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10 Ways to Fix YouTube Lagging on Google Chrome on Windows

YouTube video lagging on Chrome

Last updated on January 23rd, 2024 at 02:17 am

This post will help you fix the problem of YouTube lagging on Google Chrome on Windows.

Remember a time when YouTube videos played smoothly without any buffering or lag on your Chrome browser? Are those days gone, replaced by the frustrating reality of choppy video playback?

Fret not, as you can still reclaim those ‘golden days’.

After perusing this guide, you can watch any YouTube video without lag or buffering.

Whether you’re watching YouTube videos for fun or a creator learning from other videos, this guide would be of value to you.

The fixes cover everything from checking the stability of your Internet connection to deactivating rogue browser extensions.

Additional tips are included to help you come up with a successful solution.

Check out these 10 ways to fix YouTube lagging on Google Chrome on Windows. Try them one by one, patiently. Any one of them may work for you.

Fix 1: Check Your Internet Connection

Many use the Internet without bothering about the speed of their connections. Speeds may drop due to technical issues.

The first step is to check your Internet speed. Go to a site like or to learn your Internet speed.

If your speed has drastically dropped, try restarting your modem and router. If the problem persists, contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP).

If you have a low Internet speed, do not play videos in high resolution.

Here are YouTube’s recommended Internet speeds for playing videos with different resolutions.

Set your YouTube video resolution to auto if you have a fluctuating Internet speed, especially if you’re using a public WiFi service.

YouTube Lagging on Google Chrome set aYouTube resolution to Auto

When you set video quality to Auto, YouTube will choose the best resolution according to speed.

When this happens, your YouTube video will likely play without a lag.

Fix 2: Disable Hardware Acceleration in Chrome

The hardware acceleration feature in browsers helps with smoother browsing and video streaming.

However, at times, it may cause issues with YouTube video streaming. Try disabling hardware acceleration in Chrome to see if it fixes the problem.

Follow the steps below.

Step 1: Go to Chrome Settings

Click on the three vertical dots in the right-hand corner.

Go down and click on Settings.

Step 2: Select System

Once you’re in the Settings section, select System.

Step 3: Disable Hardware Acceleration

If hardware acceleration is enabled, disable it, as shown below.

YouTube Lagging on Google Chrome disable hardware acceleration

Close Chrome and relaunch it. Then, try playing a YouTube video to see if the problem has been fixed.

Fix 3: Clear Chrome’s Browsing Data

You may not be aware of it, but all the surfing you’ve done over the months results in an accumulation of browsing data.

This may lead to video lag when watching a YouTube video. If you clear the browsing data, it will improve browser performance and contribute to smoother video playback.

Follow these steps to clear browsing data on Chrome.

Step 1: Go to More Tools

Click on the three dots in the top right-hand corner.

Then scroll down to Clear browsing data;

In the next window, select Cookies and other site data with Cached images and files.

In the time range section, choose All time.

Then, hit the Clear data button.

YouTube Lagging on Google Chrome - clear browsing data

Fix 4: Restart the browser

This is a no-brainer, but sometimes we overlook this potential fix.

Restart your Chrome browser to see if it fixes a lagging YouTube video. Just close your browser and then relaunch it.

When you do this, problematic temporary files will be removed, which may fix the choppy video problem.

Restarting the browser doesn’t mean refreshing your browser. You must close the browser by clicking the x button in the top right-hand corner.

Fix 5: Remove Suspicious Extensions

Extensions enhance user experience in Chrome. But some may turn into culprits when it comes to YouTube video playback.

Did you install any new extensions, after which the video lag problem started? Disable or remove them. See if this improves video playback quality.

Observe the following steps to remove an extension:

Step 1: Select More Tools

Click on the three vertical dots in the top right-hand corner.

Next, scroll down to Extensions and click on it. Then select Manage Extensions.

YouTube Lagging on Google Chrome - remove rogue extensions

Disable suspicious extensions or those you no longer use in your extensions panel.

If you’re unsure which to choose. Disable all of them and play your video. Then, turn on your extensions one by one. See which among them affects video playback.

If you identify a rogue extension affecting video playback, you may want to permanently remove it if it doesn’t affect your browsing experience.

