Why Progress Bars Don't Move Smoothly ▓▓▓░░░░░░

4 minutes remaining. Then 15 seconds. Then 5 hours. Why can't computers just tell you how long something's going to take? • MORE BASICS: hrhave.info/both/PL96C35uN7xGLLeET0dOWaKHkAlPsrkcha.html
Written with Sean Elliott SeanMElliott/ • Graphics by William Marler wmad.co.uk
I'm at tomscott.com
on Twitter at tomscott
on Facebook at tomscott
and on Instagram as tomscottgo


  1. Tom Scott

    Tom ScottPrije mjesec

    I'm having to film back in the Tiny Room against green-screen again, as lockdown means the Centre for Computing History is closed! Hopefully they'll be open again soon, although that depends on a very different kind of progress...

  2. Culiynl

    CuliynlPrije 20 dana


  3. RanMind YT

    RanMind YTPrije 21 dan

    why do you private your videos before you upload them

  4. Michael Conroy

    Michael ConroyPrije 27 dana

    How did you put in the time estimate of this video in the script as you were recoring? I slowed down the video speed to .25 but can't see where you may have stitched two takes together.

  5. NoobKing

    NoobKingPrije mjesec


  6. PrxjectMeme

    PrxjectMemePrije mjesec

    Why does my phone tell me that this comment was posted before the video was?

  7. Kreyk 29

    Kreyk 29Prije sat

    The reason why don't they move smoothly is that they are not straight, we look at them and don't even think about the third dimension

  8. szubert - max

    szubert - maxPrije 23 sati

    1:57 maybe 4 different loading bars? For each process?

  9. Philippe Futureboy

    Philippe FutureboyPrije dan

    I didn’t expect that Tom Scott.exe could be rebooted. The more you know 🌟

  10. theawesomness07

    theawesomness07Prije dan

    Among Us downloading task be like: Estimated time: 4 days *2 seconds later* Estimated time: 6 seconds

  11. Christoph Southwell

    Christoph SouthwellPrije 2 dana

    Gosh Tom, call me out why don't you!

  12. ike

    ikePrije 2 dana

    I like to combine the speed in rate of transfer or time remaining while also having my harddrive light & CPU task manager to see which is bottle-necking at what point. This is a form of entertainment I guess

  13. flex

    flexPrije 3 dana

    I love the bars that stop at 100% for 10 minutes or so

  14. Paulo Lukeny

    Paulo LukenyPrije 3 dana

    What is this golden piece of chanel that just dropped on my recommendations, SUBBED!

  15. Windows 10X

    Windows 10XPrije 4 dana

    It’s actually placebo its jus randomly stoping at random intervals and thats why it stops at 99% cuz it’s actually at 70% or 50% or maybe even 30%

  16. SuperPlayer56 Gaming

    SuperPlayer56 GamingPrije 4 dana

    Things to do do, to make progress bar faster: Buy an ssd Upgrade ram (and probably buy more ram than you have on a computer) Buy better proccesor Buy better router/modem and get faster internet Buy faster hdd(s) Install linux Congratulations!!! Your game/program now loads/downloads/installs faster!

  17. dick harambe

    dick harambePrije 4 dana

    Working on updates 2% complete 1 hour later Working on updates 10% complete Working on updates 100% complete

  18. Ruelle Heroux

    Ruelle HerouxPrije 5 dana

    Can i express how perfectly aligned the timer is in video to the HRhave timer?

  19. ProHolmes

    ProHolmesPrije 5 dana

    I just like windows' there are 7 years left for finish copying your files. While showing me the speed and amount of data left, which definitely won't be 7 years if i divide data amount by speed.

  20. shmo247

    shmo247Prije 5 dana

    Modern warfare updates: 1%.......2%.........not enough storage delete 148gb of data

  21. Thot Slayer 420

    Thot Slayer 420Prije 5 dana

    what about a 2D progress block, width for data (so maybe mb or gb) and height for file count, never seen one, just thought of it

  22. kalle anka

    kalle ankaPrije 6 dana

    Best solution would be to put a title to every segemt of the progress bar. Anyone who watches porn on the hub will have found this out. If you dont care about foreplay you know exactly on te second to skip to, to skip that part. So for a progress bar for a install. Just title the segement so that we know what part the computer is working on and we know what we might think of upgrading

  23. RamennBowls

    RamennBowlsPrije 6 dana

    "The most important job is to reassure that yes, things are happening, progress it being made" That moment when the progress bar is stuck at 99% for about 28 minutes...

