How to fix Twitch buffering issues on a Windows 10 computer?

March 27, 2019 |

greater than 12 minutes

Twitch is easily the most popular game streaming service. Given its position on the market, you would expect streams to always play out smoothly on the platform once you have a decent internet connection. Unfortunately, users are sometimes at the mercy of inconsistencies that cause videos to lags or buffering repeatedly.

Such annoying shortcomings negatively affect users’ experiences with Twitch. In this guide, we will show you how to troubleshoot Twitch buffering issues. You will go through specific fixes to figure out which one of them is best suited to the problem in your case and get to use it.

How to fix Twitch clips buffering problem on Windows 10 devices?

We want you to begin with the first fix procedure on the list and move on to others (if you have to).

  1. Check for conflict-inducing or problematic applications:

In most of the reported scenarios where users experienced problems with streams buffering on Twitch continuously, the issue was down to conflict-inducing or problematic applications running on the affected computers.

Many regular programs are guilty of executing operations or employing services that use up a considerable number of the available resources, which means the processes involved in rendering streams suffer since they have to fight for crumbs.

The Steam app, for example, is likely to be a culprit. Assuming you are a gamer, then you should be familiar with Steam – an application you use to manage and access your games. You will do well to terminate its operations or processes before you go on Twitch to follow streams. Steam sometimes fetch updates in the background without you knowing about the activities it engages in.

We also recommend that you check other applications that are capable of using your bandwidth in the background (even when none of their program windows is running). Disable all of them.

Go through these steps:

  • Close every application or open program window now except your browser app.

We recommend you go a step further and check for running processes in the Task Manager application.

  • Use the following keyboard shortcut to quickly open the Task Manager app on Windows 10: CTRL + ALT + ESP keys.
  • With the Task Manager program window up, you should see the applications running under the Processes tab. Go through the list under Apps, and then move on to the items under Background processes.

To terminate an application or process, you must click on it to highlight it, and then click on the End task button (close to the bottom of the Task Manager program window).

  • Once you are done terminating all the problematic applications or unnecessary processes, you must close the Task Manager app, return to Twitch on your browser, and see if the buffering issue has been resolved.
  1. Change your DNS:

Some video playback shortcomings on Twitch are related to issues affecting your DNS. You will do well to switch to a different DNS. We recommend you use Google’s DNS since you are unlikely to encounter the same problems with its setup.

Carefully go through these steps:

  • Check for the network icon on your taskbar. Click on it to see a list, and then select the network you are on currently from the menu.

You will end up on the Network screen in a Settings program window.

  • Go through the list displayed on the right pane. Click on the Change adapter options link.

Your system will bring up the list of available network connections now.

  • Right-click on the network connection currently in use (or the one you intend to work on), and then select Properties from the menu list displayed.

Windows will bring up the Properties window for the selected network now.

  • Click on Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) on the list of connection items to highlight it. Click on the Properties button.

Windows will bring up a new window now for the selected parameter.

  • Click on the radio button for Use the following DNS server addresses (to select this option).
  • At this point, you must type in 8.8.8.8 into the field for Preferred DNS server and 8.8.4.4 into the field for Alternate DNS server.
  • Click on the OK button to save the values. Close all the network windows and applications you opened.
  • Restart your browser, access Twitch, and then try to stream your videos. If the lags or buffer issues had anything to do with DNS problems, you should notice some improvements now.
  1. Get rid of your proxy and VPN:

We understand why users might opt to use a proxy to protect their anonymity online or to access blocked sites. The same thing applies to the usage of VPNs. However, if streams on Twitch are always lagging, then you might have to reconsider some of your decisions.

The stream buffering problem or lag issue probably has something to do with the setups or processes involved in redirecting, obscuring or cloaking your internet connection. Proxies and VPNs are far from perfect, after all. Users almost always have to make sacrifices to use such services. For example, your internet connection becomes slower once you try accessing the web through a VPN or proxy.

You might end up figuring out that the end here does not justify the means. In other words, if you decide that you prefer to enjoy streams and videos on Twitch without complications (or issues) over keeping your identity or location a top secret, then you must act against your proxy or VPN.

You can follow these instructions to disable your proxy (if you got it set up in Windows):

  • First, you have to open the Settings program. To do this quickly, you can use this keyboard shortcut: Windows logo button + Letter I key.
  • Once your system brings up the Settings application window, you must click on Network and Internet (from the menu displayed).
  • Look to the options on the left pane (Network and Internet menu), and then click on Proxy.
  • On the right pane (Proxy menu), you must deselect all the options. To toggle off a parameter, click on its switch.

Windows will have disabled your proxy by now.

