Just got your HBO Max subscription, but you find any TV show or movie you stream keep buffering? 

With HBO Max being the latest entry into the so-called streaming wars along with Disney Plus, Netflix, Apple TV+ and Amazon Prime, it has one of the biggest and most popular catalogs of hit shows, movies, and own selection of exclusive originals.

However, with more and more people moving onto streaming content directly from their devices and abandoning their cable TVs, it does bring about bandwidth and connectivity limitations during streaming. One such common issue, where users have had to face, is experiencing the infamous buffering loading screen whenever you try to stream content.

 

HBO Max stream keep buffering

 

This guide was written because we couldn’t find a guide that directly discusses how to go about addressing buffering issues with the HBO Max platform. 

The guide is pretty comprehensive and includes all the solutions which we’ve tried and tested to be effective, which credit due is a result of tens or hundreds of user feedback and multiple Reddit posts that discussed this very topic online. So if you’re looking to get your HBO Max stream fixed and reduce the amount of buffering, then this post will help you achieve that. We will guide you step-by-step on how to go about some of the solutions as you may well need to configure certain settings on your device to obtain the most optimum streaming experience.

Let’s jump right in!

 

1. Check If Your Internet Speeds Are Fast Enough To Stop Buffering.

The minimum download speed to stream for HBO Max is 5.0 Mbps [source].

Whether you’re using your phone, tablet, computer, or your TV, it will need to meet at the very least, the minimum download speeds stated to reduce the amount of buffering experienced. 

We assume for when once 4K UHD streaming is available for HBO Max, that the minimum download speed for that will be 25.0 Mbps, similar to that of Disney+, which we’ve covered before.

Now, usually, if your internet connection is slower than the recommended 5.0 Mbps, the quality of the stream will be adjusted to stream at a lower bitrate, such as 720p, 480p, or 144p to make sure that the stream does not buffer. 

However, if this happens too often, then the culprits will either be the HBO servers or your internet connection. The latter is often the most common, and you will want to test if your internet connection speeds are optimal.

How do you go about testing your internet connection speed? You can test using a service like Speedtest.net, which will measure both your Download and Upload speeds. You must take note of the Download speeds (Mbps).

 

Speedtest

 

If the internet is slower than 5.0 Mbps, then you will want to get in touch with an internet service provider such as AT&T, Verizon, Xfinity, Sprint, T-Mobile if you’re here in the US. If you’re outside the US, you will need to get in touch with your local internet service provider.

 

 

2. Lookout for HBO Max App Updates.

At the time of this writing, HBO Max has just been released a day or two ago, which means that the service is still relatively new and still has a lot of room for improvement.  Expect to receive tons of frequent updates and patches for bugs for the platform over the coming months.

We will show you how you can check for updates no matter which device you’re on:


If you’re on an Apple device such as an iPhone or an iPad

  1. Open up the App Store and then tap on your profile icon.

Update Apps iOS 13

 

  1. Next, under the Available Updates (if any), you can check if there any pending updates for all your apps, including the HBO Max app.

HBO Max stream keep buffering

 

  1. Lastly, simply tap on the Update button to begin the updating process.

If you’re on an Android device

  1. Open the Google Play Store app and then tap the Menu (it’s the one that looks like a hamburger icon).
  2. Next, tap on My apps & games.
  3. Then apps with an update available will be labeled “Update.” 
  4. Lastly, simply tap on the Update button next to HBO Max to begin the updating process.

HBO Max stream keep buffering

 


If you’re on a Windows 10

  1. Click on the Start menu (bottom-left) and then search and select your Microsoft Store app.
  2. Once you’ve opened the Microsoft Store, select the More button (…).
  3. Next, click on Downloads and updates.

Microsoft Store

 

  1. Lastly, click on Get updates and download any updates available for the HBO Max application.

Updating on Microsoft Store

 


If you’re on a Mac

  1. Launch the Mac App Store from your Dock or using Spotlight Search.
  2. Next, click on Updates from the left-hand side menu.
  3. Lastly, click on the Update button next to the HBO Max app (if there is a pending update) or click Update All to update all apps in the queue.

