Discovery Plus Error 503: The One Fix That Worked For Me

Man Vs. Wild is one of my favorite shows ever. I usually stream it on the Discovery Plus App.

Yesterday, after a long day at work, I decided to unwind with some snacks and my favorite show. 

However, just a few minutes into the episode, the show got stuck and kept buffering.

I restarted the app and was greeted with an “Error code 503” message.

This did not make any sense since the app was working properly only a few minutes ago. 

When I looked into what the error was, I found out that there were many other Discovery app users who were facing the same issue. 

Unfortunately, it was not an easy issue to troubleshoot. After hours of looking for a solution, I finally found a fail-proof fix. 

Here is how I solved error 503 on the Discovery plus app in seven easy steps.

To fix the Error 503 issue on the Discovery plus app disable the Firewall on the device you are using. The Firewall can sometimes interfere with the connection between the app and the Discovery Plus servers.

What is Error 503, and why is it caused?

To request content online, apps or web browsers have to establish a connection with the servers.

Sometimes, due to a server outage or an unstable internet connection, the connection between the device and the server is not established.

That is when an error code is displayed.

Error 503 is a service-related error caused when something prevents the browser from accessing the server.

A very similar server-related error, Discovery Plus Error 504, is caused when the server takes too long to respond due to an obstruction in the connection, so watch out for that as well.

The error 503 means that the server is unable to serve you the requested information, and there could be several reasons for that, including:

  1. Internet connection issues
  2. Issues with the app or the browser
  3. Issues with your device firewall
  4. Issues with your streaming device
  5. Issues with DNS settings.
  6. Issues with the servers

While the exact reason is unknown at the time of the issue, it can be fixed by following the steps below.

Disable your device firewall

The firewall on your device is designed to protect you from malware and malicious attacks on open and unsecured networks.

Sometimes your device’s firewall can cause issues with your streaming apps by blocking them from establishing a connection with the server.

To rule out issues with your firewall, you must disable it and check if the issue is resolved.

To disable the firewall on your Wi-Fi router

  1. Login to the web console of your router by typing “192.168.1.1” or “192.168.0.1”
  2. Click on Advanced
  3. Click on network settings
  4. Click on the firewall and disable it

To disable the firewall on your windows laptop

  1. Open the settings app from the start menu
  2. Click on network and internet on the left-hand side
  3. Click on advanced network settings
  4. Click on windows firewall
  5. Turn off the firewall in the settings menu

Restart your Wi-Fi router

If your internet connection is unstable, the best way to fix the issue is by restarting the router. 

Like most devices, the Wi-Fi router can develop temporary bugs and glitches. Power cycling can fix this issue.

To power cycle, your Wi-Fi router or modem, disconnect the device from the power source and wait for at least one minute before plugging it back in.

Power cycling a device clears the device’s memory and drains out the remaining power, which solves issues with the device.

Wait for all the lights on your router or modem to turn green, and check if the issue has been solved by relaunching the Discovery Plus app.

Restart Your TV

If restarting the router does not work, your next step should be to power cycle your TV.

As mentioned, the TV might develop temporary bugs and glitches. Power cycling your TV or streaming device can fix software-related issues and clear the device’s memory.

To power cycle your TV, turn it off, remove it from the power source and wait for at least a minute before plugging it back in.

If you are watching the shows on your computer or phone, restart your device from the settings menu.

Launch the discovery app and check if the problem is resolved.

Clear the cache memory

To serve content faster and give you a better viewing experience, apps store cache memory.

You might be low on device storage memory, or the cache could get corrupted, resulting in playback errors.

Clearing the cache memory and device storage can help solve the issue.

To clear the cache data on your Android phone:

  1. Go to settings
  2. Tap on apps
  3. Tap on show all apps
  4. Select the Discovery Plus app
  5. Tap on storage & cache
  6. Tap on clear cache

To clear cache data on your iPhone:

  1. Go to settings
  2. Tap General
  3. Select iPhone storage
  4. Wait for the list of your apps to load
  5. Select the Discovery Plus app
  6. Click on offload app

To clear cache data on your TV:

  1. Navigate to settings
  2. Select System
  3. Select storage
  4. Selected internal storage
  5. Select clear cache

To clear the cache on your browser 

  1. Press Control + H 
  2. Click on clear browsing data
  3. In the time range dropdown, select all time
  4. Select “Cached images & files.”
  5. Click on clear data

To clear cache data on the Fire TV stick

  1. Navigate to settings
  2. Select applications
  3. In the manage applications menu, select the Peacock TV app
  4. Select clear cache

After clearing the cache data on your device, relaunch the Discovery Plus app on your TV or streaming

Restart and update the Discovery Plus app

To ensure that a bug or glitch in the app is not causing the issue, force stop and restart the Discovery Plus app on your TV or streaming device to solve playback errors.

