visiting https://www.youtube.com/html5. Related: download HTML5 video

4. Update your video driver. If your driver is out of date, you can update your driver that comes with bug fixes for specific scenarios or some performance gains. This will sometimes fix video lag on YouTube if you are using the faulting driver.

5. Enable/Disable hardware acceleration.

6. Try another browser. Have you tried another browser (Chrome) to make sure it's the browser issue? Sometimes, the video will work fine on Safari, IE, Chrome, if it malfunctions in Firefox, for example.

7. Clear out cache and cookies. Too many cookies will slow down video loading and finally leads to stuttering in YouTube or other online website. You'd better get rid of the histories and cache for a smoothly YouTube video playback.

8. Close the tab that seems to use too much data. You can try using just one tab and playing the YouTube video. This will sometimes help to stop YouTube videos lagging and play normally.

9. Disable your extension. use incognito mode to see whether this helps. Go to chrome://extensions and uncheck Enabled for each extension to identify which one is causing the YouTube video rendering problem.

10. Free Download Videos When They Are Lagging/Freezing/Stuttering

If the 4K UHD/HD videos on YouTube lag while using Safari, Chrome, Firefox or other browsers, you are advised to use a video downloader to save the online videos locally. Then you will be able to watch 1080p/4K video without lag. MacX YouTube Downloader is a 100% free yet professional video downloader without adware, spyware or malware. You will be able to download video footages at a resolution of up to 4k/8k, with 5x real-time download speed.

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Step 1: Go to video webstie and find a video you want to play.

Step 2: Launch MacX YouTube Downloader, click "+" button, copy and paste the video URL. Then let the program analyze the video information.

Step 3: Choose the video format, resolution, codec and size as per your needs. It supports downloading videos/music in MP4, FLV, WebM, 3GP and more from 1000+ sites including Facebook, Vimeo and more.

Step 4: Click "Download" button to begin capturing online videos on your computer. Then you can watch online videos on your Mac, iPhone, iPad, iTunes anytime without lagging or stuttering.

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