Owning a smart TV in today’s era has become practically a necessity. Everyday folk like you and I spend many hours enjoying numerous TV shows and using our Smart TV to its fullest.
But after owning it for a couple of years, you will start experiencing that the interface, changing channels and accessing the apps has become significantly slower even if you turn it off and on. What could be causing this?
Your smart TV is running slower because it is experiencing issues with its internal memory, the internet connection, or its firmware is outdated. The best way to fix it is to avoid using many apps simultaneously, ensure that you have a strong Wi-Fi connection to keep up with any streaming demand, and keep its software up to date
In this article, I will walk you through all of them and teach you how to fix each one so that you can get the most out of your TV time. If that’s interesting to you, definitely stick around!
Why My Smart TV Is Slow
If your smart TV is running slower than it should, you may have one of four problems.
- Bad internet connection. Your smart TV usually runs slow when you have a lousy internet connection. Your internet might just be overused, out of data, or out of range if this is the case.
- Your TV needs a software update. If your smart TV is slow, you might just need to update your software to the latest version.
- Your TV’s memory is full. If you haven’t cleared your TV’s memory in a while, it may just be running slow because it has too much data, like cookies and caches, stored on it.
- Your TV is outdated. Everything gets old, but smart devices age very quickly compared to other electronics. If you’ve had your TV for several years and it has just started slowing down, your TV may not be compatible with newer software updates.
You Have a Slow Internet Connection
The most common cause of a slow smart TV is your internet speed.
To get the most out of your smart TV, you need a reliable and fast internet connection. Many parts of the country simply can’t provide fast enough internet to support the download speed and bandwidth that smart TVs need.
Sometimes, if you live in a rural area or somewhere where you share the internet with your neighbors, like in an apartment or dorm, you can’t get enough bandwidth for your smart TV to work quickly.
This issue is commonplace in the United States, and it makes it difficult for people who don’t live in urban or suburban areas to enjoy their smart TVs.
So, you may want to consider your internet speed before you get a shiny new TV.
In other cases, when your internet is running slowly, or if your internet’s bandwidth isn’t high enough, your TV will have difficulty streaming apps and browsing the web.
If your internet is running slow, several factors might be exhausting your connection. Your internet will slow down when:
- Too many devices, such as game consoles, smart devices, computers, and phones, are connected to your internet.
- One device connected to your internet is downloading a large amount of data.
- Your internet plan’s download speeds aren’t high enough for your devices.
- You have an outdated or inefficient modem/router.
- Your smart TV is too far away from your wireless router.
If your internet speed turns your relaxing TV time into an aggravating battle with loading bars, don’t worry.
There are several ways to troubleshoot and fix internet connectivity issues so that you can enjoy fast streaming speeds again.
How To Test Your Internet Download Speed
Smart devices download content from the internet when using streaming platforms such as Netflix, Youtube, Hulu.
Smart TVs need at least 15 Mbps download speeds to work efficiently with all of these streaming apps.
Still, that’s just the bandwidth your TV will need, so if you only have 15 Mbps internet speed and have other devices connected to your internet, your TV will have difficulty loading anything at all.
To test your internet download speed, go to speedtest.com, which runs a simple and free audit to see how fast your download and upload speeds are on any device.
If your download speed is slower than 15 Mbps, you may want to upgrade your service.
Call your provider and ask them about what they offer.
Generally, if you can afford it, using a fiber-optic network always works best, especially if you have many devices that you regularly keep connected to the internet.
How To Test for Bandwidth Saturation
Bandwidth saturation happens when one or more of your devices is downloading large files constantly.
Often, bandwidth saturation can be caused by downloading platforms such as iCloud or Google drive.
When these programs run in the background on one or more of your devices, they hog your download speed, which can slow down the other devices connected to the same router.
Bandwidth saturation can also occur when you connect too many devices to one internet router because all the bandwidth is expended, making each device run slow.
If you suspect that bandwidth saturation might be the cause of your TV’s slowness, disconnect all the devices in your house and see if your TV speeds up.
If any of your neighbors have been using your internet, you may also want to password-protect your network.