The steps to force close your Discovery Plus app will vary based on your device. Below, I have listed the steps to do so on the most popular devices.

On Apple Tv (Gen 4 or later)

  1. Double-click the home button to bring up the app switcher
  2. Swipe up on the remote’s trackpad to close the Discovery Plus app

On Android TV, Phone, and tablets:

  1. Open the settings app
  2. Navigate to apps in the settings menu
  3. Select the Discovery Plus application from the list of installed apps
  4. Select force stop

On Fire TV and fire TV stick/ Fire TV cube:

  1. Open settings
  2. Navigate to “Manage installed applications.”
  3. Select the Discovery Plus app
  4. Select force stop

If Error 503 is not resolved yet, update the Discovery app on your device.

Update the app on your streaming device to the latest version by going to your device’s play store or app store and clicking on update now.

If your app is up to date, uninstall and reinstall the Discovery plus app and check if the issue has been

Change DNS Settings On Your Router Or Laptop

DNS or domain name systems provide a domain name to IP address mapping for devices connected to the internet.

In simple words, DNS acts like the phonebook of the internet.

By default, your internet service provider will assign you a DNS server, but sometimes the default DNS servers can cause issues with playback resulting in errors.

To change the DNS settings of your router, log in to your router’s web console by typing “192.168.1.1” or “192.168.0.1” in your browser’s address bar.

Click on advanced, navigate to the internet settings, change the primary and secondary DNS to the desired values, and click on save.

To change DNS settings on your windows computer

  1. Open control panel
  2. Click on network and internet
  3. Click on the network and sharing center
  4. Click on change adapter settings on the left corner
  5. Select the network adapter you are connected to
    1. If you are connected to Wi-Fi, click on Wi-Fi
    2. If you connect to the internet with a wired connection, select the local area connection
  6. Right-click on the selected network adapter
  7. Click on Properties 
  8. Select internet protocol version 4 (TCP/IPv4)
  9. Click on Properties
  10. Select Use the following DNS addresses checkbox.
  11. Type in 1.1.1.1 and 1.0.0.1 or 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4 in the primary and secondary DNS fields

To change DNS settings on your Mac

  1. Select settings from the Apple menu
  2. Click on the network in the sidebar
  3. Click on a network service on the right
  4. Click on details
  5. Click DNS (you might have to scroll down)
  6. Type in 1.1.1.1 and 1.0.0.1 or 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4 in the primary and secondary DNS fields

Relaunch the Discovery Plus app on your TV or streaming device and check if you can watch content

Disable Your VPN And Ad Blocker

While virtual private networks or VPNs are good tools to safeguard your online activities and privacy, they cause problems while browsing and streaming content.

On the other hand, ad blockers are useful tools for surfing the web without being bothered by advertisements. 

They are known to cause problems with streaming services like Discovery Plus.

Disable your VPN by launching your VPN app and clicking on disconnect. 

To disable ad blocker on your browser:

  1. Click on the three-dot menu on the right corner of your browser
  2. Select more tools
  3. Click on extensions
  4. Please turn off the ad blocker extension by toggling the switch next to it

Close and relaunch your browser and check if the issue has been

What To Do If Nothing Works?

The error 503 is a server-side issue, and there are only a few things you can do to resolve it from your end.

Another server-related error is the Discovery Plus error 0C-C009, and the easiest way to fix this is by power cycling your streaming device.

If you have tried all the above steps and the issue persists, check if Discovery Plus is down for everyone else.

Use a third-party service like downdetector to check if Discovery servers are facing outages.

You can also contact the Discovery Plus Help center and ask them if there is a server-side outage that might be causing this issue.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does Discovery Plus cost?

Discovery plus subscription plans start at $4.99 a month. However, to get an ad-free experience, it will cost you $6.99 a month.

Does my device support Discovery plus?

Discovery+ is available on most smartphones, tablets, and browsers, including Amazon Fire TV streaming devices and Amazon Fire TV Edition Smart TV, Apple iPads, iPhones, iPod touch and Apple TVs, Google devices and platforms including Android phones, tablets, and Android OS devices, Chromecast with Google TV, Google Chromecast and Chromecast built-in devices, Microsoft Xbox One and Series S/X devices, the Roku platform, Samsung Smart TVs (2017 and newer), VIZIO Smart TVs (2017 and newer) and LG Smart TVs from 2018 and newer.

Can I get a discount on the Discovery Plus subscription?

If you are a student or Verified active-duty military, the spouse of an active member, reservist, and veteran in the United States Armed Forces, you can access the ad-lite subscription plan costing you just $2.99 a month

About the author

Maria Chan, or MC, as we call her, is the genius girl-boss who gave up on her cushy silicon-valley job to grind it out with us. Her undying pursuit of wanting Zeebox to the best makes it very clear that she has no interest in running a generic tech-site.