While watching an HD movie recently, my Kodi Fire TV Stick kept giving me the “Buffer full” message. This was a pain! I had to constantly wait for the buffer to refill. Here’s what I did to fix the Fire TV buffering issue on my FireTV Stick:
- UPDATE #1 for 2017: If you haven’t upgraded to Kodi 17.1 Krypton yet (note the “.1”), then update Kodi now. Why? Because most TV Addons no longer work with anything before Kodi 17.1 (yes, even 17.0 won’t work with most TV Addons). So update to Kodi 17.1!
- Important Security Warning for all U.S. Kodi Users: Not too long ago, U.S. Congress repealed Internet Privacy laws. So protect and unblock your Kodi streams using our Kodi VPN set up video tutorial. This way, all of your Internet data is automatically encrypted by your VPN service and you won’t have to worry about a thing.
(Scroll down to jump to the Buffering Fix list.)
See How to Fix Kodi Fire TV Buffering Issue Below
* Update: Low Quality Streams Warning for Exodus & other Addons
With the growing popularity of streaming TV & movies, the streams accessible via Kodi have become less and less reliable.
This has been causing users of Kodi’s TVAddons to assume that their hardware is the issue, when the issue is really a collection of low quality streams. It is likely that increasingly popular, unreliable movie links are the cause for your FireTV buffering issue.
To become truly informed, check out our Kodi Buffering Guide and this list of Streaming Media conferences. Check out a streaming media conference and Reddit for a thorough education on topics such as the comparison of streaming devices, services, and even HD antenna setups.
You can try the buffering fixes below – but first you might try installing a stock FireTV app such as Crackle. Then see if your FireStick/FireTv still has the buffering issue. This would eliminate the stream quality of your TVaddons (Genesis, etc.) as a possible problem.
Basically, just keep in mind that a link you try this morning may vanish by lunch – so it may be wise to diversify your streaming apps instead of relying solely on apps like Genesis. See our list of the Best Apps for Kodi for some more great Kodi streaming apps.
FireTV Buffering Fix List
Fire TV Buffering Issue Proximity Fix (aka RF Interference Fix)
- Move your FireTV at least 6 feet away from your TV. Some TVs can cause RF interference which would interfere with the WiFi signal, causing your FireStick to buffer unnecessarily. You can get a top-rated High Speed HDMI Extension Cable for $8.
Fire TV Buffering Issue Power Supply Fix (aka Phone Power Fix)
Use a smartphone power supply (a 2Amp power supply) instead of the one that came with your FireStick. Try using an Original 2Amp Samsung Micro USB Power Supply (for Samsung Galaxy S2, S3, S2 4G, Note 1, Note 2) – users report much better performance from these power supplies.
- Note: Do not use a Quick-Charge cable (for Galaxy S7, for example). A QuickCharge cable (with more than 2 Amps) may damage your Fire Stick.
- One common cause of buffering (other than overloaded servers) occurs when the device you’re using doesn’t have enough power to process the stream and download the data at the same time. This can occur when using relatively low-powered devices like the FireStick. To solve this, get a higher-powered device, such as the RK3229 Edal.
Download it first – Then watch it
- With Navi-X, you can avoid FireStick buffering issues altogether by downloading the video completely before you view it.
Your ISP May Be Throttling Your Connection
- Your Internet provider could be throttling your bandwidth. Using a VPN blocks your ISP from throttling your data! KFireTV users like you receive an exclusive 60% off coupon when you sign up for IPVanish and unblock your Kodi (enable all TVAddons and prevent bandwidth throttling!)
- Explanation: 97% of Internet providers admit to spying on their subscribers’ Kodi streaming data in order to throttle their customers’ Internet connection speeds. Yes, your Internet Service Provider will actually spy on you (read this or this) and your Kodi activity to see what you’re streaming. If they see something that they don’t like (something mistaken for copyrighted content, for example), they will throttle your Internet connection. This means that they will limit your Internet speed to less than what you actually pay for, causing unnecessary Kodi buffering. So use a VPN to make your streaming activity private to keep your ISP from throttling your bandwidth!
- How to fix this:
- Use a secure service such as IPVanish to hide your streaming activity from your ISP. This way you can stream anonymously and access the unrestricted Internet wherever your Kodi may happen to be ;)
- If your Internet connection is provided by one of the following companies, your connection is most likely being throttled:
- Comcast, Cox, Time Warner, AT&T, CenturyLink, and Verizon
Fire TV Buffering Issue File Sharing System Fix (aka NFS/SMB Fix)
- Are you playing your video from a local network location? If you’re getting FireStick buffering problems when playing your video from a local network location, try NFS file sharing instead of SMB (“Windows”) file sharing. Or try a nice Network Attached Storage (“NAS”) drive that links in to your network and allows all attached devices (such as your FireStick) to access your video files.
