How to fix lagging Twitch streams – Laggy stream fixes

Stop missing the best moments due to stream buffering.

Image via Twitch

All you’re trying to do is watch your favorite streamer survive another raid in Escape from Tarkov, and sudden buffering seems determined to ensure you miss every shot. As Twitch gains in popularity, the number of issues that arise seems to increase as well, from complete failures to load the stream to laggy, buffering streams that might as well be unwatchable. There are a few workarounds that users have for lagging Twitch streams; however: here are some troubleshooting methods.

How to fix laggy Twitch streams

If you’re attempting to watch Twitch and are barraged by endless buffering and a low resolution, you will want to start effective troubleshooting to determine the cause and solution of the issue. Follow these steps in order to fix the underlying problem.

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1. Verify that this is an end-user issue

First, you’ll need to ensure that this is actually a ‘you’ issue rather than a stream issue. On more popular streams and with more experienced streamers, this is simple as you’ll be able to simply read chat to determine if many are having issues with the stream rendering. Otherwise, the streamer themselves may note that they are experiencing ‘dropped frames’ or other technical problems. If this is the case, there is little that can be done on your side, and it is likely an issue between the streamer and the ISP that they use. However, if other chatters seem nonplussed about the issue, you can effectively begin troubleshooting.

2. Drop processes on the PC

Screenshot by Gamepur

Right-click the taskbar and enter the Task Manager on Windows. If there are too many processes open, your computer will automatically attempt to lessen the impact of other applications that aren’t active, as determined by where the user is currently clicking. If you’re full screen on another application while Twitch plays in the background, or on a separate screen, this may be the culprit. End processes that are hogging the performance for your PC, and see if that improves the quality and latency of the stream. Pressing F5 while Twitch is the active screen will refresh the page, removing any gap between where you’re at in the stream, and what’s live.

3. Lessen the bandwidth demand

If you’re living in a household where multiple people are attempting to stream content at once, you may be experiencing choked bandwidth. ISPs offer download and upload rates, and watching content uses downloads for the audio and video, whether it’s on Netflix or Twitch. A single user can choke bandwidth if using multiple services at once: Twitch, Spotify, and a multiplayer game can be a sure way to begin experiencing throttles.

Screenshot by Gamepur

You can mitigate this by clicking on the cog on the bottom right of a Twitch stream, and dropping the resolution. Twitch bitrate can only actually display 936p at 60 FPS, so dropping to 720p60 could entirely solve this issue without a drastic drop in quality.