How to fix video streaming problems in Windows 10

Milan Stanojevic
by Milan Stanojevic
Deputy Editor
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Affiliate Disclosure

  • Video streaming has become very popular in this day and age as an alternative to downloading and storing media on your computer.
  • Playback issue arise either because of the website, the type of video file or the internet connection so only some of them can be fixed by you following this guide.
  • Have a look at our Video Streaming section for more content and different platforms and other software.
  • Is Windows 10 giving you troubles? Check out the Windows 10 Troubleshooting Hub for more information on various topics.
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Video streaming problems may occur due to several factors including Internet speed and the type of media player you’re using.

If you’re experiencing video streaming problems in Windows 10, there are a few checks you need to consider before troubleshooting, including:

  • Your Internet connection, whether it is wired or wireless
  • The browser you use to stream videos
  • The kind of video file you are trying to play
  • The quality of video you’re trying to play – high or low
  • The website you’re streaming the video from

If your Internet network connectivity is constantly fluctuating, then you may have video streaming problems such as slow and inconstant buffering.

However, if your Internet connection is okay but you still have video streaming issues, you need to check your media player, and change the buffer settings because each player comes with its own buffer settings.

Some of the most common video file formats used when creating video streams include Windows Media, Quicktime, MPEG-4, Adobe Flash and RealMedia.

The advantage with video streaming is you’re able to start watching the videos once download commences, as the file is sent in a constant stream so you don’t need to keep waiting.

The benefits include ability to do live broadcasts or webcasts, so you need to deliver it from a specialized streaming server.

Make sure you check your wireless network card, the version driver you’re using, and the router model and firmware because you may have to upgrade the drivers, the router and firmware in some cases.

Here are some solutions to try when you encounter video streaming issues in Windows 10.

Can’t stream videos on Windows 10? Here’s what to do:

  1. Temporarily turn off firewall and any antivirus
  2. Run Hardware and Devices troubleshooter
  3. Update display drivers
  4. Disable Adaptive brightness
  5. Check rendering settings
  6. Update graphics card drivers
  7. Uninstall and Install graphics card drivers
  8. Install drivers in compatibility mode
  9. Get latest drivers for Windows 10 from the manufacturer’s website
  10. Check streaming proxy settings
  11. Enable Flash Player
  12. Update Windows 10
  13. Perform a clean boot
  14. Run Hardware Troubleshooter
  15. Reset Internet Explorer
  16. Clear browsing data
  17. Change buffer settings in Windows Media Player app

Solution 1: Temporarily turn off firewall and any antivirus

Sometimes having multiple firewall, antivirus or malware programs, may at times prevent you from streaming videos. If this is the cause of the issue, turn either of the three off temporarily then try to visit the website you wanted.

Ensure you turn these programs back on immediately after you’re done to prevent hackers, viruses and worms from damaging your system.

You want to check if your firewall is blocking video streaming? Follow the simple steps from this guide to find out.

Solution 2: Run Hardware and Devices troubleshooter

If you’re experiencing problems with video streaming, then run the Hardware and Devices troubleshooter to resolve the issue.

This checks for commonly occurring issues and ensures any new device or hardware is correctly installed on your computer. Here’s how to go about it:

  • Right click Start
  • Select Control Panel
  • Go to View by option on the top right corner
  • Click the drop down arrow and select Large icons
  • Click Troubleshooting
  • Click View all option on the left panelview all control panel
  • Click Hardware and Deviceshardware and devices device couln't connect
  • Click Next to run the troubleshooter

Follow the instructions to run the Hardware and Devices troubleshooter.  The troubleshooter will begin detecting any issues that may be causing video streaming not to work as it should.

You can’t open Control Panel? Take a look at this step-by-step guide to find a solution.

Solution 3: Update display drivers

An outdated or corrupted display driver may cause video streaming issues. In order to update display drivers, you need to start your computer on Safe Mode, then uninstall your current display adapter, and finally check for driver updates.

Safe mode starts up your computer with limited files and drivers but Windows will still run. To know whether you’re on Safe mode, you’ll see the words at the corners of your screen.

