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Watching laggy footage on any platform is never a good time. This is especially true for live video content, like that found on Twitch. In this article, I’m going to address a few reasons why Twitch Lagging happens and give you a few things that you can try to fix it.
There is no one perfect solution to this issue, as there are multiple reasons why Twitch might be lagging, but I’ll do my best to make it as easy to understand as I can.
1: Stop Twitch Lagging by Disabling Hardware Acceleration
The first possible Twitch lag fix is to disable hardware acceleration in your browser settings. This may sound counterintuitive – wouldn’t you want hardware acceleration enabled? In most circumstances, yeah, you would.
However, there are certain situations where hardware acceleration might be causing a bottleneck in one way or another, and disabling hardware acceleration can remove that bottleneck. This allows the rest of your computer to access the resources that it needs to operate smoothly and, incidentally can stop Twitch from lagging if that was the cause.
How to Disable Hardware Acceleration in Chrome
To disable hardware acceleration in chrome:
- Navigate to chrome://settings/
- Scroll to the bottom of the settings
- Expand the advanced tab
- Continue scrolling to the very bottom
- Uncheck “Use hardware acceleration when available”
- Be sure to Click the Relaunch button
If this doesn’t fix your problem, feel free to re-enable it.
2: Stop Twitch From Lagging While Streaming
If you are experiencing lag on Twitch, but only when you are live, then this fix might be suitable for you. To fix Twitch lagging while streaming, you’ll need to check to make sure you aren’t causing your CPU, RAM(Memory), or Video card to hit 100% utilization. If you are, then there are a few things that you can do:
- Check to ensure your PC is capable of Streaming
- Enable Administrator Mode on your broadcasting program
- Lower your X264 encoding speed to a faster setting (Slower = More CPU demand)
- Switch to a GPU Encoder, if possible
- Lower In-game settings as much as possible, including render resolution
If you’ve tried all of this and are still hitting 100% utilization, check your pc for what is taking up most of that processing. This can be done by accessing the task manager.
How to Access the Task Manager in Windows 10
To access the task manager in windows 10:
- Ctrl + Alt + Del
You should see a screen with a few options, task manager is one of them. Open that up, and click on “More Details.” From here, click on the CPU tab. This should organize the processes in terms of highest to lowest, or vice versa. Click it again if it’s the lowest to highest.
You can look for programs that you recognize, such as your antivirus or a game that is running in the background, and safely end the task. Ironically, Chrome itself is usually the largest user of system resources in my personal experience, and closing it here, then reopening it can also fix this issue…temporarily.
Do not end anything that you don’t recognize here, as it can cause some issues until a pc restart.
In some cases, you’ll be able to get the utilization under 100%, to which the lagging on Twitch should cease.
3: Try Incognito Mode To Rule Out Extensions
Browser extensions are notorious for causing a whole host of issues, from a sharp increase in performance cost to just making things perform strangely. For this reason, you’ll want to rule out the possibility of extensions causing issues in your ability to watch Twitch streams.
Once you do, simply pop open a Twitch stream and see if it is still lagging. If so, then you’ll have to start disabling extensions until you find the culprit. Let me know in the comments or the Community Discord what extensions cause issues, and I’ll include a reference to it here to help others – with credit to you for the tip.
How to Get Into Incognito Mode on Chrome
You can launch an Incognito window by:
- Using the Shortcut
- Ctrl + Shift + N
- Clicking on the Chrome menu (The three dots located at the top right)
- Click on “New Incognito Window”
4: Fix Lag on Twitch By Disabling Low Latency Mode
Low Latency streaming is a feature that sacrifices stream stability (and a little bit of quality) to give you near real-time interaction with the streamer. Many prospective streamers see this feature as a huge boon, but for those of you who aren’t on the most stable of connections (WI-FI, Mobile Networks, etc.), it actually causes the stream to stutter and lag.
This happens because an unstable internet connection can occasionally drop packets. Low latency mode lowers the buffer time in which those frames can be re-acquired before simply skipping them. Unfortunately, due to the nature of live streaming, you can’t simply buffer the entire video and hit play for uninterrupted playback.
You’ll lose out on the close to real-time interaction, but at least you’ll be able to watch without feeling like Twitch is lagging like crazy – a worthy trade-off, in my opinion.
How to Disable Low Latency mode on Twitch
- Click on the Settings Gear Icon on the bottom right of the Twitch player
- Click on Advanced
- Uncheck “Low Latency”