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TikTok Keeps Buffering: Main Reasons And Fixes

TikTok Keeps Buffering: Main Reasons And Fixes

If you’re a frequent TikTok user like me, then you probably experience the dreaded ‘buffering’ issue from time to time. But why does this happen?

To understand how to fix the problem, you must first isolate why it is happening.

In this post, I’ll take a look at:

  • The main 4 reasons that cause this buffering
  • How to fix each of the main 4 buffering issues
  • Some additional tips to improve TikTok performance

Why is my TikTok lagging?

Slow Internet Connection

By far the most common reason that your TikTok app is buffering is a slow or problematic internet connection.

I would say this is true in 4 out of 5 cases.

From a technical perspective, if your internet Wi-Fi signal fluctuates or suddenly cuts out, this can result in lagging or buffering videos.

Device Limitations

Another pretty common reason is simply the limitations of the device that you are using.

A device with not much memory left can cause lags or malfunctions in applications (not good!).

Overloaded Servers

One possibility might be that the TikTok servers are overloaded.

Think about it for a second – TikTok is an extremely popular app with millions of users. Let’s face it – sometimes its servers might just be getting extra-high traffic.

This could result in slower video loading times for us all at that given moment.

I should say, though, this is pretty rare!

App Glitches

Here’s another less likely issue.

TikTok, like any other app come to mention it, will experience glitches or bugs from time to time. These can definitely cause buffering issues.

From time to time, I’ve come across a video that just keeps on buffering, and I’ve had to assume that this was just due to a temporary glitch in the app itself.

How do I stop TikTok from buffering?

Check Internet Speed

As I said before, your internet connection is the most likely cause of this buffering issue (by a country mile!). This is how you address this:

  • Check your network speed. This is pretty straightforward.
  • Then, try rebooting your router. This helps to refresh the link between your modem and your ISP’s servers. and improves your network’s performance score (hopefully!).
  • Alternatively, you could try using a mobile internet connection.

The best solution, though one that involves a cost, is to upgrade your internet plan for better performance. We find that many of the problems can be helped with having a higher speed internet connection.

Check Device Compatibility

Make sure that your device is fully compatible with TikTok.

How do you do this?

Well, the main issue is the age of your device. Older devices, or those with smaller memories, may struggle to run the app smoothly. This results in this annoying buffering issue!

To fix them:

  • Close other apps
  • Delete any unwanted apps to free up memory
  • Restart your device
  • Upgrade to a device with better specifications

If the problem is still there, find out whether your device meets the requirements of TikTok’s app, it makes sense to refer to Tiktok’s support page.

If you find that your device is incompatible, then it may make sense to upgrade it for a better TikTok experience (again, though, a solution that includes a cost.)

Update the App

Here’s a nice easy one.

Occasionally you may have buffering issues because the app just needs to be updated to the current version. Simple enough.

Just do the following:

  • Go to the device’s app store (Google Play Store or Apple App Store)
  • Search for ‘TikTok’
  • Tap ‘update’ if an update is available.

Clear Cache and Data

If none of the above has worked, then this one is the final roll of the dice.

Sometimes, (and this is not too common), TikTok’s cache and data become too large. They may even become corrupted.

Either of these leads to buffering problems.

To fix these issues, you can clear the cache and data by following these steps:

For Android devices:

  • Open the “Settings” app.
  • Tap “Apps & notifications” or “Apps.”
  • Find and tap on the TikTok app.
  • Choose “Storage & cache.”
  • Tap “Clear cache” and “Clear storage” or “Clear data.”

For iOS devices:

  • Open the “Settings” app.
  • Tap on “General.”
  • Choose “iPhone Storage” or “iPad Storage.”
  • Find and tap on the TikTok app.
  • Tap “Offload App” and then “Reinstall App.”

Additional Tips to Improve TikTok Performance

Along with all the fixes I’ve gone through above, there are some simple tips you can apply that will generally improve the performance of your TikTok app. Some of these include:

Change Video Quality

Basically, the idea here is if you reduce the quality of the videos you watch, then you’ll speed up the app’s performance.

This works well on pretty much any app that is having issues with buffering.

Here’s how you do it on Tiktok:

  • Open the app and tap on the profile icon. You can find it in the lower-right corner.
  • Tap on the 3 dots. These are in the top-right corner. This is to access the ‘settings’.
  • Scroll down, and tap on ‘Data Saver’
  • Toggle the switch to ‘on’ to reduce the video quality

Avoid Peak Hours

Something I’ve noticed myself is that buffering issues can happen when you use TikTok at peak hours. This is when there is a high demand on their servers.

I’m thinking particularly evening time US here.

Please note, though, that most of the time, these issues have nothing to do with the servers. It will either be your internet connection or an issue with your device.

Restart the App

The final golden nugget I have for you is the best way of resolving almost any technical issue! Simply turn it off and restart it

On TikTok, this can:

  • Resolve any temporary glitches
  • Free up resources on your device

Here’s how I restart the app:

  • From the bottom of the screen, swipe up. You can also press the home button. This will help you exit the app.
  • On Andriod, go to the recent apps menu and swipe left or right to close TikTok.
  • One iOS, swipe up on the app preview. This is found in the app switcher. Swipe it off the screen.
  • Wait for just a few seconds, and then tap on the TikTok icon to relaunch it.


  • Michael Stokes

    Over 10 years of experience working as a technical support engineer. Highly skilled in fixing any technical issue, including app configuration and account setup, gaming errors, television problems, and any other electronics-related issue. You can find out more about him at

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