Why Does My Firestick Keep Buffering? & How to Fix It

Is your Firestick buffering a lot? If so, something’s not right. Let’s identify the problem and then I’ll give you a solution.

Slow internet, a low-quality streaming source, software, or hardware issues can cause your Firestick to buffer. You can always hunt the problem down to one of these four categories. To fix it, you’d need to dig a little deeper. Let’s start.

Why Does Firestick Freeze and Buffer 

When you stream online with your Firestick, it downloads video and audio content in a buffer. Ideally, it should download and store the content faster than it’s playing on the screen. This ensures a smooth playback. 

You see the buffering icon on your screen whenever your Firestick can’t download data faster than the playback. It stays until the device has enough content in the buffer to resume playing. This can happen for various reasons.

Slow Internet Connection

You need a connection speed of at least 5 Mbps to stream full HD video. You’ll likely experience buffering if it’s anything below that. Your internet can slow down due to:

          • Poor Wi-Fi signal: A large distance or thick walls between your Firestick and router can weaken your connection and cause buffering.
          • ISP throttling: Your internet provider may deliberately slow down your connection if it detects you’re streaming, especially during peak hours.
          • Too many devices using Wi-Fi: If other devices on your network are streaming or downloading, they might take up too much bandwidth, leaving too little for your Firestick.

Streaming Service Issues

Sometimes the problem is at the opposite end of the connection. You’ll get a choppy video stream due to:

          • Congested streaming servers: You may experience buffering if your streaming source is getting more traffic than it can handle.
          • Outdated streaming app: Older versions of Firestick apps are not the fastest. You’re unlikely to get smooth streaming if you haven’t updated them.

Firestick Software or Hardware Issues

If your internet and streaming service are working fine, you might be up against the following Firestick issues:

          • Too many apps running on your Firestick: A Firestick is not exactly a powerhouse. Too many apps running in the background can slow down processing speed. So even if you have a fast connection, the Firestick can’t load video fast enough for smooth streaming.
          • Malware infestation: Just like too many apps running on your Firestick, malware can also eat up its processing power. 
          • Outdated OS: You’re likely to experience Firestick buffering or freezing if you haven’t updated its operating system lately. 
          • Firestick overheating: You might be up against a hardware problem if your Firestick heats up while streaming. Overheating can affect device performance and cause buffering. 

Now, let’s find out exactly what’s happening with your Firestick and fix it!

How to Fix Firestick Buffering Step-by-Step

Your Firestick may keep buffering or freezing because of one or more reasons I’ve mentioned above. Try these fixes one by one until you get smooth streaming. 

Don’t forget to turn your Firestick off and back on once before you start. The rebooting trick might just work for you!

Fix Your Internet Connection Speed

A slow internet connection is one of the most common reasons for Firestick buffering. Use an internet speed test site like Fast.com to confirm the issue. If your download speed is less than 5 Mbps, you’ll definitely experience some buffering with a 1080p video stream. 

You need to find out why you have a slow connection before you can increase your internet speed

Check Wi-Fi Signal Strength

Go to Settings from the Firestick home screen and select Network. Select the Wi-Fi network you’re connected to and press the Play/Pause button to check the network status. 

Screenshot of Firestick network connection status screen
Settle for nothing less than Very Good!

This should show you the Wi-Fi signal strength and whether you’re connected to the internet. If your signal strength isn’t Very Good, you’d have to bring the router and Firestick closer… somehow.

Alternatively, you could use an ethernet cable or Wi-Fi extender if you can’t move the devices from their places. Once you’ve got healthy signal strength, try streaming something again. If it’s still choppy, your ISP may be the culprit. 

Get Around ISP Throttling

If you notice your internet slows down a lot during peak hours (7-11 PM), it’s likely you’re a victim of bandwidth throttling. ISPs have a nasty habit of limiting your connection speed to save up on their resources if they detect you’re streaming or downloading. 

Connect to CyberGhost VPN to get around throttling easily. We reroute your traffic through a VPN tunnel, which means your internet provider can no longer see what you’re doing online. 

Whether you’re streaming, downloading, or just browsing a website, your ISP has no clue and can’t throttle your connection

Disconnect Other Devices From Your Network

If improving your Wi-Fi signal or using a VPN didn’t help, check what other devices are using your network. If too many devices are streaming or downloading on your Wi-Fi, cut down the load to fix buffering. 

