FireStick Buffering: Why and How To Stop This!

FireStick Buffering: Why & How To Stop This!

Buffering is technically defined as pre-downloading content while streaming online. This technique is primarily used by streaming Apps and websites ensuring video streaming is presented to the user without annoying delays. So, the video content is downloaded while you are watching, rather than loading the whole video.

Firestick Buffering issues are the most frequent issues that Firestick customers experience which interrupt video streams in the middle of the content streaming.

Generally, a FireStick buffer or freeze is due to a slow internet connection or an overloaded network. However, there are other reasons too including ISP throttling and Fire TV stick distance from the router that can cause Firestick buffering problems.

Sometimes, a FireStick buffer even when the internet speed is working fine which is due to reasons such as low RAM space, low storage space, device overheating, and outdated Firestick OS.

The firestick buffering usually stops by fixing the internet connection speed, as a Fire TV Stick device needs a 3 to 4 Mbps internet connection speed for streaming a standard-definition video and 25 Mbps for a 4K video.

Amazon Firestick has grown to become the most popular streaming device providing streaming services in the market today. But, as the case is with any device, the FireStick is also prone to bugs and other functional problems.

Read on to learn about the reasons and causes for Firestick buffering, the right ways to fix this problem, and what to do when Fire Stick buffer with a good internet connection.

Why does My Firestick Keep Buffering and Freezing?

A man watching football and firestick buffering.

The Firestick keeps buffering due to a slow internet connection, overloaded network, ISP throttling, distance of Firestick from the router, low RAM space, low storage space, device overheating, and outdated Firestick operating system.

Usually, a video is first downloaded to a reserved memory, also called a buffer, and then FireStick plays it back for the user. The buffering problem starts when the speed of playing back the video is more than the speed at which it is downloaded to the buffer memory. When this happens, the video gets paused until more video is downloaded and ready. This is what is referred to as “buffering”, and leads to a frustrating streaming experience.

The details of all the firestick buffering and freezing causes are listed below.

  • Slow internet connection: For smooth streaming, it’s recommended to have a minimum of 10 Mbps for 1080p and 20 Mbps for 4K. Don’t let buffering ruin your experience!
  • ISP Throttling: Sometimes, internet service providers slow down the connection speed when they detect heavy streaming activity.
  • Router is Placed Far from FireStick: If your FireStick is placed too far from your Wi-Fi router, your wi-fi signal strength weakens, leading to frustrating buffering issues.
  • Low RAM Space: Is your FireStick running out of memory? Too many unnecessary apps running in the background can be the culprit. Free up space for smooth performance.
  • Running low on storage: With the limited 8GB space on FireStick, it’s no surprise that storage can become an issue. But there are ways to optimize and make room for more content.
  • FireStick overheating: Overheating can cause buffering issues on streaming devices and ruin your streaming experience. Keep your FireStick cool and avoid too long watching hours.
  • Outdated FireStick OS: If your FireStick is running on an outdated operating system, buffering issues may arise. Stay up to date with the latest OS for uninterrupted streaming bliss.

Why does my Fire TV Stick ‘freezes’ after a few minutes of playing?

Your Fire TV Stick freezes after a few minutes of playing when the App cache and data fill up the FireStick device memory. You can easily fix this problem with the use of the below-listed steps.

  1. Navigate to Settings on your Fire TV Stick.
  2. Select Applications, followed by Manage Installed Applications.
  3. Select the App that’s freezing.
  4. Now, click on Clear Cache, and then Clear Data.

As per an Amazon Staff, Melanie A, you must restart your FireStick and Home Network settings including router or modem, and try using the App on your Fire TV Stick.

How To Stop Buffering on Firestick?

A remote and buffering video on TV.

The easiest way to fix or stop firestick buffering is to use an internet connection with greater than 25 Mbps of speed. However, there are multiple other causes that lead to buffering problems in a Fire TV Stick including ISP throttling, low storage space, and so on.

The key to stop the Fire TV Stick buffering includes finding out the actual reason and then fixing it up. The ways of finding the exact reason for firestick buffering and its troubleshooting tips are listed below.

