Normally, an Amazon Fire Stick is a great way to access a wide variety of streaming services, including Prime Video. However, if your Fire Stick is not working, you’re left unable to watch your favorite shows and movies. From issues with a Fire Stick remote not working to just a black screen, you may need to troubleshoot now and then to get your Fire TV Stick working correctly again.
- General Fire TV Stick Troubleshooting
- 1. Restart Fire TV Stick
- 2. Check Fire TV Stick Remote Batteries
- 3. Check All Cables
- 4. Check Your Wi-Fi Connection
- 5. Connect to Another TV or HDMI Port
- 6. Check Your HDMI Input
- 7. Wait for an Update
- 8. Fire TV Stick Remote Not Working
- 9. Troubleshooting Signal, Speed, and Connectivity Issues
- 10. Get Rid of a Black or Blank Screen
- 11. Bluetooth Devices Can’t Connect
- 12. Troubleshooting Fire Stick Audio and Video Problems
- 13. Stop Fire TV Stick App Crashes
- 14. Fire TV Stick No Longer Powers On
- Frequently Asked Questions
General Fire TV Stick Troubleshooting
For most issues, you can solve them with some general troubleshooting guidelines. In fact, even Amazon recommends the following for everything from the Fire Stick remote not pairing to having no sound on the Fire Stick. These apply to both Fire Stick TVs and portable Fire Stick devices.
1. Restart Fire TV Stick
Unless the Fire TV Stick just doesn’t come on at all, restarting is usually the first step to troubleshooting. Often, it’s just a simple matter of the device just not starting up correctly or experiencing a glitch that needs a refresh.
The first method uses the Fire TV Stick settings and assumes you can still access the home screen. Go to your Amazon Fire TV Stick home screen and scroll over to the Settings icon at the far right and select “My Fire TV”.
Select “Restart.” Confirm that you want to restart when prompted.
The second method is the simplest of all. If you’re dealing with a black screen or the remote won’t work, simply unplug your Fire TV Stick’s power cable from the wall. Wait 30 seconds to a minute, then plug it back in.
For the third method, press and hold both the Play/Pause and Select buttons on your remote until you see a message that your Fire TV Stick is restarting.
2. Check Fire TV Stick Remote Batteries
It sounds simple, but your Amazon Fire TV Stick might be perfectly fine. It’s just that your remote isn’t responding due to dead batteries. If it’s been a while since you replaced the batteries, try a fresh set just to be sure. You don’t get a warning about the battery, so this can happen at any time. Plus, if you use it all the time, the batteries run down faster than you may think.
3. Check All Cables
Loose or damaged cables can wreak all types of havoc on your device. If you’re using a Fire TV, you’ll only need to check the power cable. Depending on the type of Fire TV device you have, you may need to check both an HDMI and power cable. If you’re not using the HDMI extender, ensure your Fire TV Stick is plugged in fully and hasn’t come loose.
4. Check Your Wi-Fi Connection
A commonly overlooked cause of an Amazon Fire TV Stick not working is your home’s Wi-Fi. Poor signal strength or a weak connection can cause audio, video, and general loading issues. Check your phone, computer, or other Internet-connected device to see if it’s able to connect and whether you can stream easily. Simply loading a YouTube video is all you need to do. Or, if you subscribe to Amazon Prime Video, test the app on your phone or computer.
5. Connect to Another TV or HDMI Port
It’s a good idea to rule out if the problem lies with your TV or HDMI port. This troubleshooting step only applies to Fire TV Sticks and not Fire TVs.
If you have two HDMI ports on your TV, disconnect your Fire TV Stick from one port and connect it to the other. If it works fine, your TV may have a bad HDMI port.
You can also try connecting your Fire TV Stick to another TV completely. This works well if you only have one HDMI port or are afraid your TV might be having issues.
If your Fire TV Stick doesn’t work in another HDMI port or another TV, it’s possible the Fire Stick itself could be bad.
6. Check Your HDMI Input
It’s a simple mistake but one that can lead you to believe your Fire TV Stick is not working. If you have a black screen or can’t get to the home screen or any of your apps, it’s possible you may have your TV on the wrong HDMI input. Switch your inputs to verify. You’ll need your TV’s remote for this (if you’re not using a Fire TV).
7. Wait for an Update
For random glitches, Amazon may already be working on a fix. This means waiting impatiently for an update. When it’s released, your Fire TV Stick will update automatically.
8. Fire TV Stick Remote Not Working
If your Fire Stick remote is suddenly unresponsive, restart your device and check the batteries first. If all is good there, try pairing your remote again.
