Max Not Working: How To Fix 11 Common Issues

Researched & Written by
Couple stuck with HBO Max issue on TV

Is Max not working, and now you’re stuck looking at a blank screen?

You’re in good company! This streaming platform offers great content and a user-friendly interface. But sadly, it’s not without issues, and several people are affected by them every day.

I know how frustrating it can be to pay for a service you’re not being able to enjoy to the fullest. And it’s undeniable that things have not been running as smoothly with this whole transition from HBO Max to simply, Max.

But don’t worry, you want answers, and you couldn’t have come to a better place to get them. Below, I’ve prepared a small list including the 11 most common issues that might be ruining your fun while streaming content on this platform.

When Max is not working, you might be experiencing poor performance in specific streaming devices, audio artifacts/bad quality, various Error Codes, subtitles out of sync, special features failing, and much more.

Read on to get back to streaming!

The 11 Common Issues That Keep Max From Working

In all fairness, Max doesn’t fail that much, and it offers a wide range of audiovisual features that enhance the streaming experience greatly. In my personal opinion, it’s one of the best services out there for new and older movies.

That being said, sometimes you might find yourself noticing things aren’t working as they used to, which is why it’s time to dive into the 11 most common causes behind this.

#1 Poor Performance on Specific Devices

Let’s begin by talking about those situations where you’re using your favorite streaming device, and all of a sudden, the platform stops working for no apparent reason. While streaming from devices like Roku, an Amazon Firestick, or an Nvidia Shield can have many benefits, sometimes you’re also more likely to encounter more issues than you would with a regular Smart TV.

There are many reasons behind performance issues on these devices, such as outdated software, failing servers, corrupted cache files, IPv6 protocol failure, and more. For a detailed explanation, please check out our guides on Max running super slow on Roku and Firestick.

You can also find causes and solutions for when Max is slow or crashing on your Nvidia Shield, or simply not working with browsers like Google Chrome or gaming consoles like the PS4, and the PS5.

#2 Faulty Audio

Having addressed most performance issues on several streaming devices, we can now move on to checking on your audio quality. A lot of people don’t get that, to make a climactic scene intense and interesting, you need great audio as much as you need impressive images on the screen.

So, when the audio quality on Max is terrible, or you’re noticing annoying artifacts that are getting in the way of your experience, it’s essential that you do something about it as soon as possible.

Bad-quality audio and other audio-related issues can typically be blamed on a bad internet connection, damaged HDMI cables, interfering Bluetooth devices, using the wrong settings for your audio setup, and more. For a full list of potential causes and solutions, please take a look at our guides for when you’re getting bad audio quality on Max, or when the platform is too quiet.

We also have useful guides for when Max’s audio is cutting out or out of sync, as well as for when special features like Dolby Atmos are failing.

#3 Error Codes

Although modern streaming platforms are designed to work almost perfectly at all times, now and then some failures can happen, and errors may arise. While not all of them can be prevented or predicted, there are some that are well-known by developers, so they get assigned a number.

If you’ve ever been relaxing on the couch and noticed that suddenly content playback stopped and was replaced by a screen that read a certain message along with an error number, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Numbered Error Codes can happen due to several reasons, as different codes mean different failures and causes. If you want to get some answers and find out how to address said errors, take a look at our guide on fixing Error Codes 905, and 100.

#4 Faulty Subtitles/Captions

Whether you’re hearing impaired or are simply trying to watch content in a language that’s not your first, subtitles always come in handy. Sadly, when Max is not working, you might notice that they’re failing in some way, causing you to have a bad experience.

And the same goes for Closed Captions.

There are many factors that could be causing said titles to fail, such as server issues on Max’s end, an outdated version of the platform, VPN blocking, and countless others. For a full list of possible causes and solutions to each one, our guides on Max’s subtitles or captions not working on Roku, and Max’s subtitles out of sync can help!

#5 Dolby Vision Not Working

Ever since HDR (High Dynamic Range) was introduced to the public, we’ve been able to enjoy colorful images with contrast that was unimaginable a couple of decades ago. Thanks to this technology, action scenes look more intense, and open worlds feel much more lively.

