How to Fix "Audio Renderer Error" on YouTube

Are you experiencing the Audio renderer error on YouTube? This article will help you fix it so you can watch your favorite videos!

The Audio renderer error may appear while playing a YouTube video in your browser. It’s frustrating because it causes your video playback to stop out of nowhere. The good news is that the Audio renderer error is easy to fix. All you need to do is follow our guide, and the problem will go away once and for all.

fix audio renderer error

In this article, we'll also show you how to stop the Audio renderer error on YouTube in Windows 10. You can also learn how to prevent it from happening again.

Table of Contents 

What is the “Audio renderer error” on YouTube?

When the audio renderer encounters an error, a user will get the message that says, "Audio renderer error. Please restart your computer." over a blank YouTube video.

This prevents you from playing videos and prompts immediate restart of the device, which isn't possible. Various reasons may stop you from applying the obvious fix, like work in progress, downloads, or important tabs open at a time. It's also possible you already tried rebooting the computer, but it did not work out so far.

If you're constantly getting the "Audio renderer error" message while watching or attempting to watch YouTube on Windows 10 — including after restarting your computer as instructed — there may be an issue with either hardware or software. The solutions listed below should assist you in repairing it.

Possible causes of the “Audio renderer error” on YouTube

Some different things may lead to this error appearing on your screen while you watch YouTube. Here are some of the common causes for the Audio renderer error visible on YouTube videos:

  • Outdated drivers
  • Driver errors, missing audio drivers
  • Conflict between different sound drivers
  • BIOS version mismatch
  • Issue on YouTube’s side

Are any of these problems familiar to you? Do you not know where to start when troubleshooting? Continue reading to find nine step-by-step guides to help you resolve this annoying error message on YouTube.

Solved: “Audio renderer error. Please restart your computer” on YouTube

The most common reason for the “Audio renderer error” message to appear is an outdated or wrong driver that makes your computer unable to process audio properly. So, many of the methods you can follow in this step-by-step guide focus on troubleshooting drivers.

We’ve also included device-specific solutions for Dell users and readers with ASIO audio drivers. Let's get started with our nine (and one bonus!) solutions.

Quick fix: Restart your computer

As the error message itself suggests, the most straightforward way of resolving this issue is by restarting your computer. If you haven’t already tried to do that, now is the time to reboot your device.

  1. Click on the Windows icon in the bottom-left of your screen to bring up the Start menu.
  2. Click on the Power option, and then choose Restart. This is going to close all of your open applications and completely restart your computer.

After restarting, check if you’re able to watch YouTube without the Audio renderer error showing up on a blank video. If you’re still experiencing the problem, don’t worry — we’ve got many more things for you to try.

Method 1. Reconnect your audio playback device

One way to resolve this error is to reconnect the external audio device (headphones, earbuds, speakers, etc.). This will ensure the connection between it and your system. Before moving forward with other steps, make sure you try re-establishing a working connection to fix any problems.

Simply unplug the device you’re using for audio playback, and then wait a few seconds before reconnecting it. You’ll be able to immediately test whether YouTube videos play afterward by refreshing the page.

Method 2. Run the Audio troubleshooter

Microsoft introduced a variety of ways to solve Windows issues. The built-in troubleshooters can help you fix your system not being able to shut down. The Playing Audio troubleshooter will attempt to resolve any problems related or unrelated to the system.

  1. Click on the Windows icon in the bottom left of your screen to bring up the Start menu. Choose Settings, or use the Windows + I shortcut.
    Windows start
  2. Click on the Update & Security tile. This is where you can find most of your built-in troubleshooters.
    update and security
  3. Switch to the Troubleshoot tab using the left-side pane. Here, you should be able to see a troubleshooter titled Playing Audio.
    windows troubleshoot > playing audio
  4. Click on the Run the troubleshooter button. Wait for the troubleshooter to scan your device and identify any issues.
    run the troubleshooter
  5. If you don’t want to share full diagnostic data with Microsoft, click on the Additional troubleshooters link. Then locate the Playing Audio troubleshooter there.
    additional troubleshooters

Bear in mind that this troubleshooter is not perfect, which is why we suggest trying it last. It might not detect any issues, but that doesn't mean our other methods can't fix your computer!

Method 3. Restart your audio driver

Before changing anything about your drivers, try restarting it. This makes no changes to the driver software, meaning that the room for something to mess up is tiny.

  1. Press the Windows + R keys on your keyboard at the same time to bring up the Run utility.
  2. Type in “devmgmt.msc” without the quotation marks, then hit the OK button. This is going to launch the Device Manager in a separate window.
  3. Expand the Sound, video, and game controllers category. Right-click on the audio adapter you’re using from the list, then select Disable device from the context menu.
    sound video and game controllers
  4. A prompt will show up on the screen. Click Yes to proceed with the restart of your audio device driver.
    update driver
  5. Wait for a minute. After some time has passed, right-click on the audio device listing again and select Enable device from the context menu.
    enable device
  6. Repeat the same steps for all audio devices listed in the Device Manager. After restarting each of them, check if YouTube is still displaying the “Audio renderer error. Please restart your computer.” error.

Method 4. Update your audio driver

If a simple restart couldn’t fix your problem, getting the latest drivers for your audio device(s) is the next thing to try. Follow these simple steps to update any audio driver with ease.