If the video streaming issue persists, check whether it occurs while your computer is in Safe mode. There are two versions:

  • Safe mode
  • Safe mode with Networking

The two are similar, though the latter includes network drivers and other services necessary to access the web and other computers in the same network. Follow these steps to start your computer in Safe Mode:

  • Click on Start button
  • Select Settings – the Settings box will open up
  • Click Update & Security
  • Select Recovery from the left pane
  • Go to Advanced startuprecovery advanced startup
  • Click Restart now
  • Select Troubleshoot from the choose an option screen, then click Advanced options
  • Go to Startup Settings and click Restart
  • Once your computer restarts, a list of options will come up.
  • Choose 4 or F4 to start your computer in Safe Mode

Settings app not working as it should? Check out this guide.

A quicker way to get into Safe Mode is to restart your computer then do the following:

  • From the Choose an option screen, select Troubleshoot>Advanced options>Startup Settings>Restart
  • Once your computer restarts, a list of options will come up.
  • Choose 4 or F4 to start your computer in Safe Mode

Sometimes, Safe Mode won’t accept your password. We’ve prepared a dedicated guide just for such an occasion.

Safe mode is not working? Don’t panic, this guide will help you get past the booting problems.

If the video streaming problem isn’t there while in Safe mode, then your default settings and basic drivers are not contributing to the issue.

Once you start your computer in safe mode, do the following:

  • Right click Start
  • Select Device Manager
  • Expand Display adapters
  • Right click the listed adapter
  • Select Uninstall device
  • Choose the Delete the driver software for this device box
  • Select Uninstall
  • Reboot your computer

Once your computer reboots, click Start, choose Settings, then select Update & Security>Windows Update>Check for updates.

If you have many display adapters, you need to disable the added display adapter by doing the following:

  • Right click the added adapter from Device Manager
  • Select Disable
  • Click Yes
  • Turn off your computer
  • Disconnect installation or recovery media (if using it)
  • Turn on your computer

If this doesn’t fix the video streaming problems, do the following:

  • Restart in Safe Mode
  • Re-enable the added display adapter
  • Disable the other adapter

Once you’re through and the video streaming issue is sorted, exit safe mode so you can get your computer back to normal mode.

How to exit Safe Mode:

  • Right click Start button
  • Select Run
  • Type msconfig

  • A pop up will open
  • Go to the Boot tab
  • Deselect or uncheck Safe Boot option boxSafe Mode - Safe Boot Windows 10
  • Restart your computer

Updating drivers manually is very annoying and could cause permanent damage to your PC by downloading and installing the wrong driver versions.

We strongly recommend TweakBit Driver Updater tool (approved by Microsoft and Norton) to do it automatically. Here is a quick guide for it.

    1. Download and install TweakBit Driver UpdaterTweakBit Driver Updater logo
    2. Once installed, the program will start scanning your PC for outdated drivers automatically. Driver Updater will check your installed driver versions against its cloud database of the latest versions and recommend proper updates. All you need to do is wait for the scan to complete.tweakbit driver updater scanning drivers
    3. Upon scan completion, you get a report on all problem drivers found on your PC. Review the list and see if you want to update each driver individually or all at once. To update one driver at a time, click the ‘Update driver’ link next to the driver name. Or simply click the ‘Update all’ button at the bottom to automatically install all recommended updates.TweakBit Driver Updater main window
      Note: Some drivers need to be installed in multiple steps so you will have to hit the ‘Update’ button several times until all of its components are installed.

Disclaimer: some features of this tool are not free.

Does this resolve the video streaming issue? If not, try the next solution.

Did you know that the majority of Windows 10 users have outdated drivers? Be a step ahead using this guide.

Solution 4: Disable Adaptive brightness

  • Right click Start
  • Select Control Panel
  • Click Hardware and Soundhardware and sound control panel
  • Click Display
  • Click Advanced Power Options
  • Enable Adaptive Brightness then change the settings to Off

Does the video streaming issue persist? Try the next solution if this didn’t help.

Adaptive Brightness won’t turn off? Don’t worry, we’ve got the perfect solution for you.

