BBC iPlayer Buffering (Easy Fixes!)

| Published:

When you’re catching up on your BBC content and find that your streaming is interrupted, you may be asking, “Why does BBC iPlayer keep buffering?”

Well, luckily, there are several ways that you can increase your ability to reduce buffering when viewing BBC iPlayer.

Why does BBC iPlayer keep buffering?

BBC iPlayer will often keep buffering if you have a software or internet connection configuration issue present on your home network.

This issue will present itself as buffering or BBC iPlayer content will keep stopping.

Here are some tips on how to stop BBC iPlayer buffering:

  1. Soft Reset your Streaming Source Device
  2. Reset your Router
  3. Update your systems
  4. Disconnect other devices in your home from the internet
  5. Decrease Video Quality
  6. Close any other apps that are running
  7. Use an Ethernet cable rather than a Wi-Fi
  8. Upgrade your Internet Connection
  9. Disable VPNs or Ad blockers
  10. Upgrade your Router
  11. Contact BBC iPlayer Support

Scroll down to follow a more detailed guide on how to work through these steps and stop BBC iPlayer from buffering.

How to stop BBC iPlayer Buffering

1. Restart your Streaming Source Device

To access BBC iPlayer, you will be using a streaming device to access the app.

The most common streaming devices for BBC iPlayer are:

  • Smart TVs
  • Streaming Stick such as BBC iPlayer, Firestick, or Roku
  • Games Consoles such as PlayStation and XBOX
  • A PC or MacBook Laptop

The universal recommendation for these devices and the first step in trying to eliminate BBC iPlayer buffering issues is to perform a power cycle of these systems.

To perform a power cycle of the devices, simply unplug them for 60 seconds before plugging them back in.

This restart allows any updates that have been downloaded in the background to successfully install and start, and it also clears the system cache.

Clearing the system cache and any lingering apps running in RAM can help in reducing the buffering on BBC iPlayer.

By reducing the number of apps running in the background, you give BBC iPlayer stream the content needed.

2. Reset your Router

This is one of the oldest tricks in the book, but it is definitely effective in reducing the buffering on BBC iPlayer.

How do I reset my router?

The easiest way to reset your router is to simply unplug it from the wall socket for 30 seconds before plugging it back in.

Unplug your router, stop BBC iPlayer Buffering

This action will “power-cycle” your router and provide more bandwidth to increase your ability to stream content faster on BBC iPlayer.

Why does resetting your router reduces BBC iPlayer Buffering?

Think of all the devices that are and have been connected to the router. I’m sure that in today’s digital world that quite a few devices are connected to the router.

Your router is like a mini-PC and will slow down as more tasks are added.

Having all of those devices connected will reduce the bandwidth available to the BBC iPlayer app and subsequently throttle your download speed, which in turn creates buffering.

3. Disconnect other devices in your home from the internet

If you cannot reset your router for any reason, I would try and disconnect none essential devices from the internet.

Is someone in your home watching Netflix? What about your phone? Is someone downloading games on XBOX?

Every device that you can disconnect from your internet connection will help in stopping BBC iPlayer buffering issues.

4. Close any apps that are running

If you have followed our first step of restarting your streaming device, then this step would have been completed for you, otherwise please continue to close any running apps.

How does having open apps cause BBC iPlayer to buffer?

Imagine your internet connection to your BBC iPlayer application like an artery in your body. The more games and apps that are running are like blockages in your arteries, sorry for the weird analogy!

Those blockages impede your ability to stream content faster, and then that results in buffering occurring when watching the BBC iPlayer app.

Several users have reported increased performance when closing apps on LG Smart TVs.

5. Decrease Video Quality

Check in the BBC iPlayer options when watching content if there is a toggle for video quality.

The higher quality content that you stream, the more likely it is that buffering will occur.

Try and decrease the video quality, especially if you have the quality set to 4K.

6. Update your streaming device software/firmware before downloading

Whether you are using a TV, Streaming Stick, or Games console, updating your firmware or software to the latest version can help in preventing issues from arising over time.

Sometimes updates can be missed, or an installation can be interrupted and cause issues with your streaming device.

Old firmware or a partial firmware installation could cause BBC iPlayer to buffer.

Ensuring that you have the latest software on your devices also gives you access to new apps and an improved viewing experience.

7. Use an Ethernet cable rather than Wi-Fi

It is almost always true that when you use an Ethernet (Wired Connection) rather than Wi-Fi, you will get a better download speed.

Wired connections transmit data quicker and with less interference. There are also fewer variables that can hinder the quality of connection.

Wi-Fi connections are slower and generally have a slower response time.

The distance from your streaming device along with the walls, floor, and ceilings can all deteriorate the quality of your internet connection, causing BBC iPlayer buffering issues.

I always use a wired connection when it is available, and you should too!

8. Upgrade your Internet Connection

Not everyone has access to high download speed through their ISP (Internet Service Provider), but for those that do, consider upgrading your internet connection.

It is pretty straightforward that a 100mbps connection will have a slower download rate over a 1gbps connection.

9. Disable any Ad blockers or VPNs

VPNs and Ad blockers can negatively affect the streaming performance of BBC iPlayer.

Your connection to a VPN will always limit the speed in which you can stream content.

10. Upgrade your Router

This option will not apply to everyone, but for some gamers, the router could be the bottleneck in their home network, causing their BBC iPlayer buffering problems.

If you have consistently upgraded your internet speed through your ISP but are still using an older router, you may wish to check what the maximum download speed of your router is.

It’s all good having a 1gbps connection, but if your router can only download at 100mbps, then you’ve got yourself a massive bottleneck and a solid explanation as to why BBC iPlayer is buffering.

11. Contact BBC iPlayer Support

If you have tried all the tips above and nothing has worked, then you can contact BBC iPlayer support for further assistance.


If you have followed the guide, then you would have been successful in reducing the buffering of BBC iPlayer on your streaming device.

We hope that you enjoy buffer-free streaming.

Leave a Comment