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How to get 4K videos to run smoothly in Google Chrome

Even though my Internet connection is fast and my computer is up to the task, whenever I play 4K videos in Google Chrome - usually on YouTube - playback stutters heavily, forcing me to opt for a lesser quality for a seamless experience. Switching to another browser, like Safari, will solve the problem, but this is hardly a fix that I can live with.

Fortunately, Google is working on a solution, introducing an experimental option in Chrome that will make 4K videos finally run as they should - smoothly, that is. Here is what you need to know.

First off, this experimental option - revealed by (opens in new tab) François Beaufort, who has uncovered and detailed many changes in Chrome - is, at least for the moment, only available when using the Dev channel version (opens in new tab) of the browser. The reason why it is not offered in the stable release, as I mentioned above, is because the search giant has not tuned it enough to label it ready for prime time.

Now, once you have the aforementioned version of Chrome, simply enable the experimental flag called "New video rendering path for video elements" to flip the switch. Just type (paste) "chrome://flags/#enable-new-video-renderer" in the location bar, and hit the Enter key, to expose it.

Beaufort notes that this experimental flag not only helps with typical 4K videos, but also with 4K and 1080p videos running at 60 FPS, which are usually linked to fast-paced action.

Image Credit: Darren Woolridge (opens in new tab) / Shutterstock (opens in new tab)