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How to fix “waiting for available socket” in Google Chrome browser?

By Emmanuel Dairo | August 10, 2020 |

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Google Chrome is pretty much synonymous with web browsing on Windows. Since it supplanted Internet Explorer as the leading browser for the OS, it has shown no signs of slowing down. Thanks to the dedicated development team that keeps adding useful features, the dominance of Chrome is likely to continue for the foreseeable future.

Despite its stranglehold on web browsing, Chrome is not without its detractors. Many people complain that it is a resource hog. Prolonged use of the browser on Windows tends to make a PC noticeably slower, especially when many tabs are open. Moreover, there are reports that certain errors often appear on Chrome where they wouldn’t happen in another browser.

One of these errors is the “Waiting for available sockets” notification when streaming media with multiple tabs open. This error can cause the browser to stop working. Moreover, the audio or video or game being streamed freezes and the user is unable to resume it.

This guide explains how to fix the ‘Waiting for available sockets’ error in Windows 10.

What Does “Waiting for Available Sockets” in Google Chrome Mean?

Chromium-based browsers like Chrome allow no more than six connections to be in use at the same time. Any extra connection will stay idle until a slot is free after which it becomes active.

It can happen that a user streams several media files at the same time, using more than six media or audio tags. In such cases, the 7th media tag will remain idle. When one of the connections in use becomes free, this idle tag may fail to connect automatically, leading to the “Waiting for available sockets” error notification in Chrome.

How to Fix the “Waiting for Available Sockets” Error in Chrome

Does the “Waiting for available sockets” error message show up in Chrome as the browser freezes when streaming media? Don’t worry because the error can be solved through several ways. Check out the various fixes below for this annoying issue.

Restart Chrome

The “Waiting for available sockets” error in Chrome could be due to a bug that warrants restarting the browser to fix it. Doing so will be a small inconvenience if the problem goes away and you can listen to audio as you like or view images and videos.

You don’t have to close your open tabs either. Chrome will automatically reload all your tabs when you launch the browser again. So, close Chrome, wait for a minute, and open it again.

That should fix the issue.

Reload Chrome Tabs

If a Chrome reboot doesn’t eliminate the bug, you may need to reload individual tabs. If you have more than six tabs open at the same time, you may need to manually force the browser to make a connection socket available to the tab you are currently focused on.

Right-click anywhere within the tab whose content isn’t producing audio, video or images and select Reload. Your issue should be resolved, at least for that individual Chrome tab.

Though this bug isn’t so frequent in Chrome, it happens nonetheless. Usually, you can open dozens of tabs in the browser without any negative effects (except perhaps on system performance). However, when this issue surfaces, you might want to consider reducing the number of open tabs during the browsing session.

Use a Third-Party Audio Tool

When you are streaming multiple media files at the same time in Chrome, the browser allots a socket connection for each file up to six simultaneous connections. In the event that Chrome couldn’t handle the load and suddenly freezes, third-party audio tools can come to the rescue.

Here, we mention two popular audio tools that can help you avoid Chrome’s “Waiting for available sockets” issue and make your media streaming experience a blast:

  • Web Audio API. This versatile program from Mozilla lets you easily control audio play on several open connections in Chrome. You can add or remove audio effects and edit audio sources to your heart’s content. With it, you can create audio visualization effects and even add spatial touches.
  • This popular Javascript tool brings next-level audio streaming to the table. It is a very dynamic tool that brings cross-browser sound compatibility to game streaming and media playback.

Flush Open Sockets

You can get the “Waiting for available sockets” error in Chrome when the connection sockets get overloaded. Freeing up the sockets can resolve this issue for good. Flushing the sockets will make them available for your connection.

  • Type “Chrome://net-internal” (no quotes) into the address bar and hit the Enter key. This will open the hidden connections settings page.
  • In the left pane of the Chrome connection settings page, select Sockets.
  • In the main window, click the Flush Socket Pools button.

You have now flushed the open sockets in Chrome. To ensure that your changes have an effect, close Chrome and relaunch it. The bug should be resolved.

Clear Cache and Cookies in Chrome

The socket error in Chrome Browser can also be caused or worsened because of corrupt cookies and cache data. Cookies are used to load website elements faster while cache files contain data related to previously loaded content. If these files become corrupt, the web page might have a problem loading them.

Another reason for the socket error is huge cache files. You can resolve this by clearing cookies and cache data in Chrome. Follow the steps below to do so and solve the bug:

  • Open Chrome and click the Menu icon. It is the three vertical dots at the top-right corner of the browser.
  • In the Chrome main menu, select Settings.
  • Scroll down the Settings page to the Privacy and Security section. You can also quickly select Privacy and Security in the left menu pane.
  • Under Privacy and Security, select “Clear browsing data”.
  • Make sure that “Cookies and other site data” and “Cached images and files” are selected in the “Clear browsing data” dialog.
  • Click Clear Data to wipe cookies and cache files from Chrome.

When the cookies and cache wipe is complete, close Chrome and relaunch it. You should now be able to enjoy audio, video and other media files in the browser without the “Waiting for available sockets” error message showing up.

It is recommended to periodically clear cache and cookies in your browsers to maintain good performance levels. If you use several browsers on your PC, manually clearing browser data can become tedious very quickly. You can save yourself all the time and trouble by using a tool like Auslogics BoostSpeed to keep your PC and browsers performing at optimal condition.

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Clear Browser Extensions

Sometimes, due to misunderstanding or not reading the terms and conditions, bad extensions and toolbars can get added to Chrome. These add-ons do a lot of damaging stuff in the background which can also cause the available sockets error.

You can open the Extensions window in Chrome settings to see a list of all installed extensions and toolbars. Depending on which ones are installed, you may need to remove parent apps from Programs & Features to uninstall the extension.

  • Open Chrome and click the Menu icon.
  • Select More Tools > Extensions.
  • Review installed extensions and toolbars and delete the malicious ones.

Switch to Another Browser

If using third-party tools just to successfully get rid of Chrome errors isn’t your thing, you can just switch to another browser. Chromium, the open-source project on which the Chrome browser is based, is also used by several popular browsers. If you do decide to give alternative browsers a try, similar browsers like Microsoft Edge and Opera are good alternatives.

Conclusion

Those are the best methods to unfreeze Chrome when the “Waiting for available sockets” error happens. These methods will work for other Chromium browsers so feel free to use them in browsers like Edge and Opera as well.

Fed up with your slow PC? Tired of waiting for Windows to start up? Take a look at the most common reasons behind poor performance and the best ways to deal with them here.

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