But what happens when you’re trying to take advantage of this feature, and you can’t seem to?

Sometimes, when Max is not working, special features like this one can become unavailable for no apparent reason, leaving you confused and with a dull-looking image on the screen. This oftentimes happens due to a slow internet connection, corrupted cache files, and trying to use an incompatible device.

Luckily, we have a guide for when Dolby Vision is not working on Max that you can visit to get everything back to normal and find out whether you need an internet plan upgrade.

#6 Playback and Performance Issues

Every streaming platform can give you problems playing your favorite series/movies now and then. Whether it’s Netflix, Amazon Prime, or this one, they’re all vulnerable to having performance flaws now and then.

However, while this means that you can’t blame the situation solely on Max, having it happen can still be very annoying and get in the way of your enjoyment.

While streaming content on this platform, you can encounter several obstacles related to loading, rewinding, connecting to your favorite network, and much more. These issues typically arise due to failing servers, corrupted cache files, using an outdated version of the app, and many other factors.

To resume watching the next episode in the exciting series you’re watching, please check out our guides for when Max says it can’t play a title or is stuck on a loading screen. We also have helpful resources for when the Rewind and Fast Forward features are buggy, the TV is flickering, you’re stuck on three dots, or are having connectivity issues.

#7 Account Problems

I know the previous section might have been a little overwhelming, but when it comes to performance, there’s a lot that can go wrong. Luckily, this next section is a lot simpler, and we’ll only be focusing on a couple of issues.

Being able to stay logged into your account and keeping it secure at all times is essential for a pleasant streaming experience. And while most of the time, you shouldn’t have problems in this regard, now and then, you might struggle to stay logged in, or even verify that your account is actually yours.

Situations like these can be caused by many factors, such as hiring this service through a third party, (like your internet provider), being hacked, corrupted cache files, faulty servers, and more.

Fortunately, we have plenty of guides for when Max is saying that your subscription has expired, your account has been hacked, you keep being logged out, or simply can’t verify your subscription. Make sure to check them out to get things back to normal as soon as possible.

#8 You Can’t Download Content

One of the most attractive features a platform like Max has to offer is the possibility of downloading your favorite content to watch it offline.

There are many reasons why you’d want to do this, such as making a long commute somewhere a little more enjoyable, or not having to pay for exaggerated Wi-Fi hotel rates during a vacation in a tropical paradise.

Sometimes, this feature can even save you from any kind of failure your internet service provider might be having on their end! But what happens when something so useful (that you are paying for) seems to have stopped working or has never worked?

In cases like that, you can likely blame a bad internet connection, failing servers, unavailable content, and using the wrong subscription. Remember that only the most expensive Max plans currently allow for content downloading!

To find out what the source of the issue is and nip it in the bud, take a quick look at our guide for when Max is not letting you download.

#9 VPN Trouble

If you know what this software is, you likely use it often to stay hidden online. And if you haven’t got the faintest clue as to what a VPN is, that’s also ok. In a nutshell, it stands for Virtual Private Network, and it helps protect your privacy and trick streaming platforms into thinking you’re in a different country.

Provided you’re not a regular user, this likely isn’t a problem you’re dealing with, so feel free to move on to the next section. However, if you do use it frequently for other purposes, you might have already stumbled upon a couple of obstacles.

In most cases, being unable to use your VPN with this platform can be due to the restrictions the developers have placed against this software. Max and other services forbid the use of VPNs as they can get the company in tight legal spots.

Luckily, we have a comprehensive guide on how to get Max working on your VPN, so you can access all the international content you want quickly.

#10 Seeing a Purple Screen

If you used HBO Max (Max’s predecessor before the big merger with Discovery+), you probably remember that the color palette was… interesting, to say the least. While many other platforms opt for brighter colors like red or navy blue, HBO Max used a darker shade of what I like to call Barney Purple.

Although the color might have changed now that they’ve transitioned into Max, you might still notice that certain screen glitches and errors still display the distinctive purple. A situation like this can be caused by faulty servers, a bug in the app’s coding, and even using an incompatible browser.

