The Ultimate Guide to Speed Up a Slow FireStick

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Written by Jason Lin

Firestick Is Slow

Have you noticed your FireStick slowing down recently? Is it lagging, freezing, or just not performing like it used to? Don’t worry – you’re not alone. Many FireStick users face performance issues over time.

The good news is there are numerous troubleshooting tips you can try to get your FireStick running faster again. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the top 15 fixes to speed up a slow FireStick.

Why is My FireStick So Slow?

There are a few key reasons why your FireStick may have slowed down:

  • Insufficient storage space – FireSticks have limited onboard storage. Filling up space can cause lagging.
  • Too many background apps – Lots of apps running simultaneously consumes RAM and slows performance.
  • Software issues – Outdated firmware or buggy apps can degrade speeds.
  • Network congestion – Weak WiFi signals, bandwidth contention with other devices leads to buffering and lag.
  • ISP throttling – Some ISPs intentionally limit streaming bandwidth which requires using a VPN.

Understanding the probable cause will help you pinpoint the appropriate fix. Now let’s explore the top ways to troubleshoot and speed up a slow FireStick.

Basic Troubleshooting Tips

Before trying more advanced fixes, first cover the basics which often resolve common performance issues:

1. Restart Your FireStick

Rebooting clears temporary glitches and frees up RAM which dramatically speeds up FireStick.

  • Go to “Settings” > “My Fire TV” > “Restart
Fire Tv Restart

Or press and hold select button for 10 seconds and choose Restart.

Learn what to do about a white box appearing on your FireStick screen.

2. Check for Software Updates

Updating to latest firmware improves performance, fixes bugs, and boosts speeds.

  • Go to “Settings” > “My Fire TV” > “About” > “Check for Updates
Fire Tv Check For Updates

3. Switch to 5GHz WiFi Band

Reduce buffering and connection drops by switching to 5GHz band.

  • Go to “Settings” > “Network” > “WiFi” > “Join Other Network
Firestick Join Other Network

4. Use Ethernet Connection

For fastest and most reliable speeds, connect your FireStick directly to router with Ethernet cable.

Clear Cache and Delete Apps

5. Clear App Cache

Cached data from apps eats up storage space leading to lagging.

  • Go to “Settings” > “Applications” > “Manage All Applications

Then select each app and choose “Clear Cache” option.

Fire Tv Clear Cache

6. Uninstall Unused Apps

Remove apps you no longer need to free up valuable storage space and RAM. Check if there are monthly fees for FireStick.

  • Press and hold select button on app icon then choose “Remove from Home
Firestick Uninstall Unused Apps

7. Force Stop Apps

Apps running in background drain resources. Force stop them to boost speeds.

  • Go to “Settings” > “Applications” > “Manage All Applications

Select each app no longer in use and choose “Force Stop”.

Fire Tv Force Stop

Reduce Resource Usage

8. Disable Background App Refresh

Prevent apps from auto updating in background which slows things down.

  • Go to “Settings” > “Preferences” > “Background App Refresh” > Toggle OFF

9. Turn Off Data Monitoring

Stop FireStick from monitoring internet usage to regain more system resources.

  • Go to “Settings” > “Preferences” > “Data Monitoring” > Toggle OFF
Firestick Data Monitoring

10. Stop Video Autoplay

Disable featured video autoplay slider on home screen to reduce resource load.

  • Go to “Settings” > “Preferences” > “Featured Content” > Toggle OFF “Video Autoplay”
Firestick Video Autoplay

11. Disable ADB Debugging

If developer options enabled, disable ADB debugging to boost speeds.

  • Go to “Settings” > “My Fire TV” > “Developer Options” > Toggle OFF “ADB Debugging”
Firestick Adb Debugging

Adjust Video Stream Quality

12. Lower Video Resolution

Higher video quality uses more bandwidth and taxes the FireStick CPU.

  • In YouTube, Netflix and other apps, manually select lower quality stream.

13. Enable Data Saver

Stream at reduced data rate to alleviate resource contention.

  • Go to “Settings” > “Data Monitoring” > Toggle ON “Data Saver”

14. Close Background Apps

Having too many apps open bogs down performance. Frequently close all apps not in use.  Learn how to fix a FireStick stuck on loading screen.

  • Press and hold the home button then select “Close All
Fire Tv Remote Home

Reset FireStick

15. Factory Reset

Start fresh by resetting FireStick to factory default state. You’ll lose all data.

  • Go to “Settings” > “My Fire TV” > “Reset to Factory Defaults
Fire Tv Reset To Factory Defaults

16. Upgrade Your FireStick

If above tips don’t help, upgrade to a newer generation FireStick 4K model for better specs.

Use a VPN to Boost Speeds

Using a fast VPN often resolves buffering issues by encrypting traffic which prevents ISP throttling. It also boosts speed by routing data through the least congested pathways.

Top Recommendation: ExpressVPN consistently ranks as the fastest VPN service in independent speed tests. It offers unlimited bandwidth and works seamlessly with FireStick:

  1. Get ExpressVPN (includes 30 day money back guarantee)
  2. Install & open ExpressVPN app on FireStick
  3. Connect to fastest server location for your ISP

You’ll notice an immediate boost in speeds which allows for smooth Ultra HD streaming.

FAQs on Improving FireStick Speed

Q: Why is my FireStick buffering/lagging?

A: Common reasons for buffering include weak WiFi signals, ISP throttling, outdated firmware, too many running apps, or insufficient storage. Try the troubleshooting tips listed above.

Q: Will a VPN help speed up my slow FireStick?

A: Yes, using a fast VPN often improves buffering issues by encrypting traffic which hides streaming activity from your ISP. It also connects you to uncongested pathways improving data flow.

Q: Should I upgrade to the FireStick 4K?

A: The latest generation 4K models have faster processors and more RAM which provide a performance boost over older sticks. Upgrading can help if you’ve already tried other troubleshooting suggestions.

Q: Is restarting my FireStick the same as resetting it?

A: No, restarting just reboots the device which temporarily clears up software issues. Resetting erases all data and resets software back to factory default state. Only reset as a last resort.

Q: How much storage space do I need on a FireStick?

A: FireStick 4K models include 8GB storage but at least 3-5GB should remain free otherwise you may face lagging issues as space runs out.

By following the solutions outlined in this guide, you should see a dramatic improvement in speeds allowing you to enjoy ultra fast streaming on your “slow” FireStick.

For any remaining issues, using a fast VPN like ExpressVPN almost always resolves buffering problems and boosts speeds immediately.

I hope this expanded troubleshooting guide for speeding up a slow FireStick has been helpful! Let me know if you have any other questions.

Jason Lin
Tech enthusiast with 10+ years of experience, providing guides, reviews, and tips on Smart TVs, streaming devices, and TV apps.

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