Fix 6: Close other opened tabs on Chrome

We quickly open new tabs on our browsers but are slow to close them down. Every tab you open takes up system resources. If you have a small RAM size, this could affect video playback and cause videos to lag.

For example, in the screenshot below, a page opened on the Chrome browser uses up to 1.3GB of memory.

So, close all tabs except YouTube and try playing your video.

Fix 7: Reset Chrome Flags

A Chrome flag is an experimental feature available on the browser. It is fully integrated into the browser. However, users can try it out to see if it suits them.

Examples of flags include autofill predictions and tab freeze and discard.
The latter saves memory consumed by unused tabs on Chrome.

Though these tabs are useful, they have the tendency to cause issues. This includes interfering with smooth video playback.

To solve the problem, enter the “chrome: flags” into the address bar. Next, hit the Reset all button.

Fix 8: Update device drivers

An outdated device driver may also affect YouTube video playback. Updating the driver to the latest versions may fix the YouTube video lagging problem.

Here are the steps on how to update your device drivers, especially your graphics card and sound drivers.

In the Windows search bar, type device manager. Then click on Device Manager when the search results appear.

On the Device Manager, right-click on your display adapter and select update driver.

Next, select the first option – Search automatically for drivers. Windows should be able to deliver you the latest updated driver.

If the update fails through this method, you can download the latest driver from the manufacturer’s website.

After downloading, follow the same steps above. This time choose Browse my computer for drivers and select the file you downloaded.

You may also want to do the same for audio drivers through Sound, video and game controllers, lower down on the list.

Fix 9: Disable VPN

If you’re using a VPN service, it may contribute to the YouTube video lagging problem.

Why? Some VPN services slow down Internet connection. This may affect the performance of video playback on YouTube.

If you are using a VPN, try disabling it to see if that fixes the problem.

Fix 10: Update Chrome

Chrome is updated frequently, mostly for security purposes. Updates usually come with bug fixes, too.

Try updating Chrome to the latest version to see if it fixes the video lagging problem.

Here are the steps on how to do it.

You’ll see a notification whether Google Chrome has been updated. If your Chrome browser has not been updated, you’ll see an option to erupt.

If you regularly use Chrome, you’ll probably have the latest version.

Any of the above fixes should solve the problem of YouTube video lagging on Chrome.

If the YouTube lagging on Google Chrome problem persists, you may want to try these additional fixes.

Computer Minimum System Requirements

Is your computer powerful enough to support YouTube video streaming?

If you’re using an older computer with a slower processor, you would want to upgrade to a faster computer.

YouTube also requires you to have at least Windows 7.

Switch to a Different Browser

There are many faster and lightweight browsers. You may want to try browsers like Firefox or Opera to see if YouTube videos play smoothly over them.

Our experience shows that Microsoft Edge works faster than Chrome. Tests have also shown that Chrome consumes twice as much memory as Opera.

Disable Ad Blockers

Ad Blockers may cause YouTube videos to lag. Try disabling your ad blocker to see if playback performance improves.

Defragment Your Hard Drive

A fragmented hard drive may cause YouTube video playback issues. If you have not done it in a long time, try defragmenting your hard drive.

You can then choose to optimize your hard drive.

Upgrade Your Computer RAM

RAM (Random Access Memory) is a short-term storage for actively used data. Chrome uses RAM to store the currently playing video files, browser tabs, extensions, and other active processes.

If Chrome runs out of available RAM while playing a YouTube video, it swaps data between RAM and slower storage like your hard drive. This can cause significant lag, buffering, and stuttering in playback.

Adding more RAM provides Chrome with a larger buffer, reducing the need for data swapping and potentially eliminating lag. This is especially helpful if you watch high-resolution videos, have many open tabs, or run RAM-intensive extensions.

While more RAM is generally better, most modern machines can handle basic YouTube playback with 8GB RAM. Aim for 16GB if you multitask or watch many high-resolution videos.

But before upgrading your RAM, check your computer’s resource monitor to see if your existing RAM is already maxed out while watching YouTube. If not, a RAM upgrade might not be necessary.

Hopefully, the above fixes will help solve the problem of YouTube lagging on Google Chrome.

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