How to Fix Keep Stuttering or Choppy Video Playback Issues on YouTube

Is your YouTube video stuttering or getting choppy when streaming on a mobile phone, computer, or smart TV? It is a bit annoying when the video you watch gets out of sync, jerky, lags, or flickers from time to time. In some instances, the audio is missing, or the visuals are getting distorted or jumpy.

It happens to a lot of people, but there are reasons behind lagging, skipping, buffering, or choppy YouTube video playback. There can be an issue with the streaming app, your web browser, or the device you use to watch these videos.

Photo credit by Eyestetix Studio on Unsplash

Your Internet network connection may also contribute to the problem, whether it’s WiFi or mobile data. Having a corrupt video file when you downloaded the content for offline viewing is also a possible cause of the playback issue. Lastly, the user might have just uploaded the video to YouTube.

How Do I Fix YouTube Choppy Video Playback Problem?

Fortunately, you can troubleshoot the stuttering video playback on YouTube with a few solutions. Check out the methods below and try to follow them one at a time to see if they can resolve and fix the error. These workarounds work on Android or iPhone, Windows 10/11 PC or Mac computers, as well as web browsers such as Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome.

Restart the YouTube App

  • Close the video you are watching and exit the YouTube app.
  • Relaunch it and play the video again.
  • If you are watching from the YouTube website, you can hit the refresh button.

Perform a Power Cycle on your Device

A power cycle can refresh your network connection as well as your device processes.

  • Exit all running apps in the background and power off your device.
  • Unplug your router and modem for at least 3 minutes.
  • Plug your router and modem back in and connect to the Internet.
  • Power on your device and relaunch YouTube.

Check the Service Status of YouTube Servers

Is YouTube down at the moment? It can be a reason why the video playback is choppy or jumpy. Launch DownDetector on your browser and enter YouTube. Check its current service status to see if the server is down or not.

Use a Different Browser

If you watch from a web browser, you can switch to a different browser and check if you can play the YouTube video without any problem. Use Microsoft Edge, Firefox, Chrome, Opera, or Brave browsers for an optimized YouTube streaming experience. If you are using the YouTube app, you can switch to a different device.

Update your Web Browser or YouTube App

  • To update the YouTube app, navigate to the Store section of your device.
  • Look for YouTube and check if there are available updates.
  • Install these new updates and restart your device.
  • If you watch via browser, head on over to the About section of your web browser.
  • Check if there are available updates and install them.
  • Restart your device.

Clear your Browser Data and Cache

  • Navigate to the Settings menu of your browser.
  • Go to Help or History and look for the Clear Browsing Data option.
  • Set the Time Range to All Time and check the boxes next to history, cache, and cookies.
  • Click the Clear Data button.

Lower the Video Quality of the YouTube Video you’re Watching

  • While playing a video on YouTube, click the Gear icon to launch the Settings menu.
  • Go to Quality.
  • Now, set the video quality to a lower resolution.

Do you have other ideas on how to resolve and fix the YouTube buffering video playback error? We love to hear from you, so please drop us a comment below.

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