FireTV device running slow? Here’s how to speed up your Fire TV device

The Amazon Fire TV device is an incredible device. Improvements are made with each generation of the devices, the addition of Alexa and volume controls in the remote. Complaints about slow speeds are not uncommon. The latest Fire TV device added Alexa voice remote as a default feature and ramped up the processor from dual core to quad core. It now uses a Mediatek CPU designed for low-end tablets.

In step with the performance upgrade, Amazon also updated to a newer version of Android and overhauled the interface with a more modern design. Those changes take a toll on performance, utilizing much of the added power from the new CPU.

The Fire TV device does a great job out of the box. But users may notice performance degradation over time. Fire TV performance issues can take the form of:

  • Lag
  • App crashes
  • Reduced video quality
  • Lower frame rate
  • Slow motion video
  • Out-of-sync sound
  • Long buffering times

Here are some steps you can take to improve the performance on a Fire TV device to get it running like new again. Many of these tweaks will make a minuscule impact on their own, but together they add up to a significant power boost and can speed up your firestick.

Power source


Use the manufacturer’s charging cable and power adapter. You can plug the USB cable into your TV’s USB port or a spare laptop port, but these have a much lower output than a wall socket and will throttle the Fire TV’s performance.

If you opt to use a third-party manufacturer’s cable and adapter, make sure it has the same output as the original: 3rd-gen Fire TV device with Alexa Voice Remote uses a 5W, 1.0A adapter.

You can plug this device into your TV with a special cord from Amazon. This device

This device increases the peak power capability of your TV’s USB port by storing excess energy during periods when the Fire TV draws less power than is provided by the USB port and then releasing it during those times when the Fire TV power consumption exceeds the output capability of the USB port. With our USB power cable, your viewing experience will never be interrupted by glitches and resets caused by insufficient power delivery to the Fire TV device from the TV’s USB port.

The side benefit is it starts the Fire TV fresh with each TV viewing making the next step unnecessary and you are walking running at peek performance.

Restart

Most people keep their Fire TV devices plugged in and running all the time, even when they aren’t using them. When you turn off your TV, the Fire TV device is still running and just like a computer or phone, an occasional restart can help unclog a struggling Fire TV device and breathe new life into it. You can either unplug the device and plug it back in again, or restart from remote:

You can restart the Fire TV by simultaneously holding down the “Select” and “Play” buttons on the remote for a few seconds. The Fire TV will display a shutting down message and reboot.

Uninstall unused apps and add-ons


This may seem obvious, but apps and add-ons take up space in memory and can run in the background, hogging up resources. Uninstall any apps you don’t use. To uninstall Fire TV apps, do the following:

  1. Hold down the Home (house) button.
  2. Select Settings > Applications
  3. Select Manage Installed Applications
  4. Select the app you want to uninstall
  5. Click Uninstall, then Uninstall again to confirm

Note that certain apps come pre-installed on Fire TV and cannot be uninstalled. We’ll show you what to do about those next.

Force stop unused apps

Unused apps that don’t have the uninstall option, or apps that you’d like to keep but just don’t use very much, can be stopped so they no longer run in the background. To do so, follow the exact same steps as you would to uninstall the app as laid out above. This time, instead of selecting Uninstall, choose Force stop. It might not be clear that anything has happened at first, but the app will no longer be weighing down your Fire Stick.

Clear data and cache

In the same menu where you find the Uninstall and Force stop options, you’ll also see Clear data and Clear cache. You can use these on pretty much every app whether you use it or not, but it’s definitely worth doing on apps you don’t use as frequently. Perform these actions in the order they appear: Clear data, then Clear cache. This will also prevent apps you’ve forced stopped from automatically reloading themselves later on.

Disable features that you don’t use


The Fire TV device has quite a bit of bloatware enabled by default. By disabling a few “features” in the settings, you can free up more resources for EZVideo and other apps. Turning off these features can also improve your privacy. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Hold down the Home (house) button.
  2. Select Settings > Applications
  3. Select Prime Photos, toggle off Allow guest connections and disable Access Prime Photos, assuming you don’t use this feature.
  4. Select Gamecircle. Toggle off Share your GameCircle Nickname and Whispersync for Games.

Turn off data monitoring


Data monitoring can be a useful tool to make sure you don’t exceed your internet service provider’s monthly data allowance, but keeping track of downloads and uploads uses a small amount of system resources that can be better applied elsewhere. To disable data monitoring, do the following:

  1. Hold down the Home (house) button.
  2. Select Settings > Preferences
  3. Select Data monitoring
  4. Click Data monitoring to toggle it Off

App notifications


App notifications can not only be annoying, they impact performance to a slight degree. Fire TV allows users to disable notifications entirely or on an app-by-app basis. Access your notification settings by doing the following:

  1. Hold down the Home (house) button.
  2. Select Settings > Preferences
  3. Select Notification Settings

Toggle on Do not interrupt by clicking on it, or click App Notifications to toggle off notifications from individual apps.

Factory reset

This is a ‘last resort’ if you’ve tried everything else on this list and just aren’t getting the performance you need out of your Fire TV device.


This will uninstall any apps that didn’t come pre-installed and change all your settings back to default, so remember to go through this list again afterwards to change them back.

  1. Hold down the Home (house) button.
  2. Select Settings > Device
  3. Scroll to the bottom and select Reset to Factory Defaults
  4. Confirm by selecting Reset and wait for the process to finish.

New FireTV device

Amazon is continually improving this device and releases a new device about once a year. They also regularly go onsale. So it may be worth while to purchase a new improved unit. You will find the improvements such as a faster processor translate directly to the user experience. Here is a link to show all of the various versions of these devices.