If you don’t know which devices are using your network or don’t have access to them, log into your router to find out. Find your router’s IP address, paste it into your browser’s search bar, and enter your credentials. You’ll find a list of connected devices under the Wireless category.

If you want to kick out unauthorized devices, simply change your network security key. This will disconnect all devices, restore your control over your Wi-Fi, and hopefully make the buffering go away. If none of these solutions work, you might have to look into your streaming service. 

Fix Streaming Service Issues

You won’t get the smoothest streaming experience if you’re using an outdated or low-quality app. You might also experience buffering issues if your streaming source is getting a lot of traffic and can’t keep up. 

Clear Streaming App Cache

If your Firestick keeps buffering when you use a particular app, clearing its cache can help. When you use an app a lot, it keeps creating and storing temporary files on your Firestick. Deleting this data can speed things up.

Go to Settings, select Applications, and then Manage Installed Applications

Screenshot of Firestick Applications Setting Screen
Clearing app caches should be an easy fix.

Select the individual app you want to clear the cache for. Press Rewind on Confirm, and that’s it. Note, you have to clear app data individually if you’re having trouble with multiple apps. 

Screenshot of Firestick Clear App Cache screen
Don’t worry, clearing the cache won’t delete important data.

After clearing the cache, wait for a minute or two before opening the app again. If the issue persists, try updating the app. 

Update the Streaming App

Your Firestick should normally update all apps on its own if you have Automatic Updates turned on. To turn them on, go to Settings, Applications, and select App Store. This setting should be on by default. 

If you have a jailbroken Firestick and are using a sideloaded app, go to the app’s website to download the latest version. If you already have the updated version and it doesn’t give you smooth video streaming, it just might be a low-quality app or streaming service.  

Replace Your Streaming App

Some streaming services can’t give you a good smooth video stream, no matter how fast your connection is. You can only switch to a better alternative in this case. Fortunately, you have a wide variety to choose from with a Firestick.

If you use Kodi on your Firestick, Real Debrid is a great option to get premium links for smooth, HD streaming. No need to fret about slow streaming links when you have Real Debrid on Kodi.

Regardless of what app or service you choose, you can always count on CyberGhost VPN for a seamless entertainment experience. Our streaming-optimized servers give you an ultra-fast connection so you can enjoy UHD content with zero buffering! 

Fix Firestick Software or Hardware Issues

Your Firestick can keep freezing or buffering when it can’t process data fast enough. This can either be a minor problem like too many apps running in the background, or a bigger issue with the Firestick hardware. 

Stop Background Apps and Processes

Too many apps running in the background can slow your Firestick down a lot. They take up connection bandwidth as well as the device’s processing power. 

Go to Settings, Applications, and then Manage installed applications to view apps running on your Firestick. Here, you can either Force Stop or Uninstall the app. I recommend uninstalling apps you don’t use. This can free up storage space and make your Firestick faster. 

Screenshot of Firestick Uninstall or Force Stop App screen
We’re down to using force now.

Update Firestick OS

Keep your Firestick OS up to date so it works smoothly with other apps. Automatic updates should be on by default, but you can also start one manually.

Head to Settings, My Fire TV, and select About. Scroll down to Install Update to check if an update is available. 

Screenshot of Firestick Install OS Update screen
An OS update solves half the problems.

Updating your Firestick OS should solve almost all software issues. This will also get rid of malware eating up the device’s system resources. If you already have the latest OS, it might be time to reset your Firestick to give it a fresh start. 

Factory Reset Your Firestick

If nothing else seems to work, factory reset your Firestick. This will erase everything on the device and solve every software-related problem, including malware infestation. Back up your data and note the apps you want to reinstall later. 

To factory reset your Firestick, go to Settings, My Fire TV, and select Reset to Factory Defaults

Screenshot of Firestick Reset to Factory Defaults screen
A factory reset solves what an OS update can’t.

This is an extreme measure but should make your Firestick as good as new. However, even if this doesn’t solve your problem, and you’ve already checked your connection and streaming app, check for hardware problems.

