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5 Reasons Why Your Smart TV Is Slow + Instant Fixes (2023)

Why Are Smart TVs So Slow

Does your Smart TV often buffer while you’re watching?

Or worse, the apps don’t even load at all?

Smart TVs can be a great electronic device to have at home. 

But it can be pretty annoying when it lags.

What actually causes it to happen?

Read on to learn:

  • Why Smart TVs get slow.
  • How to clear cache and data.
  • How to repurpose old Smart TVs.
  • Alternative solutions to outdated models.
  • 5 ways you can address its lagging issues.
  • And a lot more…

Why is my Smart TV so slow?

Your Smart TV is so slow either because its memory storage is full, it receives low internet speed and bandwidth, has maxed out your internet data limit, or has outdated firmware. But more often, it may be due to old age and incapacity to keep up with the latest technology.

5 reasons why your Smart TV is so slow

#1: Your Smart TV’s memory is full

Have you been using your Smart TV for more than a year now?

If yes, then your electronic device can be prone to lagging.

Like smartphones and PCs, Smart TVs use memory to run apps. The more apps you run, the more memory it consumes.

Your Smart TV stores data, caches, and cookies whenever you’re streaming. These pile up and clutter your device, causing it to slow down.

Once its memory gets full, you won’t be able to download or update any apps or files anymore.

What to do about it:

You can free up your Smart TV’s memory storage in two ways: by clearing its data or clearing its caches

If you want to regain its full speed, you might want to clear its data. This will delete stored caches and cookies, browsing history, and auto-saved information.

But if you don’t want to erase previous data and searches, clearing its caches would work.

Steps on clearing data and caches are different per model and brand. But here’s how it’s done in most smart electronics:

  1. Go to settings
  2. Select “Apps” / “See All Apps”
  3. Select your preferred app 
  4. Click “Clear cache” or “clear data”

If displayed, click “Clear All Data,” which is usually located at the bottom of the page.

Another thing you can do is to add storage in your device by using a hard drive.

Newer models of Smart TVs have USB ports which you can use to connect hard drives for extra storage.

Transferring some of your files to your hard drive won’t eat up much storage while streaming or gaming.

#2: You have a lousy internet connection

Smart TVs consume more data than phones and PCs. So, if you have a low internet package, your streaming will lag.

According to Netflix itself, the recommended internet speed is 3 MBps. This will allow you to enjoy a full movie in SD resolution without lags. 

To enjoy HD or 4k resolution, your internet speed must be between 5 Mbps to 25 Mbps. But you must also consider the number of devices connected to your router.

“But I have a high internet package!”

Then your internet speed might not be the issue.

You might want to check your internet bandwidth and see if it’s enough for your use.

Aside from speed, internet bandwidth is also crucial in providing fast streaming sessions.

Further reading: Should a Smart TV Be on 5G or 2G? 6 Things To Consider

What to do about it:

For best results, upgrade to using a fiber-optic network. This will increase your internet speed and bandwidth. As a result, it will provide you with faster and lag-free streaming.

Another option is to use a wired ethernet cable to connect your Smart TV to your modem. 

You may also strengthen your internet bandwidth by installing a wireless range extender. If it doesn’t work, you should try moving your router next to your Smart TV.

If you think your router is the problem, you might want to reboot.

Here’s how:

  1. Unplug your modem and router
  2. Leave it off for at least 30 seconds
  3. Plug in your modem and router back

If your internet continues to cut out, you may either try to factory reset it or call your ISP for help support.

Factory resetting your router will completely delete all data in your Smart TV. This includes your downloaded apps, emails and passwords, and activity history. 

Here’s how to factory reset your Smart TV:

  1. Turn on your device
  2. Go to “Menu”
  3. Select “General”
  4. And click “Reset”

You should have your user manual with you as you will need your security PIN (if you haven’t changed its default PIN yet).

#3: You have maxed out your internet data limit

“But I pay for unlimited WiFi connection!”

I’m sorry to break it to you but it’s not actually unlimited.

Most internet packages have data limits or caps every month. When you reach this limit, you either get charged more or your ISP will throttle your internet speed.

ISPs control your data consumption by tracking your data usage. Once you have reached their set limit per month, they will limit your internet bandwidth.

This is why you experience slow internet connections even if you are paying for a high internet plan.

What to do about it:

You can avoid reaching your data limit earlier and faster by managing your data usage. 

Some of the effective things that you can do are:

  • Upgrading your internet plan.
  • Streaming in full HD rather in 4k.
  • Lessening your streaming or gaming sessions.

Streaming in lower definition can help save data as it consumes lower data.

Check out: 6 Things To Do if Your Smart TV Slows Down the Internet

#4: Your Smart TV needs a firmware or software update

As mentioned, your Smart TV works the same as your smartphone or PC. If it has outdated firmware, it will run slow.

Firmware and software updates introduce your Smart TV to new technologies. These technologies enhance its performance and security features.