If these quick steps speed up your TV, you’ve found your problem.
How To Fix a Local Network Problem
If your internet is running slow or starts to cut out a lot, the first thing you can do to solve the problem on your own is to restart your router and modem.
To reboot, unplug your router and modem from the electrical socket and leave them unplugged for at least 30 seconds.
Then, plug them back in and check to see if your internet has sped back up.
If unplugging your router and modem doesn’t work, you may want to try to factory reset your router.
Every router model can be factory reset differently, so you may need to look at your user’s manual or search the internet for instructions on how to factory reset your router.
Still, you should always ensure that you know your router’s default password before factory resetting so that you don’t get locked out of your internet network.
If rebooting and factory resetting your internet hardware don’t work, you may need to upgrade your modem or router.
These devices send out an internet connection, and often, older models cannot broadcast the internet with a strong enough bandwidth for smart TVs.
How To Enhance Your TV’s Internet Connection
Sometimes, when your TV doesn’t have a strong enough connection to your router, it may run slower than expected.
The farther you get from your router, the less bandwidth you have. So when your TV is many rooms away from your wireless router, you can expect it to run pretty slow.
There are several ways to fix this issue, and all of them are very simple. You can:
- Move your router closer to your smart TV, or get a stronger one!
- Use a wireless range extender, like the TP-Link WiFi Extender, to boost your signal.
- Use a wired ethernet cable to connect your TV directly to your modem.
You can use one or more of these methods to maximize your internet speed and improve loading time on your TV.
How To Determine Your Download Capacity
Most internet providers limit the amount of data that you can download within a month.
In most cases, the cap is at 250 GB of data per month.
Each smart TV uses about 1 MB per hour to stream average-quality videos, and HQ videos usually take around 3 MB per hour. So, that doesn’t sound too bad, right?
If you have more than one smart TV, use lots of internet data, and keep cloud devices running in the background of your devices, the data can add up, which forces service providers to slow down your download speeds.
So, if you watch lots of stuff on your TV, you may download too much data for your monthly allowance.
While some providers charge you for the extra downloads, others will slow down your streaming speed before you reach the maximum download allowance, which could be why your TV keeps buffering.
If you think that your TV might be slower because you have downloaded too much content, check with your internet service provider to see how many gigabytes you get every month and how much you regularly use.
If this is the issue, you can turn off your TV’s high-quality setting, reduce your use, or upgrade your internet package.
Your TV Needs a Software Update
If everything is fine with your internet connection, but the TV is excruciatingly slow, check to see if it needs a software update.
Often, software updates will eliminate bugs and enhance performance.
Moreover, the software on your TV becomes obsolete over time and needs to be replaced with more efficient code.
Software updates can also free up space on your TV and make your connections more secure, so regularly updating is crucial if you want your TV to run smoothly.
How To Update Your TV’s Software
On most Smart TVs, the device will notify you of all available software updates.
Still, sometimes, you may not notice when a new update is available if you have notifications turned off.
If you want to avoid any issues, you can turn on your smart TV’s auto-update setting to ensure that you never forget to update.
Usually, you can find this in the settings menu.
If your TV doesn’t have an auto-update setting, you should check for an update once a month to keep everything running smoothly.
Your TV’s Memory Is Full
Like all devices, smart TVs only have so much storage space for all of your apps, cookies, and caches.
The more apps you have, the less room you’ll have.
In addition, if you’ve had your TV for a year or more, all of your browsing history and cookies can build up, slowing down streaming and searching speeds.
When the storage gets full, your TV can’t download anything, so keeping your TV’s software clear of clutter is crucial if you want fast streaming speeds.
Clearing the data will delete all the cache, personal information, and cookies from the app, while clearing caches will only delete your search history.
So, if you want to make as much space as you can and speed up your TV, you can delete all data for all of your apps, which will leave you with an entirely clean slate.
To clear memory, reboot your TV, clear caches, and erase cookies.
How you do this depends on your smart TVs brand, so we’ll cover fixing this problem for only the most popular smart TVs.
If we don’t cover your model, you should find more information in your owner’s manual or on the manufacturer’s website.
