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: nonet.info/fast/PL96C35uN7xGLLeET0dOWaKHkAlPsrkcha
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 Scott

    Måned siden

    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...

    • Culiynl


      17 dager siden


    • RanMind YT

      RanMind YT

      17 dager siden

      why do you private your videos before you upload them

    • Michael Conroy

      Michael Conroy

      23 dager siden

      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.

    • NoobKing


      27 dager siden


    • PrxjectMeme


      29 dager siden

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

  2. Paulo Lukeny

    Paulo Lukeny

    13 timer siden

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

  3. Windows 10X

    Windows 10X

    15 timer siden

    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%

  4. SuperPlayer56 Gaming

    SuperPlayer56 Gaming

    17 timer siden

    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!

  5. dick harambe

    dick harambe

    18 timer siden

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

  6. Ruelle Heroux

    Ruelle Heroux

    Dag siden

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

  7. ProHolmes


    Dag siden

    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.

  8. shmo247


    Dag siden

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

  9. Thot Slayer 420

    Thot Slayer 420

    2 dager siden

    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

  10. kalle anka

    kalle anka

    3 dager siden

    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

  11. RamennBowls


    3 dager siden

    "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...

  12. Reese606


    4 dager siden

    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

  13. Ask Master

    Ask Master

    4 dager siden

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

  14. Adam Cogley

    Adam Cogley

    4 dager siden


  15. gunship sequel budyboy

    gunship sequel budyboy

    4 dager siden

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

  16. YaBoy •

    YaBoy •

    4 dager siden

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

  17. Vex989


    5 dager siden

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

  18. agustinbs


    6 dager siden

    Are you reporting from 1998?

  19. DG Secret

    DG Secret

    6 dager siden

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

  20. Peto


    6 dager siden


  21. KoGa


    7 dager siden

    "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.

  22. Rory M

    Rory M

    7 dager siden

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

  23. P Church

    P Church

    7 dager siden

    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

  24. GigaGame


    7 dager siden

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



    7 dager siden

    Why this guy is soo much underrated

  26. karehaqt


    7 dager siden

    Good old Microsoft Minutes

  27. Deconimus


    8 dager siden

    How was the halting problem not mentioned in this video?

  28. KysterPSY


    8 dager siden

    Loved the Sopranos kinda ending.

  29. Pat Smash

    Pat Smash

    9 dager siden

    My loading bar just goes backwards

  30. Chane


    11 dager siden

    looking at you STEAM

  31. A Skellington

    A Skellington

    11 dager siden


  32. Yajihba


    11 dager siden

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

  33. Lordlouckster


    12 dager siden

    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!

  34. Hasan A

    Hasan A

    12 dager siden

    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.

  35. Sideways


    12 dager siden

    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😅

  36. Eeee


    12 dager siden

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

  37. Viktória Vadon

    Viktória Vadon

    13 dager siden

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

  38. Frog 4096

    Frog 4096

    13 dager siden

    3:42 Looking at you, Windows 10

  39. Samson Kinyanjui

    Samson Kinyanjui

    13 dager siden

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

  40. Riley Carpenter

    Riley Carpenter

    14 dager siden


  41. mozl83


    14 dager siden

    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.).

  42. Cameron Figgins

    Cameron Figgins

    14 dager siden

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

  43. Zari Hanssen

    Zari Hanssen

    14 dager siden

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

  44. Butter of Sorrow

    Butter of Sorrow

    15 dager siden

    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.

  45. French Comprehensible Input

    French Comprehensible Input

    15 dager siden

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

  46. Helio Gonzalez

    Helio Gonzalez

    15 dager siden


  47. Silksong Date

    Silksong Date

    15 dager siden

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

  48. SoftBunnyCreations Vibing

    SoftBunnyCreations Vibing

    16 dager siden


  49. pencilchat


    16 dager siden

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

  50. Zoltan


    16 dager siden

    ▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓░ 94%

  51. Eugene Lo

    Eugene Lo

    16 dager siden

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

  52. Cypress


    16 dager siden

    is this the guy who says “xnyopit”

  53. fossar _

    fossar _

    16 dager siden

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

  54. Tomáš Lipták

    Tomáš Lipták

    17 dager siden

    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.

