How to Fix Fire Stick Buffering Problems

Stream audio and video without pausing to buffer

When a Fire Stick keeps buffering, it could be due to various connectivity problems. Of course, it could be more than simple connectivity problems. To fix Fire Stick buffering problems, you need to identify which of these issues you’re dealing with and resolve them.

What Causes Fire Stick Buffering?

When you stream video or audio over the internet with a Fire Stick, the audio and video data are downloaded into a buffer. An app on the Fire Stick grabs the data from the buffer and plays it on your TV. Playback pauses whenever the app has to wait while more data downloads into the buffer, and you see a buffering message.

The most common causes of buffering on a Fire Stick include:

  • Slow internet connection.
  • Too many devices are on your Wi-Fi.
  • Poor Wi-Fi signal to your Fire Stick.
  • Out of date Fire Stick firmware.
  • Running too many apps on the Fire Stick.
  • Fire Stick is overheating.
  • Fire Stick infected with malware.
  • Problems with the streaming service.

How Do I Stop My Fire Stick From Buffering?

To stop your Fire Stick from buffering, you can try many fixes aimed at each of the most common issues known to cause this problem.

Try each of these fixes in order:

  1. Check your internet speed. If possible, use a device connected to the same Wi-Fi network in the same general location of your Fire Stick.

    You’ll need to have speeds of about 5 Mbps for standard definition video, 10 Mbps for high definition video, and 25 Mbps for 4K video, but some streaming services have different requirements.

  2. Disconnect other devices from your Wi-Fi. If you have a lot of devices connected to the same Wi-Fi network, temporarily disconnect them or shut them off. If that fixes your buffering problem, your network is probably overloaded. You may need a router that’s designed for more devices.

  3. Improve your Wi-Fi signal. Use the HDMI extension cable included with your Fire Stick to move it away from your television. If your TV is inside a cabinet, you may need a longer extension cable. You can also try moving your wireless router closer to the Fire Stick and removing any obstructions blocking the signal.

  4. Restart your Fire Stick. Running a lot of apps on your Fire Stick can cause buffering issues. Unplug your Fire Stick from power for at least five minutes, then plug it back in and see if the problem resolves.

  5. Clear the cache on your Fire Stick. Any time you experience buffering problems, slow speeds, and app crashes, clearing the cache can remove potentially corrupted data from causing problems.

  6. Update your Fire Stick. If your Fire Stick is out of date, that can cause buffering issues. Search for and install any available firmware updates, and then check to see if your buffering problem still exists.

  7. Prevent your Fire Stick from overheating. A hot Fire Stick can cause buffering issues. Try moving the Fire Stick to a different HDMI port where it gets more airflow, or reposition it using an HDMI extension cable.

  8. Factory reset your Fire Stick. If your Fire Stick has corrupt firmware or a malware problem, the easiest way to fix it is to reset the Fire Stick. That will return it to its factory original state, so you need to set it up and reinstall your apps. If you sideloaded any apps in the past, be careful about which sources you trust, as a malware-infected app may have caused your problem.

Should I Clear the Cache on My Fire Stick?

You should clear the cache on your Fire Stick any time you experience buffering problems, slow speeds, and app crashes. Clearing the cache forces apps to re-download data previously stored on the device, but there is no other downside. Clearing the cache doesn’t sign you out of apps or remove apps, just temporary data designed to speed things up.

Why Does My Amazon Fire Stick Keep Freezing?

There are a few different reasons for a Fire Stick to keep freezing. If it seems to freeze when you’re streaming videos, then it could be a buffering problem. If apps freeze, or it takes a long time to navigate menus or open apps, you could have an overheating fire stick, corrupted cache files that you need to clear, or outdated firmware. If your Fire Stick is frozen on the Amazon logo, restarting the Fire Stick may fix your problem.

Why Is My Fire Stick Lagging So Much?

If your Fire Stick is unresponsive or slow, restarting or resetting the Fire Stick usually fixes the problem. Input lag can also be caused by the batteries in the remote if they need to be replaced. If you’re experiencing lagging audio, where the Fire Stick audio is delayed, you can often fix that problem by switching the playback language, rewinding and fast-forwarding, or closing a video and then reopening it. Restarting the Fire Stick can also take care of lagging audio. 

  • How do I fix my Fire Stick remote?

    If your Fire Stick remote isn't working, replace the batteries and re-pair the remote. Make sure you are close enough and that there are no obstructions or interferences. If the remote still won't work, use the Fire TV mobile app.

  • Why can't my Fire Stick connect to Wi-Fi?

    If your Fire Stick won't connect to Wi-Fi, go to the settings and forget the network, then try to reconnect. If possible, use an Ethernet connection. If you have a VPN installed, try disabling it.

  • How do I improve the streaming quality on my Fire Stick?

    To improve your Fire Stick's streaming quality, go to Settings > Preferences > Data Monitoring and turn it Off, or leave Data Monitoring turned on and change Set Video Quality to Best. Any steps you take to increase your Wi-Fi speed will also improve streaming quality.

Was this page helpful?