Restart your Fire TV Stick so that it goes to the home screen, then press and hold the Home button on your remote for up to 20 seconds to pair it. It could take multiple tries before you get a confirmation message.
Next, ensure your Fire TV Stick isn’t connected to too many devices. Each Fire TV Stick can only connect to seven other devices, including remotes and Bluetooth devices. In setting up an eighth device, your remote might have been removed. You should get a message regarding this, but sometimes devices are removed without you being notified.
While this isn’t likely an issue, make sure you’re not trying to use your remote from too far away. The range is an impressive 30 feet, so you should be okay.
Finally, check for any damage. If there’s no damage, and your remote still won’t work, it’s time for a replacement. The Alexa Voice Remote is a good option and includes TV controls for just $30. While you wait for it to arrive, use the official Amazon Fire Stick remote app for both Android and iOS.
9. Troubleshooting Signal, Speed, and Connectivity Issues
Fire TV Stick issues often manifest as signal, speed, and connectivity problems. All three typically boil down to HDMI cables and your Wi-Fi. Start by testing your HDMI port and cable (if you’re using a separate cable), then check your Internet connection.
You can run a speed test on several different sites, including Google, or try one of these Android speed test apps.
If your Fire TV Stick is too far from your router, you won’t get the same speed and signal strength, which can still cause speed and connectivity issues. You can try adding a Wi-Fi extender or mesh system to boost your Wi-Fi or connect directly to your router using an Amazon Ethernet Adapter for Fire TV Stick devices. The adapter can be extremely helpful to prevent buffering issues.
A few more troubleshooting steps to try include:
- Remove any unused apps on your Fire TV Stick. Too many apps can affect performance.
- Restart your Fire TV Stick daily to let it reset.
- Turn your modem off and back on (ideal if you’re having Wi-Fi issues throughout your home).
- Connect the Fire TV Stick’s power cable directly to the wall versus using your TV’s USB port. Sometimes the USB port doesn’t provide ample power.
10. Get Rid of a Black or Blank Screen
If your Fire TV Stick only shows you a black or blank screen, you can’t use the settings to restart or troubleshoot. Instead, start with a restart by unplugging the power cable and disconnecting the HDMI cable (or stick itself). Reconnect everything and hopefully all goes back to normal. This also applies if your Fire TV Stick freezes.
If you’re trying to load 4K or higher video, it can take longer to load initially. This can make you think it’s frozen, or it might stay on a black screen temporarily (several minutes). In this case, just be patient for 5 to 10 minutes, and if nothing’s working, then start troubleshooting.
If none of the above work, it’s time to take more drastic measures. First, remove any extra storage device you may be using. Next, hold the Back button and the right side of the navigation circle for 10 seconds. You should get a message on your TV to confirm you want to reset to factory defaults. This will erase everything on your Fire TV Stick.
If you don’t get a message and nothing else works, it’s a good indicator that the device itself is failing. While it may start working again after a few restarts, consider this a warning that you might want to replace your Fire Stick sooner rather than later.
11. Bluetooth Devices Can’t Connect
Your Amazon Fire TV Stick lets you connect to various Bluetooth devices, such as smartphones and earbuds. Usually, you’d pair the device by going to “Settings -> Controllers & Bluetooth Devices.”
Choose whether you want to connect a new remote, game controller, or other Bluetooth device. For headphones, speakers, and phones, choose “Other Bluetooth Devices.”
Your Fire TV Stick then searches for the device, and you will be able to connect. If you don’t see it listed or can’t connect, do the following:
- Restart both your Fire TV Stick and Bluetooth device, then try pairing again.
- Ensure your Bluetooth device is charged. It’s harder to pair a device when the battery is extremely low.
- Ensure your Bluetooth device is compatible and supports Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP) or Audio/Video Remote Control Profile (AVRCP). You can check the device manufacturer’s site or the manual to be sure.
- If your device requires a PIN to connect, it won’t be compatible with your Fire TV Stick.
12. Troubleshooting Fire Stick Audio and Video Problems
Many audio and video problems can be solved by disconnecting and reconnecting the HDMI cable or stick itself. Another common cause is connecting the Fire TV Stick or Fire TV Stick HDMI cable to an HDMI hub. Hubs can cause interference and playback issues. Instead, connect directly to your TV.
If you’re attempting to play a 4K video, make sure your TV actually supports it. You won’t see 4K quality if your TV only supports HD. Even if a video is listed as 4K, it should only play in the highest quality supported by your TV.
Next, try turning off Dolby Digital Plus. While it sounds great, when it runs on an unsupported speaker, it can cause audio issues, including no sound at all. Go to the Home screen and open “Settings -> Display & Sounds.”
