The Amazon Fire Stick is a streaming device that turns a TV or screen into a smart one. Smart TVs equipped with a Fire Stick allow users to watch their favorite shows through apps, listen to music or podcasts, or even play a few games with a gamepad (on newer models).
Understanding how to fix Fire Stick issues is part of owning the device, and at one point you may encounter a Fire Stick not updating. So, how do you get it working again?
A non-updating Fire Stick is probably due to a weak or no internet connection. Also, the streaming device might be running slow and needs a reset, or it doesn’t have the available storage space to complete the update.
Let’s go through these steps one by one to have your Fire Stick up and running.
What To Do If My Fire Stick Won’t Update?
The error message ‘Unable to Update Fire TV Stick’ may appear even on newer models and will have several variations, including an incomplete ‘Update Was Not Successful’ pop-up or a frozen Firestick device.
A typical Fire Stick update can take anywhere from 5-15 minutes, depending on how big the update is as well as your internet connection. The process can get stuck or freeze if the streaming stick doesn’t have enough storage or if the wi-fi connection is interrupted.
Method 1. Is Your Fire Stick Connected to the Internet?
The first thing you should do is make sure that your Fire device is connected to the internet.
Using the remote, go to Settings, then Network, and look for the option ‘Test Internet Connection’. Press the Play/Pause button and wait for the stick to test your wi-fi connection.
If there’s no error message that comes up, then you can proceed to Method # 3. Your TV not having a stable wifi network will show itself in several ways, including not being able to load apps, games, or the built-in web browser.
You can set up the Fire Stick to connect to your home network by going to Settings, then Network, and picking your network name on the list. The screen will ask you to put in your wifi password. Afterward, just click on ‘Connect’ and wait for the signal to be established.
Method 2. Is Your Internet Working?
Your Fire Stick may be connected to your wifi, but if your internet is down then you won’t be able to update it.
Locate your wifi network router or modem and take a good look at the device. Is there a red blinking light anywhere on the dashboard? This can mean that your home network is experiencing an outage.
You can confirm this by browsing the internet or looking through your social media feed – if your smartphone or computer says ‘no internet connection’ on the wifi section, then it’s your internet connection that needs to be fixed.
To fix your internet, all you have to do is restart your modem or router, or both. You won’t need to do anything complicated – just find the plug or adapter, unplug it and wait for a minute. Plug it back in and wait for the modem and router to establish a connection.
If all goes well you should see an array of green lights on both devices, which means your internet is back online. If not, you should contact your internet service provider — the problem is your internet, not your Fire Stick.
Now try to update your Fire Stick again and see if it works. Wait for the streaming stick to pick up the wifi signal before attempting the device update.
Method 3. Is Your Fire Stick Within Wi-Fi Range?
Your Fire Stick might be struggling to get a proper internet connection, which could manifest itself as an interrupted Fire TV Stick update. While there’s no way to see how many bars the device is getting from your home network, you can try to gauge it by distance or by checking your smartphone, for instance.
Try to update your Fire Stick with another TV that’s nearer to your modem or router and see if it does the trick. Alternatively, you can upgrade your router to get more range, or add an extender near your TV so your streaming device gets a stronger signal. You can do this temporarily and only when your Fire Stick needs to be updated, such as when there’s a new software or firmware.
Method 4. Does Your Fire TV Stick Have Enough Space?
Low Fire Stick storage space is the most probable reason why your Fire Stick update keeps getting interrupted.
If your Fire Stick connects to the wifi just fine, but you get an ‘Update Not Successful’ or ‘Unable to Update Fire Stick’ message, then there may not be enough space in your streaming device.
Fire Stick updates typically require at least 500MB of free space to be installed successfully. To check, you can go to the Settings section, then choose My Fire Stick and ‘About’. Go to Storage, and you’ll be presented with a chart of how much you’ve already used and how much is left.
To free up space, you can remain in Settings and get a list of apps, games, and downloads sitting in your Fire Stick. Go to each app and an ‘uninstall’ button should appear within the menu. Remove the ones you don’t need or use until you have at least 500MB free.
Once you’re satisfied with what you’ve done, initiate the update process again and wait for it to be completed.
Method 5. Have You Tried a Soft Reset or Hard Reset?
Sometimes a Fire Stick will act up and refuse to update. There are several reasons why it would happen, including having too many apps open or the device is left running too long.
