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Fix: Youtube Live Stream keeps buffering

Youtube Live Stream keeps buffering

YouTube Live Streams might not be as established as Twitch, but they are slowly getting traction. Both in the gaming community and vlogs. Where it dominates are streams of closed-door events in the Covid Era. At the end of the day, we’re talking about the largest video platform in the world. However, some users have had a hard time with YouTube Live Stream as it keeps buffering. A peculiar thing is that live streams from certain regions work great and others are unwatchable. Learn how to fix it below.

How do I fix YouTube Live buffering?

It seems that the problem with YouTube Live Streams constantly buffering mostly affects Europan users that stream content from Asia-based channels. So, although you can try lowering the video quality, closing other network-dependent apps, or troubleshooting the network, using a VPN is the only confirmed way to solve this.

Have in mind that these reports date to 2020. so the problem is presumably fixed on YouTube’s side. That’s why you should ensure that your network is not causing the issue. If you’re completely sure that your bandwidth is good enough but videos keep buffering, then YouTube didn’t solve the problem and VPN is the only workaround we’re aware of.

1. Lower the video quality

The first thing you can do is lower the video quality. You can do that in YouTube settings or by accessing settings while streaming videos via the cog icon at the top right corner. The latter option will apply only to that video while changing video quality in general settings will apply to all videos.

Here’s how to lower the general video quality in YouTube:

  1. Open YouTube.
  2. Tap on your Account photo at the top right corner.
  3. Open Settings.
  4. Select Video Quality preferences.
  5. Under the Video quality on Wi-Fi section, choose Data saver.Youtube Live Stream keeps buffering

And this is how to change the video resolution for the current video (Android/iOS):

  1. While watching the stream in full screen, tap on the cog in the top right corner.
  2. Select Quality.
  3. Now, you can either select Data saver or choose Advanced and pick the resolution there.

It’s important to notice that YouTube optimizes streaming quality automatically based on your bandwidth (this is the default option) but, choosing the Data saver or a low-resolution option might lower the buffering time and make YouTube Live Streams at least moderately watchable.

2. Troubleshoot the network

Now, there are more than a few things you can do to improve your bandwidth and thus improve streaming. You can disconnect some devices from your router. Switching to a 5GHz band over the 2.4GHz one (if available) is a good idea. On your PC, you can use the LAN cable if possible for the most stable internet connection.

In addition, on your phone, you can forget the network and reconnect. Try restarting your phone and the router. Disable bandwidth-hungry processes like P2P downloads that will slow down the network substantially. Also, you can clear local data from the app, although that doesn’t have much to do with the buffering issues.

One thing that you can’t change is the ISP predetermined speed, and less than 10Mbps is usually not enough for streaming live videos even in the lowest resolution.

Most user reports concur that live streams from some regions work flawlessly and it’s completely the opposite for others. Therefore, chances that the problem is on your side are rather low.

3. Use a VPN

Finally, we got to the most common solution for this problem. For users that used VPNs to change their IP address to an address in the United States or Asia, everything works flawlessly. So, if you want to spend some money on a monthly subscription to improve this, you can do it.

We won’t be recommending any particular VPN.  There are so many of them and they are heavily advertised on all platforms it’s almost painful navigating through that cluster.

Nevertheless, whatever you choose should work, and with promotions, you can get yourself a free/trial version for the first couple of months. Of course, your focus should be on the Android/iOS app clients and available geo-locations (US, Japan, etc.).

Regarding PC users, there are some free VPN extensions for Chrome and other browsers (like Windscribe). If the YouTube Live Stream keeps buffering even with a VPN, report the problem to YouTube in Account > Help & feedback.

That should do it. Thank you for reading and don’t forget to share your thoughts in the comments section below. We look forward to hearing from you.

Picture of Aleksandar Ognjanovic

Aleksandar Ognjanovic

Managing editor at Mobile Internist. @lemmingspain My fascination with mobile technology, particularly Android and iOS, began years ago and continues today. I'm captivated by the constant evolution in the smartphone industry and its impact on our daily lives, always anticipating the next big innovation. That’s the main reason why I found myself writing instructive content on the subject for users who are not as familiar with all the bells and whistles.
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