How To Clear Memory Cache on Samsung or LG TV
It’s effortless to clear memory and free up space on a Samsung or LG smart TV.
Whenever you disconnect your TV from power, it erases the cache, clears out cookies, and discharges. Follow the steps below:
- Unplug your smart TV from the power outlet.
- Wait for 30 seconds or more.
- Plug your TV back in and power up.
Now, your TV has cleared the memory cache, which will make it run much more smoothly.
How To Clear Memory Cache on Android TV
To free up space on your Android TV, you’ll need to delete the cache for each app.
To clear data or caches, follow the steps below:
- Using your remote control, open “Home.”
- Select “Settings.”
- Select “Apps,” then “System Apps,” then “Show System Apps.”
- Select an app.
- Select “Clear Caches” or “Clear All Data,” then select “OK.”
How To Clear Cookies and Caches on Vizio Smart TV
To clear cache and cookies on a Vizio TV, follow the steps below:
- Go to “Home” with your TV remote.
- Go to “Settings.”
- Click on “broadcasting option.”
- Select “Expert Setting.”
- Click on “HbbTV Settings.”
- Click on “Delete Browsing Data.”
- Select “Yes” to clear all cookies.
- Go back to the “Home” menu and open “Settings.”
- Select “Apps,” then “System Apps.”
- Select the app that you want to clear the cache for.
- Select “Clear Cache” and click on “OK.”
How To Clear Memory on TCL Roku TV
TCL Roku TVs don’t have a cache or cookie clearing setting.
To free up memory on this TV, you’ll have to do a factory reset. To factory reset your TV, follow the steps below:
- Press the “Home” button and select “Settings.”
- Scroll to “System” and select it.
- Go to “Advanced.”
- Select “Factory Reset.”
- Select “Factory Reset Everything” and input the code on your screen.
- Press “OK” to hard reset your TV.
Your TV Is an Outdated Model
In the fast-paced world of modern technology, new models of smart TVs are always coming out.
As newer TVs become available, companies often phase out their older designs and stop offering updates to these older models.
After several years, the gap between the technology your TV can support and the trends widens and you won’t be able to enjoy the latest features.
That also sometimes means your smart TV will become slower a few years after purchasing it.
Most software updates from smart TV companies are only compatible with their most recent models, and many people have become frustrated that their smart TVs don’t work at peak performance for very long.
Newer software only works on more modern TVs because new TVs have more storage space and faster processing speeds.
Cutting-edge companies evolve faster than others, which means that their older models will age much quicker.
So, when working with an older TV that has gone through many software updates, the storage can get packed with older versions of software and obsolete files.
Newer software can still add new features to your TV, but older TVs can get bogged down by these advanced features, which require more storage and faster processing speeds to work efficiently.
If you are ready to get rid of clustered software updates, I strongly advise you to visit this blog post where I broke down the best smart TVs for web browsing
When you pick one, you’ll understand how difficult would be for this models to be replaced.
How To Fix Slow Streaming on an Outdated Smart TV
Generally, if your TV is 5+ years old, you’re bound to run into some issues with the most popular streaming platforms.
Over time, apps with smart TV streaming platforms don’t want to pay to provide their services to older TVs since there are plenty of newer TVs they wish to promote.
This degradation is expected, and the only real solution is getting a newer TV model.
Still, you may be able to free up space by deleting apps as a temporary remedy.
If getting a new TV is out of your price range, you may want to consider purchasing another streaming device such as an Amazon Fire Stick, a Roku, or a Chromecast.
These gadgets will turn any TV into a smart TV, which means that you’ll never have to worry about being phased out again.
These streaming devices don’t usually require any software updates since they work with other devices to stream to your TV, which often means they’ll last longer and need fewer data to stream efficiently.
Why My Smart TV Is Slow? Final Thoughts
If your smart TV is running slowly, the cause could be a bad internet connection, your TV may need a software update, you may need to clear its memory, or your model may be outdated.
There are many solutions to these problems, including testing your download speed, upgrading your software, clearing your caches and cookies, or getting a newer model TV.