Twitch Keeps Buffering? Let’s Fix It

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Twitch Keeps Buffering? Let’s Fix It

Tired and annoyed by the constant buffering of Twitch stream after a minute or two? If so, this article is for you.

As a Twitch junky myself I realize how frustrating it can get missing out on vital actions and legendary moments due to the buffering of the stream.

Not anymore! In this article, I am going to list a comprehensive guide on how to combat the menace i.e Twitch stream buffering.

At the end of the article, you will have complete control over the following:

  • How to fix the Twitch buffering
  • Why is Twitch stream buffering
  • The causes for Twitch buffering

Excited yet? Well, you will be when you finally get to experience all the actions of your favorite streamer or game.

Ready to get to the meat of this issue? Buckle up and let’s begin.

Note: This article contains solutions for Twitch stream buffering from the perspective of a viewer. If you are a streamer experiencing stream lag on your end then you can check out the article we have written on Stream lag which will fully highlight the other end of the spectrum.

What Can Be Categorized as Twitch Buffering?

The term Twitch stream buffering is used when the stream you are viewing starts to freeze at random intervals.

Often for a second or two but in worse cases, the freeze time can also be as high as a whole minute.

It is also applicable in case you downright get an error of stream playback unavailable the moment you open a new stream Twitch.

That being said let’s dive straight into the fixes of stream buffering, shall we?

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How to Fix Twitch Buffering

1. Change Your Browser to a Gaming Centric One

Gaming-centric browsers like Opera GX have integrated Twitch modules that allow you to watch Twitch streams at the most optimal settings.

Hence by using this browser you are less likely to experience stream buffering. This is not the only browser for this purpose, but it is the most polished one out of the bunch.

Disable Hardware Acceleration (Chrome)

If you want to use your existing chrome browser then disable hardware acceleration. This option is enabled by default, and it can mess up the stream causing it to buffer. To disable this feature, do the following:

  • Click on the three dots located at the top right of the browser windows under the cross icon and select the settings option.
  • On the settings page navigate to the advanced option found in the left column of the screen and click it.
  • From the drop-down menu select system.
  • The system option will now open on your screen. Disable the, use hardware acceleration when available option.
  • Exit and relaunch your browser

2. Clear Browser Cache

After watching the popular Netflix series on social dilemma I am sure by now you know that your browser stores data in form of cookies. All such information saved in your browser is called cache.

Hence the cache of the browser can also bog the experience down, therefore, causing Twitch buffering. Although the method for clearing browser cache varies from browser to browser, the general concept is the same. The following is how you can clear the cache on Chrome

  • Click on the three dots located at the top right of the browser windows under the cross icon and select the settings option.
  • Navigate to the left of the browser screen and select Privacy and security option or simply scroll down till you find this heading.
  • Under the aforementioned heading select clear browsing data option.
  • A pop-up box will appear. Make sure to click all three options and then click on clear data.

3. Disable Unnecessary Browser Extensions

Having a lot of unnecessary extensions in your browser can also put a strain on Twitch and hence causing the stream to buffer. Therefore, with the steps mentioned below try removing unnecessary browser extensions to solve this issue once and for all.

  • Open your browser.
  • Click on the three dots found at the top-right of the browser window.
  • Select More tools and then Extensions
  • The new page that opens will contain all the extensions installed on your browser. From the list remove the extensions that are not required or seem foreign to you.

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4. Close Background Applications

Timely removing background applications is a habit we all should develop. If there are too many applications open and running in the background, they do no good other than chocking the performance of your PC.

To disable background applications, do the following:

  • Navigate to the search bar found beside the Windows icon. Type task manager in the given space and hit Enter.
  • On the task manager program window, under the Background processes heading disable all of the unwanted applications that are running in the background.
  • Be liberal don’t worry about anything going bad because nothing will.
  • To end a program select it and click on the End task option.

5. Flush Your DNS

Flushing the DNS is a proven technique that has solved Twitch buffering issue for many people.

  • Navigate to the Windows search bar, type command prompt, and press the Enter key on your keyboard.
  • In the command prompt window type the following: ipconfig /flushdns
  • At the end of the process, if you receive successfully flushed the DNS resolver Cache message then your DNS has been successfully flushed.

6. Use Google DNS

Twitch buffering problem can also be combated by using Google DNS. The following steps will guide you on how to set up Google DNS on your PC.

  • Open PC settings, by pressing the Windows + I keys
  • Select the Network & Internet option.
  • Navigate to the Advanced Network settings heading and click on change adapter options.
  • From the given Network options choose your desired connection and right-click on it and select Properties from the drop-down menu.
  • On the properties page, double-click on Internet Protocol Version 4.
  • Enable, use the following DNS server addresses by checking the box next to it.
  • Proceed to enter the following numbers
  • 8.8.8.8 in Preferred DNS server
  • 4.4.4.4 in Alternate DNS server
  • Once done click on the OK button to finish the whole process

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7. Check for Malware

Crypto malware is all the rave lately and unfortunately, the unlucky thing about being affected by this malware is that it runs silently in the background without you ever knowing.

While running in the background this malware not only decreases the performance of your PC but also diverts most of the Internet back width to it hence causing Twitch buffering.

  • The best and the most effective anti-malware software is malware bytes. It provides an all-in-one solution for all your malware needs and can scan and remove any malware that possibly exists.

After you have Malwarebytes downloaded and installed it’s just a matter of running a thorough scan. Your part is done, and Malware bytes will do the rest.

Although keep one thing in mind that thorough scanning your PC requires a lot of time, so you better be patient or run the scan overnight.

When the scan gets completed malware bytes will automatically quarantine any virus and thus removing it from the computer.

