Youtube Buffering Problem when Full Screen is toggled? Here’s the Solution

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youtube buffer problem

If you are behind a slow connection, you must have encountered this problem that whenever you toggle full screen, Youtube deletes video buffer and it starts streaming all over again. This is not any bug but actually a feature of Youtube.

Why does it happen?

Youtube deletes buffer and starts streaming it again because videos at 240p or 360p resolution do not offer enough quality to be shown in full screen. So they automatically switch to 480p, resulting in the need to re-stream the video.

How to solve it?

Step 1: Login to your account (or Register if you don’t have one). Then open your Playback Setup in your Account Settings :-

Step 2: Select the option – “I have a slow connection. Never play higher-quality video.” as shown :

youtube account playback settings

And you’re done. Make sure you’re always logged in. If this problem still persists, let me know by leaving a comment after this article.

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    • Saket says

      This is not any problem Pankaj, just a feature you see because in 360p or lower resolution, videos won’t look good in full-screen, so they get changed to 480p for a quality experience.

      • says

        Yeah, but a ‘feature’ shouldn’t actually make it more difficult to use. The user is intelligent enough to determine if the resolution is good enough and change it themselves. This is hands down the worst part of YouTube for me. Most likely because I’m in China and have to use YouTube through a VPN with terrible bandwidth.

        Thanks for solving my problem, er… feature. 😉

          • Dan says

            Uhm, because sometimes I just want to watch a video and don’t want to futz around with logging in? Sometimes I’m watching a video that’s embedded on another page and there’s no log in link?

            Also, logging in and having that option checked doesn’t seem to actually prevent this.

            This ‘feature’ is total BS.

  1. says

    I’ve already done that, and as I’ve said, you’re the one who helped me fix this, so thank you. My only point was that: while I recognize Google thinks this is a ‘feature’, it’s the worst ‘feature’ of YouTube, which could be argued is actually a problem. When I start to buffer a video, I (and I would bet most people) don’t put it into full-screen right away, I might have two or three videos buffering at the same time – they can’t all be in full-screen. Problem is when they’re done buffering and I then want to watch them in full-screen, BAM! the buffer is reset. I keep telling myself to remember this, but with how slow the internet is here, I don’t spend a lot of time on YouTube, but just enough to make it super-frustrating – the video buffers for 10-20 minutes (just for a 3 or 4 minute video), then it gets reset, and I have to wait for it to start over.
    I just think that the average user is smart enough to figure this out for themselves and doesn’t need Google to hand-feed / force-feed them, or maybe I’m giving the average user too much credit…
    Maybe once I’m back in the States this won’t be such as issue, since I’ll have some real bandwidth. 😀

    Thank you again for publishing this fix.

    • Saket says

      Well, the big G cannot be always right. There are somethings that we need to bear. They thought this would make life easier for people having high-net connections, overlooking people behind proxies and on a slower net connection.

  2. Mustaqeem Dabbawala says

    i have done everything i have done whatever you have told but youtube buffers alot after doing everything please tell me what to do

  3. Sandeep says

    Thanks for making this clear.
    I agree 100% with Tim on this. I am in India, and I have a pretty decent bandwith here. But most of the times while I am browsing, My bandwidth will not be completely allotted to youtube. I’ll be downloading something in parallel, or bufferring multiple videos on youtube for later view, once they are buffered.

    Obviously, while buffering, I’ll not be full screen mode, as I have to switch between windows. But during actually viewing, I switch to fullscreen mode, and bang, the buffer is deleted.. thereby wasting all the time I spent on buffering :)

    Thanks for your clarification, now that I know what is happening, I try to remember and buffer in full screen mode as often as possible, I can still move b/w windows by using good old alt-tab :)

    But I think, it would be a really nice solution if google could provide an option for the user to select which resolution to buffer the video in. Ie, even while not in full screen mode, there should be an option for the user to select 480p (maybe a small dropdown somewhere nice), so that upon buffering, when the user switches to full screen mode, the buffer is not deleted.
    Hope somebody picks this up from google :) it would make the life of so many users bit more happier :)

  4. aiakos says

    The best solution I’ve found is to use one of the browser plugins to cache the video and view it with an external player. Still a pain, but much less than within the youtube window.

  5. Henrik says

    I have a fast internet connection – fiber-optic cable. But YouTube still buffers or plays out of sync in full-screen mode, but not in any of the smaller modes. Any tips? Is there some way to allocate more RAM to streaming, or is that not the problem?

  6. Tabish says

    I have a slow connection, im not in full screen mode while watching videos on youtube. The video streams midway and starts buffering again (not an issue) because its not finished completely. If i drag it back to the start to watch the video again from the beginning then it starts buffering from the start as well.

    Appreciate you helping me out with this issue. Ive heard this is a problem on all HTC phones and iphone does not have this problem.

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