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Playback Troubleshooting
Playback Troubleshooting

Having trouble with your video or podcast? Try some of these tips to correct playback issues.

Caroline F avatar
Written by Caroline F
Updated over a week ago

While the Wistia player is designed for a great viewing experiences across lots of devices and browsers, playback issues are bound to happen for some viewers. There are a lot of factors that influence media playback, so we’ve set forth some tips for ironing out the wrinkles on your own.

Check the Status Page

If you think there might be a site-wide problem, the first place to look is our Status Page. Here we’ll report any outages as soon as they happen, and let you know when they are resolved. You can also subscribe to updates, to get a proactive heads up if something is broken on our end.

If nothing is amiss there, it’s time to start troubleshooting. The main factors to focus on are your browser, your network, and your device.

Clear Your Browser Cache

This step may seem simple, but it’s an amazing fix in a number of situations. Try clearing your browser’s cache and restarting your web browser. We always recommend this as the first step to troubleshooting playback issues.

  • Chrome Chrome — > Clear Browsing Data or History — > Show Full History — > Clear Browsing Data … 

  • Safari Preferences — > Privacy — -> Remove All Browsing Data

  • Firefox History — > Clear recent history

  • Internet Explorer Tools — > Internet Options — > Browsing History

You can also “hard refresh” a certain webpage to clear the cache for that single page. This is typically done by holding Shift and pressing refresh or reload.

Double-check the Export Settings on your Video

If the problem is happening for a video you uploaded to Wistia, make sure you’ve selected the right Export Settings for your file. The most important piece is to export as an MP4 file (recommended) with the H.264 codec (required). Uploading a file with an incompatible codec is one of the most common reasons videos fail to play in Wistia.

Check for Updates to your Browser or Device

It’s always a good idea to keep your software up to date. If you’re on an older version of a browser or operating system, there may be a bug that has been fixed with a more recent update. If a media is failing to play or consistently stuck buffering/loading, make sure you’re using the most up-to-date version of your browser or OS.

This is especially true on mobile devices, as the difference between versions can often have serious implications for certain functionality being supported or not. For example, iOS only started supported silent autoplay for videos as of iOS10.

Disable Browser Extensions or Plugins

Whether you’re using Extensions in Chrome or Safari, Firefox Addons, or any kind of browser plugin, these 3rd party programs can sometimes cause unexpected problems with media. Some example issues include preventing playback, subverting stats, or trying to download a media instead of playing it.

The easiest way to test if a plugin is causing the problem: open an Incognito or Privacy browsing window. Every browser has some option for a “Private” mode which will disable any extensions/plugins automatically. If the problem goes away in that window, then it’s time to disable all your plugins and turn them back on one-by-one. As you re-enable each plugin, see if the problem returns. When it does, you know which plugin is causing the problem, and you will want to uninstall it, or set up an exception for pages with media.

Here are some guides on managing plugins & addons for common browsers:

Try a Different Browser

Sometimes different browsers can cause problems. While we support all major browsers, certain playback issues are specific to one browser or another. Switching browsers may help clear up an issue, or at least give you a sense for whether a certain problem is more widespread. For example if you’re using Firefox and your media doesn’t play, but things are all good in Chrome, let us know! We’ll be happy to dig deeper with you.

Check Your Internet Speed

Are you (or your customers) experiencing slow loading, or seeing a “Loading … ” message on your media? The most common cause of this problem is that the viewer’s Internet connection speed is not fast enough to support media playback reliably. While we take many steps to optimize the playback experience for each viewer, there are some minimum requirementsfor a smooth playback experience.

Check your internet speed. If you’re not up-to-par, contact your Internet provider. If so, let’s move on.

Reset Your Internet Connection

Just like uploading, internet connection can affect playback. Try resetting your router and make sure you have a secure connection. All set? It’s time to start investigating.

Opening a Playback Support Ticket

Sometimes even after trying all of the above, the media just won’t play. In that case, it’s time to call for backup — the Wistia Customer Champs are here to help. To get the fastest possible assistance, provide us with as many details as you can:

  • Log a Problem Report, which is found by right-clicking on the player and selecting “Report a Problem.”

  • If you’re on a mobile device, send us a link to your What’s My Browser info.

  • Provide a description of the issue as it appears on your end

  • Is the problem happening within your Wistia account, or for media embedded on a webpage (or both)? Include a link to the page where we can see the problem in action.

  • Is it happening for a specific group of users? Are they in a specific country? Telling us where you’re located could help us pinpoint the issue faster.

All of this information will help us to narrow down where your issue is coming from. The more information you give us, the faster we can work to solve your problem. 🚀

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