HBO Max stream keep buffering

 


If you’re on a PS4, then you can follow this guide here.


If you’re on an Xbox One, then you can follow this guide here.

 

 

3. Force Close the HBO Max App.

If you’re experiencing your HBO Max streams to keep buffering when using your smartphone or tablet, then a great effective way that has often worked is to fully force close the app.

On an iPhone without a Home button — iPhone X, iPhone XS or XS Max, iPhone XR, iPhone 11 or iPhone 11 Pro or later models; you can force-close the HBO Max app by swiping up from the bottom of your screen and pausing in the middle of the screen (as shown in the GIF below).

HBO Max stream keep buffering

 


On an iPhone with a Home button — iPhone 8, iPhone 7, iPhone 6S, or earlier; you can force-close the HBO Max app by double-pressing the Home button and then swiping up to close the app.


On an Android device, the method of force closing an app varies based on your device’s manufacturer. Meaning, force closing a Samsung app may be different from that of on the Google Pixel. If you’re on a Google Pixel device, then simply swipe up from the bottom of the screen and then hold it in the middle. Then simply swipe up to close the HBO Max app.


On a Samsung device, just go into your Home screen and tap on the Recent Apps shortcut. This icon is located in the bottom-left corner of your Samsung phone’s screen (it looks like a hamburger icon with three lines). Tap on the icon and then swipe left or right to look for the HBO Max app. Once you locate the HBO Max app, swipe upwards to close it.


Again try to reopen the HBO Max app and test to see if you’re able to stream without experiencing any buffering.

 

 

4. Reinstall HBO Max App.

By uninstalling and reinstalling the HBO Max app, it helps both to reduce the storage that it takes up on your device and clear the cache of the app, which may have gotten corrupted.

Whenever you uninstall an app after much usage, you will notice that there will be a significant decrease in the amount of storage that the app uses up. The data that is removed in the process is what’s called the cached data. Cache data are temporary files that get stored on your device that help speed up the process of not having to load up the same parts of the app repeatedly [source].

One way to remove cached data with the HBO Max app is to delete and reinstall the HBO Max app.

Here’s how you can reinstall the HBO Max app depending on which you’re using:


If you’re on an Apple device.

  1. Simply long-press on the HBO Max app from your Home page.
  2. Next, as the app jiggles, tap on the X button on the app to Delete App

HBO Max stream keep buffering

 

  1. Lastly, head back into the App Store, look up “HBO Max” and then reinstall it once again.

HBO Max stream keep buffering

 

  1. Log back into your HBO Max account using the email and password registered with it.

HBO Max stream keep buffering

 


If you’re on an Android device (varies between devices)

  1. Open the Google Play Store app.
  2. Next, tap the Menu (the one that looks like a hamburger icon) and then tap on My apps & games.
  3. Now, tap on the HBO Max app that is installed.
  4. Lastly, tap Uninstall. You can now go back, and lookup for “HBO Max” in the Google Play Store and then proceed to reinstall it once again.
  5. Log back into your HBO Max account using the email and password registered with it.

If you’re on an Apple TV, Samsung Smart TV, Android TV, Chromecast, Playstation, Xbox One, then you may refer to HBO’s help page on uninstalling and reinstalling HBO Max on those particular devices.

 

 

5. Make Sure You Have The Right Cables For HBO Max App.

If you’re using your Chromecast, Apple TV, Samsung Smart TV, Android TV, or any alternative, then you will want to use the correct cables and hardware that is recommended for streaming the high-definition content.

Unlike Disney, where they’ve explicitly stated the recommended cables required for streaming, HBO Max instead only suggests using a ‘wired connection’ using an Ethernet cable for best performance instead of relying on your wireless connection to stream content over onto your devices. 

We will also go with the same recommendations given by Disney, where it’s best to use high-speed HDMI cables and displays that have HDCP 2.2 for streaming content, particularly if you’re looking to stream in HDR or 4K Ultra HD. Additionally, you will also need to have an HDCP 2.2 compliant cable. The recommendations should be effective for HBO Max just as it is for Disney+.

