Why is HBO Max So Slow? How to Fix (2023)

HBO Max is one of the most popular video-on-demand (VOD) subscription services in the US, garnering over 94 million subscribers in the third quarter of 2022. The streaming service contains content libraries from HBO, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Warner Bros., and other partner networks. However, some HBO Max subscribers are curious why is HBO Max so slow.

Why is HBO Max So Slow?

HBO Max buffering issues can be caused by various factors related to your device, the app, internet problems, or the app’s servers. This guide will show effective troubleshooting methods to fix different HBO Max streaming issues.

Read this guide to know more.


Table of Contents

“Why is HBO Max So Slow?” – Most Common Fixes

Most of the time, HBO Max subscribers won’t have any streaming issues when watching their favorite content. But when HBO Max keeps buffering, it can cause lags, leading to an unpleasant streaming experience.

Important: HBO Max may not work properly on your device once the service does not support it or you’re not meeting the minimum system requirements. Check this help article by HBO Max for further information.

Fortunately, this and other common streaming problems on HBO Max can be fixed using the fixes below. Remember to review each fix and check which one is the most effective for your device:


Fix #1: Restart Your Device

Whether using your smartphone, computer, smart TV, or another device to access HBO Max, it’s possible to encounter bugs while streaming your favorite show. A quick restart is an excellent solution since it reboots all apps and services on your device. You can find the restart option on the power options of your smartphone and computer.

If you’re using a smart TV to watch HBO Max, try performing a soft reset or a power cycle to fix glitches. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Turn off your smart TV and unplug its power cable from the socket.
  2. Wait for ten minutes to drain the power.
  3. Plug the power cable back in and turn on your smart TV.
  4. Launch HBO Max and check if the issue is fixed.

You can also power cycle your router while restarting your streaming device if you’re experiencing slow internet connections. To power cycle your router, follow these steps:

  1. Switch off your Wi-Fi router and unplug its power adapter from the socket.
  2. Wait for one minute to drain the power.
  3. Plug the power adapter back in and switch on your router.
  4. Let other devices connect to your Wi-Fi network and check if your network speed returns normal.

Once you’re still experiencing intermittent internet speeds, try contacting your ISP if there are service outages in your area and more help.


Fix #2: Check the Servers of HBO Max

HBO Max may appear slow or unresponsive when its servers are down. This occasionally happens in specific areas and causes various issues on the app. You can verify this through sites like DownDetector, or their social media pages.

Once servers are operational, check the HBO Max app on your streaming device and see if it works normally.


Fix #3: Re-login to Your HBO Max Account

You might experience issues on the HBO Max app due to account bugs. This happens when you’re having trouble logging into your account properly and cannot access key features, like streaming content. Logging out of the app and logging back in potentially solves this problem.

To re-login to your HBO Max account, follow the steps below:

  1. Launch HBO Max on your smart TV, smartphone, or tablet and go to your Profile.
  2. Navigate to Settings and choose Sign Out.
  3. Once signed out, log back into your account and check if the problem is fixed.


Fix #4: Clear Browsing Data on Your Internet Browser

If you’re watching HBO Max using your computer or laptop’s browser app, you can try clearing its cache and cookie data to solve glitches on the site and improve your overall streaming experience. 

To clear browsing data on Chrome, proceed to these steps;

  1. Open Chrome and press the More (three vertical dots) button on the rightmost part of the menu bar.
  2. Hover your cursor over More Tools and choose Clear Browsing Data.
  3. Select your desired time range and ensure that the Cookies and other site data and Cached files and images options are checked.
  4. Click Clear Data to confirm.
  5. Once finished, visit HBO Max’s official site and log in to your account. Check if the stream still buffers.


Fix #5: Disable VPN Apps and Services

While virtual private networks (VPNs) provide many benefits to online streaming—especially when bypassing region restrictions—they can negatively affect your internet connection and streaming experience. When you’re having HBO Max buffering issues, you can try disabling your VPN to fix this.

Depending on your VPN, it’s also possible for your account to get banned once you’re caught using the same IP address. So, when a VPN is ultimately necessary for your area, make sure to utilize a reputable service that has minimal effects on streaming in HBO Max.


Fix #6: Turn Off Browser Extensions

Another factor that can cause HBO Max streaming issues are browser extensions. Some extensions or add-ons on your browser can interfere with specific services from HBO Max, which can lead to buffering.

To turn off browser extensions in Chrome and Safari, do the following:


On Chrome

  1. Open Chrome and select the More (three vertical dots) button on the menu bar.
  2. Select More Tools and choose Extensions.
  3. Disable all extensions installed on your browser by setting their switch on the bottom-left corner to Off.
  4. Then, reboot Chrome.


On Safari

  1. Launch Safari on your Mac device and select Safari from the menu bar.
  2. Choose Settings and go to the Extensions tab.
  3. Untick the checkboxes on all listed extensions to disable them.
  4. Restart Safari.


Fix #7: Update the HBO Max App

One common cause of streaming issues on the HBO Max app is an outdated app version. Most app updates contain fixes to bugs, updated configurations, and additional features that can help optimize the app.

To update the HBO Max app on your smart TV, tablet, or smartphone, navigate to your device’s built-in app store and update the HBO Max app from there. To keep it updated in the future, ensure that the Automatic App Updates feature on the app store is enabled.


Fix #8: Reinstall HBO Max

If app updates don’t work, reinstalling HBO Max on your device is the last resort you can try to solve HBO Max buffering issues. Fortunately, this will only take a while once you have access to a stable Wi-Fi connection.

To reinstall HBO Max, follow these steps:

  1. Open the default app store on your smartphone, tablet, or smart TV and find the HBO Max app.
  2. Uninstall the app and reinstall it on your device.
  3. Once installed, launch HBO Max and log in to your account.
  4. Check if the streaming issues are fixed.


Final Thoughts

Streaming content on HBO Max is a great way to watch various movies, TV series, and episodes from popular networks, like Warner Bros., HBO, Adult Swim, and other partner brands. However, you might encounter HBO Max streaming issues on the app or web version.

Hopefully, this guide helps you to fix HBO Max when it’s buffering or unresponsive. If these fixes were ineffective, try contacting their Help Center for further assistance.