Fire TV Buffering Issue WiFi Analyzer
- If you have a little bit of networking/PC know-how, use a software WiFi analyzer to see the channels of your router which are showing the least congestion. Then set your router to use those interference-free channels.
Fire TV Buffering Issue Zero Cache Fix for Kodi
- WARNING: This buffering fix may cause your FireStick to stop playback when the local disk space gets full.
- In the Kodi dashboard, go to Maintenance Tools, then install the Zero Cache Fix.
- You can optimize Kodi with the TVAddons Maintenance Tool. You can try to fix Kodi buffering by optimizing your FireStick with TVAddons’ optimization guide.
Try a Lower Quality Stream
- Your Internet connection may not be able to handle 1080p (aka “HD”), so consider trying a 720P (aka “SD”) stream if you’re unsure. If you think your hardware is creating a bottleneck which is causing your Fire TV buffering issue, you could try a gnarly Hi-Power WiFi router or a new DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem (make sure the one you buy is compatible with your Internet service provider before buying).
- ProTip: On the flipside, if you have an extremely fast Internet connection and a 4K TV, you can stream 4K movies from Netflix and Amazon and search for them using a 4K TV site.
Fire TV Buffering Due to Overheating
- Since the FireTv is simply a small computer with relatively lots of power, it will get hot. Try putting a small USB-powered mini desktop fan next to it so it cools down. Cooler electronics work better than hotter electronics.
- Is Kodi giving you relentless buffering issues? Reinstall Kodi and it just might fix that pesky buffering.
Fire TV Buffering Fix for Netflix / Kodi
- If you’re getting Netflix buffering issues and you also use Kodi, your Kodi may be using up too much memory. You must close out Kodi by going to the bottom of the Kodi screen to hit the power button, then press Exit. This will close out Kodi so Netflix buffering won’t occur, since Netflix will then have more memory with which to work.
Fire TV Buffering Issue Disk Space Fix
- Go to your FireStick Home screen
- Go to Settings > Applications > Manage Installed Applications
- Look at the Internal Space at the bottom left corner. If it’s at 1GB or less, you need to clear some space, so..
- Select an app that’s using a good amount of space (at least 200MB) and then select Uninstall.
- After you have plenty of space cleared, your Kodi Fire TV buffering issue should be fixed. If not, try the suggestions below.
Modify/Create the AdvancedSettings.xml File
Create an AdvancedSettings.xml file and upload it to your Kodi folder. Basically you put some code in a file you create called advancedsettings.xml, as an additional method to fix the Kodi / Fire TV buffering scenario. Check out the Kodi site’s guide on how to modify the video cache.
There are also some specific AdvancedSettings.xml changes you can make (which you can find if you look around a bit), such as:
- Disable logging
- Tweak for low power devices
- Move library to MySQL
- Set Kodi or XBMC cache settings
- This is AdvancedSettings.xml change to fix Kodi buffering.
- Tweaking video library scanning and operation
- Personalize playback controls
Sometimes a reset to factory default settings will fix any software overlaps that may have occurred in your Android system. The link above is Amazon’s guide on how to reset Fire TV to factory defaults.
Sometimes your network can be bottlenecking your connection, so do a speed test. 1080p content typically requires at least a 5 megabit connection.
SpeedTest.net is another great connection test. They even have an Android app – try sideloading it to FireTV (may need a mouse to operate the app).
Kodi Fire TV Buffering Issue – Additional Things to Try
- Power cyle, reset, and update your router.
- Test your Internet connection using services like SpeedTest. A good Internet connection has low latency, such as 10ms. For HD content you typically need at least 5megabit download stream.
- Reset your Fire TV to factory settings
Fire TV Buffering Problems
Users experience Fire TV buffering problems typically when the network stream they’re playing isn’t fast enough to play the video stream. One common cause of this is too many users being connected to the network stream. Since Genesis and other Fire TV / Kodi addons are free, this causes them to be susceptible to overloading (since there’s no barrier to entry).
You can get around this by actually paying for streaming TV service like Netflix. You should experience much fewer Fire TV buffering problems with Netflix – and if not, try the Fire TV buffering fixes listed above!
Fire TV Buffering Issue – Additional Sources
- How to Fix Buffering (KFire TV YouTube video): Shows how to fix your Fire TV buffering issues
- Kodi Official Site – How to Modify Kodi Video Cache for Fire TV Buffering
- How to Optimize FireStick to fix Fire TV buffering problems
Still having FireTV Loading problems?
If you continue to experience Fire TV buffering problems, then maybe Fire TV is not for you. More powerful hardware (such as a Gaming PC) would provide a situation less conducive to FireStick buffering.