For your convenience, we have listed down the cables which we recommend that can be obtained via Amazon for cheap:


High-speed HDMI cables


 

Let us know down below if you have any questions regarding the method. 🙂

 

 

6. Clear Out Any Cached Data.

Aside from uninstalling and reinstalling the HBO Max app, there are separate ways to remove the cached data stored if you’re using the web browser version of HBO Max or accessing the HBO Max from an Android device.

If you’re using the search browser to stream, then here are the steps on how you can clear the browser cache:


If you’re on Google Chrome (on Mac and Windows)

  1. From the top right corner, click More (three vertical dots).
  2. Next, click More tools.
  3. Now, click Clear browsing data.
  4. Over here, you will need to select a time range. To delete everything, select All time.
  5. Make sure that you check the boxes for Cookies and other site data and Cached images and files. This will remove all the cache data that is stored for HBO Max too.
  6. Lastly, click Clear data

If you’re on Firefox (Mac)

  1. Firstly, click the History menu at the top of the screen.
  2. Next, select the Clear Recent History option.
  3. Now, from the drop-down menu for “Time range to clear:” select Everything.
  4. Make sure that you check off the box for Cache as well. Then click Clear Now to confirm.
  5. Lastly, restart or refresh Firefox

If you’re on Firefox (Windows)

  1. Firstly, click the Firefox menu (found in the top right corner).
  2. Next, select History and then select Clear Recent History.
  3. Now from the drop-down menu for “Time range to clear:” select Everything.
  4. Make sure that you check off the box for Cache as well. Then click Clear Now to confirm.
  5. Lastly, restart or refresh Firefox.

 If you’re on Safari (Mac)

  1. Firstly, click Safari from the menu bar.
  2. Next, select Preferences.
  3. Then select the Privacy tab.
  4. Now choose to Manage Website Data and click Remove All.
  5. Lastly, click Remove Now to confirm.

 If you’re on Microsoft Edge (Mac and Windows)

For steps to clear out the cache from Edge, you may refer to the steps laid out here.


If you’re using an Android device (varies with device):

  1. From the home screen, go to Settings.
  2. Next tap on Apps and then HBO Max.
  3. Now tap on Storage.
  4. Over here, hit the Clear Cache and Clear Data button to remove all cache data from the HBO Max app.

For steps to clear out the cache on Android TV, Apple TV, Samsung Smart TV, Chromecast, Playstation 4, Xbox One, you may either refer to the Help page by HBO or simply search for the instructions yourself. 

 

 

7. Wait It Out.

Since HBO Max was just released a few days ago (May 27, 2020) from the time this was initially written, the platform is still evolving and growing in both its offerings and stability. 

It’s possible to experience buffering issues, closed captions not working, sign-in issues, error messages, etc. all within the first few months since the birth of the platform.

So while HBO Max is still in its infancy, there will inevitably be improvements and updates released over time that will address these issues.

Hence this will only come with time and a bit of patience. 🙂

However, while you’re waiting, you can also follow up with the next method as well.

 

 

8. Reach Out to HBO Max Support.

HBO provides four ways of reaching out for support — Phone, text, chat, or email.

 

HBO Max stream keep buffering

 

This is helpful as in case if you are experiencing an issue such as buffering issues or can’t sign in using your DirectTV account (which is another content we have in works), the support team can assist you and help you.

Lastly, you can also try to reach out to them via their HBO Max Twitter page and even the HBO Max subreddit. Although they’re not as responsive there, it sure does present itself as an alternative option if needed.

 

HBO Max on Reddit

 

Try it and see if any of the ways above helps to address or at least have someone over at HBO Max raise the issue to their technical team.

That’s pretty much it! We hope that this guide has helped you provide some useful solutions to fixing HBO Max streams from keep buffering. If you have questions, please feel free to leave a comment below, and we will love to help you out. ❤

P.S. If you have found a better solution to the above, please comment down below, and we will credit you when we update this article. 🙂

 

If this guide helped you, please share it. 🙂