How-To

YouTube TV Freezing / Buffering (Try This Fix First!)

One of the great benefits of YouTube TV is that it allows you to get rid of cable, and the outrageous price tag that comes along with it.

But, the grass isn’t always greener. YouTube TV requires an internet connection, and everything connected to the internet runs into issues sooner or later.

One such issue a lot of YouTube TV users complain about is freezing and buffering.

Luckily, there are several proven, quick fixes that you can implement to correct this problem. Here’s what you should do right now to get YouTube TV working again.

YouTube TV freezing

If YouTube TV is freezing, you need to power-cycle your TV. Unplug your TV from the wall and wait a FULL 60 seconds. While you wait, press and hold the power button on the TV for 30 seconds. After the minute is up, plug your TV back in.

Power-cycle your TV and/or streaming stick

While this fix sounds far too obvious, simply unplugging your TV from the wall socket is one of the most common ways to get YouTube TV working again.

The key here is to actually wait a FULL 60 seconds. Have a little bit of patience and make sure it’s been at least a minute before plugging it back in.

Unplug TV from wall

While the TV is unplugged, find and hold the power button on your TV for 30 seconds. Make sure you are holding the power button on your TV, and not your remote!

This will help to drain any residual power left in the TV and allows the TV to soft reset itself. This is different than simply switching the remote on and off!

If you’re using a streaming stick like Roku, Firestick or Chromecast, go ahead and unplug these from their power supply as well.

If your streaming stick is plugged into the wall, unplug it there. If it’s powered via the USB port on your TV, unplug it from the USB port.

Firestick powered by TV USB port

Once again, wait 60 FULL seconds. After the 60 seconds are up, go ahead and plug the streaming stick back in.

Once you plug the TV and streaming stick back in, power the TV back on and YouTube TV should be working again.

If it is, great! If you’re still having trouble, try the additional fixes detailed below.

Check your Wi-Fi router and speed

If your router isn’t working correctly, it can cause YouTube TV to experience a number issues, including freezing and buffering.

Start by checking your smartphone or other devices at home that use WiFi. If they’re not connecting, then your router isn’t working as it should.

Simply unplug your router for a few minutes and then plug it back in. It will take a few minutes for the router to completely reset, but it should help YouTube TV run better.

If this doesn’t work, you should run an internet speed test. A slow internet connection is another extremely common reason for YouTube TV freezing.

You want your download speed to be at least 50 Mbps. If it’s not, there are likely two reasons:

  1. You’re not paying for fast enough internet. You want to pay for at least 200 Mbps internet speed because using WiFi instantly cuts this speed in half to 100 Mbps, and using a VPN cuts this in half again. You end up with the minimum 50 Mbps on a 200 Mbps plan!
  2. Your router is bad and/or you’re too far away from your router. If your router is old or low quality, it doesn’t matter how fast your internet is, you’ll experience freezing. If your router is good, then consider getting a WiFi extender to get a stronger signal to your TV.

You can still implement all of the steps I recommend to unfreeze YouTube TV, but bad internet will always be your limiting factor!

If you continue having internet connection problems, you’ll want to call your internet service provider’s customer service line for help.

Turn off all other WiFi devices

Just about everything is smart these days. Possibly even your refrigerator! So it’s not uncommon to have 30-40 WiFi connected devices in your home at any given time.

Each one of these devices is competing for your limited bandwidth.

That means that the more devices with WiFi enabled, the less bandwidth available for streaming apps like YouTube TV.

One simple solution to this is to go around and turn these devices off, or put them on airplane mode.

That way you have fewer connected devices, and the bulk of your bandwidth will be available for YouTube TV.

Longer term, I would consider upgrading your router to one that can handle many simultaneous connections.

Lower the video quality in the YouTube TV app

If YouTube TV channels aren’t loading correctly, or are spending a lot of time buffering, another option is to lower the streaming quality.

The bandwidth requirement of high resolution videos might be too much for your internet to handle.

To lower the video quality on YouTube TV :

  1. Open the YouTube TV app.
  2. Pick a video or TV channel to play.
  3. Click “Settings” in the video player (gear icon).
  4. Select “Quality“.
  5. Lower the video quality to 480p or lower.
Lower the video quality in YouTube TV app

This should help significantly with freezing and buffering.

Clear cache of YouTube TV app

Cache is basically just a collection of data that is stored on your device to help make some processes run a little bit faster.

The problem is that sometimes cache can actually slow things down because it’s taking up valuable storage!

You’ll want to clear your cache, and make sure you clear it regularly going forward.

Reinstall YouTube TV app

If none of the above fixes worked, you’ll want to try reinstalling the YouTube TV app.

Depending on what device you’re using, go to the app home screen and find the YouTube TV app. Then delete the app and wait for it to be uninstalled from your device.

You should turn your device off and on again afterward. From here, simply go back to the app store and install YouTube TV again.

You’ll want to test it right away by playing some videos. Hopefully, this fix worked for you! If the app is constantly freezing and buffering, you’ll want to move on to the rest of the fixes.

Factory reset your TV

Ok, it’s time to try a full factory reset.

I don’t like doing a factory reset until I start to get to the end of possible fixes. A factory reset deletes all your apps and settings, and you’ll have to reinstall them and re-login.

But sometimes this is necessary in order to fix whatever is causing YouTube TV to freeze.

Exactly how to reset your TV to its factory settings will depend on the model you own, but most likely you’ll find it in your TV’s settings.

Once it’s done restarting, allow your TV a few minutes to reconnect. You’ll most likely have to reinstall the YouTube TV app and sign in, but hopefully it’s working again!

Update your TV’s OS

Your TV can run into a whole lot of issues if the software isn’t up to date. To correct this problem, simply check for any new TV OS updates.

Once again, you’ll likely find this in your TV’s settings.

Your TV will automatically update itself. This process may take a few minutes, but your TV will let you know when it’s done. 

update samsung tv software

You’ll want to ensure you update your TV often to keep up with the newest software. Doing so ensures that the YouTube TV app remains compatible with your TV.

Check if the YouTube TV servers are down

If YouTube TV is still freezing, you need to make sure that the YouTube TV servers aren’t down, or experiencing issues.

While this doesn’t happen that often anymore, it’s always a possibility. You can also check YouTube TV on other devices, like your smartphone or laptop, to see if it’s working there.

In this case, all you can do is wait for the servers to come back online. If you follow the platform on social media, like Twitter, they might let their followers know when to expect YouTube TV to come back on.

You can also check sites like Downdetector for more information.

Check if YouTube TV servers are down

Conclusion

If YouTube TV is freezing, don’t panic, this is a really common issue. Luckily there are several proven fixes you can implement to unfreeze it:

  • Power-cycle your TV and/or streaming stick
  • Check your WiFi router and speed
  • Turn off all other WiFi devices in your home
  • Lower the video quality in the YouTube TV app
  • Clear cache of YouTube TV app
  • Reinstall the YouTube TV app
  • Factory reset your TV
  • Update your TV’s software
  • Check to see if the YouTube TV servers are down

Hopefully one of these fixes was able to unfreeze YouTube TV and reduce any buffering you were experiencing.

Were you able to get YouTube TV to stop freezing on your device? Let me know how in the comment section below!