  1. Reboot FireStick
  2. Check Internet Connection Speed
  3. Uninstall Pre-installed and Unused Apps
  4. Clear Fire TV Stick Memory
  5. Use a VPN
  6. Disable App Data Collection
  7. Clear App Cache and App Data
  8. Update Fire TV Stick Firmware
  9. Restore Fire TV Stick to Factory Settings

1. Reboot FireStick

A Firestick reboot helps to reoptimize all the functions of the device. While rebooting, all the programs and services that are currently open shut off on the device and the Firestick gets a fresh restart.

The steps to restart a firestick is given below.

  • Navigate to Settings from the home screen.
  • Choose “My Fire TV” on the right.
  • Select “Restart”.

2. Check and Improve Internet Connection Speed

Checking the internet connection speed is a must to find out the FireStick video streaming buffer problem due to slow internet. A FireStick buffer when there’s not enough of the video stream has been loaded for it to continue playing, and needs a few moments to catch up.

Since streaming video uses a lot of bandwidth, your Fire Stick is unable to keep up with all the media playing at once if your Internet connection isn’t fast enough.

For example, a standard-definition video requires 3 to 4 Mbps. Video in high HD needs 6 to 10 Mbps. About 25 Mbps are needed for 4K video streaming.

Verify that your internet speed complies with those and you are not trying to play a 4K video at less than 3 Mbps of internet speed. Your Fire Stick will also not provide a nice video streaming experience if it just receives the minimum speed required.

You must assess your network’s Internet speed from your FireStick by testing at the TV, not the router or any other location. Even if your ISP offers you 100 Mbps at the router, it won’t matter if your wireless connection to the Fire TV Stick uses just 3 Mbps of that.

3. Uninstall Pre-installed and Unused Apps

A man selecting Apps on TV.

Uninstalling pre-installed and unused apps in Firestick is necessary to free up device memory as low memory also slows down the device which can lead to Firestick buffering. The FireStick begins to operate slowly and shows signs of issues if its memory is filled with a lot of unnecessary clutter.

Even if you’re new to using Fire TV Stick, keep in mind that a FireStick comes with several pre-installed apps, so you will need to search for pre-installed programs that you don’t use and uninstall all those unused Apps when you experience buffering or freezing problem.

The steps to uninstall the unused and pre-installed apps are given below.

  • Select “Settings” from the Firestick menu.
  • Select “Applications.”
  • Click on “Manage Installed Applications“.
  • To uninstall an application, select that particular app and tap the “Uninstall” button.
  • Repeat the same process for every unused application on your device.

4. Clear FireStick Memory

Clearing FireStick memory frees up temporary memory space and protects the device from buffering and crashing. When you use FireStick to run a lot of applications, you rapidly run out of RAM. When RAM is used up, the Firestick system either crashes or enter an endless buffer loop.

Cleaning Firestick memory will require an installation of an App called “Background Apps and Process List” which you can get for free on Amazon Store.

The steps to clear Firestick RAM is given below.

  • On the FireStickk home screen, select FIND option and then click on Search.
  • Type “Background Apps and Process List” and install the App.
  • Click on Get to download the app.
  • Once the App is downloaded, select Open.
  • Now, a screen will appear with App usage instructions, select “Got It”.
  • Click on “Close All Apps to close all the background running Apps. You can also choose one App at a time and then click on Force Stop to kill a particular background running app.

5. Use a VPN

VPN enables on a Tablet.

Using a VPN masks online activity from the ISP so that they can’t discriminate against streaming methods while a person is streaming video.

Fast internet is essential for a Fire Stick to function properly. However, there are situations when Internet service providers slow down connection speed to minimize congestion when they detect video streaming. The deliberate slowing down of your internet speed, or throttling, is done to reduce traffic.

By using a VPN, you connect to a separate server and can completely bypass congestion and throttling. Proton is one of the best VPN services I have used so far.

6. Disable App Data Collection

Disabling App data collection prevents your FireStick from gathering data from all installed applications. The data collection is another potential cause of buffers or screen lags on a FireStick.

One of the many things that slow down a FireStick is this activity which goes on in the background. This setting can be easily disabled from the Firestick Settings menu.

