Why Is My YouTube Buffering Every Few Seconds?

By Cee Jay

An online video should buffer only just before it begins.
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Buffers are used to process videos with a large amount of data. Parts of the video are stored in the drive in advance so that playback will run smoothly. Instead of having to wait a long time for YouTube videos to start, you have to wait only a few seconds for the buffer to fill up. If the video keeps stopping to buffer, it's being slowed down by something on your computer.

Internet Speed

The faster your Internet is, the less buffering is needed. YouTube recommends a speed of at least 500 Kbps for the best experience. If your connection is much lower, turn off any applications that use the Internet until you're done viewing the video. Another way to reduce choppy playback is to pause the video until it has entirely downloaded. Once the loading bar has reached the end of the player, unpause it.

Shared Connections

Multiple computers on the same network all share an Internet signal when in use. This will reduce the amount of bandwidth available for YouTube. Don't use any other devices that utilize the Internet, such as gaming consoles, cellphones or iPods, at the same time.

Full Cache

The cache stores previously downloaded files on the hard drive so that they can be accessed more quickly in the future. Sometimes a YouTube video will not download completely, and that incomplete video will be stuck in the cache. The only way to re-download the video completely is to clear your browser's cache. From Internet Explorer, click "Tools" and "Delete Browsing History." Make sure "Temporary Internet Files" and "Cookies" are checked. Click "Delete" to confirm.

Free Space

Since YouTube videos have to be preloaded before they can play, you must have plenty of free space on the hard drive. If it lacks ample space or is heavily fragmented, performance will be affected, causing choppy video playback. Uninstall unnecessary programs through the control panel and type "Defrag" in the Start menu's search box to locate the defragmenter. Follow the instructions to defragment your drive and free up space for video processing.


Spyware appears in your computer in the same way that viruses do. You can become infected from a malicious website or an infected e-mail. Although spyware is usually not as harmful as viruses, they can wreak just as much havoc. Spyware generally aims to collect information from your computer that, in some cases, will disrupt your Internet connection. Install an anti-spyware program and run a full scan to clean your system.