It also helps fix bugs that contribute to your electronics’ poor performance. 

Without these new updates, it’s most likely for your apps or actual smart device to lag or not work at all. This is because some updates might not be compatible with the previous version. Or in some cases, some features might have been removed or replaced.

Apps update themselves from time to time. So, updating your Smart TV’s firmware is necessary to let streaming apps run without lags.

Note: Streaming apps and your actual Smart TV updates one by one.

To update streaming or gaming apps:

  1. Go to settings
  2. Selects “Apps” / “See all apps”
  3. Click “Update” / “Update App” on the preferred app

If displayed, click “Update All,” to download all available updates.

To update firmware or software:

  1. Go to settings
  2. Select “Support”
  3. Choose “Software Update”
  4. If displayed, click “Update Now”

If the “Update Now” button is unclickable, that means there’s no available software update yet.

What to do about it:

Your Smart TV's So Slow Because Of Problems From Streaming Services

Most Smart TVs notify you if there’s an update available. 

When that happens, you would only need to follow its simple instructions.

Otherwise, you would have to check your user manual to learn how to update its firmware.

If you think that the firmware is not the issue, you should try calling your streaming provider.

Streaming providers, like Netflix and Hulu, help users fix streaming and log-in troubleshoots. 

They will either walk you through the process during a phone call or visit your house to fix the problem.

#5: You’re using an older Smart TV model

Aside from old age, older Smart TV models are prone to lagging for several other reasons. Especially those launched in 2014 and earlier.

For once, Smart TVs have first launched in the market about 10 years ago. During its first few years, most Smart TVs have bad processors as their technologies are still new in tech.

Processors in Smart TVs are what provide high definition image and video quality.

Models with poor processors display grainy images, dull colors, and laggy fast-paced videos.

That is why installing apps that offer 4k resolution movies on these models will be nonsense. Because older Smart TV models can’t stream 4k videos on it as it doesn’t have the technologies for it.

As a result, many streaming apps like Netflix withdrew their support for older models. As their updates are not compatible with the older designs. 

If they push new updates into older models, it will cost them more money and extra tech support.

With no support and updates, streaming apps on old designs run even more sluggish and in low quality.

“But I can still update apps on my old Smart TV…”

That may be true.

But it remains prone to lagging and poor performance.

As mentioned, Smart TVs have limited memory capacity.

The more times you update your apps and software, the more data it collects. And once its memory gets full, your smart device will be more sluggish.

What to do about it:

Old models will only cause problems in the long run. 

The best solution you can do is to buy a new, up-to-date Smart TV. Get one that offers more advanced features and technologies.

Buy a model that you can use both as a Smart TV and a regular TV. 

Because, as you may know by now, Smart TVs will soon wear out. So, it would be best to invest in a device that you can repurpose in the future.

Good to note: While Smart TVs with 4k features are great, they might not be the best investment for regular users. 

For example, only a small percentage of Netflix movies and series are available in 4k. Also, 4k quality Smart TVs won’t do much when used as a screen TV. So, if you want to save money, opt for a more affordable yet useful Smart TV.

2 devices to use to stream on your Smart TV

Smart TVs can be expensive.

So, when the time comes your Smart TV starts acting up, you can repurpose it and use it as a screen TV instead.

It defeats the sole purpose of a Smart TV.

But isn’t it the best option to do rather than to throw it out?

Here are two devices that you can use to repurpose your old Smart TV:

#1: HDMI

One of the pros of buying a Smart TV is that you can still use it as a regular TV when desired. 

Aside from USB ports, newer Smart TV models come with HDMI outlets.

With this, you can connect your other devices like smartphones, laptops, or PC to your Smart TV.

You can watch movies or play games on your other devices while using your Smart TV as your display screen. 

Plus, you can also connect game controllers to your smart electronics via Bluetooth.

To connect other devices to your Smart TV:

  1. Plug in one end to your Smart TV
  2. Plug in the other to your laptop or PC
  3. When a pop-up setting shows up, select the correct input 

Check whether your smartphone or laptop has a wireless projection feature. If it has, you can connect your device to your Smart TV by simply turning on its feature and connecting it with your TV.

#2: Streaming Box

Do you miss watching high-quality and lag-free movies on your old Smart TV?

Then you should definitely get a streaming box!

With this device, you can watch movies from different streaming apps like with Smart TVs.

Think of this as a handy device that you can connect on any TV to watch various films or series anytime and anywhere. Not to mention that it only takes a few minutes to set up.

Some users with functional Smart TVs sometimes even use a streaming box. 

This is because streaming boxes offer more streaming apps with less memory consumption.

Some other advantages of using a streaming box are:

  • Stronger hardware.
  • A simpler interface.
  • More content and apps.
  • Faster and newer updates.

If you want a more handy and affordable option, you can get a streaming stick instead.

It works the same except that it has many lower-end features.

Learn more: Do I need an Android box if I have a smart TV?