Last Updated on June 21, 2022
Can you remember the days before Fire Stick? I’m glad we don’t have to.
Technology has become a huge part of our day-to-day lives. In the tech era, streaming services have become all the rage. Streaming has become the main way people choose to watch their favorite shows and movies. One of the most popular ways we now do this is with the Fire Stick.
So, what do you do when your Fire Stick is being slow?
You need to go through the troubleshooting options. It could be your internet connection or your device that is causing slow streaming speeds.
Reasons why your Fire Stick could be slow
Here are some common reasons behind a slow Fire Stick. Check the following to troubleshoot the issue.
1. Check your internet connection
The most common reason for slow streaming is poor internet connectivity or slow internet speeds.
How do you check your internet speed?
- The first thing you should do is check with your provider to see what speed package you have purchased if you are using your internet. Take into consideration how many devices are connected to the internet, too, as that can affect the speed.
- Run a speed test online. There are tons of free internet speed tests online at our disposal. Simply google “internet speed test,” a plethora of results will appear. You can learn to check your internet speed and then look for free speed checking tools.
- If your speeds aren’t appropriate for the internet package you have, you may need to adjust the video quality of your stream. If you have slower internet, you will need to lower your video quality to match the speed of your internet. The video quality won’t be as good, but there will be less buffering.
What to do if the internet is running slower than it should?
- Unplug the router and plug it back in. It may take a few minutes to boot back up, but sometimes the router just needs a restart.
- If you have a mobile device with data, check online to see if your area is facing an internet outage. This is common during storms or if the internet provider is doing maintenance.
- Disconnect or cut down on the number of devices being used at once. Most internet plans only allow a certain number of devices to be used at any given time.
- Some places have specific spots the internet will not work. You may need to move your streaming device to a different location. Thick walls and distance between the router and the device can affect streaming quality. You may need to move the Fire Stick to an area closer to your router.
2. Check the speed of your device
After internet speed and connectivity issues are ruled out, it is time to investigate the device itself. Often, when too many applications are installed onto the device, the inbound and outbound traffic of the device become overconsumed. This will slow down the device and cause buffering. Luckily, this is a very easy fix to stop buffering and start optimizing your streaming experience.
Optimize your streaming experience
Sometimes the easiest thing to do to get videos to stop buffering is to go through the Fire Stick settings and adjust as needed. There are a lot of small things that suck up internet data and affect our bandwidth that we don’t actively think about. There are ways to cut down on these things.
- Power up the Fire Stick and go to the settings of the Fire Stick device. Then select “Collect App Usage Data .”This option will already appear as on. You need to turn it off. If it is already off, ignore this step.
- Once that is done, you will want to go back into the Fire Stick device settings and click on the Preferences tab to adjust and enhance the speed of your streaming.
- Under the preferences tab, there will be an option for “Data Monitoring” this will also normally be turned on, just like the “Collect App Usage Data” option was. You will need to turn this option off also. If internet data usage is a concern to you, it is better to leave this option on. This can be an issue if your internet provider has a data cap.
- Under the same preferences tab, there is an option for notification settings. Too many notifications can slow down streaming speeds quite a bit. It will be helpful to turn off this option too.
- Stay under the Preferences tab and select the tab for featured content. Under this tab, there are two different settings. Turn off both the “Allow Video Autoplay” and the “Allow Audio Autoplay” options. This is another option that will help cut down on content that is not being watched, taking bandwidth away from the video you are actively trying to stream.
Review your applications
The number of applications on the device and the applications running in the background can cause the Fire Stick to run slow. We often have apps running that we aren’t actively using and aren’t even aware of. We may also have apps we downloaded once to use and never needed to use them again. You can remove unused apps on FireStick because these applications can decrease streaming speeds. It is time to think about what you use and what you don’t.
- Starting from the home screen, click on settings, then click on applications. This option will be right beside the “Controllers & Bluetooth Devices” tab.
- Under the Applications tab, there will be two options. “GameCircle” and “Manage Installed Applications.” Select the “Manage Installed Applications” option.
- Sort through all your applications and turn any that are not actively being used off. For the best results, turn off all except the app you are currently wanting to use to stream. The fewer tasks your data needs to focus on, the more data will be used for your stream.
- While sorting through your applications, consider uninstalling any applications you don’t use. The fuller your storage becomes, the slower the Fire Stick will run. There is no need to have a ton of unused applications on your device.
3. Consider the hardware
Once you’ve adjusted the settings on the Fire Stick, consider giving the Fire Stick a restart. You may be due for an update, or the Fire Stick may just need a rest. All technology that is used frequently needs a restart at one point or another.
Restart the Fire Stick
- Starting from the home screen, open the settings menu and select the option for “My Fire TV.”
- Under the sleep option, there is an option to restart the device. Select this option. The sleep option will not completely power off the device, which is needed.
