Why YouTube Keeps Pausing Videos (and How to Fix It)

YouTube has become the go-to platform for entertainment and information for people around the world. With its massive library of videos covering every topic imaginable, it’s easy to get lost in YouTube for hours at a time. However, one of the most frustrating things that can happen during a YouTube binge session is when videos constantly pause and buffer unexpectedly.

If you’ve ever wondered why YouTube keeps pausing and experienced frequent interruptions while watching videos, you’re not alone. This problem happens to many users, but the good news is that it can often be easily fixed with a few simple troubleshooting steps.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll dive into the various reasons why YouTube may keep pausing and buffering and provide fixes to resolve each potential issue. Follow our troubleshooting tips to get your YouTube videos playing smoothly again on your phone or computer.

Why YouTube Keeps Pausing Videos fixed

Poor Internet Connection

One of the most common reasons YouTube keeps buffering and pausing is a slow, unstable internet connection. Streaming high-quality video requires sustaining higher bandwidth speeds. If your internet is sluggish or keeps cutting in and out, YouTube will have problems consistently loading the video data.

Here are some tips to optimize your internet connection when watching YouTube videos:

  • Close Unnecessary Apps – If you have multiple programs and browser tabs open in the background, they can consume internet bandwidth and resources, slowing down your connectivity speed. Try closing out any apps you aren’t directly using to free up bandwidth for YouTube.
  • Move Closer to Your Router – Your wifi internet speed and signal strength decrease the farther you are from your wireless router. Position yourself closer to your router when watching YouTube to ensure you get the fastest, most reliable connection. If that’s not possible, look into range extending devices or mesh router systems to boost wifi signals around your home.
  • Switch Between 2.4GHz and 5GHz Bands – Most modern dual-band routers broadcast at both 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies. The 2.4GHz band provides greater range but slower speeds. The 5GHz band is faster but has less range. If you’re close to your router, switching to the 5GHz band can provide faster throughput for buffer-free YouTube streaming.
  • Restart Your Router – Over time, routers accumulate junk data and system glitches that can impair performance. Restarting your router resets the connection, clears out data buildup, and can resolve temporary issues interfering with bandwidth and speed.
  • Check for Signal Interference – Nearby electronics like microwaves, baby monitors, cordless phones and more can interfere with your router’s wireless signals. Try turning off or moving potential sources of interference away from your router. Also inspect your network cables and connections for damage.
  • Contact Your Internet Service Provider – After trying the above troubleshooting tips, if YouTube is still endlessly buffering, there may be larger network issues with your ISP impacting speeds in your area. Contact your provider to see if they can resolve any connectivity problems.

Slow, unstable internet connectivity is one of the biggest reasons for constant YouTube video buffering. Analyze your network speeds and signals and implement the fixes above to deliver consistent bandwidth for smooth streaming.

Headphones Disconnecting

If you regularly watch YouTube videos on your phone or tablet with headphones, Bluetooth disconnects can also cause videos to automatically pause.

Here are some troubleshooting tips for keeping your headphones connected:

  • Inspect Headphone Port and Plug – A loose headphone jack or frayed/damaged audio cords can cause intermittent disconnects from your device’s audio port. Physically inspect your headphone plug and device’s headphone port for any debris, damage or looseness. Clean out any dust with compressed air. Wiggling the plug while inserted can reveal a loose connection.
  • Keep Bluetooth Headphones Charged – For wireless Bluetooth headphones and earbuds, weak battery life can lead to more frequent disconnects. Keep your Bluetooth headphones fully charged before watching YouTube to maintain a stable connection. Bluetooth devices with older batteries that can’t hold a charge are more prone to disconnecting.
  • Reset Bluetooth Connection – For persistent Bluetooth headphone interruptions, try power cycling the Bluetooth connection. Turn off and forget the device in your phone’s Bluetooth settings, then turn Bluetooth off and back on again before re-pairing your headphones. This clears out glitches in the Bluetooth connection.
  • Replace Faulty Headphones – If your wired or wireless headphones continue disconnecting despite troubleshooting, the underlying issue may simply be faulty headphones. Consider investing in a new pair of headphones designed for reliable connectivity and extended use.

Frequent headphone interruptions while watching YouTube videos can be incredibly disruptive. Inspect your audio equipment for issues and maintain the Bluetooth connection to prevent disconnects from pausing your viewing.