If you’ve tried reconnecting to the internet, freeing up sufficient storage, and resetting your router and home network to no avail, then you can perform a simple reset to try and get your Fire Stick to update.
There are three ways to reset a Fire TV Stick:
- Unplug and plug the Fire Stick device back in
- Do a quick reset
- Reset to Factory Settings
Unplug and Plug Your Fire Stick
Step 1. Find and locate the Fire Stick. It’s usually located at the back of your TV or display, where the other ports are. Pull the streaming stick out of the slot gently, then wait for a whole minute.
Step 2. Plug the Fire Stick back in the same port, then wait for the TV to recognize the device. You can use the TV remote to tune in to the same HDMI output to see the Fire TV menu.
Do a Quick Reset
This Fire Stick reset option is handy when the screen is stuck on ‘updating’ or frozen to the point that you’re unable to do anything.
Step 1. Using the Fire Stick remote, press and hold the ‘power’ button for about 10 seconds or so until the TV screen blanks out. Or, locate the ‘select’ and ‘play/pause’ button, then press and hold both of them at the same time for around 5-10 seconds until the device resets itself.
Step 2. Once you have the Fire TV menu up on the screen, proceed to update the streaming device by going to Settings.
Step 3. If the screen isn’t frozen and you can go through the menu, you can go to ‘Settings’, then ‘Device’, and choose the ‘Restart’ option. You will need to confirm this again by clicking on ‘Restart’. The Fire Stick will go through the process automatically and boot up.
Reset to Factory Settings
Factory Reset a Fire Stick Using the Remote. With the TV and the Fire Stick turned on, press the remote’s ‘right’ button and the ‘back’ button simultaneously, and hold them down for around 10-15 seconds. When done successfully, a pop-up to confirm a device reset should appear. Select ‘yes’ and wait for the streaming device to reboot.
Factory Reset Your Fire TV Stick Using the App. Download the Fire TV app on the appropriate platform (App Store on iOS, Play Store on Android) on your phone, then open it. Make sure you’re connected to the same wifi network as the Fire Stick. Once you have access to your Fire Stick, go to Settings, System and then choose Reset to Factory Defaults. Confirm the reset and wait for the device to complete the process.
Factory Reset Within the TV Menu. If you can still access your Fire TV menu, then simply navigate to the Settings part, then System and finally ‘Reset to Factory Default’. Confirm the action and wait for the device to complete a reboot.
Method 6. Disable VPN, Adguard, & Other Security Features
Admittedly, this may make some users nervous. But please note that you will only need to temporarily disable your VPN — we aren’t asking you to leave it off.
If you have a VPN at your home, or have downloaded Adguard or other ad blockers, try uninstalling or pausing these features while you attempt to update your Fire Stick. Once the update has been successfully installed, feel free to again enable your VPN.
Method 7. Wait for Amazon to Rectify the Issue
In running this website, we often notice a huge spike in readers on certain pages. Usually, this is due to a system-wide issue with a software that users cannot fix at home.
For example, if Amazon releases a bug-filled firmware, we might have hundreds of people reading this article immediately after. Sadly, no amount of resets, tricks, or troubleshooting are going to fix your Fire Stick.
Instead, sometimes all you can do is sit around and wait for Amazon to resolve the glitch. Don’t drive yourself crazy by tweaking every setting on your router when the issue is out of your hands.
In this case, sometimes it speeds up the process if more users report the issue — so feel free to post on Amazon’s forum while you wait!
Method 8. Try on a Different TV
This might feel like “grasping at straws,” but it has nonetheless helped for some users.
By installing the Fire Stick on a different TV, you test two different fixes.
- (1) You might have a better internet connection on the other TV.
- (2) You might have a more reliable power source in the other TV’s location.
Lastly, make sure you are using the wall outlet for a power supply, rather than the TV.
Method 9. Call Amazon & Make Sure the Device is Registered
In rare cases, Amazon might ship a Fire Stick that hasn’t been “activated” on Amazon’s end. In this case, it should be as simple as giving Amazon your product number and allowing them to register the device.
Updating a Fire Stick doesn’t have to be difficult. More often than not it’s just a matter of making sure you’re connected to the internet and that the home wifi is working.
However, there are times when you may need to restart your streaming device. Try to unplug the stick or the TV’s power cord first (remember to turn off the TV before doing this), waiting for 30 seconds and updating again.
As a last resort, you can hard reset a Fire TV to fix a Fire Stick that is not updating. This clears up any error the device may be experiencing and gives you a fresh start.