A Chromecast is as good as its connection to the internet. If the Wi-Fi signals received are weak, expect sub-par performance.
The latest Chromecast with bad internet would perform worse than an older Chromecast receiving reliable internet. When the streaming dongle is not at its optimal best, it will let you know the same in different ways.
Talking about concerns with Chromecasts, buffering is a common issue. Another problem that some users complain of is “pausing,” or the streaming dongle stopping action with no manual intervention or user input.
The pause sign or icon will show on the screen, indicating the “pause” status. To resume play, you must hit play. At times, the Chromecast may unpause automatically and resume play.
This leads us to the question, “Why does your Chromecast keep pausing?”
Your Chromecast could pause videos for different reasons, which include:
- Inadvertent pausing of content by another user
- Bad Wi-Fi or distant placement of the router
- A data-overwhelmed Chromecast
- The Chromecast and casting device using different internet or wireless channels
- Outdated operating systems, and more
This article shall discuss the above in great detail and present solutions thereafter. Read on to learn more.
The Chromecast is Pending Refresh
Chromecasts collect crash reports, system activity, and usage information. Over time, the device gets burdened and needs to be relieved of all that data.
If the streaming dongle continues to carry the load, its performance may get hampered—for instance, the connection may fail, or the videos could pause.
Solution: Give the Chromecast a reboot every once in a while. Based on your usage level, the frequency could be once a month or a week.
To restart the device, head to “Settings” and choose “System Restart” on your TV. Also, restart your router, and make sure your Chromecast OS is fully updated.
You could also refresh the device in the Google Home app. Here are the steps:
Step 1: On your Google Home app (available to install on your Android or iOS device), locate the connected Chromecast.
Step 2: Tap on the three vertical dots next to the gear icon at the top right of your screen, and tap on “reboot.”
The Chromecast dongle shall reboot itself and download the latest firmware if any.
Another User Could Have Inadvertently Paused the Stream
Suppose another Android device besides the casting device is connected to the same network, and a notification goes to that smartphone.
In that case, the person could prevent or pause the casting, not knowing the request was legitimate or that it wasn’t their phone trying to broadcast to TV.
Solution: Ensure another Android device(s) is not on the same network as your phone and Chromecast when casting videos.
If that is not plausible, inform other people in the house to dismiss or ignore the Chromecast notifications they might get on their phones.
Non-Optimal Wi-Fi Router Positioning
Since Chromecast’s performance is directly correlated to the quality of its internet connection, check if that Chromecast is receiving strong and reliable Wi-Fi signals.
Perhaps, the Wi-Fi router is too far from the Chromecast or is not fast enough. Although Wi-Fi speeds are usually correlated with issues like buffering, pausing could also be one of the adverse outcomes.
Solution: Ensure the router is not more than four meters (15 feet) from the Chromecast. The shorter the distance, the better the performance will be.
Beyond 15 feet, the signals may lose strength. And after a point, the connection may altogether drop.
Not Connected to the Same Wi-Fi Band
If the Chromecast is connected to the 5 GHz band and your smartphone (casting device) is connected to 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi, the discrepancy may cause the streaming dongle to stutter and possibly pause.
Solution: Put both the devices on the same wireless network band—be it 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz.
The 2.4 GHz band has a broader range and is recommended if you don’t have high streaming requirements, such as playing a 4K HDR video.
If the Chromecast and your smartphone are close to the router, and you require a lot more bandwidth or increased data speeds, connect to the 5 GHz band.
The Particular Streaming App Could Have Issues
If your Chromecast pauses video only when streaming content from a specific app and not when playing content from another app, the issue is likely the particular application.
For instance, if Prime Video streaming works fine but your Chromecast intermittently pauses when playing Netflix videos, the issue is likely with the Netflix application.
Solution: Check the app’s settings. Ensure it’s on its latest version and you aren’t playing local files. If you’re playing content from the app, try playing content from the browser.
Also, other apps in the background may interfere with the app’s functioning and cause performance issues. Close them all. Once everything is clear, restart the app and check if the problem is resolved.
If you’re casting from a browser, ensure it’s up to date and not minimized during use. The video usually stops playing when you’re on another app on the device.
Casting Device Using Older OS
Your smartphone need not be running the latest Android OS to support Chromecasts, but it also should not be on an antiquated operating system.
An OS that’s a few generations behind is serviceable unless and until it continues to receive security updates from Google.
If apps don’t get OTA (over the air) updates, particularly the Google Home app, your Chromecast may find it tricky to communicate with the casting device.
Solution: Update the OS on your phone. If the device has had its run of updates and apps on a particular version of the OS are no longer eligible for newer versions, get a new smartphone.
You don’t need the latest and greatest. A mid-range phone with the newest OS and promised future OS updates should work perfectly.
The Pixel, on the other hand, is a Google phone and should be among the first few smartphones to receive timely OS and security updates.
Chromecasts pausing during play is not as common as buffering, or loss of signal issues experienced with the device. But the problem is also not rare.
However, unlike the buffering concerns with Chromecasts, it’s not simple to lay a finger on what exactly could be causing your Chromecast to pause during use.
The best resort is, therefore, to eliminate every possible issue your Chromecast has and check if that fixes the problem. Most likely, one or a couple of those problems could be causing your Chromecast to misbehave.
If tackling the above doesn’t help, there’s something inherently wrong with the Chromecast hardware or software. In that case, contact Google.
Catherine Tramell has been covering technology as a freelance writer for over a decade. She has been writing for Pointer Clicker for over a year, further expanding her expertise as a tech columnist. Catherine likes spending time with her family and friends and her pastimes are reading books and news articles.