Amazon Fire TV Stick is a godsend for those who live with age-old TVs. You can just plug the little stick into your TV’s HDMI slot and turn your average TV into a smart TV. It’s cost effective, set up is easy, and works as advertised with all major video streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Apple TV +, Disney +, and others. However, there may be times when you may experience frequent buffering or loading indicators while streaming to Amazon Fire TV Stick.
When all is well, buffering happens continuously in the background while streaming video. We don’t notice it. The stick downloads data, which the Fire TV stick then reads for the user. When the video is playing faster than it was downloaded to the buffer, the video can be paused until more videos are downloaded and ready to play.
The problem could be your internet connection, the stream, or the Fire TV Stick itself. This article describes the top nine ways to diagnose and resolve Fire TV Stick buffering issues.
1. Troubleshoot the Internet connection
It is recommended to have at least 10 Mbps for 1080p and 20 Mbps for 4K streaming. If your internet connection is slow, you will experience buffering issues. If internet connection is not the issue, the following reasons may cause buffering on Fire TV Stick.
- If other devices (connected to the same Wi-Fi network) download large files, it may affect the operation of the Fire TV Stick.
- Is there interference between your Wi-Fi router and the Fire TV stick? Thick walls, long distances, and wireless signals from other devices can interfere with the connection.
- Is your ISP reducing video streams? Some ISPs deliberately slow down video streams to reduce bandwidth consumption.
2. Fire TV Stick overheating
Your Fire TV Stick is continuously connected to the charger and streams videos whenever the TV is turned on. If you live in an area where the average temperature is higher and the climate is hot, it could overheat the diffusion stick. In such cases, you will notice buffering as well as issues during general navigation in Fire OS.
You need to unplug the Fire TV Stick and let it cool down.
3. Use VPN
As mentioned above, Internet throttling is a common practice among ISPs. Your internet service provider may slow down your internet connection when streaming activity above a certain level is detected. As a result, you may experience buffering on Fire TV Stick.
Fortunately, this can be easily avoided by using a VPN service for Fire Stick. A good VPN will not only prevent your ISP from slowing down the speed, but will help in several ways such as protecting personal information from hackers, unlocking other regional apps like Hulu, HBO, etc.
4. Select Lower Quality Video
Higher video qualities require more bandwidth and system resources for streaming and playback. Most video players will automatically select a video quality on your behalf, but many also give you the option to set the video quality manually. This is usually determined by the video resolution, such as 4K, 1080p, 720p, or 480p. Lower resolution usually requires less bandwidth and will stop buffering issues.
5. Bottom storage of the device
Amazon’s most popular Fire TV Stick 4K comes with 8GB of built-in storage. It’s not exactly a storage powerhouse and it can be relatively easy to fill the space on the stick. If you are running out of storage on the Fire TV Stick, it can cause buffering issues. You can free up storage space by uninstalling irrelevant apps from the device.
6. Restart Fire TV Stick
The buffering issue might just be a glitch. Restarting the Fire TV Stick might resolve this issue. Simply unplug the device from its power source and plug it back in after 10 to 30 seconds. You can also restart the Fire TV stick using the remote shortcut.
Simultaneously press and hold the Select button (the big round button) and the Play / Pause button on your Fire TV Stick for about 4 to 5 seconds until a message “ Your Amazon Fire TV is playing. turns off ” is displayed on your TV screen.
7. Update Fire TV Stick
A bug in the Fire TV operating system can cause the buffering issue. Interestingly, updating the device and making sure it stays up to date may fix the problem. In fact, updating your Fire TV stick resolves most of the software issues you might encounter while using the streaming stick. Follow the steps below to update the Fire TV Stick and resolve its menu issues.
Step 1: Launch the Fire TV Stick Settings menu and select “My Fire TV”.
2nd step: Go to About> Check for Updates.
Step 3: Your Fire TV Stick will scan and download any available operating system updates.
The update process typically takes around 1 to 5 minutes, and your Fire TV Stick may be restarted automatically several times during installation.
8. Check the streaming service servers
Sometimes a new movie or season of a hugely popular TV series is shown to millions of consumers on the day it is released.
Unexpected traffic can throttle servers on video streaming sites. This can cause outrage and cause constant buffering on your end. In such cases, you can confirm the issue on social media sites and wait for the streaming partner to resolve the issue on their end.
9. Factory reset
This is an extreme measure and should only be used when nothing is working from the above troubleshooting changes. Follow the steps below to reset Fire TV Stick.
Step 1: From the Home screen, go to Settings> My Fire TV
2nd step: Scroll down and select Reset to Factory Defaults
Step 3: Select Reset
The action will restore your Firestick to how it was when it first left the factory. This means that all your apps and files will be deleted.
Also on Guiding Tech
Enjoy hassle-free video streaming
No one likes a constant loading or buffering experience on streaming devices. It ruins the whole experience and makes you regret the wireless installation. Using the tips above, you can easily fix buffering issues on your Fire TV stick. Which adjustment worked for you? Sound off in the comments section below.
Running out of storage on your Fire TV stick? Find out how to free up storage space on Fire TV Stick by reading the article below.
Last updated on Oct 24, 2020
The above article may contain affiliate links that help support Guiding Tech. However, this does not affect our editorial integrity. The content remains impartial and authentic.