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March 18, 2010

Stop Buffering a YouTube Video

Update (June 2013): This feature is no longer available, now that YouTube uses adaptive streaming.

Sometimes you start watching a YouTube video and you realize that it's not very interesting. You pause the video, but YouTube continues to download the file. What can you do to stop the download?

Until now, a simple trick to stop buffering a YouTube video was to fast forward to the end of the video. The good news is that YouTube added an option to stop the download: right-click on the video and click on "Stop download".


YouTube's help center has more information about buffering. "The YouTube video player downloads a video as it plays. A buffer is a section of memory in your computer which allows for the simultaneous writing and reading of information -- on YouTube the buffered section is represented by the red section of the video timeline. The YouTube video player reads video information from one section of the buffer while writing to another. This kind of multitasking allows for smoother playback of video during a continuous process of downloading which is especially helpful for slower connections. "

45 comments:

  1. .. or you could just close the page :)

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    1. you are a smart person

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  2. I like how you used a Justin Bieber music video as an example of a video that "isn't very interesting." Made me laugh.

    Good tip, too. I imagine this matters a lot to people whose bandwidth is metered.

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    1. I back that, nearly keeps me away from reading the contents.

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  3. @rpetre:

    Maybe you want to read the comments or the article that happens to embed the uninteresting video. Another use case: a web page that embeds 10 YouTube videos.

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  4. Interesting note, the feature was added by request from this reddit article:
    http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/bcb14/im_a_youtube_software_engineer_working_on_the/

    :)

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  5. Great, thanks.
    @rpetre and @Alex Another use case. In cases where you don't-have-good-bandwidth-connection, sometimes you just want to pause the download for a while while another more important thing is getting downloaded.

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  6. Oh man, I wanted this for so long. Shame they didn't get it quite right, though. The download should stop, yes, but the player should still continue playing the section already buffered.
    And to make it perfect, there should also be a "recontinue downloading" option.

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  7. I also faced the same problem.When i continuing buffering in you tube,It shows various problem.Some times i feel so irritated and close that window.Now i got some how suggestion for it.Thanks a lot.

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  8. hehe. landed here to say the same. it was mentioned in thread on reddit and the youtube engineer promised to do something about it. :D

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  9. @varun: resume support doesn't seem to be implemented. Yes, i agree, the embed is a proper use case, but the comments are usually of lower quality than the video :(

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  10. Thanks a lot,that really is annoying when the you want to watch another video and the download of the previous one continues...

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  11. @rpetre right, my mistake. I thought the obvious thing was to have resume support... it wasn't obvious after all ;-)

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  12. why not a 'stop/pause download' button? that would be more visible to users, relatively more users will notice and make use of it.

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  13. Thanks for pointing out this feature. I saw your post in my RSS feed but didn't read the details at the time. Watching some YouTube vids today, I realized I needed to know this trick and Googled to find the post again.

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  14. How can you search for the cached file on your hard drive?

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  15. I like justin bieber because he is so cute!

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  16. Just tried it and it didn't work in Firefox. Closing the browser also does not stop it. I turn off my modem for a while. It needs to be off for about a minute or it continues to buffer even though the browser is closed.

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  17. closing the browser (not just a tab or page) will definitely stop caching the files to HD. try it

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  18. The download link would help a bunch >.<

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  19. ah finally. the ffwd-to-the-end trick was actually a fairly annoying workaround. Context menu FTW!

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  20. Can say the same as the other Anonymous.. doesn't work in Win7 64Bit Pro, Firefox 3.6.12 and Adobe Flash 10.2 d161..
    I can see it on my Network Monitor that the video keeps downloading although I:
    - stopped the download via context menu
    - closed the browser tab
    - closed Firefox
    Only thing that helps is to go into advanced firewall settings for Win7 and block all incoming traffic for a moment.

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  21. i think u should download the video and afterward play it without any buffering

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  22. I love how it showed a justine beiber video as a not-very-interesting video

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  23. i was use this trick now i play in very fast speed thinks for this post it,s work 100%

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  24. I like your example of a "not very interesting" video xD

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  25. try saving the buffer at the end of the video
    and play it back with FLV player

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  26. I don't understand the whole thing. :/ probably because my computer's only problem is the fact that youtube always ends up stalled.

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  27. bieber fever *faints*

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  28. the buffer thing doesn't work any more because youtube is different :( :/ :L

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  29. the bad thing is that if you stop buffering/downloading, the video STOPS, and if you want to hear only the buffered part, it DISSAPEARS, and you have to buffer the whole video again. IT'S OUTRAGEOUS

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  30. it work great it run faster from my pc thank very much for your help

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    Replies
    1. This explanation makes absolutely no sense. It was written by a geek in geek speak for geeks.When I pause the video it stops period. Nothing happens. So how does this explain how to stop the buffering. Please enlighten me!

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    2. Right click on the player, then click "stop download".

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  31. don't know why but i got 2 pc

    desktop it buffers ANY video i watch fully even if i pause it

    laptop it buffers maybe 5% of video when i keep watching and pauses buffering when i pause video

    how to fix this shit? -.-'

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  32. Isn't buffering on YouTube at approximately 5:30pm caused by to many 13-year-old boys looking at porn websites all at once?

    I find it such a nuisance when trying to listen to music on YouTube.

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  33. This DOES NOT WORK! I clicked on "stop download" and it kept right on buffering!!

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  34. THIS IS AN ADOBE FLASH PLAYER 10 FEATURE NOT A YOUTUBE FEATURE!

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  35. wow I also faced the same problem...and I have been waiting for a solution for such a long time and it has now come...I also love the example they gave of Justin Bieber its really cool...

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  36. hiii please tell me the process i can't get it...

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  37. Too often people online keep acting like it has something to do with your connection, but it rarely does. Everything loads fine, except youtube in most cases. Then the only thing you can do is install video accelerator and optimize browsers.

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