Like most technology these days, Amazon Fire TV Stick’s use computer processors and software to do their job. Sometimes, the hardware or software can glitch out and become slower to respond. It’s frustrating when your Fire TV Stick slows down and isn’t as responsive or fast as it used to be.
There are some tips that you can try to speed it back up. In this article, I’m going to walk you through several methods. I will explain the common reasons for a slow Fire TV Stick, and give you solutions. The tips are arranged from easy to more complicated.
Restart your Fire TV Stick
Problem: The most common reason that your Fire TV Stick is running slow is due to apps and services using up too much memory in the background. Software glitches can also contribute to slower performance. Restarting your Fire TV Stick is the best way to fix these issues.
Solution: To restart, navigate over to the Settings gear icon. Then go down and click on My Fire TV. Scroll down to Restart, and then confirm that you want to restart your Fire TV Stick.
Rebooting your Fire TV Stick creates a fresh network connection, and shuts off all the background apps and services. Once it has booted back up, try to see if performance has improved.
Update the software
Problem: If the software on your Fire TV Stick is out-of-date, it can cause performance issues. Amazon regularly releases software updates to fix bugs and improve features. It's important to keep your software current. If you have noticed your Fire TV Stick slowing down, it might be time to let it update.
Solution: To check for available software updates, find the Settings gear icon from the home dashboard. Go down and click on My Fire TV. Then click on About. Near the bottom of the list you should see Check for Updates, but you might also see Install Update if there is an update pending. If you see Check for Updates, click on it. You will see your software information displayed to the right. Your Fire TV Stick will let you know if you are up-to-date. If you see Install Update, it means you have a pending update available. Click Install Update to begin the quick upgrade process.
Update your apps
Problem: Your apps also need to stay up-to-date, just like the Fire TV software. If you don't update your apps periodically, they can be prone to glitches and bugs that could slow down your experience when using them.
Solution: By default, your apps should update automatically. I recommend keeping these automatic updates on. To check, find the Settings gear icon, then scroll over to Applications. Then click on Appstore. Make sure Automatic Updates is set to ON.
With automatic updates on, your Fire TV Stick apps will automatically stay up-to-date, you don’t have to do anything else.
Delete apps that you don’t use
Problem: Fire TV Stick's have internal storage that is used to keep all your installed apps. If you've run low on storage space, it can slow down the Fire TV Stick.
Solution: I recommend periodically deleting apps that you don't use very often. This keeps plenty of free space on your Fire TV Stick so it can perform its best. To find apps you don't use, go to the Settings gear icon. Click on Applications. Then click on Manage Installed Applications. Change Sort to Recency. The most unused apps will be shown at the top. To delete an app, click on it in the list. Then hit Uninstall.
Some of the pre-loaded apps and services cannot be uninstalled from the Fire TV Stick. You can also sort by application size to see which apps are taking up the most space.
Clear app cache
Problem: Apps use cache, which is how they temporarily store data that might be needed again. But sometimes apps fail to purge their cache, leading to a build up. A full cache can cause your Fire TV Stick to slow down.
Solution: Luckily, you can easily clear an app's cache if you notice your favorite app is slowing down. Find the Settings gear icon from the dashboard. Click on Applications, and then click Manage Installed Applications. Find the app that is giving you issues. Click on it, and then hit Clear cache.
Problem: Sometimes your Fire TV Stick becomes so bloated with apps and glitches that it's best to wipe the slate clean and start over. If you've made it this far down the list and your Fire TV Stick is still running slow, a factory reset might help clear everything out and get it running smoothly again.
Solution: Doing a factory reset is a last resort, because it deletes all your apps and settings. To factory reset your Fire TV Stick, navigate to the Settings gear icon. Click on My Fire TV. Near the bottom, find and click on Reset to Factory Defaults. Confirm that you would like to reset your Fire TV Stick and lose all your apps and data.
After several minutes, your Fire TV Stick will reboot. You will have to go through the setup process again, including signing in to your Amazon account, and installing your favorite apps. I don’t recommend restoring from a backup. Remember, the apps you had previously were likely the cause of the slow performance, so it’s best to start fresh and install any apps as you need them.
Upgrade your Fire TV Stick model
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If you’ve tried everything and your Fire TV Stick is still running slow, it might be time for an upgrade. Like any technology, hardware becomes obsolete as newer models are introduced. Sometimes, even after just a couple years, the older Fire TV Sticks just can’t keep up.
Apps will continue to demand more and more from the Fire TV Sticks. If factory resetting didn’t work, I recommend purchasing a new Fire TV Stick. If your budget allows, buying the higher-end Fire TV Stick 4K Max will give you a bit of future-proofing. It has more memory and processing power than the budget-friendly Fire TV Stick Lite.
If you are interested in learning more about the differences between the Fire TV Stick models, check out my comparison between the Fire TV Stick 4K vs Lite.