How To Troubleshoot The Most Common Amazon Fire Television Stick Issues

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Fire TV Stick and remote

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The Amazon Fire TV Stick is a nifty little device that only requires an HDMI connection and a power source to bring Amazon's Fire OS interface to your TV. Amazon launched the first Fire TV Stick in 2014, and has since released multiple versions of the device; including the Fire TV Stick Lite, Fire TV Stick 4K, and Fire TV Stick 4K Max.

Like any electronic device, the Fire TV Stick has its fair share of problems. A common issue is when the Fire TV Stick keeps restarting — going into a boot loop and only displaying the Fire TV logo. You might have trouble with specific apps that keep crashing or don't work as expected, or find that the home screen doesn't load. Some users may not be able to mirror their screen on their Fire TV, while others have trouble pairing the remote.

Many of these issues can be diagnosed and fixed with a few simple troubleshooting steps, but other times, the problem might be hardware-related. The latter will require contacting Amazon for support or a replacement.

Fire TV Stick stuck on logo

Fire TV Stick logo on TV

If your Fire TV Stick is stuck on the logo or keeps restarting, Amazon suggests to wait for about 25 minutes for the screen to change. This will let any pending software updates finish installing, and allow background tasks to complete. Do not power off your TV if the Fire TV Stick is downloading an update.

Next, try restarting the Fire TV Stick manually. Unplug the power adapter, wait a few seconds, then plug it back in. It's also important to note that the Fire TV Stick requires access to a separate AC power outlet — if you've plugged the USB charge cable directly into your TV's USB port, it might not draw enough power to work properly. Preferably, use the cable and adapter that came in the box.

You can also try plugging your Fire TV Stick into a different HDMI port on the TV and see if this fixes the issue. If you're using the provided HDMI extender, connect the Fire TV Stick directly into your TV's HDMI port.

To rule out an issue with your TV, test the Fire TV Stick with another TV. If it's still stuck on the logo, you can try a factory reset. To do this, press and hold the back button and right navigation button together for 10 seconds. Select "Continue" if it appears on the screen. If not, the Fire TV Stick will automatically reset after a few seconds.

Fire TV Stick remote not working

Hand holding Fire TV Stick remote

If your Fire TV Stick remote is not working, it might be battery-related. Change your remote batteries and see if that fixes it. If the batteries are draining too fast, switch to alkaline batteries, as they last much longer. Double check that the batteries are inserted correctly and that the connectors are clean.

If the issue persists, reset your remote. Here's how:

  1. Unplug your Fire TV Stick and wait 60 seconds.

  2. Press and hold the left navigation button, menu button, and back button simultaneously for 12 seconds.

  3. Release and wait five seconds.

  4. Remove the remote batteries.

  5. Plug in your Fire TV Stick and wait for the screen to say the remote is not detected.

  6. Put the batteries back in the remote.

  7. Press the Home button.

If this doesn't work, press and hold the Home button for 10 seconds to force the remote to pair. The LED indicator should blink blue. If you have a Basic Edition or first-generation Alexa Voice Remote, follow these steps to reset it instead.

If that doesn't work, make sure your Fire TV Stick is connected to an AC power adapter, and not plugged into your TV's USB port. This can cause unresponsiveness and performance issues. As a workaround, you can always control your Fire TV using your phone by downloading the Fire TV app. Once set up, check if there's an update available for your Fire TV Stick and try the remote again.

Fire TV Stick won't connect to Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi router TV

If your Fire TV Stick won't connect to Wi-Fi, try restarting the device, unplugging it, and waiting for a minute. Next, follow these steps to check the network status:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Go to Network.

  3. Select your network.

  4. Press the play/pause button on the remote to see the network status.

If the network is offline, double-check if the problem is with your home Wi-Fi network. You might need to restart your router or check with your ISP if there's an outage. If your Wi-Fi network is up and running, try reconnecting to the Wi-Fi network. In the network settings menu, select your Wi-Fi network, then press the Menu button and Select button to forget it. You can now select the network from the list and enter the password to reconnect.

If your Fire TV Stick keeps disconnecting from Wi-Fi, or streaming apps are buffering, your Wi-Fi network might be spotty or congested. A reliable workaround is to connect your Fire TV Stick to wired ethernet. You'll need to purchase an ethernet adapter for this. 

Amazon sells its own ethernet adapter for Fire TV Stick, which is a safe bet. If your router isn't close to your Fire TV Stick, or you don't have an ethernet connection close by, you might need to use a powerline adapter for a direct ethernet connection to your Fire TV Stick.

Your TV shows a black/blank screen

Person frustrated with TV black screen

Sometimes, your Fire TV Stick's home screen may not load, resulting in your TV displaying a black or blank screen. If this happens, make sure you've selected the correct HDMI source on your TV. If your TV briefly flashes the Fire TV logo and the screen goes blank after, restart your Fire TV Stick by disconnecting it from power, waiting a few seconds, then plugging it back in.

Make sure your Fire TV Stick is connected to the power adapter that came in the box. A blank screen can often be fixed by switching the Fire TV Stick to a different HDMI port, or plugging it into your TV directly instead of using an HDMI extender or hub. Try using a different HDMI cable, too.

The blank screen appears to be a common complaint on Reddit, and users have had luck with various solutions. One fix appears to be unplugging all your equipment — your TV, Fire TV Stick, and sound bar — waiting a few minutes, then plugging them back in. Other users found that using the Fire TV Stick with a very old TV seemed to cause problems, so it's worth testing it with a different TV.

A blank screen can also be the result of a hardware failure, so you might need to contact Amazon support to sort this out. If your Fire TV Stick is new, you might even be eligible for a replacement.

Fire TV Stick is slow

Fire TV Stick HDMI port

Fire TV Sticks can slow down over time, resulting in a sluggish interface and long app loading times. A simple restart can often fix a slow Fire TV Stick. To do this, open Settings, select My Fire TV, and select Restart. You should also check if a software update is available for your Fire TV Stick. Open Settings, select My Fire TV, then select About. Choose Check for System Update, and install the update if available.

A Fire TV Stick may also be slow if it's running low on storage. You can delete the apps you're no longer using to free up space. Here's how:

  1. Open Settings

  2. Go to Applications.

  3. Select Manage Installed Applications.

  4. Select an app.

  5. Choose "Uninstall" on the next screen.

If you don't want to delete an app, you can clear its cache instead. Some apps may have a large cache of temporary files that can eat into storage and slow down your Fire TV Stick. To clear app cache, select an app from the same apps menu and choose Clear cache.

As a last resort, reset your Fire TV Stick. While you will need to download and sign into all your apps again, this should fix any software-related sluggishness. If you have an old device, such as first or second-generation Fire TV Stick, you might want to consider upgrading to a new model.

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