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5 ways to troubleshoot HBO Max when it isn’t working

Business
HBO Max app logo
  • If HBO Max is not working on your device, there are several possible solutions to fix it.
  • Some easy things to check include closing and restarting the HBO Max app and seeing if the streaming service is reporting a network outage at DownDetector.
  • Try to see if HBO Max works on another device – the problem might be related to your own internet or WiFi connection.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

HBO is famous in the history of cable television as the oldest continuously operating subscription TV service, and it became the anchor around which the premium cable industry was built. In recent times, HBO has reinvented itself for the streaming age with HBO Max. But like any streaming service, it can suffer the occasional problem and fail to stream your latest binging obsession. If you’re having trouble watching HBO Max, here’s what to do.

What to do if HBO Max is not working

It’s rarely obvious what the specific problem may be when HBO Max is not working, so we’ve laid out a half-dozen of the most common troubleshooting tips. Check each one in order, and hopefully you’ll soon be back up and running with the latest episode of “Succession.”

Check to see if HBO Max is offline

Like any video streaming service, HBO Max needs to be online and available pretty much all the time. Network problems are inevitable, though, so if you can’t connect to HBO Max, one of the first things you might want to try is to see if the service is actually up and running. After all, if HBO Max is offline, there’s no reason to waste time restarting your phone or tablet.

The easiest way to see if HBO Max is online is to check the HBO Max network status page at DownDetector. You can also search for “is HBO Max down” in a Google search.

HBO Max page on Downdetector.com in Chrome.
Checking DownDetector is a fast way to see if a site like HBO Max is having a service outage.

Close the HBO Max app and restart it

Sometimes the easiest way to fix a software problem is to turn things off and then back on again – either just the app or the entire device. In that spirit, you should force the HBO Max app to close and then launch it again. If you need a reminder about how to do that, here is how to close an app on Android and close an app on iOS. If you’re trying to use HBO Max on a smart TV or streaming player like Roku or Fire TV, you can close and restart the app there as well, though the steps will vary depending upon what device you own.

Closing an app in iOS.
Close an app in iOS by swiping it up, off the top of the screen.

If you are trying to watch HBO Max in a web browser on a computer, close the entire browser, open it again, and go back to the HBO Max website. Even better, switch to a different browser if you have more than one installed on your computer.

If that doesn’t fix the problem, try to restart the device (here’s how to restart your iPhone, for instance), especially if you think it might be that the device is misbehaving.

Make sure your WiFi is working

One of the most common culprits when a streaming service like HBO Max isn’t working is your own internet connection. If you’re using WiFi, you should have a strong signal if you want to stream video – does the WiFi symbol on your device look like it has a lot of bars? Is your device actually connected to WiFi, and is your WiFi connected to the internet?

There’s a lot of troubleshooting you can do to check on your internet connection, but a fast shortcut is just to try using the internet on a different device. For example, if HBO Max is not working on your iPad, then try it on your phone. Or your computer.

If you appear to have a widespread connection issue, reboot your WiFi router and cable modem (turn the both off for at least two minutes, then turn them on again. If it’s still not working, there might be a local service outage, so you may want to contact your internet service provider to see if there’s a problem.

Clear your device’s app cache

If you know that HBO Max is working on a different device but not on the one you want to use – and you know your device has a solid WiFi signal – then you can generally narrow the problem to software on that device. If you’ve restarted the device and the problem persists, then you might have a problem with the app’s cache.

If you are using an Android device, you can clear the cache with a few taps. The steps might vary slightly depending upon which version of Android you are running, but here’s the general procedure:

1. Start the Settings app.

2. Tap Apps & Notifications.

3. Go to the list of apps (tap See all apps if necessary) and tap HBO Max.

4. Tap Storage & cache.

app page in android
Tap Storage & cache, then Clear cache.

5. Tap Clear cache.

If you’re using an iPhone, there’s no way to clear the app’s cache. Instead, uninstall the app on your iPhone and then reinstall it from the App Store.

Resolving occasional audio or video issues

If the video doesn’t play back smoothly or the audio stutters, the problem is most likely related to your internet connection. If possible, test the quality of your audio and video using another app. Try watching something on Netflix or YouTube, for example. If it stutters or glitches, then it’s probably a problem common to everything on your device, and not HBO Max.

To solve this problem, make sure that your internet connection is fast enough to accommodate streaming video. Use a service like Google’s Internet Speed Test to see how fast your connection is. Your connection needs to be at least 3Mbps for standard definition video, but ideally you want 16Mbps or more. There are a handful of ways you can speed up your internet connection.

‘What is HBO Max?’: Here’s what you need to know about HBO’s streaming service answer to Netflix and HuluHow to get HBO Max on an Amazon Firestick to watch shows like ‘The Sopranos’ or ‘Insecure’How to manage devices on HBO Max and remove or add their access to your accountHow to download HBO Max movies and shows onto your phone or tablet to watch when you’re without internet

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