This is Why Your Smart TV is Slow or Lagging

So your smart TV is slow and lagging and you’re looking for solutions. It’s very frustrating to use a smart TV that is slow. I did some research and found possible fixes that could work for you. Most of these fixes are relatively easy to implement, so don’t worry.

If you run through this troubleshooting checklist and your smart TV is still slow, the problem is likely with the TV’s hardware. In that case, contacting the manufacturer of your TV for a refund or replacement is your best option. There’s not much else you can do.

Having said that, let’s get into the list.

Why Your Smart TV is Slow or Lagging:

1 – Uninstall and Close Unnecessary Apps

Smart TVs have built-in storage, memory, and a processor, which can be easily overwhelmed with too many apps and features. Smart TVs usually are slow when too many applications are installed, which puts a strain on the TV’s limited hardware resources.

If the UI on your TV is slow, the most likely issue is there are too many apps installed. Uninstalling apps will free up resources for the system. I recommend removing any unnecessary apps from your smart TV. It’s a good idea to close apps that are running in the background to free up memory.

You should also take a look at your TV’s current internal storage usage. If your storage is almost full, it might be the reason your TV is slow.

Some TV manufacturers include multiple bloatware apps, and removing those apps can squeeze out more performance from your smart TV. Uninstalling apps to free up space on your TV’s hard drive is the easiest way to improve its performance.

2 – Update Smart TV Firmware

Much like any other device, smart TVs need to be updated to improve performance and eliminate bugs.

To update your smart TV, it needs to be connected to the internet, an ethernet connection is recommended.  You can also manually update the firmware by downloading the firmware file to a USB drive on a separate device.

Most smart TVs will have a firmware information option in the settings and there should be an option to check for updates. It’s recommended to always use the latest firmware for your TV because not only can it improve performance but also add new features.

3 – Power Reset Your Smart TV

As mentioned earlier, your smart TV has memory (RAM) like your other devices, and when it runs out, the TV will slow down. Cold booting your TV is an easy way to clear the memory and any cache that might be creating issues. The cold boot technique is the same on most TVs, Samsung and Sony’s alike.

How to cold boot a smart TV:

  1. Turn on your TV with the remote
  2. Hold down the power button on your remote
  3. Continue holding down the button until the TV turns off and restarts
  4. When the TV turns on again, let go of the button
  5. You won’t receive a notification, but that should clear the memory and cache

You can achieve the same result by unplugging your TV’s power cable and waiting for about 1-2 minutes. Resetting the TV using this method will improve the performance because it will clear up leftover files from apps and also clear the cache. Don’t forget to remove any USB devices before you do a power reset.

Internet Connection Issues:

If the user interface on your smart TV is responsive, but apps take a long time to load media, your internet connection speed could be the problem.

Make sure your home’s internet speed is fast enough to stream HD media. Remember, Netflix requires a minimum of 25 Mbps to stream Netflix at ultra HD quality.

1 – Use an Ethernet Cable

The best solution is to connect your smart TV to your router with an ethernet cable. Wired internet connections are faster and more reliable than Wifi. A wired connection should dramatically improve the connection speed and allow you to stream with no issues. To double-check, do another internet speed test to compare ethernet to Wifi. It’s not unusual for the wired connection to be 2 x faster than Wifi.

2 – Fix Smart TV Wifi Issues

If your TV does not have an ethernet port, you’ll be limited to Wifi. Wifi should provide enough speed to stream media, but it can be unreliable at times.

I suggest comparing the Wifi speed on your TV to other devices in your home. It will help narrow down the issue. You could also try a quick router reset (unplug the power on the router for 30 seconds and plug it back in).

To test the internet connection speed on your TV, open the built-in web browser, and navigate to speedtest.net or fast.com. Let the test run and see if the results are similar to the results on your other devices.

If the speed test results on the smart TV are much lower, it could be because your TV is too far from your router. Ideally, the router should be as close to the TV as possible. I would move the router so there’s a clear line of sight from the router to the TV.

When the router is closer to the TV, run the test again, and see if the connection speed improved.

3 – Reset Your TV or Network Settings

Did you know when you turn off the TV using the remote it doesn’t actually turn off completely? It usually goes into standby mode. If you’re experiencing Wifi issues (Wifi dropping out randomly, slow speeds, etc) I recommend doing a power reset from the earlier section.

Another thing that you can try is to reset the network settings on your TV and reconnect it to the network. Most smart TVs will have an option called “Reset Network” in the “Network” settings. In most cases resetting the network will fix Wifi issues.

In some cases, you won’t be able to see your Wifi network in the list of networks. To solve that problem, hold down the power button to force the TV to force a restart. You should be able to see your network after that. Reconnect and do another speed test to see if the connection improved.

Conclusion:

Smart TVs are much like any other device and require frequent maintenance. It’s a good idea to keep an eye on your TV’s available storage and remove unneeded apps. In most cases, doing a power reset on your TV will improve its performance. Combine that with a fast ethernet connection for the internet, and your TV should be running like-new once again.

Tried everything on the list and your TV is still having issues? There’s a good chance it needs to be repaired. If you still have a warranty, I recommend contacting the TV manufacturer’s official support for advice.

Photo by Marques Kaspbrak on Unsplash

About Tim Gagnon

Timothy Gagnon is a tech blogger and writer. When he's not dissembling computers, he's researching the latest tech gadgets and trends.

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