If you use a VPN, you will have to go into its program menu and switch it off. You might need to uninstall its app altogether to ensure that your internet connection is not passing through any filters or similar components.

If you are not sure of how to go about disabling the active VPN on your computer, you can go through this procedure on turning off virtual private networks in Windows 10:

  • First, you have to launch an elevated Command Prompt or PowerShell window.

You can right-click on the Windows icon at the bottom-right corner of your computer’s screen, and then select Command Prompt (Admin) from the list of programs or options displayed.

Otherwise, you have to do this: Press the Windows logo button on your PC’s keyboard, and then type PowerShell into the text field (that shows up once you begin to type). Right-click on the relevant result that comes up (PowerShell application), and then select the Run as administrator option.

  • Assuming you have got the required Command Prompt window up and running, you must type in the following code: PowerShell Get-VpnConnection

On the other hand, if you decided to use PowerShell, here is the code you must type in: Get-VpnConnection

  • Hit the Enter key. Your system will run the inputted code and display the necessary details about the VPN connection in use.

Take note of the name of the VPN (the first line on the parameters and values list). For example, Name: BadVPN

  • To disable the VPN, if you are using Command Prompt, you must type in the following code (replace BadVPN with the name of the VPN we asked you to take note of earlier): rasphone -R “BadVPN”

If you are working through a PowerShell application window instead, then you must type in the following code (remember to replace BadVPN with the name of the VPN you saw earlier): Remove-VpnConnection -Name “BadVPN -Force

  • Hit the Enter key, and this time, with the execution of the final code, Windows will act to terminate the VPN service.
  • At this point, you are free to close the elevated Command Prompt or PowerShell window, reopen your browser, visit Twitch and try to stream stuff there. Given the action you took, the issues should have disappeared by now.
  1. Disable your browser extensions:

Users typically install extensions to their browsers to enjoy functionalities that are unavailable by default or to improve on already existing features. Some add-ons go about the jobs they were brought in to do without causing complications or issues, while others do not.

Some extensions – perhaps, given the nature of the tasks they engage in or the permissions and privileges they require – tend to interfere with regular browsing operations. Unsurprisingly, these altercations translate to poor browsing sessions on many sites. Twitch might be a victim of the problematic extensions currently installed on your browser.

To learn the truth of the matter, you have to disable all your extensions (or at least the ones you suspect most to be the culprits). If you use Google Chrome, for example, then these steps should constitute a decent guide:

  • Open the Chrome app, and then click on its menu icon (at the top-right corner of its application window).

Its menu list will be displayed now.

  • Click on More tools, and then select Extensions from the menu or options list.

Chrome will bring up its extensions screen now.

  • Go through the installed or active extensions. To disable an extension, you have to click on the little switch close to its name (to toggle it off).

You have to repeat that step for all the extensions in use. Remember you have to turn off all of them.

  • Once you are done disabling all the extensions as we recommended, you must restart the Chrome app, and then reaccess Twitch.

Check if your streams still buffer or lag constantly. If the problems are no longer noticeable, then you have more or less verified that the extensions on Chrome had something to do with the issue in view.

You can go a step further and find out the exact culprit (or which combination of extensions was responsible). To do this, you have to enable a single extension at a time, and then test to see if you can still stream stuff on Twitch without issues.

Take note of the extension or group of extensions with which you manage to recreate the problem. You have to leave it disabled permanently. You should consider alternative add-ons, which are unlikely to cause the same headaches for you.

  1. Check your antivirus (and firewall):

If the previous fixes fail to deliver the result you were expecting, then you must look to your antivirus or your firewall as a culprit.

Antiviruses – perhaps, given the nature of the jobs they are programmed to do – sometimes cause problems for users by interfering with the operations of other applications or tampering with their processes and services. Firewalls, which are employed to prevent programs from connecting to the internet or block packets of data, cause their fair share of trouble.

There is a reasonable chance that your struggles with streams on Twitch are down to specific features or capabilities associated with your antivirus. To this end, you might be able to make things right by turning off your antivirus or disabling its most essential functionalities. Similarly, if you use a firewall, now is the time to do away with it. After you do this, reboot your PC and check the new state of streams playback on Twitch.

If things do not improve after you make the recommended changes against your antivirus, you have to uninstall it for the time being to test accurately for improvements. In the resulting window (after you get rid of your antivirus or firewall), you must try to stream stuff on Twitch again and see how things go.

If you are now able to watch streams without issues, then you can take the positive changes as confirmation that your antivirus (or firewall) was involved in causing the problems in view. In that case, you must consider fetching a replacement for the antivirus you removed.

