How to Get Your Laptop to Stop Buffering

By Robert Ceville

Fix your laptop's buffering problem to make online videos play without any disruption. Buffering is the pausing of downloaded portions of media, such as music or video, before it is played in real time. Methods to reduce the amount of buffering include increasing your bandwidth, changing settings in Windows Media Player, adding virtual memory and turning off hardware acceleration. You can usually stop your laptop from buffering in less than an hour.

Step 1

Close any non-essential applications, including any browser windows that you don't need.

Step 2

Go to "Start," "Control Panel," "Appearance and Personalization," "Personalization," "Display Settings," "Advanced Settings," "Troubleshoot." Click and drag the hardware acceleration slider down until it reaches "None." Click "Apply," "OK." This will turn off your laptop's hardware acceleration feature, which may be causing the delayed video or music playback during streaming.

Step 3

Reduce buffering time in Windows Media Player. Click "View," "Options," "Streaming Media" from the "Advanced" tab. Select "Change." Enter "1" or "2" into the "Buffer x seconds of content" section of the screen. Select "Apply," "OK."

Step 4

Increase the size of the system paging file, also referred to as "Virtual Memory." Go to "Start," right-click "My Computer," "Advanced system settings," "Advanced." Navigate to the "Performance" section. Click "Settings." Go to "Advanced" and select "Change" from the "Virtual Memory" section. Remove the check mark next to "Automatically manage paging file size for all drives." Choose the highest permitted value for the paging file in the "Paging File Size" section. Click "OK" to save the settings.