8. Disable Anti-Virus or Windows Defender When Watching Twitch Stream

Another highly effective but less known solution is disabling Anti-Virus and that includes Windows firewall as well.

This however should be done after you have established that there is no malware on your PC. 

Disabling anti-virus is known to fix Twitch buffering problems because sometimes an antivirus program can interfere with your Internet packets by identifying them as rogue data.

Hence by disabling antivirus applications altogether there will be no such problem in the first place.

9. Use an Internet Bonding Software

Bonding technology refers to the combination of multiple Internet sources to create one super Internet connection.

By combining two or more Internet connections your bandwidth increases and hence your Internet connection becomes more stable as a result.

This also means that now you have multiple Internet sources so even if one fails the other can carry the load.

Ultimately using Internet bonding software may lead to you watching a buffer-free Twitch stream or VOD.

The most popular bonding software is Speedify. It provides full failover protection and helps in minimizing packet loss. The program also has great security and hence protects you from those pesky hackers by preventing any data breach. 

If All the Listed Methods Do Not Work, Then What

If none of the listed methods work, then I am afraid it is time to ring your Internet provider.

Inform them about the issue and ask if they can troubleshoot it by optimizing ports and routes to Twitch or by increasing the speed of your Internet.

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So, Why Does Twitch Keep Buffering?

You are experiencing Twitch stream buffering because of three major reasons. Either the browser or the device you are using to stream on is not optimized for the Twitch platform. Or your internet connection is too slow or unstable to handle the playback of Twitch streams.

Besides these, the stream can also lag if Twitch servers are having an outage or maintenance.

What Are the Causes for Stream Buffering on Twitch?

We can categorize the causes for stream buffering into four major groups i.e

  • Causes related to the Device Issues
  • Causes related to the Browser Issues
  • Causes related to Internet Issues
  • Causes related to Twitch Issues

Let’s discuss each of these in further detail.

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Causes Related to Device Issues

If your Twitch stream is buffering due to device issues, there can be multiple reasons for that. Irrespective of if you are using a computer or a mobile phone the causes remain the same for both respectively.

  • Overstressing the Device

The device is said to be in an overstressed state if you use the device for multiple tasks simultaneously.

Different devices have different capabilities but since we do not know the capability of our device, we often overstress it and hence the Twitch we are watching begins to lag.

  • Keeping too many applications open

This is another very common issue that causes the Twitch stream to lag.

Let’s face it we rarely completely close applications and let them run in the background. This is a very foul move as these background applications can access internet bandwidth.

If during your stream internet data is utilized by any of the open background applications, then as a result your Twitch stream will begin to buffer and freeze.

The best example I can give you in this regard is that you might have often observed that the applications you have downloaded from steam, play store, or apple store tend to automatically update.

Now let’s take into consideration what happens if random applications start updating when you are watching your Twitch stream.

Well yes, you guessed it the stream will begin to buffer.

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Causes Related to Browser Issues

Some browsers are just simply better when it comes to viewing Twitch streams. Unfortunately, though these account for the lesser unknown ones and all the commonly used browsers like Chrome, Firefox, etc. do not respond well to

  • Using Incorrect Browser Settings

When it comes to browser issues the main reason why viewers face stream buffering issues is because of the incorrect browser settings.

Incorrect browser setting is a broad field in which we can categorize all the small little issues like Hardware acceleration, Bandwidth allocation, cache, and cooking settings, etc.

  • Anti-Virus and Windows Firewall

Who could have thought that Windows firewall or Anti-Virus application could also cause the stream to lag.

Well, here we are baffled, aren’t we? The case of the matter is Anti-Virus and Windows Firewall can interfere or block the Browser traffic.

As a result of the blocked traffic, sufficient resources cannot be allocated to the Twitch stream you are watching which causes it to lag.

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Causes Related to the Internet

Not Enough Speed: The most probable cause for a Twitch stream to buffer is when it is held back by the internet speed.

Hold your horses, before you say I have XYZ internet speed hear me out.

In most cases of stream buffering users reported that that the real-time internet speed they were getting was quite low compared to the speed advertised by the Internet provider.

This might also be the case with you but don’t worry before you go banging the door of your Internet provider here is how you can check your Internet Speed.

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How to Check Real-Time Internet Speed?

To check your internet speed, head over to testmy.net. This web bases platform measures your real-time speed by sending data packets from your internet to a server.

Make sure to select the combined option once on this platform as then it will measure both the download and the upload speed of your Internet.

High Latency (Ping) and Packet Loss: High Ping and packet loss are somewhat interrelated and more often than not occur at the same time.

The simple definition of these two terms is the following:

  • Ping is the time it takes for the data to reach the end destination from your PC. High ping means that there is a delay in sending and receiving information which obviously is bad and something you need to avoid
  • Packet loss refers to the loss of the data that was on its way from your PC to the end destination. Packet loss is even worse than ping because here the data won’t even reach the end destination.

As confusing as they sound measuring these metrics is quite easy. Here’s how

  • Head over to packetlosstest.com and run the test on default settings. After the test is complete the ping and packet loss metrics of your Internet will be displayed to you.

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Causes Related to Twitch

Sometimes the stream lag that is happening is not caused on our end. You see, twitch servers are notorious for failing under load.

By the passage of time, these outages are only increasing which is quite concerning actually. This is the reason we frequently see Twitch as a platform undergoing maintenance.

As much as I would like to fix it this, however, is not in our control and hence, we will narrow down our focus on the issues that are perpetuating from our end and can be fixed by applying simple troubleshoots.

Conclusion

These are the tried and tested solutions you can implement for the Twitch buffering issue. My main objective was to make them as simple as possible for you to implement therefore the easy steps.

If you found any of these helpful in combating your Twitch buffering issue, then be sure to let us know which one did the trick in the comment section below.

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