Solution 5: Check rendering settings

If you’re experiencing video streaming problems on your computer, you can also enable the Use software rendering instead of GPU rendering option in Internet Explorer. Follow the steps below to execute this:

  • Launch or start Internet Explorer
  • Click the Gear icon at the top right corner
  • Select Internet Options
  • Go to the Advanced tab
  • Select Accelerated graphics section
  • Make sure the Use software rendering instead of GPU rendering box is selecteduse software rendering instead of GPU
  • Click Apply
  • Click Ok
  • Close Internet Explorer
  • Restart to effect the changes

Solution 6: Update graphics card drivers

In order to update your graphics card drivers, do the following:

  • Right click Start
  • Select Device Manager
  • Click Display adapters to expand it
  • Right click on the graphics card driver
  • Select Update driver softwareupdate driver software task manager

If you don’t have any driver updates available, right click on the graphics card driver and click Uninstall, then restart your computer.

Solution 7: Uninstall and Install graphics card drivers

If your videos are not streaming or playing in Microsoft Edge, follow the steps below to uninstall and reinstall graphics card drivers:

  • Right click Start
  • Select Device Manager
  • Search for your graphics card from the list of devices
  • Right click on it then click Uninstall
  • If you get an option to Delete the driver software for this device, click on it
  • Remove the corrupted drivers from your computer
  • Follow on-screen instructions to complete it
  • Restart your computer if prompted
  • Install the latest drivers

Check if your video streaming function works again, and if not, try the next solution.

Solution 8: Install drivers in compatibility mode

Follow these steps to install in compatibility mode:

  • Download the latest driver from the manufacturer’s website
  • Save it on your local disk
  • Right click on the driver set up file
  • Click Properties
  • Click Compatibility tab
  • Check the box next to Run this program in Compatibility mode
  • Select the Operating System from the drop down list
  • The driver will install, then check its functionality.
  • Restart the computer and check if the issue persists

Solution 9: Get latest drivers for Windows 10 from the manufacturer’s website

You can go to the graphics card manufacturer’s website and find the latest Windows 10 drivers available for the specific model, then install it using the instructions given on the website.

Solution 10: Check streaming proxy settings

Here’s how to do this:

  • Launch or open Windows Media Player app
  • Click Organize on the top left corner
  • Click Options
  • Select Network tab
  • Select HTTP protocol under streaming proxy settings
  • Click Configure
  • Select do not use a proxy server
  • Click Ok twice to apply changes
  • Close Windows Media Player then start it again

Does the video streaming issue persist? Make sure no firewall or security software is blocking the streaming.

Proxy server issues are pretty annoying. Make them a thing of the past with the help of this guide.

Sometimes, the proxy can’t be disabled no matter what you do. We’ve prepared a simple guide just for such an occasion.

Solution 11: Enable Flash Player

Here’s how to enable Flash Player on your computer:

  • Launch Microsoft Edge
  • Click the three dots at the top right corner “” to open the Edge menu
  • Select Settings
  • Go to Advanced Settings
  • Click View Advanced Settings
  • Locate Use Adobe Flash Player
  • Toggle the switch on to enable Flash Player
  • Refresh the web page or open a new tab on the browser

Solution 12: Update Windows 10

For a healthy computer, you need to keep updating Windows with the latest system updates, and drivers. This also helps resolve any issues or difficulties you may be experiencing.

Check to ensure all your computer’s important updates are installed before you try installing Windows 10 again. Here’s how to check and install Windows Update (manually)

  • Go to Start
  • In the search field, type Windows Updates
  • Click on Windows Updates Settings from the search results
  • Click Check for updates
  • Install the latest Windows Updates

Having trouble updating your Windows? Check out this guide that will help you solve them in no time.

Solution 13: Perform a clean boot

Performing a clean boot for your computer reduces conflicts related to software that can bring up the root causes of the video streaming failure.

