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A film keeps buffering or won't play

A problem like this is most commonly caused by either (1) the strength of your Internet connection or (2) the browser you are using. In rare circumstances, the issue may be with your computer itself. We suggest the following steps to fix the issue:

1) Make changes to your internet connection

You can test the speed of your internet connection (download speed) on a variety of websites such as "Speed Test": http://www.speedtest.net. We recommend an Internet speed of at least 5Mbps for an HD stream.

If your internet is any less, you may be able to get by with some basic streaming in non full screen mode. You can also try positioning yourself closer to your router.

2) Make sure you have the latest version of Flash:

You can check you have the latest Flash here. Flash is important to support the watching of videos and ensures to deliver them in the highest quality.

Note: this issue is common for users on Macs using Firefox. Firefox for Macs does not automatically come with Flash like other browsers do (which means it tries to play the films in mp4 format, not HLS format, which is industry best standard).

3) Make changes to your browser

We work with Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, Opera and other browsers. There are 3 actions you can take to potentially improve the viewing experience:

  • Try changing browsers to see if another browser works better
  • Try closing other open browser tabs and windows - this can slow things down and can sometimes make a tangible difference
  • Try clearing your browser caches - this can also slow things down, and you can see instructions on how to do this here.

4) Make changes to your device

You can often improve the viewing experience by switching to a different device, especially one requiring less pixelation (e.g. watching on a smaller laptop screen instead of a larger television screen).

5) Worst case - report the issue with us:

If none of the above work, please follow the "report an issue" instructions here with information of the issue so we can best diagnose and investigate.

There can be some other less common issues causing film issues - for example, some ad-blocking software may cause issues with playing Kanopy films (even though Kanopy has no advertising).


If you need help with any of these matters, you can refer to the more detailed troubleshooting guide.

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