  24. Reese606

    Reese606Prije 7 dana

    The only accurate progress bar is the 3DS one And no, not the blue one The one when your digitally downloading a game off of the eShop

  25. Ask Master

    Ask MasterPrije 7 dana

    100% ... Restarting... 30% .... ... .. 58% ............... 79% ................ 100% .................................................................... Aaaaand it crashed

  26. Adam Cogley

    Adam CogleyPrije 8 dana


  27. gunship sequel budyboy

    gunship sequel budyboyPrije 8 dana

    you should create a program that changes the line on the video

  28. YaBoy •

    YaBoy •Prije 8 dana

    Putting my finger over the progress bar to see if its moving

  29. Vex989

    Vex989Prije 8 dana

    Steam installing a game be like: 1 minute left -- 2 hours left -- 5 days left -- 6 minutes left

  30. agustinbs

    agustinbsPrije 10 dana

    Are you reporting from 1998?

  31. DG Secret

    DG SecretPrije 10 dana

    Tom Scott : Why Progress Bars Don't Move Smoothly Me : Wondering why the progress bar on the title doesn't move

  32. Peto

    PetoPrije 10 dana


  33. KoGa

    KoGaPrije 10 dana

    "Why can't computers just tell me how long something is going to take?" Because progress bars don't show you time... they show (suprise!) progress.

  34. Rory M

    Rory MPrije 10 dana

    Shout out to those 99 years that I was told it was gonna take for my game to open when I was 8.

  35. P Church

    P ChurchPrije 10 dana

    This is why I leave and do something else when I’m downloading something. If it takes 5 minutes or 2 hours I’ll have something nice to come back to once I remember

  36. GigaGame

    GigaGamePrije 11 dana

    who needs a progress bar when u have a gaming fridge that can download anything almost instantaneously


    YY YELLOWPrije 11 dana

    Why this guy is soo much underrated

  38. karehaqt

    karehaqtPrije 11 dana

    Good old Microsoft Minutes

  39. Deconimus

    DeconimusPrije 12 dana

    How was the halting problem not mentioned in this video?

  40. KysterPSY

    KysterPSYPrije 12 dana

    Loved the Sopranos kinda ending.

  41. Pat Smash

    Pat SmashPrije 12 dana

    My loading bar just goes backwards

  42. Chane

    ChanePrije 14 dana

    looking at you STEAM

  43. A Skellington

    A SkellingtonPrije 15 dana


  44. Yajihba

    YajihbaPrije 15 dana

    Someone tell computer making people to put this when turning on a computer after shutting it down

  45. Lordlouckster

    LordloucksterPrije 15 dana

    Solution: Have individual progress bars for each step. Step 1/4: 10% Step 1/4: 20% ... Step 1/4: 100% Step 2/4: 10% Step 2/4: 20% ... Step 4/4: 90% Step 4/4: Done!

  46. Hasan A

    Hasan APrije 15 dana

    The one thing I wish I could do when it came to downloading something is allocate as much resources to downloading as possible. I love that you can still Watch Netflix, have a conference call, and edit a video in Adobe After affects, while downloading somthing, but sometimes I just want to download something, walk away and have the computer just worry about downloading or moving the file.

  47. Sideways

    SidewaysPrije 15 dana

    This is the corollary to Windows 10 offering to kill any app that takes more than 15 seconds to do something - apparently Windows isn’t seeing a progress bar😅

  48. Eeee

    EeeePrije 15 dana

    Bar: 1% to 99% : 20 minutes Bar: 99% to 100% : *10 hours*

  49. Viktória Vadon

    Viktória VadonPrije 16 dana

    I agree, as long as the progress bar is moving (and not backwards!), I know something is happening!