These conflicts can be caused by applications and services that start up and run in the background whenever you start Windows normally. In order to successfully perform a clean boot on Windows 10, you have to be logged on as the administrator, then follow these steps:

  • Go to the search box
  • Type msconfig
  • Select System Configuration
  • Find Services tab
  • Select Hide all Microsoft services box
  • Click Disable all
  • Go to Startup tab
  • Click Open Task Manager
  • Close Task manager then click Ok
  • Reboot your computer

You will have a clean boot environment after all these steps are carefully followed, after which you can try and check if the video streaming problem is gone.

If you want to know how to add or remove startup apps on Windows 10, check out this simple guide.

Solution 14: Run Hardware Troubleshooter

The Hardware troubleshooter tool is built-in on Windows 10 operating system so as to check, and resolve any issues you may have.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Right click Start
  • Select Control Panel
  • Go to View by option on the top right corner
  • Click the drop down arrow and select Large icons
  • Click Troubleshooting
  • Click View all option on the left pane
  • Click Video playback
  • Follow on-screen instructions to run the troubleshooter

The troubleshooter fails to load with an error? Follow this useful guide and fix it in just a couple of simple steps.

Solution 15: Reset Internet Explorer

If you tried video streaming on a different browser and it worked, then the problem may be due to corrupt ad-on or compatibility issues of the website with Internet Explorer or Microsoft Edge.

In this case, you can reset the browser, but it is good to note that this feature might reset security or privacy settings you added to your list of Trusted Sites.

It may also reset any parental control settings, so it is recommended you note the sites before resetting Explorer or Edge, then re-enable add-ons.

Note: resetting Internet Explorer is not reversible, and all previous settings are lost after a reset.

Here’s how to reset Internet Explorer settings to what they were when they were installed on your computer:

  • Close Internet Explorer tabs or windows that are open
  • Select Tools
  • Select Internet Options
  • Select Advanced tab
  • Select Reset
  • Under Reset Internet Explorer Settings, click Reset
  • Once the default settings are applied, click Close
  • Click Ok
  • Restart your computer to apply changes

Solution 16: Clear browsing data

Follow these steps to do this in Microsoft Edge:

  • Open Edge
  • Click on the three dots at the top right corner “…” (More actions icon)

video streaming

  • Select Settings

video streaming

  • Click Clear browsing data

video streaming

  • Select Choose what to clear

video streaming

  • Check the boxes Browsing history, Cookies and saved website data, and Cached data and files

video streaming

  • Click Clear

Check if the video streaming issue persists, or try the next solution.

Solution 17: Change buffer settings in Windows Media Player app

Here’s how to do this:

  • Open or launch Windows Media Player app. If you can’t find it, type Windows Media Player in the search box and click on the app
  • Click Organize on the top left corner

video streaming

  • Click Options

video streaming

  • Go to Performance tab

video streaming

  • Go to Network Buffering

video streaming

  • Change the Buffer value from 5, to either 10, 20 or 30. The higher you set the buffer value, the more of your video will be loaded.

Windows Media Player doesn’t work? Fix it quickly with this handy guide.

We hope these solutions helped resolve the video streaming issue on your computer.

As always, if you have any other suggestions or questions, feel free to leave them in the comments section below and we’ll be sure to check them out.

FAQ: Learn more about video streaming

  • How do I improve video streaming on my computer?

The steps you can take are:

  1. Close other tabs in the browser.
  2. Turn off any downloading/uploading tasks.
  3. Disable scanning and other PC monitoring tools.
  4. Check your Internet speed.
  5. Make sure the site is not having reported issues.
  6. Get closer to your router if connected via WiFi.
  • Why are videos not playing on my computer?

Streaming video issues can happen because of a certain browser extension that interferes with the website or a network configuration. Check your firewall or talk with IT Admin for network related issues and temporarily switch browser to eliminate the extension possibility. Keep in mind that the server could also have issues and there’s not much you can do there.

  • How do I fix video streaming problems?

First, clear your browser cache. Maybe even perform a computer reboot and make sure no other programs run except the ones you really need. If that doesn’t work, and the server has no issues then it might be a good idea to upgrade your router to get better speeds. Check out top fixes for a slow WiFi.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in November 2017 and has been since completely revamped and updated in April 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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