Why is my video freezing but still playing?

Video freezing while audio continues is a frustrating technical issue that many users experience. This occurs when the video stops or freezes, but the audio portion keeps playing uninterrupted. While not a complete loss of functionality, having video freeze while audio plays makes for a poor viewing experience. This can happen across devices when streaming video content from services like Netflix, Hulu, or when watching digital media like BluRays. Diagnosing the exact causes and applying proper troubleshooting is key to resolving the problem.

Possible Causes

One of the most common reasons a video may freeze while the audio continues is an unstable or slow internet connection (Source). When streaming videos online, both the audio and video data are transmitted separately. Video requires much more bandwidth than audio to transmit smoothly. So if your internet bandwidth becomes constrained or overloaded, the video may freeze or buffer while the audio continues uninterrupted.

Potential internet connection issues include:

  • Slow download speeds due to distance from the server or network congestion
  • WiFi interference or limited range
  • Throttling by your ISP, especially during peak usage times
  • Too many devices using the same connection simultaneously
  • Outdated network equipment like an old router or modem

Upgrading your internet plan, resetting network equipment, connecting via ethernet, or reducing devices using the internet can help resolve bandwidth constraints. Testing with Speedtest.net can verify your available bandwidth.

Internet Bandwidth

One of the most common causes of a video freezing but the audio continuing is insufficient bandwidth. Streaming video requires a high-speed internet connection with good bandwidth to load the video without buffering issues. According to an article on Quora, “It is possible that your ISP is throttling your internet speed, but it is also likely that your connection is simply not fast enough to support streaming video at the quality you have selected” (Source). If your internet plan has a low bandwidth cap or you are experiencing network congestion, the video may freeze while the audio continues as your connection struggles to load the full video file.

Low bandwidth can cause intermittent buffering that leads to video freezing even though the audio plays uninterrupted. Upgrading to a higher internet speed with more bandwidth allows for smoother streaming. You can also try lowering the video resolution quality which requires less bandwidth. Checking for other devices using your network at the same time and closing unused apps can help free up bandwidth as well.

Codec Issues

One common cause of videos freezing while the audio continues is incompatible or missing codecs on your device. Codecs are software that compress and decompress digital media files like videos and audio. Different codecs are optimized for certain types of media files.

For example, an H.264 video file may freeze if you don’t have the right codecs installed to play that format. The audio may continue because it uses a more universally supported codec. According to this forum post, videos can freeze when playing them if you don’t have the proper codecs.

The solution is to install the appropriate codecs for the types of video files you want to play. There are codec packs like K-Lite Codec Pack that include many common codecs. You can also try updating your media players like VLC media player, which includes codecs internally.

In summary, freezing video with continuing audio is often due to incompatible or missing codecs. Installing the proper codecs for your video files can help resolve this issue.

Corrupt Video Files

One of the most common reasons for a video freezing but the audio continuing is a corrupt or damaged video file failing to load properly. This often happens when the video file itself has become corrupted, usually due to incomplete transfers or errors during downloading/recording. The audio track may be less impacted, so it continues to play but the video freezes because that part of the file is unreadable by the media player.

According to Wondershare experts, “One of the most common reasons behind freezing video files is bad frames. Therefore, whenever a video is being played, there is a chance that the media player may come across such bad frames resulting in choppy or freezing video playback while audio continues.” (source)

Corrupted video files are a very common cause of this issue across devices and platforms. Carefully checking video files for errors and utilizing recovery tools can help mitigate this problem.

Overloaded Hardware

The main hardware components that process video – the CPU, GPU, and RAM – can become overloaded, leading to video freezes. If other demanding apps are running, they can max out your hardware’s capabilities, preventing proper video decoding.

High resolution or high FPS video requires significant processing power for decoding. If your CPU or GPU usage is consistently maxed out, the video frames can’t be rendered fast enough, resulting in frozen frames.

Insufficient RAM can also cause decoding issues if there is not enough available memory for buffering the video stream. The video decoder requires free memory to process each frame.

Try closing other apps to free up hardware resources. Or lower the video resolution and FPS to reduce load. Upgrading components like the CPU, GPU, or RAM can provide headroom for smooth video playback.