To get to the bottom of this as quickly as possible, check out our guide for when Max is showing you a purple screen.

#11 Can’t Cast to Chromecast

Although Max is compatible with most modern Smart TVs and other streaming devices, sometimes you might not want the hassle of configuring complex gadgets, or might not want to upgrade your old TV just yet.

In cases like this, using a Google Chromecast can solve most of your problems, as the device is not awfully expensive and can turn any TV with an HDMI port into a Smart TV (sort of).

But what happens when, no matter what you do, you can’t seem to send the signal from your phone/computer to this nifty little gadget? You’re stuck watching your favorite content on a 5-inch screen, that’s what!

Something like this can happen as a result of a bad internet connection, a bug in your Chromecast’s coding, accidentally using different Wi-Fi networks and much more. If you’re determined to address this as quickly as possible, our guide for when Max is not casting to Chromecast can certainly help!

Tips and Guides

Now that we’ve covered virtually all the problems you might have to face while using this streaming service, let’s move on to exploring 6 useful guides that can teach you how to get the most out of it.

#1 Improving Your Experience

Some people say that Max sucks, and depending on the issues they’ve faced, they might be right.

If you got all the way down here, you’re probably aware now more than ever of the many problems that can arise while using this platform. And while they’re all very annoying, taking care of them is typically easy.

Please visit our guide on why Max sucks, and what you can do about it.

#2 Streaming on Discord

Streaming this platform’s content on other services is not only very difficult but actually “against the rules”, so to speak. And while here at Tech Detective we neither support nor condone illegal activity or piracy, I’d like to mention that there are some ways you can get around said restrictions.

Our guide on streaming Max on Discord without a black screen on Discord can walk you through this process.

Please only use this if you’re trying to watch something with other paying subscribers of the platform and not to share content illegally. Like Spider-Man once said, “with great power, comes great responsibility”.

#3 How to Change Language on Roku

If you own a Roku streaming system, you know how useful it can be to help you watch all sorts of online content.

This platform is one of the best solutions out there for entertainment, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not without its flaws. Sometimes, you might struggle to change the language of the system and your streaming services, which can ruin your experience until you manage to do it.

To stop looking everywhere for answers, please read our guide on how to change Max’s language on Roku.

#4 How to Skip the Who’s Watching Welcome Screen

If you don’t share your Max account with anyone else, it can be very annoying to be prompted with a “Who’s Watching?” Home Screen every time you launch the platform. And while it only takes a couple of seconds to log in, the whole situation is so unnecessary that it’s understandable that you want to do something about it.

To forget all about this in a single simple step, please take a look at our guide on skipping HBO Max’s “Who’s Watching?” screen.

#5 Getting Surround Sound Working

I can think of few things as frustrating as spending a ton of money on a brand-new surround sound system, only to realize that Max is not working with it.

A situation like this can take away a lot of the excitement and fun of streaming your favorite content on your recent purchase, and might even make your Buyer’s Remorse worse. But you can rest easy now, as our guide on getting surround sound working in Max will certainly help.

Don’t waste another second and check it out!

#6 How to Clear the “Continue Watching Section”

Lastly, let’s talk about the annoying “Continue Watching” section.

Although sometimes it might come in handy, in several other cases it just gets in the way and keeps you from navigating as quickly as you’d like on the platform. This can be annoying and inconvenient, which is the last thing you want from a service like this.

To get rid of it and improve the navigation flow, please read our guide to clearing your Max “Continue Watching” list or watch history.


That about covers it!

When Max is not working, what should be a relaxing streaming session on a weekend night can quickly turn into something that ruins the rest of your day.

Luckily, as I hope this piece has helped you better understand, addressing the most common causes behind this situation can be really easy and quick. In many cases, all you have to do to get things back to normal is relaunch the platform, update it, check your internet connection and the status of the company’s servers.

Thank you very much for sticking with me all the way to the end. If this article piqued your interest and proved useful, you’ll be glad to know that there’s new content to learn from every week. While we put the finishing touches to our latest work, please check out our other wonderful resources below to become a Tech Detective yourself!

I wish you all the best.

— Gerry.