Select “Surround Sound.”
Finally, choose “Stereo” to switch Dolby Digital Plus off.
Another method to fix both audio and video issues is to adjust your video quality. You can also try matching the original video’s frame rate, which can result in video and audio glitches if your Fire TV Stick is trying to play the video at a higher or lower frame rate.
Go to “Settings -> Display & Sounds -> Display.”
Select “Video Resolution” to adjust the resolution. Usually, dropping to 720 works best for buffering and video quality issues.
Or, leave Video Resolution on Auto and turn on “Match Original Frame Rate.”
If your audio seems out of sync, you can try using the AV Sync Tuning feature. Go to “Settings -> Display & Sounds -> Audio.” Choose “AV Sync Tuning.”
Then, use the slider to sync your sound.
13. Stop Fire TV Stick App Crashes
Nothing’s more annoying than getting to the best part of a TV show or movie and the app crashes. Sometimes, this is a Fire TV Stick issue and other times it’s the app itself.
Restarting your Fire TV Stick can sometimes solve the problem. The next step is to clear the app’s cache and data. This resets the app and hopefully stops the crashing.
Go to “Settings -> Applications -> Managed Installed Applications.”
Select your app from the list and choose “Clear Cache.” Start with this option and see if the crashing continues. If it does, repeat this proces but choose “Clear Data” instead. This fully resets the app, and you’ll need to log back in again.
It’s also a good idea to restart your Fire TV Stick after doing this. You can use any of the three methods mentioned earlier.
If it’s only a single app that keeps crashing, check with the app developer to see if there’s an issue. You can search for “app name crashing on Fire TV Stick.” This should lead you to the app’s forums or blog. If there is a known issue, you may find out when an update is scheduled to be released to fix it.
If it’s multiple apps, check your Wi-Fi connection. You may need to connect via an Ethernet cable for a more stable connection.
14. Fire TV Stick No Longer Powers On
This is one of the most difficult Fire TV Stick issues to fix. If it doesn’t power on, you can’t change the settings. A few things you can try include:
- Unplug the device from your TV and power outlet. Wait at least 30 seconds and reconnect it.
- Ensure you’re using a high speed HDMI cable (if you’re using a cable at all).
- Connect your HDMI cable or Fire TV Stick directly to your TV instead of a hub.
- Use Amazon-branded equipment (remotes, HDMI cables, Ethernet adapter, etc.) to ensure you don’t have any compatibility issues. In most cases, non-Amazon branded items should work fine, though remotes are iffy.
- Replace the remote batteries.
- Replace the remote or device.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can I manually check for updates?
Usually, the Amazon Fire Stick updates automatically. However, it doesn’t check for new updates constantly and may even miss an update now and then. You can check for updates manually.
Go to “Settings -> My Fire TV -> About -> Check for System Update.” If there is an update, it’ll install itself.
2. What if I can’t update my Fire TV Stick?
If your Fire Stick isn’t updating, ensure you have a stable Wi-Fi connection. If it drops often, updates might not be able to download. You can also try restarting your router and modem and even your Fire Stick.
Another common issue is a lack of space. If you have numerous apps installed, you may be low. Go to “Settings -> My Fire TV -> About -> Storage” to check. You’ll need at least 500 MB available. If you don’t, you’ll need to remove some apps first.
3. Can I use any brand of a replacement remote?
Technically, yes. While Amazon recommends only using an official Fire Stick remote, there are others available. However, make sure you read the description carefully to ensure it’s compatible with your specific Fire Stick model. For instance, some only work on older gen Fire Sticks, while others might only work with Fire TVs.
4. Are hubs safe to use with my Fire TV Stick?
I mentioned several times that you should connect your HDMI cable directly to your TV. However, this doesn’t mean that HDMI hubs aren’t safe to use with your Fire Stick. In most cases, they’ll work with no issues. But, for optimal performance, it is best to connect directly to your TV.
Think of it as the difference between using Wi-Fi and a dedicated Ethernet connection. Both work great, but an Ethernet connection is always stronger and more stable.
5. Where can I get additional support?
While Amazon provides a wide range of troubleshooting support articles, you can also check out the Amazon Fire TV community to report issues, see if others are experiencing similar problems, and get additional troubleshooting advice, especially for rare and odd issues.
Troubleshooting issues with an Amazon Fire Stick not working isn’t always straightforward. However, trying various troubleshooting methods can usually take care of any problems and get you back to streaming.
If you want to install a third-party app that’s not found on the Play Store, learn how to jailbreak your Fire TV Stick. If you need to replace a broken Fire TV Stick device, find out which one is best for you.