HBO Max keeps pausing (Try these fixes!)

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If your HBO Max keeps pausing and interrupting your TV shows, you can feel like throwing your TV out of the window (please don’t do that!)

To help people stop the frustration of HBO Max pausing, we have created an article which covers why it happens and how to prevent it.

Why does HBO Max keep pausing?

The reason why HBO Max keeps pausing is likely caused by an unoptimized internet connection or software problem.

When your internet bandwidth is not optimized, pausing will often occur when playing content.

There are several ways that you can increase your ability to reduce pausing when viewing the HBO Max app.

Here are some tips on how to make stop HBO Max from pausing:

  1. Check the Server Status of HBO Max
  2. Restart the HBO Max app
  3. Sign out of the HBO Max app
  4. Soft Reset your Source Device
  5. Reset your Router
  6. Update HBO Max and your source device
  7. Disconnect other devices in your home from the internet
  8. Decrease Video Playback Quality
  9. Close any other apps that are running
  10. Use an Ethernet cable rather than a Wi-Fi
  11. Upgrade your Internet Connection
  12. Disable VPNs or Ad blockers
  13. Upgrade your Router
  14. Contact the HBO Max app Support

Scroll down to follow a more detailed guide on how to work through these steps and stop the HBO Max app from pausing.

How to stop the HBO Max app from pausing

Method 1: Check to make sure HBO Max servers are operational

When HBO Max keeps buffering or pausing, the vast majority of the issues will usually be with your network or playback device.

Before you go into the other fixes that are listed below, it is worthwhile checking that there are no issues or outages with the HBO Max platform.

HBO Max keeps pausing check Down Detector
The Down Detector website monitors the HBO Max network for any issues

Method 2: Restart the HBO Max app

It is a good idea to restart the HBO Max app if you are experiencing pausing issues.

By restarting the HBO Max app, you give the opportunity for any updates to be correctly installed and establish a new connection with the HBO Max servers.

Method 3: Sign out of the HBO Max app

Another potential quick fix to the HBO Max pausing problem is to sign out of your account.

By signing out of your HBO Max account before your return and log in, you may resolve any account-related issues that are causing the pausing problems to occur.

Method 4: Restart your Playback Source Device

To access the HBO Max app, you will be using a playback device to access the app.

The most common playback devices for the HBO Max app are:

  • Smart TVs
  • Content Devices such as HBO Max, 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 the HBO Max app pausing 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 pausing of the HBO Max app.

By reducing the number of apps running in the background, you give the HBO Max app the best performance.

Method 5: Reset your Router

This is one of the oldest tricks in the book, but it is definitely effective in reducing the pausing on the HBO Max app.

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 HBO Max from pausing
Restarting your Router almost always improves your bandwidth capacity to be able to effectively play content.

This action will “power-cycle” your router and provide more bandwidth to increase your ability to play content faster on the HBO Max app.

Why does resetting your router reduce the HBO Max app pausing?

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 HBO Max app and subsequently throttle your download speed, which in turn creates pausing.

Method 6: Update your HBO Max app

If you are playing HBO Max using a device such as a Firestick, Roku or smart TV then I would recommend that you update the app if possible.

Method 7: 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 HBO Max? What about your phone? Is someone downloading games or apps on XBOX?

Every device that you can disconnect from your internet connection will help in stopping the HBO Max app pausing issues.

Method 8: Close any apps that are running

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

How does having open apps cause the HBO Max app to freeze?

Imagine your internet connection to your  HBO Max 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 play content faster, and then that results in pausing occurring when watching the HBO Max app.

Method 9: Decrease Video Quality

Check in the HBO Max app options when watching content if there is a toggle for video quality.

The higher the quality of content that you play, the more likely it is that pausing will occur.

Try to decrease the video quality, especially if the quality is set to 4K, this will help in reducing HBO max pausing.

Method 10: Update your device software/firmware before downloading

Whether you are using a TV, Content Device, 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 playback device.

Old firmware or a partial firmware installation could cause the HBO Max app to pause.

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

Method 11: 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 playback device along with the walls, floor, and ceilings can all deteriorate the quality of your internet connection, causing the HBO Max app pausing issues.

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

Method 12: Disable any Ad blockers or VPNs

VPNs and Ad blockers can negatively affect the playback performance of the HBO Max app.

Your connection to a VPN will always limit the speed at which you can play content.

We understand that using a VPN can be a sensible choice, especially due to privacy concerns.

Unfortunately, by using a VPN, you are creating another dependency that can cause HBO Max to freeze if there are any problems or limited speed.

Method 13: 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 than a 1gbps connection.

Method 14: 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 the HBO Max app pausing 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 a massive bottleneck and a solid explanation as to why the HBO Max app is pausing.

Method 15: Contact HBO Max Support

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


If you have followed the guide, then you would have been successful in reducing the pausing of the HBO Max app on your content device.

We hope that you enjoy pause-free playback.

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