  50. Frog 4096

    Frog 4096Prije 16 dana

    3:42 Looking at you, Windows 10

  51. Samson Kinyanjui

    Samson KinyanjuiPrije 17 dana

    /////// / / / / / / / / / / / / / 10more years ///////// / / / / / / / / / / / 30more seconds

  52. Riley Carpenter

    Riley CarpenterPrije 17 dana


  53. mozl83

    mozl83Prije 17 dana

    That's also why many programmers have gone the other way and just show "progress indicator" instead of progress bars. Like the spinning wheel on Windows. It just shows that the PC didn't freeze and is still working, but you don't have any indication on how long it's going to take. Also if "time" isn't a parameter itself then the progress bar can never be give you a proper "remaining time". A countdown is always accurate because the time itself is the parameter that makes it work. Filetransfer ist based on the files and not on the time, so it will finish when it is finished, not when a certain amount of seconds have passed (like the queue in the supermarket. Fewer people doesn't mean the line is faster. There are just fewer people in front of you.).

  54. Cameron Figgins

    Cameron FigginsPrije 18 dana

    Minecraft’s progress bar be like: And I took that personally

  55. Zari Hanssen

    Zari HanssenPrije 18 dana

    Loading time estimates be like: 20 minutes 4 seconds 45 minutes 5 minutes 999999 hours

  56. Butter of Sorrow

    Butter of SorrowPrije 18 dana

    Personally I like loading screens that tell you what exactly they're doing, like most source and goldsource engine games. "Validating game resources." "Sending client info." That kind of thing.

  57. French Comprehensible Input

    French Comprehensible InputPrije 19 dana

    100% done = 90% done *Adobe Premiere users* will understand 😂

  58. Helio Gonzalez

    Helio GonzalezPrije 19 dana


  59. Silksong Date

    Silksong DatePrije 19 dana

    4:48 smh now you'll have to record everything from the start rippppp

  60. SoftBunnyCreations Vibing

    SoftBunnyCreations VibingPrije 19 dana


  61. pencilchat

    pencilchatPrije 19 dana

    my monitor froze during a download once, so i thought it took 4 hours to get a 20mb download done.

  62. Zoltan

    ZoltanPrije 19 dana

    ▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓░ 94%

  63. Eugene Lo

    Eugene LoPrije 19 dana

    Imagine the progress bar in the title is how long Tom Scott's life is

  64. Cypress

    CypressPrije 20 dana

    is this the guy who says “xnyopit”

  65. fossar _

    fossar _Prije 20 dana

    Is it just me or was the audio an video out of sync (I'm assuming deliberately)? If so nice choice.

  66. Tomáš Lipták

    Tomáš LiptákPrije 20 dana

    I think the best loading screens are when there are actually two (think winrar) one for the whole process and the other for individual processes. From there you can see that it is actually doing something.

  67. youtubeusername

    youtubeusernamePrije 20 dana

    Pov: you kept checking your scroll bar through out the video

  68. The cheese

    The cheesePrije 20 dana

    Me when I tilt my phone facing down and the progress bars start moving again.

  69. Pawit Ninnabodee

    Pawit NinnabodeePrije 20 dana

    The absent water posteriorly impress because lion constitutively polish worth a hapless priest. determined, rotten kite

  70. RanMind YT

    RanMind YTPrije 21 dan

    What is the 1% that’s taking so long to load

  71. wozerD

    wozerDPrije 21 dan


  72. Leo Telles

    Leo TellesPrije 21 dan

    You look young and old at the same time. That's a real mistyr to me, you should make a video about it!

  73. AK Nephtali

    AK NephtaliPrije 21 dan

    The worst thing is when it goes to 99% immediately and then stays there for what feels like a millennium. Thank you for explaining this in your usual awesome way!

  74. SYS

    SYSPrije 21 dan

    A thing the program could do to resolve, or at least find a more smooth load, is by logging the time, taking the estimated time that it took, and telling you that number. If it was a game, it could show how long it had taken the last 10 times, (assuming you would've loaded it that many times), and let's say a file upload, it could track how long it would take for 100 files, and estimate the amount of time, that this would take because its 10x times larger, or half the size = it would be 10 times longer or ½ times faster.

  75. BlurryPirate

    BlurryPiratePrije 21 dan


  76. Phill Wainewright

    Phill WainewrightPrije 21 dan

    Dropbox "Time Remaining" when uploading a video is a complete work of fiction.

  77. Stipe Poljak

    Stipe PoljakPrije 21 dan

    Intro music from the Chase?