The steps to stop an app from collecting your data is given below.

  • From the menu on your Fire Stick, choose “Settings.”
  • Select “Applications.”
  • Choose “Collect App Usage Data“.
  • Disable “Collect App Usage“.

7. Clear App Cache and Data

Modern applications demand more space for the program and its data. The data and cache used by an application use a large amount of storage and similar to a computer or smartphone, if your Fire TV Stick’s storage fills up, operations become slower.

The steps to delete temporary and stored data is given below.

  • Go to “Settings”.
  • Activate “Applications“.
  • Select “Manage installed programs“.
  • Now, the information about the cache size of each application should appear on the right side of the screen.
  • Select the “software or apps” that are using a lot of memory.
  • Click the “Clear data” and “Clear cache” options.

8. Update Fire TV Stick Firmware

Updating Fire TV Stick firmware frees the device from the bugs causing it to function unsatisfactorily. Generally, both the operating system and any pre-downloaded applications on your Amazon Fire TV Stick is updated automatically. However, the applications, apart from pre-installed apps, require manual updation.

The steps to update Fire Stick software is given below.

  • Navigate to Settings > My Fire TV from the home screen.
  • Choose About.
  • Down the page, choose Install Update.

9. Restore your Fire TV Stick to Factory Settings

Restore your Amazon Fire TV Stick to its factory settings if nothing helps. But, remember that doing this will return your Fire Stick to its factory settings, and your programs, data, and settings all will be deleted.

Restoring your Firestick to factory settings will clear the device and make it free of any issues including malware that could be the root cause of the Firestick buffering.

The steps to restore your Firestick to factory settings is given below.

  • Go to “Settings.”
  • Access “My Fire TV
  • Choose “Reset to Factory Defaults” by scrolling down.
  • Select “Reset.”

The video guide to fix firestick buffering is provided below.

Why is my Fire Stick buffering with good internet?

Netflix buffering on TV.

If your Fire Stick is buffering with a good internet connection then the problem is due to cached data and temporary files. Apps on Firestick usually accumulate cached data and temporary files that consume a lot of storage space leading to buffering issues on a FireStick. In this case, clearing app caches and data helps optimize Firestick’s performance and resolve buffering problems.

As per CyberGhostVPN, Firestick buffering or freezing is also seen when the Firestick operating system is not updated with the latest OS. Also, Firestick overheating also affects device performance and causes buffering. Firestick overheating also shows signs of a hardware problem.

Why does my Firestick suddenly start constant buffering?

There are multiple reasons for Firestick suddenly started constant buffering including problems with the router, modem, Ethernet cable, or just a slow internet connection. Remote server and hardware malfunction are some other causes that suddenly start Firestick’s constant buffering.

Is overheating causing buffering on my Fire TV Stick?

Yes, overheating causes buffering on Fire TV Stick. That’s why you must prevent your Fire Stick from getting too heated. While your Fire Stick may operate for several hours without any issues, sometimes you must let it rest.

You must avoid leaving it ON all night and always shut off the device’s power supply when not using the Fire TV Stick. Also, you must unplug FireStick from the power source and give it at least 30 minutes to cool down if you believe it has become overworked

Why is my Firestick lagging when streaming?

Your firestick lagging when streaming content online is mostly due to a slow internet connection, too many apps running in the background, or low storage space. Sometimes, bugs in the FireStick Operating System (OS) also make a Firestick lag while streaming. Therefore, it is important to identify the exact cause, to find the exact solution of the firestick lagging problem.

Why is my Fire stick so slow?

Your Fire Stick is so slow because of too many running Apps in the background. Multiple apps running in the background use connection bandwidth and device processing power which slows down the Fire TV device performance. The easy solution to a slow FireStick device is force-stopping the background running apps and uninstalling the unused apps.

According to an article titled, “How to Avoid Buffering When Streaming Video” published on Screenbeam, a slow or unreliable Wi-Fi network in the home is the main cause of video buffering on streaming devices. So, you need to have a home network with a download speed of at least 25 Mbps to protect your FireStick from getting slow.