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Why Does My Firestick Keep Buffering? Reasons and Fixes!

Written by, Nikola Dimovski

Updated June, 24, 2023

Don’t you find it absolutely annoying when you try to watch your favourite show, and your firestick is freezing and keeps buffering? Slow internet, too many apps in the background and cache are just a few of the reasons for this. However, these are not all of them. To find out what else is the cause, as well as the right firestick buffering fix, just read on. 

Why Does My Firestick Keep Freezing and Buffering?

Buffering can happen continuously as you’re streaming videos. This is due to the fact that when you stream, data is downloaded and stored on your Firestick for you to view when you wish to. If the playback is faster than the actual download, the video will have to be paused so that the download catches up. Until this happens, the video will “buffer” which means it will stop playing, which can be rather annoying. 

There are a number of things that can cause buffering to happen, some having a bigger impact than others, but all worth a mention. 

1. Your internet connection is too slow

A slow internet connection is one of the most common reasons for your firestick to buffer. For optimal use, the Amazon Firestick requires at least 3Mpbs for SD and 5Mpbs for HD streaming. Therefore, if your connection speed is lower than 3Mpbs, you’ll surely experience buffering more often. 

2. There are too many apps working in the background

Another reason why you might experience buffering is other apps that might be using your bandwidth even though you’re not technically using them right then and there. Having too many apps running in the background can slow your connection speed, which will then result in buffering. 

3. There are too many devices connected to your network

If your home network is used by other users or devices, especially if they are also streaming, this might put a big toll on your Firestick. In order to avoid this, always make sure other devices are not hogging the bandwidth, so you can watch your show buffer free. 

4. You haven’t cleared your cache in a while

Something we’re all guilty of is not clearing our cache. When we use a certain app continuously, it will store temporary data and cache. Clearing this data will help get things back on track and will free up Firestick’s space. 

To do this, go to:

  • Settings;
  • Click on Applications;
  • From there, click on Manage Stored Applications;
  • Pick which app you want to clear cache for (you have to do this for every app individually);
  • Click on Clear Cache.

Note: Once you clear your cache, it can either go to 0 or 16.38KB. Although the newer devices go back to 16KB, don’t panic, this is perfectly normal.

5. You haven’t updated your apps, either

Firestick should automatically update all its apps unless you’ve turned your “automatic update” off. If you’re guilty of this, then just go to Settings, Applications and finally, App Store. If the automatic update is not turned on (which it should by default be), then turn it on.

However, there are also cases where certain apps need to be installed manually. Such apps are usually other streaming services, like SkyGo or BritBox, that you’ve downloaded on your Firestick devices. They are usually installed from a different source, which means that they have to be updated manually, following the same approach you used when you installed them. 

6. Some honourable mentions!

 Although these five might be the main reasons for firestick buffering, there are also some others worth mentioning. 

  • Your IPS might throttle video streams. This means that your internet provider might be intentionally slowing down your connection, if you’re streaming or downloading, to reduce bandwidth use;
  • Apart from updating your apps, you should also update Firestick’s operating system. This can be as good a reason for buffering as any; 
  • Your firestick might be heating up. If you notice overheating, this can hurt not only your streaming but your device in general; 
  • Your firestick might be suffering from malware. If this is the case, then you’ll definitely experience buffering.

How to Stop Buffering on Firestick?

1. Turn it off and on again

It sounds funny, we know, but rebooting your Firestick should be the first thing you do once you notice the buffering. You can do this by:

  • Going to Settings;
  • Select My Fire TV;
  • Click on Restart.

2. Use a fire stick ethernet adapter or cable

If you notice issues with your wifi speed, then the buffering issues might actually stem from there. In this case, the best thing (other than increasing your wifi speed) is to use an ethernet cable or adapter. In other words, you should connect your ethernet cable directly to your router, which will provide optimal connection speed. 

3. Free up some RAM

Another thing you could do to try and stop buffering on Firestick is to free up some RAM. When other apps are running in the background, your RAM could easily be used up, which will result in issues with your streaming.

4. Try watching your videos at a lower video quality

If you’ve tried all the previous suggestions and nothing seems to work, then try lowering your video quality. Although we’re all used to watching our videos in 4K, if you’ve noticed continued buffering, then this might be just what solves it. Even though the video quality is usually picked automatically, you can just go and pick a lower one manually.

5. Give a VPN a go

If your internet provider is intentionally slowing down your internet connection or throttling your streams, you can try and instal a VPN. The job of the VPN is to encrypt your network, giving you privacy from your internet provider. This might sound easy, but it can often be more complicated than we anticipate. The reason for this is that certain VPNs are known to have issues with Firestick.

Therefore, always make sure to pick the right VPN, or one that is easy to use, has plenty of bandwidth and most importantly one that works with Firestick

6. Try factory reset

Your last resort should be factory resetting your Firestick. However, this will inevitably delete all the apps, taking your Firestick back to how it was when you first got it. Therefore, if you are opting for this option, make sure to back up any data you might need later. This can be done by:

  • Going to Settings;
  • Select Reset to Factory Details;
  • Click on Reset.

Once you’ve done this, your Firestick will go back to its initial form, which will hopefully fix any buffering issues you previously had.

Wrapping It Up

Although not usable with all streaming services, Firestick is slowly making its way as one of the most popular streaming devices out there. However, just like any piece of technology, there are certain issues we might uncover, one being the annoying buffering. 

So, why does my firestick keep buffering? Is there one particular fix? No, not really.

It initially depends on the cause, which, once identified, might be easily fixed. With that said, we hope this comprehensive article helped you in pinning the issue and solving it.

Frequently Asked Questions And Their Answers

1. What causes firestick to keep buffering?

There are many reasons why your firestick is buffering. Some of the most common ones include a slow internet connection, too many apps present in the background, too many devices connected to your network, or simply forgetting to clear your cache or update your apps.

2. Does a VPN stop buffering?

Although this might not work 100% of the time, a vpn can prevent buffering if the cause of the buffering is your IPS throttling your video streams. If you are aware that your internet provider is purposely slowing down your connection, thus causing buffering, then getting a VPN is the way to go.

3. Will a better router stop buffering?

Yes, a better router or a stronger internet connection is a perfect firestick buffering fix. Often times the issue comes directly from poor wifi connections, thus, getting a better router might fix this.

My name is Nikola, and I’m an SEO Specialist and a tech enthusiast. I graduated from the Faculty of Economics, the department of E-Business Management. My experiences go from implementing ERP Solutions, CRM practices, and finally, on-page and off-page SEO. I take pride in staying ahead of the curve when it comes to SEO and keeping up with the latest changes to search algorithms. I love experimenting with new strategies and testing the results to see what works best. Outside of work, I enjoy tinkering with new tech gadgets and exploring the latest apps and software programs.