There’s nothing worse than when I’m trying to binge-watch Game of Thrones, and my HBO Max keeps freezing. Unfortunately, this problem has happened on more than one occasion, and it prevents me from having a relaxing night on the couch watching television.
Usually, this problem occurs because of a bad Internet connection, but sometimes it’s not that easy. My HBO Max stopped working on my Samsung TV altogether last week. So, why does it keep freezing?
If your HBO MAX keeps freezing, there may be an issue with the specific show you are watching. Also, you may be experiencing problems due to a bug in HBO Max, or you have an out-of-date smart TV.
You should ensure your smart TV or device is up to date and your HBO Max app. You may also have a device that isn’t compatible with the app, and you won’t be able to watch your favorite show.
Sometimes, there is an issue with your login session, or you have too many users using your account.
While you sometimes must use a third-party device to stream from HBO Max, I don’t want you running off to buy one yet. So let’s start by understanding why the freezing might be occurring.
Why does HBO MAX Keep Freezing?
1. Issue With Specific Show You’re Watching
If you’re having issues with HBO Max freezing, it could be due to the specific show you are watching. Streaming services, like HBO Max, keep all their content on specific servers and provide them to your smart device.
As your smart device connects with HBO, the data is buffered before playing on your device. The amount of buffering required depends on how strong of an Internet connection you have. So, for example, you likely won’t notice the buffering if you have high-speed Internet.
However, if the show you want to watch is also streaming to a high number of customers or doesn’t have the required resources to play, you will notice more buffering, or it completely freezes.
To confirm whether it’s a specific show, try to play a different one, and if there is no buffering or freezing, then you know the program is with the show you wish to watch.
2. Bug in HBO Max
If your internet connection is fine and you are still experiencing freezing, it could be due to the HBO Max app. However, an application could work fine and then experience a glitch causing issues while you attempt to watch a program.
Unfortunately, if there is a bug within your app, you will experience freezing within all HBO Max programs.
3. Out-Of-Date Smart TV
You’ve likely found your problem if you have an out-of-date smart TV. While most smart TVs work with HBO Max, several models don’t work before a specific year. For example, Samsung Smart TVs made before 2016 are incompatible with the streaming service.
Also, you must keep up with necessary updates to ensure your smart TV has a chance to clear itself of bugs, glitches, and add any new features. Most smart TVs or devices update automatically, but if you do not have that setting, you will need to perform updates manually.
If you’ve recently lost power or had an internet connection issue, a recent update may not have been performed.
4. HBO Server is Down
Occasionally, the HBO server will go down for maintenance or if there is an issue, that will cause your app to freeze. However, if you experience this issue, you can check Facebook for up-to-date reports on any outages.
HBO servers can also go down due to routine maintenance or to fix current problems. In rare cases, there has been a security breach or too many users are attempting to use the app.
5. Bad Internet Connection
HBO MAX requires a strong internet connection to operate correctly, and the app will constantly crash without one. So, you need to be connected to the internet via a cable, mobile hotspot, or WIFI router, and an issue with any of these will cause buffering or freezing.
Your network’s bandwidth, the speed at which data is transmitted, must run fast and smoothly for a solid connection. Low bandwidth will transfer fewer data per second, causing your internet to run slow.
Also, you should not keep your internet source too far from your smart device, as the closer they are, the better connection you will have. So any time you have thick walls separating the two devices from one another, you may experience freezing.
6. You’re Using A VPN
You might be using a VPN, which is ideal for securing your location or keeping your IP address hidden, but a VPN must connect to a further away server.
In some cases, HBO Max blocks connections from VPN servers, which will undoubtedly cause freezing. Also, any streaming data is first sent to a distant location before making its way to you, and the delay often leads to freezing and buffering.
If you must use a VPN, ensure you also have high-speed internet that can handle reaching multiple servers.
7. Cache Error
Cache is a temporary memory where applications store preferences, settings, and other data. For example, if your cache is overloaded or is having an issue, then it could cause a malfunction in your HBO Max app.
The cache is also responsible for storing data to make suggestions for you based on what you usually watch and saves information about sites and shows you frequently visit.
8. Out-of-date HBO Max App
You’ve likely found your issue if you haven’t updated your HBO Max in some time. If your HBO Max is freezing, check to see if there are any updates, which might be an easy fix to your problem. Most times, the updates are there to fix bug issues like freezing, so it’s best to have your updates on automatically to ensure you don’t delay watching your favorite program.
9. HBO Max Login Session Issue
Your login session is the time spent each time you open and stay on your HBO Max. Your credentials will be checked each time you log in to ensure nothing has changed with your subscription. For example, if you have changed your password or your account is suspended, you will have issues logging into the app.
If you are having an issue with your login session, it can cause freezing, preventing you from watching a show on the app. Usually, you can solve this problem by logging out and then back in again.
10. Multiple Connections to HBO Max Subscription
Like many streaming devices, HBO Max only allows a certain amount of connection per subscription. So, while it’s nice to share your login information, it could be preventing you from binge-watching your favorite show. So, ensure you haven’t given your password to too many friends and try to connect once you’ve changed your password.
11. Unsupported Device
While HBO Max is compatible with many devices, if yours doesn’t make the list, you will not be able to stream on your device effectively. For reference, here’s a list of devices compatible with HBO Max:
- Apple TV, iPhone, and iPad
- Android TV, phone, and tablet
- Amazon Fire Stick
- Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One
- Xfinity 1 and Flex
- Samsung Smart TV (From 2016-present)
- LG Smart TVs
- VIZIO SmartCast TVs
- Contour Stream Player
- PlayStation 4 and PS5
How to Fix HBO Max Freezing
1. Check HBO Max Servers
Before continuing with other options, you want to ensure the HBO Max servers aren’t down. Between HBO Max and HBO, there are nearly 80 million subscribers, so the server can get clogged with too much demand.
