Lately I've noticed that whenever I play a YouTube video on my PC, it's jerky. Choppy. Call it what you will--it's really frustrating.
Semi-expert troubleshooter that I am, I did what I always do when experiencing a problem inside my browser: I tried a different browser. Specifically, I switched out of Chrome and into Internet Explorer.
And what do you know? Silky-smooth YouTube video. Google Chrome, j'accuse!
After a little research into the issue, I discovered a fix--one that worked for me. Your mileage may vary, of course, because each system and situation is different, but it's definitely worth a try if you're plagued by the same choppy playback in Chrome. Do this:
1. Open a new tab in Chrome.
2. In the address bar, type about:plugins, then press Enter.
3. In the upper-right corner of the window, locate and click the plus sign next to Details.
4. Look for Adobe Flash Player, which on my system was the top entry. Immediately below that, you should see two Shockwave Flash entries. Look at the Location lines for both; you want the one that references PepperFlash. (Again, on my system, this was the first of the two. It looked like this:
5. Once you find that entry, click Disable.
6. Exit Chrome, wait a few seconds for it to fully terminate, and then restart it.
Now your YouTube videos should play much more smoothly. (If you run into playback problems, you may need to reinstall Adobe Shockwave. I didn't encounter this issue, but a few users reported it.)
Contributing Editor Rick Broida writes about business and consumer technology. Ask for help with your PC hassles at firstname.lastname@example.org, or try the treasure trove of helpful folks in the PCWorld Forums. Sign up to have the Hassle-Free PC newsletter e-mailed to you each week.