Now, given the issue that compelled you to get rid of your antivirus, you must avoid replacing it with a security program that might cause the same problem. In this regard, Auslogics Anti-Malware is as close to an ideal replacement as you can get. It is a first-rate protection utility that goes about its job of keeping your system safe from malicious items without it tampering with third-party operations or processes.

  1. Block specific IP ranges:

If you are still struggling with Twitch lags at this point, it is time you consider a procedure suggested by other users who once had to deal with the same problem. They managed to get their streams to play smoothly by blocking specific IP ranges through their firewall.

It is not known why this operation delivers excellent results, but its effectiveness on many computers is impressive. The procedure is relatively advanced (when compared to the solutions we proposed earlier). We will guide you on blocking the required IP range now through Windows Firewall.

Follow these instructions:

  • Press (and hold) the Windows logo button, and then tap the letter S key. Your system will bring up the Windows Start menu screen with the search box.

Type Firewall into the text field available, and from the results displayed, you must click on Windows Defender Firewall with Advanced Security (under Apps).

Windows will bring up the Windows Defender Firewall with the Advanced Security program window now.

  • Look at the list close to the left pane and click on Inbound rules. Look at the list close to the right pane now and click on New rule.

The New inbound rule wizard will be displayed now.

  • Click on the radio button for Custom rule to go with this option, and then click on the Next button to move on with the creation process.
  • Click on the Next button and continue doing this until you see the Scope screen.
  • There, you must click on the radio button for These IP addresses, and then click on the ADD button to continue.
  • Select This IP address range option. Now, you must type in the following addresses:

From: 206.111.0.0

To: 206.111.255.255

  • Click on the OK button, and Windows will proceed with things. At this point, you must add another set of IP address to define an additional range.

Repeats the two previous steps to reach the text field again. This time, you must input the following addresses:

From: 173.194.55.1

To: 173.194.55.255

  • Once you are done filling up the required fields and choosing the necessary parameters, you must click on the Next button.
  • Click on the radio button for Block the connection, and then click on the Next button to finish the operation.
  • With these settings in place, you must restart your browser and then check if things have improved on Twitch.

If you fail to notice any significant changes, then you must restart your computer (and your internet connection), and then confirm that your streams now play out smoothly without continuous lags or buffer problems.

  1. Disable hardware acceleration:

Hardware acceleration is one feature that enables your PC to allocate tasks – most of which your processor is capable of working on – to the hardware components that do the job best. From this, you can infer that hardware acceleration is actually supposed to improve your computer performance.

However, several reports have confirmed that certain Twitch functionalities tend to struggle with the hardware acceleration setup. If you are yet to resolve the lags and buffer issues while streaming, then you would not care about the advantages associated with the employment of hardware acceleration. We recommend you turn off the feature and see if things improve on Twitch.

We will provide the instructions on turning off hardware acceleration on Chrome (since it is the most widely-used browser application). Do this:

  • Launch the Chrome app. With your browser window up, you must click on the Chrome menu icon (formed from 3 dots arranged vertically).

From the options you see, select Settings. Chrome will bring up the Settings screen now.

  • Go through the options displayed and locate the Use hardware acceleration when available parameter. Toggle off its switch by clicking on it.
  • Exit the Settings screen, close Chrome, and then reopen it. Recheck Twitch to confirm that you can stream videos without them lagging or buffering continuously.

Other things you must try to resolve Twitch streams buffering or lagging problem on browsers in Windows 10

If you came here to find out how to fix the Twitch playback keeps buffering issue, you might be disappointed to leave without a permanent solution to the problem in view – especially if you managed to get to this point.

Now, you will get to go through additional procedures, which are likely to help you get streams playing on Twitch without issues.

  1. Clear your browser cache:

If you continue to suffer performance downgrades defined in terms of lags and slow playbacks while streaming content on Twitch, then your browser cache might be faulty or damaged. Perhaps, its contents got corrupted or altered.

Cache issues are quite common, to be fair. Fortunately, they are also incredibly easy to fix. The vast majority of cache problems get resolved once users empty their caches. You can go through the Clear browsing data menu to delete everything stored on your cache.

  1. Try a different browser:

This recommendation is as close as to the last resort you must consider to resolve the issues on Twitch that you encounter when you are using a specific browser. Download a new browser app and install it (if you do not have one installed already).

If the problem is down to bugs, inconsistencies or shortcomings exclusive to the browser you currently employ to access Twitch, then a new browser should provide you with the platform where everything goes smoothly.

  1. Update Flash: Download all the available updates. Install the most recent plugin you can get from trusted sources.
  2. Find out if other users are struggling with the same issues: Check the internet for reports or complaints about Twitch.
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