How to fix choppy video playback in Safari on OS X

By , Apr 18, 2014

Safari Flash Video Stutter

Recently I ran into a problem that I found to be quite annoying. Flash video playback in Safari began suffering from major stuttering and choppiness. It was so bad that videos essentially became unwatchable while using Safari.

For someone who’s constantly watching and editing video like me, this proved to be a big problem. I even pondered switching to Chrome for a bit, but quickly dismissed that thought and set out to find a solution to the problem.

Fortunately, the solution to fixing choppy video playback in Safari is an easy one. Have a look inside and we’ll show you how.

To fix the stutter playback with flash videos, simply do the following:

Step 1: Click the Safari menu and select Reset Safari…

Step 2: Ensure all options are checked on the Reset Safari window

Step 3: Click Reset

Safari will then close and reopen. All of your cookies will be cleared, and all other data associated with Safari will be cleared and reset; it’s basically a fresh start for Safari.

If you don’t want to clear all cookies, which is understandable. You can go to Safari > Preferences > Privacy > Details > select youtube.com and click the Remove button. This will remove just youtube cookies and data from your Mac instead of clearing everything.

Privacy Safari

Of course, this assumes that you’re only experiencing the issue on YouTube videos. If you’re experiencing it with a variety of sites, the best way is to just clear everything and start over.

Safari Clear Youtube

Now try and play the flash video that was giving you problems, and hopefully, you will notice smooth playback. It worked for me, did it work for you?

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  • http://weekendcoders.com Justin

    I havent noticed it… I use YouTube5 instead of Adobe Flash.

    • http://www.youtube.com/matthewmspace matthewmspace

      Same here. It’s annoying that videos don’t go to your watch history, but I’ll take HTML5 over Flash any day.

      • http://weekendcoders.com Justin

        Definitely agreed. I do some really heavy stuff on my Macbook, but none of them affect the heat of my computer and my battery life as much as Flash.

    • http://www.appcast.fm/ Jeff Benjamin

      I used to use YouTube5, but I had problems with it. May consider using it again.

      • http://weekendcoders.com Justin

        It’s really good. I uninstalled Flash a long time ago.

      • Decio Arruda

        There’s a catch though, it can’t play anything higher than 720p. It’s not because of the extensions but because of the way YouTube f*cked up HTML5 playback by using weird sound and video libraries for higher quality videos.

      • ✪ aidan harris ✪

        I’m sure that will be fixed sooner or later. HTML5 is the future and Google knows it…

      • Anthony Snyder

        YouTube has an experimental HTML5 player but it doesn’t play all videos.. why not? I have no idea. Since an HTML5 player can play those videos just fine.

        I have a feeling Adobe has some contract we are unaware of.

      • ✪ aidan harris ✪

        I use ClickToFlash which works really well and tries to load HTML5 video if it is available but falls back to Flash if it can’t load HTML5 video for whatever reason…

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/PrsnSinghHD Prasoon Singh

    I use Google Chrome :)

  • Brandon Miranda

    What’s wrong with Chrome? I use both Chrome and Safari and I notice they both work fine. What are some problems you’ve had with it?

    • http://www.appcast.fm/ Jeff Benjamin

      I don’t have any problems with it. In fact, I used to be a Chrome advocate. I don’t use Chrome now for a variety of reasons, but primarily because you can’t have it as your default iOS browser out of the box. That, and Safari has so many nice integrated features between OS X and iOS.

      • Brandon Miranda

        And that is very true. I use Chrome for the added html5 support certain sites insist it has. Otherwise I use Safari as my main driver because it is really nice and otherwise gets the job done. Also I like the added element of customization it gives me by allowing me to use themes to enhance the end user experience which as far as I know Safari does not give.

    • Nevertrending

      I wonder why I never hear talking about Maxthon when it comes to browser wars. I found it to be most enjoyable to work with, but switched back to Safari at the end.

      • Brandon Miranda

        What is Maxthon. The name itself sounds intriguing.

      • Nevertrending

        One of the better browsers out there with great gesture controls, best html5test score if not mistaken, the extension capabilities of Chrome and only 0.13% worldwide adaptation while being even older than Firefox. I have literally no idea why people don’t use it while it has best scores all around

      • Brandon Miranda

        As Ubuntu is my primary operating system that I use on my day to day laptop I have to ask if it is available for download on Ubuntu.

      • Nevertrending

        Maxthon supports all platforms from Linux to iOS, I have never tried it beyond Mac or Windows though.

      • Brandon Miranda

        Great I will look into it.

  • Fredl

    I use ClicktoFlash or ClicktoPlugin for that. With these plugins you can skip the flash video and let you directly choose the HTML5 video. So you get much smoother playback.

  • Kareem Michel

    I notice that you don’t have ask websites not to track you checked. Why?

  • Alex-V

    There are also Memory cleaner.

  • ✪ aidan harris ✪

    It’s a myth that sites need to rely solely on advertisements just to survive. Sites could always adopt subscription services should they desire or make use of services such as Flattr to enable users to make donations that could contribute towards the day-to-day running of the site. Sites that are popular (such as iDB) also make money through sponsorship and endorsement…

  • http://www.appcast.fm/ Jeff Benjamin

    I use adblock on certain sites. I don’t use it on YouTube, for instance. I only block ads that are truly interrupting and annoying.

    • Brandon Miranda

      Indeed.

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  • Fun boy

    I have that exact wallpaper on my mac!

  • Don Martinez

    about dumb really. why should a person have to clear everything to fix this issue.

  • zelduh

    I am trying to live stream MSNBC, which I have done for years. It is so irritating right now. Stutter, stop, pause, skip. Repeat!

    This is new and I am bugged!

    • Alan Mans

      Hi Zelduh, did you manage to fix this? I’m having the same issues whenever I try live streaming and it’s THE most annoying thing!