For some reason YouTube isn't buffering videos whilst they are paused.


It started happening two months ago. At first I thought it was just a global change by YouTube, but after venting on Twitter I discovered that only some people experienced the same problem.

I've searched for answers online but none of the solutions have helped.

So far I've tried:

  • Clearing the cache and cookies
  • Using a DNS service (OpenDNS)
  • Increasing YouTube's storage limit

It happens in both Chrome and Firefox. I'm running Windows 7 with Flash version and located in South Korea.

Does anyone know of a solution?

  • I have seen it a few times, not enough to really discover what is going on though, Does it seem to happen more when the video is a really long video ? I was trying to think of reasons why "some people have seen it, and some have not yet"? Also there are now (or again) 2 different types of web for the videos. New videos are using some new method? giving one of my browsers with blocking problems.
    – Psycogeek
    Commented Apr 29, 2012 at 7:34
  • Just tested it on a 50 second video and it buffered all the way up to 45 secs then stopped. I think the "new method" is html 5. I'm curious too if this is having an impact.
    – Andrew Price
    Commented Apr 29, 2012 at 7:54
  • 2
    this behaviour is bugging me as well. I'm not sure what's at fault. I hope the YT devs realize that not all have extremely fat pipes that allow for on-demand streaming. I'm pretty sure this is YT specifc issue, and doubt there's anything that you can do Commented Apr 29, 2012 at 9:49
  • I've noticed (and got annoyed by) the same behavior on Mac OSX Lion and Chrome. Seems like YouTube want it that way :-/
    – ssc
    Commented May 3, 2012 at 0:31
  • which is the reason why you want youtube to go on buffering?
    – Daniele B
    Commented Dec 21, 2012 at 14:33

2 Answers 2


It seems to be on a video by video basis. Your 'create a spaceship' tutorial will buffer when paused, but your 'create a city' tutorial will not.

They seem to use slightly different players; based on the right-click menus. The spaceship tutorial mentions HTML5 and the city tutorial has the standard Flash menu.

You could try forcing the use of a different media player or you could try joining Youtube's HTML5 trial; the 'create a city' tutorial buffers fine when played using the HTML5 player.


Edit to include solution by Andrew Price:

  1. Login in to your YouTube account
  2. In 'Settings' go to the 'Playback' menu
  3. Under 'Video Playback Quality' check the 'I have a slow connection' option

This will default video output to 360p, but you can manually alter this when playing the video. Even at higher definitions the video will continue to buffer.

  • I just activated the HTML5 trial and so far it seems to have worked! I just opened a few videos that previously had problems buffering, and it buffered perfectly right to the end. It even seems to have increased the buffer speed :) So thank you for your answer. I'll keep my eye on it and report back if the problem returns. Cheers! Commented Apr 30, 2012 at 6:20
  • 1
    Wait! Actually scratch that... after a few days it seemed the problem returned. However, someone on twitter pointed me in the direction of a solution: t.co/ZtaD55fu In short, go to your playback settings and check "I have a slow connection. Never play high quality videos." This doesn't actually impact the quality of the vids as you can still change the resolution as per usual, but it does ensure that buffering always continues. So far this solution has worked for me :) Commented May 2, 2012 at 6:58
  • 1
    @AndrewPrice then you should place that as an answer and accept it :)
    – phwd
    Commented May 2, 2012 at 18:18
  • 2
    Unfortunately those are only partial solutions. 1) Not all videos are HTML5-enabled, 2) you have to be logged in to YouTube...
    – jakub.g
    Commented Aug 11, 2012 at 22:36

I found a solution which is to change the resolution after buffering stops and return to the changed resolution. This way it will buffer till the end.

  • the best solution is to change the video quality and reload the page, thereafter the video will buffer right till the end. you can then change the video quality to which ever you prefer. Great solution posted by alex..
    – user29551
    Commented Nov 26, 2012 at 17:58

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.