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How to Stop Buffering on Fire TV

With a Fire TV device, you can turn a regular TV into a smart TV. However, your TV won’t seem so smart if it keeps freezing in the middle of movies. If you’re sick of sitting through loading screens, there are a few simple ways to get your Fire TV running more smoothly. Here’s everything you need to know about how to speed up your slow Fire TV device and which settings you can change to stop buffering.

Read More: Everything you need to know about Fire TV

What Is Buffering?

When you’re streaming a movie, a few seconds of the video will be downloaded to your device as a “buffer.” If your WiFi connection is weak, your streaming device will need to pause the movie until it can load enough information to start playing smoothly again. These pauses are referred to as “buffering.”

what is buffering

Use an Ethernet Cable

If you have the latest Fire TV Cube or any other Fire TV device with a built-in Ethernet port, you should plug it directly into your WiFi router for the fastest internet speeds possible. If you have a Fire TV Stick or any other model without an Ethernet port, you can also get an Ethernet adapter to speed things up.

Last updated on July 19, 2024 1:05 am

Use the Included HDMI Extender

All the latest Fire TV Stick models come with an HDMI extender. This extender was designed to make your device hang down a few inches, so it can get a better WiFi signal behind large TVs. Plus, this extender can prevent your Fire TV Stick from overheating, which also helps with buffering issues.

Use the Included HDMI Extender
(Image Source: Amazon)

Switch Your WiFi Network

The easiest way to stop buffering on your Fire TV is to connect it to the fastest WiFi network available. To do this, press the Home button on your remote and go to Settings > Network. Then, select a WiFi network and press the Play/Pause button to see more information about that network and run a speed test.

Read More: How to test your WiFi speed

  1. Press the Home button on your Fire TV remote. This will take you to the Fire TV home screen.
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  2. Then, go to Settings. You will find this all the way on the right side of the menu bar. Simply press the right directional button until the gear icon is selected.
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    Note: If you are running an old version of Fire OS, you can find the Settings menu by pressing the up-directional button on your remote until you see “Home” highlighted. Then, press the right-directional button to select Settings, and all the following steps will be nearly identical.

  3. Next, navigate down to Network. You will need to press the down-directional button on your remote to access the Settings menu.
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  4. Then, select a WiFi network and press the Play/Pause button on your remote. If you want to find out more about your current WiFi network, choose the one that says “Connected.”
    How to Stop Buffering on Fire TV

    Note: For the fastest speeds, you’ll want to choose a WiFi network on the 5GHz band. These networks usually have a “5” or “5G” at the end of the name. Try not to connect to networks that end in “2” or “2G,” as these are usually slower and will cause your Fire TV to buffer more frequently.

  5. Finally, you’ll see the WiFi speed in the top-right corner. Below that, you will also see personalized recommendations on how to stop buffering on your Fire TV device.
    How to Stop Buffering on Fire TV

For the best results, select “Run Speed Test” in the bottom-right corner. Then, you can compare the speed test results from multiple networks to find out which one has the fastest signal.

Read More: How to boost your WiFi signal

Restart Your Fire TV

To restart your Fire TV device, press the Home button on your remote and go to Settings > My Fire TV > Restart > Restart. Restarting will not delete any of your data, but it will clear some of the temporary cache files on your Fire TV, which could stop buffering issues.

  1. Press the Home button on your Fire TV remote.
  2. Then, go to Settings > My Fire TV.
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  3. Next, select Restart.
    how to stop buffering on fire tv
  4. Finally, select Restart to confirm the action.

Your Fire TV Stick will then reboot itself. The process usually takes a few minutes. If things don’t feel any faster after your Fire TV reboots, you can also try manually clearing the cache from your apps to speed things up.

Clear the App Cache

To clear the cache on your Fire TV, press the Home button on your remote and go to Settings > Applications > Manage Installed Applications. Then, select an app and choose “Clear cache.” From here, you can also choose “Clear data” to remove all the app data, including your login credentials.

  1. Press the Home button on your Fire TV remote.
  2. Then, go to Settings > Applications.
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  3. Next, select Manage Installed Applications. On the right, you can see how much internal storage you have left. If your storage is running low, it might cause your Fire TV to buffer more frequently.
    how to stop buffering on fire tv
  4. Then, select an app from the list. Simply press the Select button (in the middle of the circle at the top of your remote). On this screen, you will see details about the app, such as its size and cache data information.

    Note: From this screen, you can also press the Rewind button on your remote to quickly clear the cache for each app. This makes it easy if you are trying to clear the cache from multiple apps.

    how to stop buffering on fire tv
  5. Finally, choose Clear cache. This will only clear the app’s cache and keep the rest of your information and settings.

    Note: From here, you can also choose “Clear data” to reset an app and clear all the data, including your login information.

    how to stop buffering on fire tv

Immediately after clearing the cache, you will see the cache size in the right sidebar shrink to “0 B.” However, you might notice the cache size increase after you delete it. If clearing your cache doesn’t free up enough space, you might want to uninstall or offload apps instead.

