If you are not able to play some videos on your web browser, there may be an issue with hardware acceleration. Users who have the setting turned on are likely to encounter the error message ”If playback doesn’t begin shortly try restarting your device.” The problem can also be due to the new HTML5 video player that’s currently in use on popular video sharing platforms like YouTube.
You can resolve the issue by customizing the settings for your web browser or by installing add-ons for YouTube’s new HTML5 player. You can also choose to uninstall or update the graphics card drivers. If all else fails, you can try any of the following fixes.
How to address playback issues in the browser
- Disable hardware acceleration in the browser
- Update or uninstall NVIDIA Graphics driver
- Install HTML5 player add-ons on your browser
- Switch your audio device
Solution 1 – Disable hardware acceleration in the browser
One of the most common methods for resolving playback issues in your web browser is disabling hardware acceleration. Hardware acceleration allows the browser to move all graphics and text rendering from the CPU to the Graphics Processing Unit. In some instances, you may need to enable or disable hardware acceleration to check for hardware or software compatibility issues connected with viewing videos on your browser.
To disable hardware acceleration on Google Chrome, go to Settings>Advanced Settings>System. Then, uncheck the box that says “Use Hardware acceleration when available”.
On Internet Explorer, follow these steps:
- Click Start and then click Internet Explorer.
- Click the Tools icon in the upper-right corner and then click Internet Options.
- Click the Advanced tab and then under Accelerated graphics, select the Use software rendering instead of GPU rendering check box.
- Click Apply and then click OK.
- Close Internet Explorer and then restart it so that the change takes effect.
Solution 2 – Update or uninstall NVIDIA Graphics driver
An outdated NVIDIA graphics card can also cause playback problems in your browser. To address this, you can get the latest drivers for your video card from its manufacturer’s website. To update your video card driver, go to Control Panel>All Control Panel Items>System>Device Manager>Display Adapters. Finally, right-click on the display card and select “Update Driver Software”.
If updating the driver does not solve the problem, you may choose to uninstall the drivers and reinstall the same. To do so, go to Control Panel>All Control Panel Items>System>Device Manager>Display Adapters. Right click on the display card and hit “Uninstall.” Reboot your PC after the uninstallation process.
Solution 3 – Install HTML5 player add-ons on your browser
As mentioned above, playback problems on your browser could be caused by the new HTML5 player. You can install add-ons for your respective browsers by visiting their respective websites. For Firefox users, you can download the YouTube Flash Player from Mozilla. Google Chrome users can download Flash Player for YouTube from the Chrome Web Store. Unfortunately for Microsoft Edge users, there is no add-on for the browser as of this time.
Solution 4 – Switch your audio device
Finally, you can try switching off audio devices including speakers and headphones as they might be causing problems as well. You can also unplug your headphone and plug it back in.
As always, if you have other solutions for this problem, let us know in the comments below.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in August 2017 and has been since completely revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.