With the continued development of the “web” / “Internet”, many people have reported that “Facebook” will crash Google Chrome if they have a video running.
Considering the ease – and frequency – with which videos are now uploaded to the platform, it should be no surprise that the problem has become pronounced.
The underlying cause typically lies with the way in which Chrome will interface with the various “graphics” packages your system has (most commonly WebGL).
This tutorial aims to resolve the problem by providing a number of simple fixes to help you consider exactly what could be causing the problems on your system.
With the continued development of Web Browsers, the underlying technology behind them becomes more intricate and powerful.
If you want to watch a video, for example, play a browser-based game, or read a PDF – your web browser will most often pull the functionality to complete the task from the various third party applications that can provide it. We don’t see this as users.
The problem you have with Facebook video is more-often-than-not due to the way in which your browser is interacting with the graphics software/hardware of your system. Obviously, there are also a number of other issues:
- WebGL has issues connecting to your video device
- Faulty / incompatible / outdated graphics driver
- You have some deeper settings issue with either Chrome or your OS
- System is running without adequate resources (RAM & CPU in particular)
- Browser is out of date, or incompatible with some of the underlying software that your OS requires to run
The core issue with all of this is that your browser (Chrome) is not able to correctly integrate with Facebook video. The issue may have a number of potential causes – but as with most technical things, there is generally a single solution. The following steps should resolve it:
1. Update Chrome
The first step is to update your browser (Chrome).
To do this, you need to follow the steps below:
- Inside Chrome, click on the “dots” menu bar at the very top right of the screen (just to the right of the address bar)
- This will bring down a “menu” from which you’re able to select everything from “New Tab” to “Help”
- Select “Help” > “About Google Chrome”
- This will bring up a screen with the “version” of the browser listed at the top
- If the browser is out-of-date, it should start to automatically download and install the latest version
- After this has completed, you will need to restart the browser
- Once restarted, try Facebook video again – if the problem persists, you’ll have to continue with the steps below
2. Update Graphics Drivers
Next, you need to update the various graphics drivers that you may be running on your system.
Graphics drivers are pieces of software designed to interface your computer with the graphics processor your system may have. Regardless of which graphics processor you may have installed (Intel, NVidia etc), each will have a particular “driver” created by its manufacturer. It can often be the case that the drivers installed on your system are either out of date, incorrect or damaged. To resolve this, you’re best either updating – or plain reinstalling – the drivers. To do this, there are two methods (one of which is more of a “soft” update and the second is a total reinstall of the driver)…
- Method #1 (Soft Update – Strongly Recommended For Inexperienced)
- The first step is to download the latest version of your native graphics driver
- Since Windows 7, Microsoft have been very good at keeping graphics drivers 100% up to date – meaning in most cases – your drivers wil be updated already
- Irrespective of this, you will want to browse to the manufacturer’s website and obtain a new copy
- From here, let the driver download and install it – this will ensure that you’re running the most up to date version
The most important thing to appreciate with
- Method #2 (Complete Reinstall – Advanced *Only*)
- Browse to Google and look up “DDU” (stands for Display Driver Uninstaller)
- When you find “Guru3D.com”, click it (should be top listing)
- Download DDU to your system
- Save any work you may have open (you’ll need to restart your system)
- If using Windows 7, restart your PC, hit F8 repeatedly on your keyboard and select “Safe Mode with Networking” when the “Advanced Boot Options” menu loads
- If using Windows 10, click on the “Start” menu, select the “Power” button, hold SHIFT and then press “Restart”. This will bring up the blue “Recovery Environment” screen, from which you need to click “Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > Startup Settings > Restart” (select “Safe Mode with Networking”
- Once in “Safe Mode”, load up DDU and press “Clean And Restart (Recommended)” — top button
- It should remove the underlying graphics driver on your system and then restart the OS
- After restart, Windows will likely start to try and apply its own graphics driver again (which is fine)
- You may wish to browse to the manufacturer’s website to download the latest driver for your card
The point of this is that if you’re experiencing issues with the way in which the video playback on Facebook works, it could be that you have an issue with the underlying driver for your graphics card. Re-installing the driver (or just updating it) gives you the ability to essentially bypass it as a problem. To update the driver, you can use the steps below:
- You’ll typically have one of three types of graphics card – ATI (now AMD), Nvidia or Intel
- Depending on the card you have, browse to the manufacturer’s website (just Google them) and then look for the “Downloads” / “Drivers” section
- From here, most of them will have some sort of “selection” process through which you’re able to pick your OS, Card and other specs
- After this, download the driver to your system and install it
3. Toggle “Hardware Acceleration” in Chrome
If the above two steps have no impact, the next step is to toggle the “Hardware Acceleration” settings inside Chrome.