You can check Down Detector using the following steps:
- Visit the Down Detector site and input if you are having trouble with HBO Max
- You will be notified whether there are any current issues with the app
- If there aren’t any problems, you can report what type of problem you are incurring
- The site will also make you aware of any issues that have been reported within the last 24 hours
If you have confirmed there is no issue with the server, you can try one of the following troubleshooting techniques to keep HBO Max from freezing.
2. Update HBO Max App
You want to ensure you don’t have any required updates for the HBO Max app. On your phone, you can check for any recent updates. If you don’t have your apps automatically updated, this could be a simple solution to your problem.
3. Log Out Then Log In
One of the most straightforward actions you can perform is to log out and then log in again. To achieve this successfully, you should:
- Open the HBO Max on your smart device
- Find your profile
- Select settings and scroll to the bottom to log out
- Wait 5-10 minutes and then log back in
Performing this action will help if there is a glitch in your login session and will help complete a reset.
4. Restart HBO Max App
While logging out and in should help, you can also restart the HBO Max app, which will help if there is an application error or other glitch.
To close the app on a smart TV, open the HBO Max app and hold down the return/exit button on the remote and the app will close.
On a smartphone, you will swipe up from your home screen and then swipe to the right or left until you land on the HBO Max app. Next, swipe up on the preview to permanently close the app.
5. Clear HBO Max App Data
If restarting the app does not fix the problem, you should try to clear your app’s cache. If you recall, problems with your cache can cause freezing within the app, so clearing your cache, or data, helps resolve the issue.
Here are the steps to clearing your HBO Max app data:
- From the home button on your remote, select the settings option
- Select apps and then proceed to the system apps
- Select HBO Max and select the clear cache option
- Press OK to confirm the selection
If the cache were the issue, this would resolve any freezing you have. You can reopen the HBO Max app to see if the problem is resolved.
6. Reinstall HBO Max App
Unfortunately, sometimes the easiest option is to delete and reinstall your HBO Max app. By uninstalling the app, you delete any bugs or corruptions causing issues.
To effectively uninstall the HBO Max app, follow the below steps:
- Press the home button and select the apps from your remote
- Go to settings and select HBO Max
- Select delete two times to successfully remove the app from your smart tv
To reinstall the app, perform the following actions:
- Press the home button and select apps
- Select search, type in HBO max, and then install
7. Update Your Smart TV
If you’ve updated your HBO Max app but are still experiencing freezing, you want to ensure your smart TV doesn’t require an update. If your software has issues, a recent update will have the latest software to correct the problem.
If your smart TV doesn’t auto-update, you will need to do it manually by following these steps:
- Press the home button and proceed to settings
- Select support and then choose software update
- Select update now, and the updates will begin installing
It’s best not to turn your television off while the updating is in progress, as it can disrupt the download. Once your updates are complete, restart your television.
8. Perform a Power Cycle of your Smart TV
A power cycle drains residual power from your TV and helps fix minor issues, like freezing. To perform a power cycle, check out the steps below.
- Unplug your TV from the main outlet for 10-15 minutes
- Press and hold the power button for five seconds
- Connect power once again to your TV and turn the device on
Here’s a YouTube video with details on this step:
9. Check Your Network Connections
You also want to check your network connections and ensure you have strong wi-fi. You not only want to check whether your TV is connected to the internet, but also that there are no issues with your wi-fi connection.
To check your TV’s connection to the internet, follow these steps:
- From the home button on your remote, select settings
- Select network from the general menu and click on the network status.
If you are not connected to the internet, you should check another device to determine whether the issue is with your TV or wi-fi connection. If you can connect to the internet, then you know the problem lies within your TV.
For starters, reset your TV’s network connection by going to the settings and selecting network, and then reset the network. If you continue to have problems with your TV’s connection, you may want to contact your provider to help further identify the problem.
10. Check TV Compatibility
Your TV might not be compatible, and you are none the wiser. You can check a TV’s compatibility by going to their website, researching the model TV you have, and comparing it to HBO Max’s list of compatible televisions.
HBO Max launched in 2020, so some devices made before that have had issues with freezing. While Samsung TVs made after 2016 shouldn’t have issues, there is the chance that older models will have problems with the HBO Max app.
11. Cast From HBO Max App on Phone to Samsung TV
Instead of casting directly from your Samsung TV, use your phone to cast an HBO Max program, as this bypasses any issues you are presently having with your TV. Listed below are the steps to perform to cast from your phone to your TV.
- Ensure your phone and Samsung TV has the latest updates
- On an Android or IOS, download the SmartThings app
- Open the app and click the devices tab
- Select add a device and input your Samsung account information
- Once you are signed in, you will see all available devices
- Select your Samsung TV, and after clicking the three dots in the corner, select mirror screen
- Select start now and open the HBO Max app to stream to your television
12. Use A Third-Party Streaming Device
Instead of streaming from your phone, you can also use a third-party streaming device like an Amazon Fire Stick, Roku, or Chromecast. Using a third-party streaming device will help avoid any bugs or compatibility issues.
13. Contact HBO Max
If you still have issues with HBO Max freezing, then it’s time to contact the company directly. You can quickly contact HBO via chat, email, or phone, but using the chat method might be your quickest method. While they might not be able to help you immediately, they could help turn you in the right direction to prevent your app from freezing.
14. Contact Samsung or Another Brand
On the same note, you might want to contact Samsung, or another brand, to receive feedback on what could be causing the issue. From their contact page, you can scroll down until you find your preferred location.