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Amazon Fire TV Stick Keeps Buffering/Stopping – What to Do?

Posted by Robert Hayes on October 6, 2019

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 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. For example, IPVanish is one of the most popular VPN services, but feel free to shop around and find the VPN that works best for you.

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If you have any other suggestions for resolving buffering and freezing issues, then please share them with us below in the comments!

Want to get the most out of your Amazon Fire TV Stick?

Here’s a tutorial on how to use your Fire TV Stick without the remote control.

Here’s a guide to getting local channels on your Fire TV Stick.

You can even use Showbox on your Fire TV Stick!

Have a Fire TV Stick but no TV? No worries – you can use your Fire TV Stick on a computer monitor.

Having connection difficulties? We’ll walk you through fixing WiFi problems with your Fire TV Stick.

5 thoughts on “Amazon Fire TV Stick Keeps Buffering/Stopping – What to Do?”

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!
Reply
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…
Reply
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??
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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
Reply
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.
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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.
Reply
Haappyone says:
Buy an extender put in the same room works for me but don’t forget to connect to it
Reply
Felipe Rivera says:
TV tap app is not working a my TV. Please fix it. Its very frustrating.
Reply
Richie Girouard says:
same here, just buffers all the time.
Reply

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This Guide Last Updated: October 6, 2019

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