The Twitch time machine error can have a variety of different reasons, but the underlying theme is that the content you came for is no longer available.
Listed below, you’ll find some of the most common causes of the error message.
The Twitch Channel Has Been Banned
Bans are the most common reason for users encountering the “sorry. unless you’ve got a time machine, that content is unavailable.” error.
This is a familiar sight for those that frequent the /r/livestreamfail subreddit, as posted clips are sometimes no longer available and are replaced with the time machine error after the clip in question has broken the Twitch terms of service.
When a broadcaster gets banned, their channel URL will still exist however you won’t be able to interact with anything related to the channel, such as their offline chat.
The Broadcaster Has Changed Their Twitch Channel Name
If you haven’t been keeping up with the streamer you are trying to watch or simply haven’t watched any Twitch streams for a while, there’s a high chance they could have changed their name.
Many streamers start their career by one-tricking their favourite games and incorporate this into their Twitch channel name, for example: “xQcOW”. They may have spotted that just “xQc” is now available and want to make the switch before another user takes it.
If you’re trying to access their stream using a link from their social media profiles, they may not have updated their profile URL yet, which would also lead to the time machine error.
You can find out if a streamer has decided to re-name their channel by using this tool.
The Twitch Channel Name Hasn’t Been Recycled Yet
Every 6 – 12 months, Twitch recycles previously changed names and puts them back into circulation for new users signing up or for existing users looking to change their channel name.
You might have come across a name you like, checked out the channel only to get the time machine error – if that user hasn’t been banned, then there’s a likelihood that the username was previously owned and hasn’t become available for the taking yet.
Certain names are immune to the mass recycle. This typically includes brand names and the names of previous partners due to copyright concerns.
You Haven’t Cleared Your Browser Cache & Cookies
Sometimes if you’ve encountered any of the above points, you may need to clear your browser cache and/or cookies to view updated content, for example: a channel being re-instated or a twitch extension you’re trying to download is updated by the developer.
By clearing your cache and re-visiting the web page, your browser is forced to re-download the most recent version of the page which will fix the error.