HBO Max Not Working for You? Here’s How to Fix It

How To Fix HBO Max Not Working

HBO is popular in cable television and is by far the oldest TV service operating to this day. In the premium cable industry age, HBO Max has adapted and reinvented itself to keep up to speed with the age of streaming. HBO Max is a product of that. It provides you with a range of different kinds of shows, movies, and other entertainment that you can enjoy from the comfort of your HBO Max compatible devices.

However, like any other streaming service, it too can face issues. This can be quite annoying and troublesome when you simply want to relax, but HBO Max is down. But, no fear! If HBO Max is not working for you, there can only be a few reasons why. Down below, you will find all the possible causes of it not working and ways that you can fix those issues. 

What’s the issue?

HBO Max Not Working

When there is an issue, and your HBO Max won’t load, there can be many reasons why. Not knowing the reason can be difficult because you don’t know how to solve the issue. Here we have laid out all the possible reasons that HBO Max might not be working. 

If you go through this list, you will most definitely be able to recognize the issue and resolve it. 

Server issue

Server issues often affect the video playback on HBO Max, due to which HBO Max can’t play video. Additionally, HBO could also be having network issues. These are inevitable, and if you cannot connect to HBO Max, it is possible that their servers are not online. 

TV glitch

If HBO Max is not working on your Samsung tv, there may be a glitch within your TV. With all smart devices, glitches happen, and they may cause hindrances when connecting to streaming services. This issue is especially pronounced if you use the Native HBO Max app on your smart TV. 

Browser incompatibility

If you face issues when streaming content from HBO Max, one possible reason could be that the browser you are using is not compatible with the app itself and how it plays video. This issue is seen mainly with the Brave browser because it is designed to handle adaptive video playback quality a little differently from other browsers. 

Missing flash sub-protocol

If your default browser is Microsoft Edge or Microsoft Internet Explorer, there are chances that you might face issues in streaming content from HBO Max. The reason behind this is the fact that these two browsers are missing the flash sub-protocol.

Error Code 321, 100 and 420

Error Code 321 often pops up when you use HBO Max from an out-of-service area. These restricted areas do not have HBO Max available, and even using a VPN cannot solve these errors. 

Sound Issues

It ever so often happens that a movie or show will play without sound. These issues can be caused by many different things such as Wi-Fi issues, media player issues, issues with the specific movie, and more. If you are using Bluetooth to play the sound on another device, that too can cause sound problems. 

What to do?

What to do?

If you have identified the problem, the logical next step is to solve it. Here are a few ways that we believe that your HBO Max issues can be resolved.

Check for server issues.

If server issues are why your HBO Max is not working, it would be good to check whether or not the server is online. You can do this by checking the HBO Max network status page on DownDetector. 

If DownDectector says that HBO Max is down, then all you can do is wait because HBO Max won’t play until the server is back up. When an investigation has been launched, the servers will probably be up and running in some time. There is no need to waste your time trying to do anything else as it is an issue on HBO’s part and will hopefully be solved soon. 

Restart it

This is the most instinctual thing we do when anything is not working. If your HBO Max app is refusing to work, it might be a good idea to turn it off and then back on. By doing this, any software problems that the app might be having will be fixed. 

Restarting the app has the same effect, whether it is on your phone, tablet, or even smart TV. Some also use HBO Max on a computer, in a web browser. If that is you then, you can close the entire browser and open a new one. Then you can relocate to the HBO Max website, and it should fix the problem. 

If restarting the app does not work, you can also try shutting down the device you are using and then restarting it. This method might also fix any issues from the device’s end that may have been stopping HBO Max from working. 

Check your WiFi

Wi-Fi is often the culprit when your usual streaming devices don’t work as they should. If you are using Wi-Fi to run HBO Max, you should check whether or not your signals are strong enough to support video streaming

There is a lot of troubleshooting that can be done to check whether or not your internet connection is up for the heavy job of streaming video. A simple way to solve this is to move closer to your Wi-Fi router. Additionally, you can also try using HBO Max on a different device because the internet might be working better from that device.

Rebooting your Wi-Fi router and cable modem is also a viable option if your internet is acting up. You can turn them both off and then restart them.

Cast HBO max from a different device

If the native app on your smart TV is not working, then it might be a good idea to try casting HBO max to your Chromecast from your android or iOS device. Casting allows you to use HBO Max on your phone and have it playing on your TV. 

You can cast HBO Max through Chromecast or Airplay, depending on the kind of device you own. Chromecast works for Android devices, while Airplay is for phones using iOS. 

If you are unsure how to cast HBO max to your tv, here are the instructions.

How to cast from Chromecast

If you have an android device, you can connect your phone to your TV via the Chromecast device. Here is how to do it.

