What to Do When Your Amazon Fire TV Stick Keeps Buffering/Stopping

If you’re looking for a way to add smart TV functionality to an older television set—either one without any streaming services or one that has aged out of app updates for its platform—Amazon’s Fire TV line of devices is a fantastic addition. From Netflix and Hulu to HBO Now and Amazon’s own Prime service, there’s no shortage of media you can watch on your Fire TV, and since the device starts at just $39.99 for the Amazon Fire Stick, it’s an affordable and easy to use option for anyone to set up.

Of course, like any gadget, your Fire Stick can and will run into bugs and issues. One of the most common problems that users encounter with their Fire Stick is repeated buffering issues, stopping their streams right in the middle of the latest season of Stranger Things or Big Mouth. While this can be annoying, fortunately, it’s rarely a sign of any serious issue with your device. Instead, it typically comes down to problems with your internet connection not being fast enough to handle streaming over your network. Let’s take a look at how to diagnose and solve this issue.

Check Your Internet Speed

The first thing to check is the Internet connection speed that your Fire TV Stick has access to. Streaming video is fairly bandwidth intensive, and if your Internet connection isn’t up to par, then your Fire TV Stick may not be able to keep up with those Buffy episodes you’re blasting out. The main reason your Fire TV Stick might buffer is that it doesn’t have enough of the video stream loaded to keep playing, and it has to catch up.

Select your preferred browser in the Fire TV home menu and go to the search bar. If you haven’t installed a browser yet, then you can follow these steps to get access to the Silk browser.

  1. Launch your Fire TV Stick.
  2. Select “Apps” from the home screen.
  3. Select “Categories -> Utility”.
  4. Choose the Silk Browser app.
  5. Select the “Get” button.
  6. Download and install the browser, then click “Open”.

You can use any Internet speed checker you like, but Fast.com is extremely simple, loads and runs automatically, and only checks your downstream speed, which is the only speed relevant for streaming video.

Run the test, and see where you come out.

How fast does it need to be? The absolute bare minimum to stream a single standard-definition video (while not doing anything else on your Internet connection) is 3 to 4 Mbps. If you want to stream high-definition video, you want at least 6 to 10 Mbps. 4K video streams need around 25 Mbps. If your Fire TV Stick doesn’t have that much bandwidth to play with, then it’s not going to give you a good video streaming experience.

Note: you need to test the Internet speed *at your Fire TV Stick*, not at the router or elsewhere in your network. It doesn’t matter if your ISP provides you 100 Mbps at the router if your wireless connection to the Fire Stick only passes through 3 Mbps of that. Test at the TV set, not anywhere else.

Application Data

Another possible source of slowdowns is the fact that your Fire TV Stick collects data from all applications installed on the device. This may be one of the things slowing it down. You can easily disable this option in Settings.

  1. Select Settings in your Fire TV Stick menu.
  2. Select Applications.
  3. Select Collect App Usage Data.
  4. Turn off Collect App Usage.

Tweak Your Preferences

There are some adjustments you can make to your Fire TV Stick that can optimize its overall performance, and this may help resolve buffering and freezing problems.

  1.  Select Settings in your Fire TV Stick menu.
  2. Select Preferences.
  3. Select Data Monitoring and turn it off.
  4. Exit Data Monitoring.
  5. Select Notification Settings.
  6. Select App Notifications and turn off all notifications that you don’t actually need.
  7. Exit Notification Settings.
  8. Select Featured Content.
  9. Turn off Allow Video Autoplay and Allow Audio Autoplay.

Uninstall Unnecessary Applications

It’s tempting to just install every cool application that you see on your Fire TV Stick, but it’s important to remember that the device is basically a computer. Just like any other computer, if you load it down with a lot of junk, it’s going to start running slowly and develop problems. If you have performance issues, simply uninstall all of the apps that you’re not using.

  1. Select Settings in your Fire TV Stick menu.
  2. Select Applications.
  3. Select Manage Installed Applications.
  4. Select an application and select the Uninstall option to remove the app.
  5. Repeat this process for all the applications that you don’t actually use.

Free up Fire TV Stick RAM

If you run a lot of processes on your Fire Stick, it is likely to run out of RAM really quickly. Running out of RAM can cause the device to just stop or stay in an infinite buffer loop. You can easily free up the RAM via an app called Clean Master. Just download the Clean Master app, choose the Memory cleaning option and let the app optimize your Fire TV Stick.

Use a VPN Service

As I explained above, fast internet speed is crucial for a Fire Stick to operate smoothly. However, sometimes your Internet provider may be throttling your speed because it recognizes that you’re streaming video. Throttling is basically deliberate slowing down of your internet speed to minimize congestion. Luckily, you can easily work around throttling. Using a VPN service allows you to connect to a different server and avoid congestion and throttling.