Check Firestick Temperature 

If your Firestick feels hot to the touch, it might have a hardware problem. Overheating can slow down its performance and make your Firestick freeze or buffer. 

Ensure your Firestick has enough space to cool off. Also, check if any other devices are transferring extra heat to the device. If you’ve tried everything and your Firestick is still heating up, it’s time to buy a new one.

Can I Improve the Video Quality of My Firestick?

You may improve the video quality on your Firestick if you tweak a few settings. First, check your video quality settings. Go to Settings, Preferences, and select Data Monitoring

I recommend you turn off Data Monitoring on your Firestick. It lets Amazon collect app and device usage data and is a huge invasion of privacy. This should also allow you to select your video quality.

Screenshot of Firestick Preferences screen
Don’t turn it off if you’ve got a limited internet plan.

You’ll have three options: Good, Better, and Best. Choose Best to get the highest-definition streaming. 

A word of caution: Turning off Data Monitoring will make your Firestick use up more data. Think twice if you have data caps on your internet service. 

Should I Use a VPN with My Firestick?

A high-quality Firestick VPN like CyberGhost can definitely make your streaming experience better. It can help you combat ISP throttling so you get a smooth video at all times. 

I also recommend you use CyberGhost VPN on your Firestick to stay safe from online threats. We mask your IP address and encrypt your traffic which makes it hard for cybercriminals to gain access to private information. 

The best part? CyberGhost VPN has streaming-optimized servers for almost every popular streaming service. Whether you need a VPN for Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, CBC, or Channel 4, we have a VPN server for all of them and many more! 

Stop Firestick Buffering for Good

Your Firestick may keep buffering or freezing if you have a slow internet connection, your streaming app isn’t working right, or if your Firestick device is facing problems. Fixing it gets very easy once you’ve identified the issue.

A slow connection is the most common reason for Firestick buffering. If it’s because of a weak Wi-Fi signal, mending it is as easy as moving the router and Firestick closer. However, you might also be up against bandwidth throttling. You can confirm this if you feel a noticeable difference in your internet speed during peak hours. 

Get CyberGhost VPN to get around ISP throttling with ease. We use VPN encryption to reroute your traffic through a secure tunnel. This means your ISP won’t know if you’re streaming online and can’t limit your bandwidth. Enjoy uninterrupted, high-definition video streaming on your Firestick, and say goodbye to buffering!


Why is my Firestick constantly buffering?

Your Firestick may keep buffering if you have a slow internet connection, a low-quality or congested streaming service, or internal software or hardware problems. Your Firestick can also start buffering a lot during peak hours if your ISP throttles your bandwidth if it detects you’re streaming online. 
Install CyberGhost VPN on your Firestick to hide your traffic from your ISP. This will stop ISP throttling right away so you can enjoy your favorite content with zero buffering

How do I fix Firestick buffering problems?

You can fix Firestick buffering as soon as you identify the cause. You’ll have to increase your internet speed, get a faster streaming service, or solve your Firestick’s software problems depending on the issue.
You might also have to get around bandwidth throttling if your Firestick buffers during peak hours. CyberGhost is the best VPN for Firestick — fix buffering in a jiffy

Can a free VPN stop Firestick buffering?

Free VPNs are never a good match for Firestick. They have sluggish speeds and very low data caps, which means they can worsen your Firestick buffering.
CyberGhost VPN is a much better option to stop your Firestick from buffering. We give you lightning-fast speeds for UHD streaming and place no data caps so you can watch as much as you want. 
Try out CyberGhost VPN risk-free with our 45-day money-back guarantee.

Should I use a VPN with my Firestick?

Some Firestick apps come with third-party add-ons containing malware or spyware, which can leave you exposed to cybercriminals. I recommend using a VPN before installing or running any unknown apps or add-ons. 
CyberGhost VPN protects your digital identity so cybercriminals can’t track you online. The best part? CyberGhost VPN’s streaming-optimized servers give you ultra-fast speeds so you get the most amazing streaming experience on Firestick. 

What is the best VPN for Firestick?

Definitely CyberGhost VPN. All our popular server locations run on 10 Gbps and we offer unlimited bandwidth, so zero buffering. Our streaming-optimized servers for Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, ESPN+, Hulu, and more give you the most wonderful Firestick streaming experience. 

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