HBO Max was down — and its very bad month continues [Update]

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

For a short while HBO Max was down. We're guessing that was not how WarnerMedia execs wanted to spend one of their Friday summer afternoons, dealing with yet another headache. The service seems to have righted itself, in the meantime.

Not only did multiple Tom's Guide staffers find an error — "Can’t Connect: We’re having issues connecting to HBO Max right now. Please try again." — greeting them when they sign on for the service, but DownDetector, and tweeters everywhere are joining in the conversation. 

DownDetector's chart showed a sharp spike of reported outages from 2 to 2:30 p.m. ET, maxing out at 5,947 complaints. That chart shows that reports decreased severely by the end of hour, dying down to 471 complaints  look to be dying down at 3 p.m. The service began working again for us at 2:54 p.m.

HBO Max itself even acknowledged the issue, tweeting "We’re aware some customers may be experiencing issues streaming #HBOMax  and appreciate your patience as we work to resolve this as quickly as possible."

At 3:25 p.m. ET, 57 minutes after the previous tweet, @HBOMaxHelp announced it had solved the issues, declaring "Full service has now been restored. You may need to restart the HBO Max app."

HBO Max was down

(Image credit: DownDetector)

This outage comes less than one month after HBO Max crashed as the Mare of Easttown finale started on May 30. But that was just the beginning of a bad stretch of time for HBO Max users. The Hollywood Reporter notes that the issue was reportedly fixed within 30 minutes, and "primarily affected viewers on the East Coast due to a connection problem with HBO Max’s systems."

HBO Max issues

(Image credit: HBO Max)

Then, in early June, the HBO Max tvOS app for the Apple TV became incredibly buggy and hard to use for many customers. Basic functions such as fast-forward, pause, and rewind were rendered barely usable, according to reports. We soon learned that this was due to the release of a very buggy update.

Andy Forssell, HBO Max EVP & General Manager (who's probably having a tough moment right now) called the question of this update's release a "zillion dollar question." The issue was fixed on June 9, with the previous version rolled back out.

HBO Max issues

(Image credit: HBO Max)

Last, and most hilariously, HBO Max sent out a weird blank email message last night (June 17), titled  "Integration Test Email #1" to customers on its mailing list, including multiple TG staffers. The @HBOMaxHelp Twitter account acknowledged this that night, tweeting "We mistakenly sent out an empty test email to a portion of our HBO Max mailing list this evening. We apologize for the inconvenience, and as the jokes pile in, yes, it was the intern. No, really. And we’re helping them through it."

Hopefully no interns careers will be harmed in this outage.

HBO Max has been so great (aside from these errors) that we made it our best streaming service overall. That may change if these issues get more disruptive.

Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.