13 thoughts on “What to Do When Your Amazon Fire TV Stick Keeps Buffering/Stopping”

Avatar F Farrag says:
There is a calculated and organized effort on the part of the VPN industry to promote there product and makes it appear to be the magic pill for everything and every problem people have with their devices or connections, it is untrue that having a VPN service will resolve all the connections problems or speed, on the contrary, having a VPN may hinder your connection and speed. the simple fact is in the process of hiding your info. it puts a straining by itself on your connection. do not buy in this VPN crap. and try to find the real reason behind your slow connection or restrictions put in place by certain links.
Avatar Matthew Balitewicz says:
My Polish language channels buffer. None of my US channels buffer. My Tv is old. It’s a 2005 Sony. My internet speed is fine. Any suggestions?
Avatar lars says:
Hi
We have a 4K fire stick and It’s my second, the first one crashed.
I got a new one and this one still buffering on the TV channels.
I have the app Smart IPTV and I don’t know if that app is the problem.
I shall try to test another app and then I will see..
If I watching Netflix or another streaming service everything works great.
Avatar DMACK says:
I paid the fast internet speed. I have a VPN and the firestick still buffers.
Avatar Gajendra says:
I have problems with installed applications they can’t run smoothly just a buffering please suggest me how to fix this problem???? If you fix it thanks a lot…..
Avatar Janet C says:
When selecting a movie or show in a streaming device (i.e. Typhoon TV), how do I which link is the best to eliminate buffering?
Avatar Mary Brown-McHenry says:
Need all help with buffering issue please.
Avatar Wayne says:
My FireStick 4K drops download speed after 5-10 mins. If I reset the stick it comes back for a while. But inevitably it drops again. I have tried plugging an Ethernet adapter in but again drops after a while. I’m getting between 70-80mb at the router. Speed tests on the stick show between 50-70mb on start up but when it drops it’s between 0.5-2mb. It’s the same on WiFi or cable. I’m using a VPN but doesn’t make any difference. Does the FireStick throttle itself if your not using amazon apps or is my isp throttling because I’m streaming. Either way I’ve tried removing apps that I’m not using, also stopping background apps. I know FireStick isn’t a powerful device. But surely it should be able to keep a steady connection.
Avatar Melissa says:
I have recently upgraded my internet to 400 20, I can not get the firestick to work on the 5Ghz band which is incredibly fast. Any suggestions on how to fix? Thanks!
Avatar Mark says:
The wifi router selects the 2.4 or 5ghz channel – it’s likely the 5ghz isn’t in range of your stick, or the 2.4 signal is stronger…
Avatar Loz says:
Can anyone help! I bought my fire stick just last month (July) it was working perfectly fine for around a week. Now it still works in the sense that I turn it on it connects, however after 5 minutes or so it completely switches itself off. The problem is not the Tv as that works normally. I’ve tried everything that’s been suggested such as rebooting, take the plug out etc etc, and even when you try to do something within the app, you can’t because it will just switch off again. Has anyone else experienced this? I don’t understand how it can go from working, to then nothing??
Avatar hulladekaim says:
CHANGE ADAPTER
Similarly, the issue could be due to a faulty power adapter. While Fire TV Stick comes with a 1 Amp adapter, using a different adapter with a similar or slightly higher power (2 Amp) is known to fix the restart issue.
It helped me.
Avatar hulladekaim says:
CHANGE ADAPTER
Similarly, the issue could be due to a faulty power adapter. While Fire TV Stick comes with a 1 Amp adapter, using a different adapter with a similar or slightly higher power (2 Amp) is known to fix the restart issue.
Avatar Lisa Edwards says:
I’m not an expert on these things but what I find is maybe is you could move your internet closer to the firestorm as that works for me
Avatar Bski says:
This can’t be every one’s issue. I’ve had the firestick for months with no issue and just this week it won’t let me get through a single show on any app without buffering and saying my internet speed is too slow. I know several people who just started having the same problem.
Avatar Sharon says:
I have a fire stick on my tv downstairs. My wireless router is upstairs connected to my modem and desktop computer. My tv is buffering and stopping every 4-7 seconds. How do I get a better signal from my router to stop this insane buffering? If I can’t do that, is there a way I can move the router downstairs by my tv and leave the modem upstairs still having internet on my computer upstairs? Someone please help me.
Avatar Haappyone says:
Buy an extender put in the same room works for me but don’t forget to connect to it
Avatar M Sprawling says:
I Have a 4K TV and 4K Firestick but after doing everything suggested mine still freezes after a short time. I also have i.p vanish which i connect first before using the Apps. I just wish it would work like my TV.
Avatar Felipe Rivera says:
TV tap app is not working a my TV. Please fix it. Its very frustrating.
Avatar Richie Girouard says:
same here, just buffers all the time.

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This Guide Last Updated: August 26, 2020

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