No one wants to see the Blue Screen of Death while surfing online, especially when you're trying to check out the new cat video on YouTube. Although the site itself cannot cause your computer to crash, the various components you use while visiting the site can. Various hardware and software conflicts can cause your computer to crash while streaming videos, and so can hidden installed malware programs.
Browser or Flash Player Issues
To visit YouTube, you need a Web browser and Flash player, and your Blue Screen issues could originate from one of these. Use a different browser to visit YouTube and see if you can replicate the Blue Screen crash. If videos play without issue, your previous browser may have become corrupted. Reinstall it and try again. If YouTube still causes crashes with the new browser, the Flash player may be at fault. Verify that your player is the most recent version for your operating system and browser, or reinstall it completely to ensure a clean, uncorrupted copy.
Bad Graphics Card Driver
Your graphics card is what renders videos, and if the driver for this component is outdated, it could cause system crashes. Try playing videos from other websites to see if the Blue Screen appears. If any video sends your machine to a Blue Screen, check the driver for your graphics card. It could have become corrupted or too outdated to operate properly. Open the Start menu and type “Device Manager” into the Search box. In the list that appears, right-click on your graphics card and select “Update Driver Software.” Windows will search for an updated driver for you, or you can visit the graphics card manufacturer's website to search for new drivers to download yourself.
Software or Hardware Conflict
With the unimaginable number of different hardware and software configurations, it's not surprising that some would cause conflict. If you were able to visit YouTube without problems in the past, something you may have installed recently could be causing the new issues. Reboot your computer into Safe Mode, which will load only the device drivers necessary to run your operating system. Visit YouTube and watch for the Blue Screen. If you don't get it, some other installed program or hardware may be to blame. Disconnect recently installed hardware, such as printers or scanners, and disable newcomer software programs to see if it corrects your YouTube Blue Screen issue.
Hidden Malware and Overheating
Malware is always suspect when sudden, unexplainable computer troubles surface. Run a thorough scan with an up-to-date anti-virus program to seek and destroy any hidden dangers lurking on your system. Video streaming uses your graphics card, which can create an increase in temperature inside your computer. If your fans are dirty, or if the air vents are blocked, this heat can build to dangerous levels and cause your computer to crash. Check your computer case for built-up dirt or malfunctioning fans that may be preventing proper cooling.
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