This basically allows the browser deeper access to the GPU on your system. I’ve dealt with a large number of systems in the past, which had “video” issues caused by the hardware acceleration option inside the Chrome browser. To ensure this is not a problem which is present on your system, you’ll want to follow these steps:
- Click into Chrome
- On the top right, there is a small “menu” button (3 vertical circles)
- Click on this to reveal another menu
- From this new menu, select “Settings”
- This will open a new “tab” – from this, click on “Advanced”
- Scroll down to “System”
- Toggle the “Use hardware acceleration when available” option (regardless of which position it’s in)
- Close Chrome and reload
After doing this, the browser should load up again; whether it’s able to run the videos on Facebook is another question. For 90% of the systems I tried this on, the video playback problem resolved.
4. Update Windows (if required)
If the above does not work, you’ll need to update Windows.
The way you do this depends on which version of the system you’re using. The reason this is important is because when using as complicated system as Windows / Chrome, what tends to happen is particular applications end up with various issues that either prevent them from loading properly, or have conflicts inside the system. To ensure this is not a problem, you’ll want to make sure that Windows is as up to date as possible:
- In Windows 7, click “Start”, select “Control Panel” and then select “System and Security” – “Windows Update”. Click “Check for Updates” and let them proceed
- In Windows 10, click on “Start”, select the “Settings” icon (cog icon // left charms menu) and then click on “Update & Security”. Click “Check for Updates” and then allow the system to update
Chances are that your system is fully up to date anyway; the key thing to realize is that if you’re looking at getting software-centric issues resolved, every angle is covered. I’ve had it before that you may spend hours/days trying to fix a problem, only to discover that a single “patch” is required to get it working. Windows updates are free and strongly recommended.
5. Re-Install Any Visual C++ /.NET packages on Windows
If Updating Windows doesn’t work, you’ll want to re-install any Visual C++ /.NET packages that your system may have.
Visual C++ is a piece of software which Microsoft distributes as a “library”. This means that other applications can be built “around” it (use it) whilst having nothing to do with its development.
Windows is renowned for having issues with the various Visual C++ installations you may have on your system. It’s either the case that the VC++ install could be corrupted, or missing – preventing certain applications from functioning properly.
To resolve this, it’s recommended that you “re-install” the various VC++ versions you have on your system:
- In Windows 7, click “Start” > “Control Panel” > “Add / Remove Programs”
- In Windows 10, right-click “Start” > “Apps and Features”
From the list that appears, identify any “Visual C++ Redistributable” packages that appear. Note them down on some paper or whatever.
After doing this, go through the list and uninstall each of them. This will not damage your system – you can just re-install them later.
Once uninstalled, restart your PC and then browse to Google; search for “visual c++ redistributable 2017 download” and click “Search”. This will bring up a link for Microsoft’s website as the first link; click it and then scroll to “Visual Studio 2017” – click on whichever version of Windows you’re running (32 or 64 bit) to download the installer. Run it and let it install.
The 2017 version is the latest; meaning you should not require any others. If errors appear with certain applications, you’ll need to download & install the appropriate version of VC++ again. This is relatively simple; if you have further issues with it – you can send me a message directly. It might seem complicated, but really isn’t.
6. Anti-virus / Anti-spyware scan
This won’t solve the core problem, but may help fix a number of potential issues with the core of the system.
If you have anti-virus software installed, run it. Let it perform a “deep scan” of your entire system. If there are any viruses/spyware infections, let the software remove them entirely from your PC. This will not only ensure you’re able to get rid of any of the potential issues that Windows may have, but also that if you do have any infections – they are not interfering with either your system or the way in which Chrome is running.
If you don’t have any external antivirus applications installed, you’re able to use the “Windows Defender” software which comes with all versions of Windows after 7. To use this, you can follow the steps below:
- Click onto the taskbar (bottom of screen)
- On the right “notification icons” menu, expand the selection
- From the list, select “Windows Defender” (should be a small shield icon)
- When it loads, click “Virus Protection” > “Scan Now”
- Let the system scan and then remove any infections it finds
7. Restart Your PC
Lastly, the oldest trick in the book – tactical restart.
Restart the PC does a number of important things. Firstly, it allows you to get rid of 90% of issues within Windows (you’d be surprised at how much the system depends on regular restarts). Secondly, it ensures that any of your applications don’t have core problems preventing them from loading correctly. This might sound low level, but has the underlying benefit of ensuring the system is able to run as effectively and smoothly as possible.
The above (at least one of) should resolve 99% of the causes of the problem.
If you’re still experiencing issues – or especially lag with regard to Facebook’s video – you may have hardware issues (resource usage too high or similar).