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: isdowns.info/cold/PL96C35uN7xGLLeET0dOWaKHkAlPsrkcha.html
Written with Sean Elliott twitter.com/SeanMElliott/ • Graphics by William Marler wmad.co.uk
I'm at tomscott.com
on Twitter at twitter.com/tomscott
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and on Instagram as tomscottgo

  • Tom Scott
    Tom Scott

    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


    • RanMind YT
      RanMind YT

      why do you private your videos before you upload them

    • Michael Conroy
      Michael Conroy

      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


    • PrxjectMeme

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

  • szubert - max
    szubert - max

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

  • Philippe Futureboy
    Philippe Futureboy

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

  • theawesomness07

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

  • Christoph Southwell
    Christoph Southwell

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

  • ike

    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

  • flex

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

  • Paulo Lukeny
    Paulo Lukeny

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

  • Windows 10X
    Windows 10X

    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%

  • SuperPlayer56 Gaming
    SuperPlayer56 Gaming

    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!

  • dick harambe
    dick harambe

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

  • Ruelle Heroux
    Ruelle Heroux

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

  • ProHolmes

    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.

  • shmo247

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

  • Thot Slayer 420
    Thot Slayer 420

    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

  • kalle anka
    kalle anka

    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

  • RamennBowls

    "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...

  • Reese606

    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

  • Ask Master
    Ask Master

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

  • Adam Cogley
    Adam Cogley


  • gunship sequel budyboy
    gunship sequel budyboy

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

  • YaBoy •
    YaBoy •

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

  • Vex989

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

  • agustinbs

    Are you reporting from 1998?

  • DG Secret
    DG Secret

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

  • Peto


  • KoGa

    "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.

  • Rory M
    Rory M

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

  • P Church
    P Church

    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

  • GigaGame

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


    Why this guy is soo much underrated

  • karehaqt

    Good old Microsoft Minutes

  • Deconimus

    How was the halting problem not mentioned in this video?

  • KysterPSY

    Loved the Sopranos kinda ending.

  • Pat Smash
    Pat Smash

    My loading bar just goes backwards

  • Chane

    looking at you STEAM

  • A Skellington
    A Skellington


  • Yajihba

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

  • Lordlouckster

    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!

  • Hasan A
    Hasan A

    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.

  • Sideways

    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😅

  • Eeee

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

  • Viktória Vadon
    Viktória Vadon

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

  • Frog 4096
    Frog 4096

    3:42 Looking at you, Windows 10

  • Samson Kinyanjui
    Samson Kinyanjui

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

  • Riley Carpenter
    Riley Carpenter


  • mozl83

    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.).

  • Cameron Figgins
    Cameron Figgins

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

  • Zari Hanssen
    Zari Hanssen

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

  • Butter of Sorrow
    Butter of Sorrow

    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.

  • French Comprehensible Input
    French Comprehensible Input

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

  • Helio Gonzalez
    Helio Gonzalez


  • Silksong Date
    Silksong Date

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

  • SoftBunnyCreations Vibing
    SoftBunnyCreations Vibing


  • pencilchat

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

  • Zoltan

    ▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓░ 94%

  • Eugene Lo
    Eugene Lo

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

  • Cypress

    is this the guy who says “xnyopit”

  • fossar _
    fossar _

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

  • Tomáš Lipták
    Tomáš Lipták

    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.

  • youtubeusername

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

  • The cheese
    The cheese

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

  • Pawit Ninnabodee
    Pawit Ninnabodee

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

  • RanMind YT
    RanMind YT

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

  • wozerD


  • Leo Telles
    Leo Telles

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

  • AK Nephtali
    AK Nephtali

    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!

  • SYS

    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.

  • BlurryPirate


  • Phill Wainewright
    Phill Wainewright

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

  • Stipe Poljak
    Stipe Poljak

    Intro music from the Chase?

  • HowDeeDoo

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

  • whadup

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

  • Kebbo


  • John Southfield
    John Southfield

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

  • Lambor_ghini

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

  • Bubba Games
    Bubba Games

    The video progress bar is half a second off

  • Haydenex

    Loading Comment ■■■■□□□□

  • Zak Fallows
    Zak Fallows

    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.

  • Cristian Martinez
    Cristian Martinez

    why a linguistic knows computing, that aint fair

  • Paul Potter
    Paul Potter

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

  • jeremiaas15

    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.

  • LRC

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

  • AsrithTechsys

    Are you anyway realated to Linus Torvalds?


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

  • Sara Olmstead
    Sara Olmstead

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

  • Thaer Razeq
    Thaer Razeq

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

  • Craig Smith
    Craig Smith

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

  • Abhinav Dev
    Abhinav Dev

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

  • Simon T
    Simon T

    This is a repost?

  • Snowjix

    3:42 Too real Tom..

  • HP Gummy
    HP Gummy

    I didn't need to know this

  • Ariel Zabihi
    Ariel Zabihi

    Do one on browser compilers and header data

  • DoubleDS9

    Excellent! Thank you.

  • Cj Slime
    Cj Slime

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

  • Phung Ngoc Quynh
    Phung Ngoc Quynh

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

  • Shakhzod Mukhammadiev
    Shakhzod Mukhammadiev

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

  • Candy Vargas
    Candy Vargas

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

    • Dino Hall
      Dino Hall

      Am I supposed to know what this means?

  • Hayato Tenryuu
    Hayato Tenryuu

    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.

  • Brando Calrisian
    Brando Calrisian

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

2,4 m.
2,4 m.