  1. Press the Windows + X keys on your keyboard simultaneously, then click on Device Manager.
    windows start
  2. Expand the Sound, video, and game controllers section by clicking on the arrow icon in front of it. Right-click on the sound device you’re using (for example, Realtek, Intel, etc.) and choose Update Driver.
    device management
  3. Select the “Search automatically for updated driver software” to let Windows look for the latest drivers compatible with your device. Note that you’ll require a connection to the internet to perform this step.
    search automatically for drivers
  4. Once the new driver has been downloaded and installed, restart your computer if possible. Check if your problem with YouTube has been resolved after the latest drivers are installed.

Method 5. Rollback your audio driver

The Roll Back Driver function in Device Manager is the perfect tool for those not satisfied with their drivers or are having issues with the latest update. It enables you to remove any currently installed driver and then automatically install that same version of Windows’ original, previously-installed one. Hence, everything goes back to how it was once before!

  1. Press the Windows + X keys on your keyboard simultaneously, then click on Device Manager.
  2. Expand the Sound, video, and game controllers category by clicking on the arrow icon in front of it. Right-click on your audio device and choose Properties.
  3. A new pop-up window should appear. Here, switch to the Driver tab and then click on the Rollback driver button if available. Repeat these steps for all other audio devices shown in the list.

Method 6. Fix sample rate value for ASIO driver

Some computers may have ASIO drivers installed. If yours does, there’s a possible conflict between said drivers and the default Windows Sound driver. This often leads to the YouTube problem with the Audio renderer. Luckily, all you have to do is adjust the sample rates to match.

  1. Press Windows key + R to open up a Run dialog box.
  2. Type "mmsys.cpl" and press the Enter key to navigate the Sound settings menu.
  3. Switch to the Playback tab. Select the device you want to configure for audio playback, then click on the Properties button.
  4. Go to the Advanced tab, and then change the Default Format to 16 bit, 44100 Hz (or a different standard from the options).

  5. Click Apply to save the configuration and exit the window.
  6. Open your ASIO Driver Settings and navigate to the Audio tab. Make sure to change the sample rate to the same frequency as your Windows one — for example, if you selected the 16 bit, 44100 Hz format, choose that one again.
    ASIO driver settings
  7. Restart your computer (if possible) and see if the conflict has been resolved. If you're still encountering "Audio renderer error" on YouTube after a reboot, move on to another method on this page!

Method 7. Update your BIOS (Dell computers only)

Some Dell users have reported that the issue was resolved for good once they updated their BIOS firmware. This method could be applicable for users with devices from other manufacturers, but we've only been able to confirm the success of a Dell computer.

You are warned that updating your BIOS firmware can be detrimental to your PC. If you don’t follow the instructions provided, you may end up with a computer that cannot function. If you decide to do it anyway, proceed at your own risk!

Click here to find the instructions on how to update your BIOS on a Dell computer.

Method 8. Update your web browser

Sometimes browsers release updates with bugs still in them. This is a common mishap that’s almost required for software to develop and improve. If you're using an outdated browser, you might be dealing with a problem already fixed in an update.

If you’re struggling with the “Audio renderer error. Please restart your computer” on YouTube, here are the steps to update Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Edge. If you’re curious about what web browser is the best, check out our Which Web Browser Should You Be Using in 2021? article.

How to update Google Chrome

  1. Close Google Chrome entirely by right-clicking on it in your taskbar and using the Close window option from the context menu.
  2. Relaunch Google Chrome and look in the top-right corner. If there’s an available update, the More icon (displayed by three dots arranged vertically) will have a colored bulb next to it:
    • Green: An update was released less than 2 days ago.
    • Orange: An update was released about 4 days ago.
    • Red: An update was released at least a week ago.
  3. Click on the Update Google Chrome option. If you can't find this button, you're currently on the latest publicly available version.
    update google chrome
  4. Click on the Relaunch button. You should be on the latest version of Google Chrome now. Test if the same problem appears when using the most up-to-date release.

How to update Mozilla Firefox

  1. Click on the menu button, and then hover on Help in the context menu. Click on the About Firefox option.
  2. Firefox will check for updates, and if a new update is found, it will download them automatically. Click on the Update to **.**.* button.
    update friefox
  3. Once the process is complete, click on the Restart to update Firefox button. Your browser will apply the updates, and you’ll have access to every new feature and bugfix.

How to update Microsoft Edge

  1. Click on the menu button, and then hover on Help and feedback in the context menu. Click on the About Microsoft Edge option.
  2. Edge will start to check for updates, and if a new update is found, it will download them automatically.
    update edge
  3. After the download process is completed, click on the Restart button. Edge will launch with the new update applied.

Method 9. Update Windows to the latest version

An update to your operating system may fix many underlying issues, such as the Audio renderer problem with YouTube. Download the latest version of Windows and see if the problem is fixed.

  1. Click on the Windows icon in the bottom left of your screen to bring up the Start menu. Choose Settings, or use the Windows + I shortcut.
  2. Click on the Update & Security tile. This is where you can find most of your Windows Update settings and choose when to receive updates.
  3. Make sure to stay on the default Windows Update tab. Click on the Check for updates option and wait for Windows to find available updates. If you see any updates displayed, click on the View all optional updates link to see and install them.
  4. When Windows finds a new update, click on the Install option. Wait for Windows to download and apply the necessary updates. 

Final thoughts

The “Audio renderer error. Please restart your computer” issue might be frustrating. But it’s not hard to fix. We believe this article has helped you. Share it with your friends and acquaintances. 

Need some assistance? Contact us! Also, we have plenty of great content for you on our Blog and Help Center. You can check them out. 

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