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: th-vision.net/wow-PL96C35uN7xGLLeET0dOWaKHkAlPsrkcha
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
on Facebook at facebook.com/tomscott
and on Instagram as tomscottgo




  • 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...

    Tom ScottTom Scottหลายเดือนก่อน
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      CuliynlCuliynl12 วันที่ผ่านมา
    • why do you private your videos before you upload them

      RanMind YTRanMind YT13 วันที่ผ่านมา
    • 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.

      Michael ConroyMichael Conroy19 วันที่ผ่านมา
    • ...

      NoobKingNoobKing22 วันที่ผ่านมา
    • Why does my phone tell me that this comment was posted before the video was?

      PrxjectMemePrxjectMeme24 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Steam

    Adam CogleyAdam Cogleyชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
  • you should create a program that changes the line on the video

    gunship sequel budyboygunship sequel budyboy2 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
  • Putting my finger over the progress bar to see if its moving

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

    Vex989Vex98914 ชั่วโมงที่ผ่านมา
  • Are you reporting from 1998?

    agustinbsagustinbs2 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Tom Scott : Why Progress Bars Don't Move Smoothly Me : Wondering why the progress bar on the title doesn't move

    DG SecretDG Secret2 วันที่ผ่านมา

    PetoPeto2 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • "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.

    KoGaKoGa2 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Shout out to those 99 years that I was told it was gonna take for my game to open when I was 8.

    Rory MRory M2 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • 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

    P ChurchP Church2 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • who needs a progress bar when u have a gaming fridge that can download anything almost instantaneously

    GigaGameGigaGame3 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Why this guy is soo much underrated

    YY YELLOWYY YELLOW3 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Good old Microsoft Minutes

    karehaqtkarehaqt3 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • How was the halting problem not mentioned in this video?

    DeconimusDeconimus4 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Loved the Sopranos kinda ending.

    KysterPSYKysterPSY4 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • My loading bar just goes backwards

    Pat SmashPat Smash4 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • looking at you STEAM

    ChaneChane6 วันที่ผ่านมา

    A SkellingtonA Skellington7 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Someone tell computer making people to put this when turning on a computer after shutting it down

    YajihbaYajihba7 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • 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!

    LordloucksterLordlouckster7 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • 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.

    Hasan AHasan A7 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • 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😅

    SidewaysSideways7 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Bar: 1% to 99% : 20 minutes Bar: 99% to 100% : *10 hours*

    EeeeEeee7 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • I agree, as long as the progress bar is moving (and not backwards!), I know something is happening!

    Viktória VadonViktória Vadon8 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • 3:42 Looking at you, Windows 10

    Frog 4096Frog 40968 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • /////// / / / / / / / / / / / / / 10more years ///////// / / / / / / / / / / / 30more seconds

    Samson KinyanjuiSamson Kinyanjui9 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Content

    Riley CarpenterRiley Carpenter9 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • 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.).

    mozl83mozl839 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Minecraft’s progress bar be like: And I took that personally

    Cameron FigginsCameron Figgins10 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Loading time estimates be like: 20 minutes 4 seconds 45 minutes 5 minutes 999999 hours

    Zari HanssenZari Hanssen10 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • 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.

    Butter of SorrowButter of Sorrow10 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • 100% done = 90% done *Adobe Premiere users* will understand 😂

    French Comprehensible InputFrench Comprehensible Input11 วันที่ผ่านมา
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    Helio GonzalezHelio Gonzalez11 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • 4:48 smh now you'll have to record everything from the start rippppp

    Silksong DateSilksong Date11 วันที่ผ่านมา
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    SoftBunnyCreations VibingSoftBunnyCreations Vibing11 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • my monitor froze during a download once, so i thought it took 4 hours to get a 20mb download done.

    pencilchatpencilchat11 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • ▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓░ 94%

    ZoltanZoltan11 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Imagine the progress bar in the title is how long Tom Scott's life is

    Eugene LoEugene Lo11 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • is this the guy who says “xnyopit”

    CypressCypress11 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Is it just me or was the audio an video out of sync (I'm assuming deliberately)? If so nice choice.

    fossar _fossar _12 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • 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.

    Tomáš LiptákTomáš Lipták12 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Pov: you kept checking your scroll bar through out the video

    youtubeusernameyoutubeusername12 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Me when I tilt my phone facing down and the progress bars start moving again.

    The cheeseThe cheese12 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • The absent water posteriorly impress because lion constitutively polish worth a hapless priest. determined, rotten kite

    Pawit NinnabodeePawit Ninnabodee12 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • What is the 1% that’s taking so long to load

    RanMind YTRanMind YT13 วันที่ผ่านมา
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    wozerDwozerD13 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • You look young and old at the same time. That's a real mistyr to me, you should make a video about it!

    Leo TellesLeo Telles13 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • 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!

    AK NephtaliAK Nephtali13 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • 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.

    SYSSYS13 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • ▓▓▓░░░░░░

    BlurryPirateBlurryPirate13 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Dropbox "Time Remaining" when uploading a video is a complete work of fiction.

    Phill WainewrightPhill Wainewright13 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Intro music from the Chase?

    Stipe PoljakStipe Poljak13 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Steam update estimation times. 3 minutes, 7 minutes, 18 minutes, 2 hours, 17 hours... 12 seconds.

    HowDeeDooHowDeeDoo13 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • I cant be the only one that was annoyed that the two progress bars didn't match perfectly 😁

    whadupwhadup14 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • coomrag

    KebboKebbo14 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • The gaudy grip monthly hand because relish spectacularly apologise through a private cost. watery, pricey continent

    John SouthfieldJohn Southfield14 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Progress screens can lock up and fool you to wait forever but ultimately you have to reset the computer..

    Lambor_ghiniLambor_ghini14 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • The video progress bar is half a second off

    Bubba GamesBubba Games14 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Loading Comment ■■■■□□□□

    HaydenexHaydenex14 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • 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.

    Zak FallowsZak Fallows14 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • why a linguistic knows computing, that aint fair

    Cristian MartinezCristian Martinez14 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Who else checked that the video progress bar was in sync?

    Paul PotterPaul Potter15 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • 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.

    jeremiaas15jeremiaas1515 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • I love it when a simple download says "2 years remaining" or "∞ time remaining".

    LRCLRC15 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Are you anyway realated to Linus Torvalds?

    AsrithTechsysAsrithTechsys15 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Who else leave cursor at the edge of the progress bar to see if its actually moving?

    TROVENTROVEN15 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • The ugliest geranium invariably retire because client fortuitously muddle round a unbecoming hyena. oceanic, assorted oxygen

    Sara OlmsteadSara Olmstead15 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Always, stuck at the dreaded 99% or 100% more so than the previous 98% or 99% combined.

    Thaer RazeqThaer Razeq15 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Large cache SSD and a modern high core CPU like Ryzen 9 or 10+ core i9. RIP, progress bar existence

    Craig SmithCraig Smith15 วันที่ผ่านมา
Why Progress Bars Don't Move Smoothly ▓▓▓░░░░░░