- Be patient. If an update is required, this will take a bit longer. Once the update is installed, the streaming may run smoother.
A hard restart
If you use your Fire Stick often and it is unusual for it to run so slow, consider doing a hard restart. Unfortunately, the Fire Stick doesn’t have an option to simply turn the whole device off. There is a sleep mode, but that won’t power the whole thing down.
- Unplug the Fire Stick from the source of power.
- Wait ten seconds to allow the device to cool down.
- Plug the Fire Stick back in.
Restarting your Fire Stick will not reverse the settings that you’ve adjusted. There is no need to worry about having to do all of that again.
4. Clean and maintain the Fire Stick
Cached data and RAM are a few more factors to consider when it comes to slow streaming speeds and buffering. Every machine needs maintenance to run properly. If you’ve done everything else and the Fire Stick is still running slow, or you just want to make sure you are keeping up on the Fire Sticks maintenance to avoid future streaming issues, you need to check the cached data and RAM on the device.
Clearing cached data
What is cached data? Cached data is multimedia that gets stored on the Fire Stick when you install and open an app for the first time. Cached data is used to open applications quicker. However, too much-cached data on a device can hog the device’s memory. Cached data is considered temporary memory, so clearing it on occasion will not harm your applications or your Fire Stick.
- Starting from your home screen, select “Settings,” then select the “Applications” tab.
- Select the “Manage Installed Applications” tab that is below the “GameCircle” tab.
- While you scroll through the list of applications, you will notice that on the right side of each highlighted application, it will display the amount of cached data and the app size.
- For each application that takes up a significant amount of memory, select the app, then select the “Clear data” and “Clear cache” options. It is important to know the comparison between clear data and clear cache so that you can stream your favorite shows without any issues.
Running out of RAM
RAM means random access memory. Like cached data, this is also considered temporary or short-term memory. Taking up too much memory on the Fire Stick will slow the device down.
- Download an app designed for cleaning up unused RAM on the Fire Stick.
- Open the chosen app and follow its directions to clean your device
Unfortunately, there is no way to clean up the RAM on the Fire Stick without downloading an external application. Be very cautious when downloading applications and always read through the reviews. RAM isn’t a huge memory hog. It is less so than cached data. Feel free to skip this step and just stick with the other options listed here if you are uncomfortable downloading any apps.
Keeping the Fire Stick up to date
This was vaguely mentioned earlier in the “restart your device” portion of the article, but you should be mindful of both system and app updates. Keeping your device and applications updated is key to avoiding app slow streaming speeds and buffering.
Any device that is behind on updates will run slower than a device that is up to date on updates. This goes for any piece of technology.
- Starting from the home screen, select the “Settings” tab, then select the “My Fire TV” tab.
- In the “My Fire TV” tab, there will be a few different selections to choose from. Select the “About” tab, then in the “About” tab, select the “Install System Update” option.
- Be patient. It may take a few minutes to install the updates. You will be required to restart the Fire Stick once the updates are installed.
Try to install updates for the Fire Stick as they become available. The system needs these updates to run properly. The less you procrastinate on these updates, the better your Fire Stick will run long-term and short-term.
5. Location, location, location
Why does the location of the Fire Stick matter? The spot the Fire Stick is placed dramatically affects the performance of the device. A spot with poor internet connectivity will cause streams to buffer. Storing the device in an area too cold or damp can cause permeant damage. Storing in a hot or crowded area will cause the device to overheat.
How to make sure the device is getting enough internet connectivity
Thick walls and distance between the Fire Stick and the internet router can cause disruptions in streaming or slow streaming overall. It is best to have the Fire Stick in the same room as the router. Purchasing Wi-Fi meshes for your home can also help to distribute the internet connectivity in your home if moving the Fire Stick or the router isn’t a viable option.
Keeping the Fire Stick safe from the elements
Just like any other electronic, extreme cold or moisture can ruin the Fire Stick. Keep the Fire Stick in a dry place that stays around 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit. Even if the Fire Stick is turned off and in storage, it can still be damaged by the elements.
Avoid Overheating the Fire Stick
While the Fire Stick is running, it can overheat, causing streaming to slow down. To make sure your device doesn’t overheat, you must know to improve FireStick performance and follow these guidelines.
- Make sure the Fire Stick isn’t crowded by other items.
- Do not set anything on top of the Fire Stick while it is running.
- Keep the temperature in the room regulated.
Keeping the Fire Stick maintained and having a reliable internet connection is the way to avoid slow streaming speeds and buffering. While it can be inconvenient to maintain the Fire Stick at times, it is vital. Without keeping up on the maintenance, it will be impossible to sit back, relax, and enjoy our favorite shows.
Also, the speed of your internet package has a huge effect on the quality of your streams. For the best streaming speeds, invest in a decent internet connection, and take good care of your Fire Stick.