As per the exact sources provided:

“High CPU usage can overload your hardware and lead to freezes and lagging. Check your OBS log to see if CPU overload errors are being reported.” (Source)

Software Bugs

Bugs in video player or driver software can sometimes cause videos to freeze while the audio continues playing. This is because the video decoding portion of the software is having issues, while the audio decoding is still working properly. Some common player and driver bugs that can lead to frozen videos include:

Outdated media players like Windows Media Player or VLC. Updating to the latest version can fix playback bugs (Source).

Graphics driver problems, especially with integrated GPUs. Installing the newest drivers from the manufacturer can resolve this (Source).

Codec issues that cause the player to improperly decode the video stream. Re-encoding the video with a standardized codec like H.264 can help.

Glitches stemming from the media player’s rendering engine. Trying a different, up-to-date player may provide better results.

Over time, bugs can be introduced into media software codebases that lead to frozen playback. Keeping players and drivers updated is key to avoiding these types of issues.


There are several potential fixes to try if your video is freezing but the audio continues playing:

Upgrade your internet bandwidth if possible. Videos require a high bandwidth for streaming, so upgrading to a faster internet plan can help prevent freezing issues (Source).

Re-encode the video file using Handbrake or other video transcoding software. This will create a new optimized version of the video which may prevent freezes (Source).

Use a different media player like VLC which is optimized for smooth video playback. Players like Windows Media Player may be more prone to freezing.

Update your video drivers and codecs to the latest versions. Outdated codecs can lead to video freezing even if audio plays.

Upgrade your computer hardware if it is outdated. Videos require decent GPU and CPU processing power. Upgrading components like RAM and graphics card can help.

Adjust video settings in your media player like disabling hardware acceleration or using software decoding. This reduces demand on your GPU.

Repair corrupt video files using a video repair program. Damaged videos are prone to freezing even if the audio is not affected.

Preventative Measures

There are several steps you can take to help prevent videos from freezing while the audio continues playing:

Close any unnecessary programs running in the background. Having too many programs open can overload your computer’s CPU and RAM, leading to choppy video playback. Only keep essential programs running while watching videos.

Upgrade your hardware if needed. An older or underpowered computer may struggle with processing high resolution videos. Consider upgrading components like your CPU, RAM, graphics card, etc. if your system is more than a few years old.

Update your graphics drivers and media player software. Outdated drivers and software can cause compatibility issues leading to video freezes. Check for updates from your hardware manufacturers and video player developers.

Adjust your video player settings. Some players have options to change hardware acceleration, video rendering modes, and other tweaks that can help videos run more smoothly.

Lower the video resolution if possible. Watching ultra HD or 4K videos on underpowered hardware is a common cause of freezing. Try watching at 720p or 1080p resolution.

Use a wired internet connection for higher bandwidth. Choppy streaming can freeze frames while audio continues. Ethernet cables provide faster and smoother connectivity.

Clean install your operating system for optimal performance. An OS that’s cluttered up over time may contribute to video playback issues.

Follow these tips to help avoid those annoying video freezes! Letting your computer and internet run optimally makes for a much better viewing experience.


In summary, a video freezing but still playing audio can be caused by several issues like insufficient bandwidth, codec incompatibility, corrupt files, overloaded hardware, or software bugs. To fix it, try adjusting your internet connection, installing the required codecs, repairing corrupt files, closing other programs, or updating your software. Some preventative measures include lowering video resolution, using a wired internet connection, cleaning your computer hardware, and keeping your OS and apps updated. While frozen videos can be annoying, the problem is often easy to resolve once you identify the root cause. With the right troubleshooting and preventative maintenance, you can have a smooth and uninterrupted viewing experience.

The key recommendations are to check your internet bandwidth first, then troubleshoot potential codec, hardware, and software issues. Repair any corrupt video files, upgrade outdated software, and clean up your computer to free up resources. For prevention, use lower resolution videos, maintain your equipment, and keep everything updated. Follow these tips and your videos should play smoothly without freezing up while the audio continues.

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