Notifications and Interruptions

Incoming notifications from apps and services can also interrupt and automatically pause YouTube videos. Here are some ways to minimize disruptions:

  • Enable Do Not Disturb Mode – Both iOS and Android devices have a Do Not Disturb mode that silences notifications so you can watch videos without disruptions. Enable it when you want uninterrupted YouTube time.
  • Close Out of Other Apps – If you have other apps open in the background or multiple browser tabs, you may get notifications from them that pause videos. Close out all other apps when watching YouTube.
  • Turn Off Notifications – Go through your device notification settings and turn off notifications from any non-essential apps to prevent unnecessary distractions.

Conflicting Apps

Certain applications like VPNs, ad blockers, memory cleaners and antivirus tools can sometimes conflict with YouTube and cause performance issues like constant pausing.

If the problems started after installing an app, try:

  • Uninstalling any recently added problematic apps.
  • Adding YouTube to exception/whitelist lists in apps.
  • Temporarily disabling antivirus or tools when watching YouTube.

Device Glitches

Like any app, YouTube performance can suffer if your device has underlying software glitches or memory leaks. A simple device restart clears out junk data and resets all your apps and system processes.

If YouTube is pausing a lot, power cycle your device:

  • For phones/tablets, turn your device completely off, wait a minute, then power it back on.
  • For computers, reboot your machine.

Restarting gives your device a clean slate, often resolving app performance problems.

Update the YouTube App

App developers regularly release updates to fix bugs and optimize performance. Make sure you have the latest YouTube app version installed:

  • On mobile devices, check your Play Store/App Store for pending YouTube updates.
  • On computers, update the YouTube desktop app or your web browser.

Updating provides you with the most stable YouTube version with the latest optimizations. Outdated apps are more prone to problems.

YouTube Ads Interruptions

YouTube inserts ads before, during and after videos as a way for creators to monetize. But excessive ads can ruin the viewing experience with constant interruptions:

  • YouTube Premium – Paying for a Premium subscription removes all ads from YouTube videos across devices. It’s the most seamless ad-free viewing option.
  • Limit Ads – In YouTube settings, you can toggle on “see fewer ads” or disable mid-video ads. This reduces but doesn’t eliminate ads.
  • Use an Ad Blocker – Browser ad blocker extensions can block many YouTube video ads. However, YouTube may show error messages if it detects ad blocking.

YouTube Needs a Break

To promote healthy viewing, YouTube has a “Take a Break” feature that pauses videos after a certain time period. You can adjust the frequency:

  • In the YouTube app, go to Settings > General and adjust or turn off “Remind me to take a break”
  • On computers, install extensions like AutoTube to disable breaks completely.

You can modify break frequency based on your preferences. Completely disabling can lead to excessive viewing.

Restricted Background Data Usage

If your mobile device limits background data usage for apps, YouTube may pause when it hits the limit.

Check your device settings and ensure YouTube can use unrestricted data:

  • On Android, go to Settings > Data Usage > Data Saver > Allow app while Data saver on.
  • On iOS, go to Settings > Mobile Data > Mobile Data Options > Enable Background Mobile Data

This prevents throttling issues from pausing playback.

Browser Caching Issues

Over time, browser caches accumulate junk data that can impair page loading and performance. Try clearing your browser cache and cookies:

  • On Chrome, go to Settings > Privacy and Security > Clear Browsing Data
  • On Firefox, go to Options > Privacy & Security > Cookies and Site Data > Clear Data
  • On Safari, go to Preferences > Privacy > Manage Website Data > Remove All

Clearing the cache can fix browser-related performance issues.

Outdated Browser Extensions

Problematic browser extensions, add-ons and plug-ins can sometimes interrupt YouTube performance. Troubleshoot by:

  • Disabling all extensions and testing if YouTube works properly with them off.
  • Removing recently added extensions one-by-one until you isolate the problematic one.
  • Updating any outdated extensions to their latest versions.

Free Up Storage Space

Insufficient storage space on your mobile device can contribute to poor YouTube performance. Free up space by:

  • Uninstalling unused apps
  • Deleting or offloading large files like photos, videos, downloads
  • Transferring files to cloud storage instead of device storage

More free space enables smoother YouTube playback.

Conclusion

YouTube randomly pausing and buffering videos can certainly be annoying. However, in most cases the problem can be easily fixed through basic troubleshooting of your internet connection, headphones, notifications, apps, browser, and device performance.

Follow the solutions outlined in this guide to identify what’s causing YouTube to keep pausing on your phone, tablet or computer. Implementing the right fixes will have your videos streaming smoothly again in no time.

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