  • Ensure that both your Android device and Chromecast device are connected to the same Wi-Fi network
  • Configure your Chromecast device on your home network. This can be done using the Google Home app.
  • Once your Chromecast is configured successfully, open up HBO Max on your phone.
  • Switch your TV to the input channel that Chromecast is attached to.
  • On the HBO Max phone on your phone, select the TV show or movie you want to watch.
  • Tap the cast button that appears on the top of the screen. It looks like a tilted wifi signal emerging from a rectangle. 
  • Select the Chromecast device from the options that pop up.

How to cast from Airplay

If your device is an Apple device, it uses iOS, and iOS devices use Airplay to connect to your TV. Here is how you cast HBO Max using AirPlay.

  • Ensure that Airplay is enabled on your device and is compatible with it.
  • Open HBO Max on your iOS device
  • Choose the tv show or movie you want to watch.
  • Tap the AirPlay button that appears on the top of the screen at the right.
  • Choose the device that you want to cast the video onto. 

Enable the HBO Max video playback in Brave browser

Enable the HBO Max video playback in Brave browser

Some browsers, such as the Brave browser, do not allow you to stream content from sites such as HBO Max. The reasoning behind this is an unresolved video playback issue. This issue is specific to the Brave browser. This browser is designed in a way to handle adaptive video playback quality differently from others. 

There is a very easy way to solve this issue. The solution involves creating a dedicated shortcut. Along with that, you will have to modify the target field. By doing so, the Video Playback Quality is enabled by default.

Here are some specific steps that allow you to resolve this issue instantly.

  • Locate your Brave browser shortcut
  • Right-click on the shortcut
  • Choose ‘Create Shortcut’
  • Rename this shortcut ‘Brav HBO Max Shortcut.’ Renaming it helps differentiate it from the one that you are actively using.
  • Right-click on the new shortcut.
  • Click on ‘Properties’
  • Select the ‘Shortcut’ tab
  • In the Target field, enter this line of code: –enable-features=VideoPlaybackQuality
  • Click Apply

Change browsers

There are a few browsers that have a few video streaming essentials missing. This can cause an issue when trying to run HBO Max on them. The best bet for you would be to use HBO Max on a different 3rd party browser

HBO Max uses a new Flash sub-protocol that the Microsoft browsers such as Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer both actively block. There is no way around this issue so, you will have to migrate to a different browser that supports HBO Max Playback. 

Clearing cache

If all the above methods have not resolved the issue that you are facing with HBO Max, then maybe you could try clearing out the app’s cache. 

It is quite simple to clear the cache if you have an Android device. Follow these steps if you want to clear the cache off of your device:

  • Open the Settings app
  • Go to Apps and Notifications
  • Navigate to the list of Apps
  • Locate HBO Max
  • Tap the ‘storage and cache’ option
  • Tap ‘Clear cache.’

This method works perfectly for Android devices. If you use an iPhone, you cannot manually clear the app’s cache. Instead, you can uninstall the HBO Max app and then re-install it. 

Update HBO Max on your devices

Using the latest version of HBO Max can also resolve issues if you have any. If you are not, you can simply navigate to the play store on Android devices and App Store on iOS devices and update HBO Max from there. 

You can usually tell that the app needs to be updated if there is an option available on the play store and app store to do so.

Turn off your VPN

HBO Max does not offer its services all around the globe. There are only a few countries that enjoy HBO Max. Some might assume that using a VPN can solve that issue. It can’t. 

If you are using a VPN to access HBO Max, and it is not working, check to see whether or not HBO Max operates in your region. If it does not, then chances are that it will not work even with a VPN.

However, if your area offers HBO Max and you are still using a VPN, try turning it off from the settings and then restarting the app. The 321, 100, or 420 error codes should vanish right away.

Lower the number of devices using HBO Max

Depending on the plan you are using, you may or may not be able to stream HBO Max from another device because there are only a limited number of HBO Max screens available with each subscription. Check the screens you are allowed by selecting your profile icon and navigating to the ‘Manage Devices.’

You can either stop streaming on devices or log out of the ones you no longer use. 


Not accessing a subscription that you paid for can be frustrating. However, if your HBO Max can’t connect, there can only be a few reasons why. Whether it be a 100 error or a browser issue, this article lists all the problems and their solutions so that you can have a worry-free watching experience

Happy watching!

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Abdul Wahab is a Software Engineer by profession and a Tech geek by nature. Having been associated with the tech industry for the last five years, he has covered a wide range of Tech topics and produced well-researched and engaging content. You will mostly find him reviewing tech products and writing blog posts. Binge-watching tech reviews and endlessly reading tech blogs are his favorite hobbies.