Google Chrome 97 media playback pausing randomly on Windows & Linux without user input

In recent weeks, Google Chrome users have been suffering from an annoying problem that directly affects the playback of videos through the popular browser.

Apparently, Google Chrome 97 (the most recent stable update) is causing media playback pausing randomly on Windows and Linux for many users (1, 2, 3).

Also, in the past, Mac devices users faced from the same situation. However, there is a workaround that reportedly helps resolve the issue.

Google Chrome 97 media playback pausing issue

According to multiple reports, videos played through Google Chrome 97 suddenly stop for no apparent reason. Currently, the majority of affected users are from Windows and Linux devices.

Chrome is randomly pausing videos once

For about 2 weeks, my Chrome on Windows 11 has been randomly pausing videos. It doesn’t matter what site I am on, the video will play and pause after a random amount of time (sometimes 2sec and sometimes 2min). After I unpause it, it won’t do it again.

I have tried clearing the cache and disabling all extensions. Firefox and Edge do not have this issue.
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Video pausing by itself? Windows 10

I am using Windows 10 and a Chrome browser on a Dell laptop. For about a week now I have noticed videos are pausing completely on their own. I have found this to occur on Youtube, WWE Network, and other video hosting sites. This has never happened before and I don’t know why this has started now. Typically it’ll only happen once, usually about a minute or a few seconds after starting a video.
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The bug has already been filed in the official chromium bug tracker. However, this is not an official acknowledgement, but it will probably speed up the development of a fix for it.

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Mac users also suffered the issue, try this workaround

It should be noted that, last year, users of Mac devices suffered from similar problems. As in the previous cases, it only happened in Google Chrome and the internet connection did not present problems.

Videos are pausing when I use Chrome

When I try to play videos on sites like LinkedIn, Facebook etc. the video only plays for about 2 or 3 seconds before it pauses and the buffering wheel appears in the middle of the video. My internet connection is absolutely fine (as other apps and web pages are running at the same time) but I can’t work out why the videos are not playing. Any help would be amazing! Thanks.
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Back then, a Google product expert shared a workaround that reportedly helped resolve the glitch. Basically, it consists of completely removing Chrome (without any rest) from the system.

First, paste ‘chrome://flags’ into the browser’s address bar and press ‘enter’. Then select the ‘reset all’ option. The next step is to follow the instructions listed in this link for complete browser removal.

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After doing the above, the user should check with a search that there is no file/folder named Chrome left on the system. Finally, reinstall Google Chrome. As a final option, it is recommended to try Chrome beta.

If new changes related to the situation arise in the coming days, we will update this article. So, stay tuned with us.

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Jean Leon

A tech enthusiast since ever. I like to always be up to date on the latest news in the industry and write about it.