  55. youtubeusername


    17 dager siden

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

  56. The cheese

    The cheese

    17 dager siden

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

  57. Pawit Ninnabodee

    Pawit Ninnabodee

    17 dager siden

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

  58. RanMind YT

    RanMind YT

    17 dager siden

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

  59. wozerD


    17 dager siden


  60. Leo Telles

    Leo Telles

    17 dager siden

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

  61. AK Nephtali

    AK Nephtali

    17 dager siden

    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!

  62. SYS


    17 dager siden

    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.

  63. BlurryPirate


    17 dager siden


  64. Phill Wainewright

    Phill Wainewright

    17 dager siden

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

  65. Stipe Poljak

    Stipe Poljak

    18 dager siden

    Intro music from the Chase?

  66. HowDeeDoo


    18 dager siden

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

  67. whadup


    18 dager siden

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

  68. Kebbo


    18 dager siden


  69. John Southfield

    John Southfield

    18 dager siden

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

  70. Lambor_ghini


    19 dager siden

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

  71. Bubba Games

    Bubba Games

    19 dager siden

    The video progress bar is half a second off

  72. Haydenex


    19 dager siden

    Loading Comment ■■■■□□□□

  73. Zak Fallows

    Zak Fallows

    19 dager siden

    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.

  74. Cristian Martinez

    Cristian Martinez

    19 dager siden

    why a linguistic knows computing, that aint fair

  75. Paul Potter

    Paul Potter

    19 dager siden

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

  76. jeremiaas15


    19 dager siden

    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.

  77. LRC


    19 dager siden

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

  78. AsrithTechsys


    19 dager siden

    Are you anyway realated to Linus Torvalds?

  79. TROVEN


    19 dager siden

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

  80. Sara Olmstead

    Sara Olmstead

    19 dager siden

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

  81. Thaer Razeq

    Thaer Razeq

    20 dager siden

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

  82. Craig Smith

    Craig Smith

    20 dager siden

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

  83. Abhinav Dev

    Abhinav Dev

    20 dager siden

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

  84. Simon T

    Simon T

    20 dager siden

    This is a repost?

  85. Snowjix


    20 dager siden

    3:42 Too real Tom..

  86. HP Gummy

    HP Gummy

    20 dager siden

    I didn't need to know this

  87. Ariel Zabihi

    Ariel Zabihi

    21 dag siden

    Do one on browser compilers and header data

  88. DoubleDS9


    21 dag siden

    Excellent! Thank you.

  89. Cj Slime

    Cj Slime

    21 dag siden

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

  90. Phung Ngoc Quynh

    Phung Ngoc Quynh

    21 dag siden

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

  91. Shakhzod Mukhammadiev

    Shakhzod Mukhammadiev

    21 dag siden

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

  92. Candy Vargas

    Candy Vargas

    21 dag siden

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

    • Dino Hall

      Dino Hall

      18 dager siden

      Am I supposed to know what this means?

  93. Hayato Tenryuu

    Hayato Tenryuu

    21 dag siden

    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.

  94. Brando Calrisian

    Brando Calrisian

    21 dag siden

    Beware the perfectly smooth progress bar, got it. Great advice, thanks, i had no idea about any of this!

  95. Bedrock Yams

    Bedrock Yams

    21 dag siden


  96. HarD To Grind

    HarD To Grind

    21 dag siden


  97. Free Wolf

    Free Wolf

    22 dager siden


  98. Evan Ouk

    Evan Ouk

    22 dager siden

    The moaning titanium resultantly fax because verdict only push between a loving bonsai. flippant, tired promotion

  99. Edmund Wisell

    Edmund Wisell

    22 dager siden

    The tired family postnatally crash because cartoon rahilly wail except a testy bail. dreary, truthful railway

  100. Juan Hernandez

    Juan Hernandez

    22 dager siden

    The sordid backbone conceptually listen because airplane intuitively tug to a eatable bolt. empty, humdrum octopus