Uninstall or Offload Unnecessary Apps

To uninstall apps on your Fire TV Stick, press the Home button on your remote and go to Settings > Applications > Manage Installed Applications. From here, you will be able to see how much storage space your Fire TV Stick has left. Finally, select an app and choose Uninstall > Uninstall.

  1. Press the Home button on your Fire TV remote.
  2. Then, go to Settings > Applications.
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  3. Next, select Manage Installed Applications.

    Note: From here, you can select “Auto Offload” to free up space on your Fire TV whenever it gets full. This will delete the apps you use the least while saving all your passwords and settings. That way, when you download the app again, you can start using it right away.

    how to stop buffering on fire tv
  4. Then, choose an app.

    Note: From here, you can press the play/pause button on your remote to quickly uninstall the app.

    how to stop buffering on fire tv
  5. Next, select Uninstall.

    Note: From here, you can also select “Offload” to uninstall the app while saving the app login information and settings.

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  6. Finally, choose Uninstall to confirm.

Ideally, you want to keep at least 10% of your device’s storage space free. Otherwise, things might slow down a lot. So, you might have to remove a few apps to solve any buffering issues. If that doesn’t stop your buffering issues, you can also free up RAM on your Fire TV device by stopping background apps and processes.  

Read More: The best Fire TV apps

Free Up RAM on Your Fire TV

To free up RAM on your Fire TV device, press the Home button on your remote and navigate to the magnifying glass icon in the menu bar. Then, select the search bar and type “Background Apps and Process List.” Once the app appears, download it, open it, select an app, and choose “Force stop.”

Random Access Memory (RAM) is where your device stores temporary data right before it is used. Your Fire TV device might have several apps running in the background, which can use up your RAM and slow things down. Since a Fire TV Stick only has 1-2 gigabytes of RAM, it can be used up quickly.

  1. Press the Home button on your Fire TV remote.
  2. Then, navigate to the magnifying glass icon.
  3. Next, select the search bar.
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  4. Then, search for “Background Apps and Process List.” Use your remote to start entering the name, letter by letter. You should see the result pop up after you have started typing a few letters, so you don’t have to enter the entire name.

    Note: If you have a Fire TV remote with a built-in microphone, you can also perform this search by pressing the microphone or Alexa button on the remote and saying the name of the app instead.

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  5. Next, select the app.
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  6. Install the app and open it.
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  7. Then, scroll down and select “Got it.”
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  8. Next, select an app from the list.
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  9. Finally, select Force stop. You can also do this for any app by going to Settings > Applications > Manage Installed Applications and selecting an app. However, only this method will show you which apps are running in the background, so you can quickly find them.
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When you’re done, press the back button on the remote. You can then repeat this process for all the other apps.

Note: If you are running a VPN, do not close the app. A VPN won’t take up too much RAM while it runs in the background. It might also help with your Fire TV speed.

Turn Off Collect App Usage

To stop Amazon from collecting data on your Fire TV, press the Home button on your remote and go to Settings > Preferences > Privacy Settings. Then, select Collect App Usage Data and turn it off. This stops apps from using your WiFi in the background, which will help with your Fire TV buffering issues.

  1. Press the home button on your Fire TV remote.
  2. Then, go to Settings > Preferences.
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  3. Next, select Privacy Settings.
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  4. Finally, select Collect App Usage Data and turn it off.

    Note: You can also turn off “Device Usage Data” to stop Amazon from collecting data on your Fire TV device for marketing purposes, which can also slow your Fire TV down.

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Turn Off Notifications

To turn off notifications on your Fire TV device, press the Home button on your remote, and go to Settings > Preferences > Notification Settings. Then, choose an app to turn its notifications off. While they don’t happen very often, notifications can cause your Fire TV device to slow down.  

  1. Press the Home button on your Fire TV remote.
  2. Then, go to Settings > Preferences.
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  3. Next, select Notification Settings.
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  4. Then, select App Notifications.

    Note: From here, you can turn off all app notifications by selecting “Do Not Interrupt” and turning it on.

    how to stop buffering on fire tv
  5. Finally, select an app to turn off notifications.
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If you’ve tried everything and you’re still experiencing buffering issues, you can perform a factory reset of your Fire TV device. However, this should only be done as a last resort.

Read More: How to update Fire TV

Reset Your Fire TV to Factory Settings

To reset your Fire TV to factory settings, press the Home button on your remote and go to Settings > My Fire TV > Restore to Factory Defaults > Reset. This will erase everything on your Fire TV device, including all the apps you have downloaded, passwords you have saved, and all your settings.

  1. Press the Home button on your Fire TV remote.
  2. Then, go to Settings > My Fire TV.
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  3. Next, select Restore to Factory Defaults.
    how to stop buffering on fire tv
  4. Finally, select Reset. This will carry out the factory reset.

Once you reset your device, you will need to set it up from scratch again.

Read More: How to set up Fire TV

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Updated on July 17, 2024

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