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: kgkey.info/head/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 Scott

    2 ай мурун

    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


      21 күн мурун


    • RanMind YT

      RanMind YT

      21 күн мурун

      why do you private your videos before you upload them

    • Michael Conroy

      Michael Conroy

      28 күн мурун

      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


      Ай мурун


    • PrxjectMeme


      Ай мурун

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

  2. William Napitupulu

    William Napitupulu

    2 саат мурун

    🟥🟥🟥⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜ 🟥🟥🟥⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜ 🟥🟥🟥⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜ LOADING....

  3. Geomontage


    5 саат мурун

    If only the UK government had a progress bar. I struggle to believe things are still 'happening' at times we are told great 'progress' is being made.

  4. ver strahlt

    ver strahlt

    7 саат мурун

    well explained.

  5. Sandstorm930


    14 саат мурун

    Sandstorm approved use of “Janky”

  6. tulsatrash


    18 саат мурун

    What is the longest rail train to have ever moved in or through France?

  7. Kreyk 29

    Kreyk 29

    23 саат мурун

    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 - max

    Күн мурун

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

  9. Philippe Futureboy

    Philippe Futureboy

    2 күн мурун

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

  10. theawesomness07


    2 күн мурун

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

  11. Christoph Southwell

    Christoph Southwell

    3 күн мурун

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

  12. ike


    3 күн мурун

    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


    4 күн мурун

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

  14. Paulo Lukeny

    Paulo Lukeny

    4 күн мурун

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

  15. Windows 10X

    Windows 10X

    4 күн мурун

    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 Gaming

    4 күн мурун

    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 harambe

    5 күн мурун

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

  18. Ruelle Heroux

    Ruelle Heroux

    5 күн мурун

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

  19. ProHolmes


    5 күн мурун

    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


    6 күн мурун

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

  21. Thot Slayer 420

    Thot Slayer 420

    6 күн мурун

    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 anka

    7 күн мурун

    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


    7 күн мурун

    "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


    8 күн мурун

    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 Master

    8 күн мурун

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

  26. Adam Cogley

    Adam Cogley

    8 күн мурун


  27. gunship sequel budyboy

    gunship sequel budyboy

    9 күн мурун

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

  28. YaBoy •

    YaBoy •

    9 күн мурун

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

  29. Vex989


    9 күн мурун

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

  30. agustinbs


    10 күн мурун

    Are you reporting from 1998?

  31. DG Secret

    DG Secret

    11 күн мурун

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

  32. Peto


    11 күн мурун


  33. KoGa


    11 күн мурун

    "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 M

    11 күн мурун

    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 Church

    11 күн мурун

    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


    12 күн мурун

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



    12 күн мурун

    Why this guy is soo much underrated

  38. karehaqt


    12 күн мурун

    Good old Microsoft Minutes

  39. Deconimus


    12 күн мурун

    How was the halting problem not mentioned in this video?

  40. KysterPSY


    13 күн мурун

    Loved the Sopranos kinda ending.

  41. Pat Smash

    Pat Smash

    13 күн мурун

    My loading bar just goes backwards

  42. Chane


    15 күн мурун

    looking at you STEAM

  43. A Skellington

    A Skellington

    15 күн мурун


  44. Yajihba


    16 күн мурун

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

  45. Lordlouckster


    16 күн мурун

    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 A

    16 күн мурун

    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


    16 күн мурун

    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


    16 күн мурун

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

  49. Viktória Vadon

    Viktória Vadon

    17 күн мурун

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

  50. Frog 4096

    Frog 4096

    17 күн мурун

    3:42 Looking at you, Windows 10

  51. Samson Kinyanjui

    Samson Kinyanjui

    18 күн мурун

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

  52. Riley Carpenter

    Riley Carpenter

    18 күн мурун


  53. mozl83


    18 күн мурун

    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 Figgins

    18 күн мурун

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

  55. Zari Hanssen

    Zari Hanssen

    19 күн мурун

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

  56. Butter of Sorrow

    Butter of Sorrow

    19 күн мурун

    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 Input

    19 күн мурун

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

  58. Helio Gonzalez

    Helio Gonzalez

    20 күн мурун


  59. Silksong Date

    Silksong Date

    20 күн мурун

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

  60. SoftBunnyCreations Vibing

    SoftBunnyCreations Vibing

    20 күн мурун


  61. pencilchat


    20 күн мурун

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

  62. Zoltan


    20 күн мурун

    ▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓░ 94%

  63. Eugene Lo

    Eugene Lo

    20 күн мурун

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

  64. Cypress


    20 күн мурун

    is this the guy who says “xnyopit”

  65. fossar _

    fossar _

    21 күн мурун

    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 Lipták

    21 күн мурун

    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


    21 күн мурун

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

  68. The cheese

    The cheese

    21 күн мурун

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

  69. Pawit Ninnabodee

    Pawit Ninnabodee

    21 күн мурун

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

  70. RanMind YT

    RanMind YT

    21 күн мурун

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

  71. wozerD


    21 күн мурун


  72. Leo Telles

    Leo Telles

    21 күн мурун

    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 Nephtali

    21 күн мурун

    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


    22 күн мурун

    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


    22 күн мурун


  76. Phill Wainewright

    Phill Wainewright

    22 күн мурун

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

  77. Stipe Poljak

    Stipe Poljak

    22 күн мурун

    Intro music from the Chase?

  78. HowDeeDoo


    22 күн мурун

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

  79. whadup


    22 күн мурун

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

  80. Kebbo


    23 күн мурун


  81. John Southfield

    John Southfield

    23 күн мурун

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

  82. Lambor_ghini


    23 күн мурун

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

  83. Bubba Games

    Bubba Games

    23 күн мурун

    The video progress bar is half a second off

  84. Haydenex


    23 күн мурун

    Loading Comment ■■■■□□□□

  85. Zak Fallows

    Zak Fallows

    23 күн мурун

    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 Martinez

    23 күн мурун

    why a linguistic knows computing, that aint fair

  87. Paul Potter

    Paul Potter

    23 күн мурун

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

  88. jeremiaas15


    23 күн мурун

    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


    23 күн мурун

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

  90. AsrithTechsys


    24 күн мурун

    Are you anyway realated to Linus Torvalds?

  91. TROVEN


    24 күн мурун

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

  92. Sara Olmstead

    Sara Olmstead

    24 күн мурун

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

  93. Thaer Razeq

    Thaer Razeq

    24 күн мурун

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

  94. Craig Smith

    Craig Smith

    24 күн мурун

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

  95. Abhinav Dev

    Abhinav Dev

    24 күн мурун

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

  96. Simon T

    Simon T

    24 күн мурун

    This is a repost?

  97. Snowjix


    24 күн мурун

    3:42 Too real Tom..

  98. HP Gummy

    HP Gummy

    25 күн мурун

    I didn't need to know this

  99. Ariel Zabihi

    Ariel Zabihi

    25 күн мурун

    Do one on browser compilers and header data

  100. DoubleDS9


    25 күн мурун

    Excellent! Thank you.