  78. HowDeeDoo

    HowDeeDooPrije 21 dan

    Steam update estimation times. 3 minutes, 7 minutes, 18 minutes, 2 hours, 17 hours... 12 seconds.

  79. whadup

    whadupPrije 22 dana

    I cant be the only one that was annoyed that the two progress bars didn't match perfectly 😁

  80. Kebbo

    KebboPrije 22 dana


  81. John Southfield

    John SouthfieldPrije 22 dana

    The gaudy grip monthly hand because relish spectacularly apologise through a private cost. watery, pricey continent

  82. Lambor_ghini

    Lambor_ghiniPrije 22 dana

    Progress screens can lock up and fool you to wait forever but ultimately you have to reset the computer..

  83. Bubba Games

    Bubba GamesPrije 22 dana

    The video progress bar is half a second off

  84. Haydenex

    HaydenexPrije 22 dana

    Loading Comment ■■■■□□□□

  85. Zak Fallows

    Zak FallowsPrije 22 dana

    I have four letters for you: RTOS. A Real Time Operating System (RTOS) provides hard or soft guarantees of how long a program will take, in instruction cycles. Sometimes this is critically important, for instance if the machine is doing quantitative chemistry and it needs to error out if the reaction time wasn't very close to 90 seconds. It's fun stuff.

  86. Cristian Martinez

    Cristian MartinezPrije 22 dana

    why a linguistic knows computing, that aint fair

  87. Paul Potter

    Paul PotterPrije 23 dana

    Who else checked that the video progress bar was in sync?

  88. jeremiaas15

    jeremiaas15Prije 23 dana

    What I'd like to know is, how is it possible that progress bars always show, even if for a split second, 100%. Surely, if that were truth, the next thing would pop up instead.

  89. LRC

    LRCPrije 23 dana

    I love it when a simple download says "2 years remaining" or "∞ time remaining".

  90. AsrithTechsys

    AsrithTechsysPrije 23 dana

    Are you anyway realated to Linus Torvalds?

  91. TROVEN

    TROVENPrije 23 dana

    Who else leave cursor at the edge of the progress bar to see if its actually moving?

  92. Sara Olmstead

    Sara OlmsteadPrije 23 dana

    The ugliest geranium invariably retire because client fortuitously muddle round a unbecoming hyena. oceanic, assorted oxygen

  93. Thaer Razeq

    Thaer RazeqPrije 23 dana

    Always, stuck at the dreaded 99% or 100% more so than the previous 98% or 99% combined.

  94. Craig Smith

    Craig SmithPrije 23 dana

    Large cache SSD and a modern high core CPU like Ryzen 9 or 10+ core i9. RIP, progress bar existence

  95. Abhinav Dev

    Abhinav DevPrije 23 dana

    When they do move smoothly It is the most satisfying thing in this world.

  96. Simon T

    Simon TPrije 23 dana

    This is a repost?

  97. Snowjix

    SnowjixPrije 24 dana

    3:42 Too real Tom..

  98. HP Gummy

    HP GummyPrije 24 dana

    I didn't need to know this

  99. Ariel Zabihi

    Ariel ZabihiPrije 24 dana

    Do one on browser compilers and header data

  100. DoubleDS9

    DoubleDS9Prije 24 dana

    Excellent! Thank you.

  101. Cj Slime

    Cj SlimePrije 24 dana

    I can understand why they change but the lock at 99.9 percent complete is annoying

  102. Phung Ngoc Quynh

    Phung Ngoc QuynhPrije 24 dana

    The big decade virtually reject because polish fortunately bounce around a onerous sycamore. rampant, defeated sunday

  103. Shakhzod Mukhammadiev

    Shakhzod MukhammadievPrije 24 dana

    *Good ol' floppy drives "3%.... 4%.... 98% DONE"*

  104. Candy Vargas

    Candy VargasPrije 24 dana

    The dramatic mother undeniably scare because coat wailly prepare in a second owner. sincere, elegant police

  105. Dino Hall

    Dino HallPrije 22 dana

    Am I supposed to know what this means?

  106. Hayato Tenryuu

    Hayato TenryuuPrije 25 dana

    Maybe Windows just decides to restart itself in order to install an update that I don't care about, and would actually rather I didn't have to have.