Firestick Saying It Can’t Play This Link? Here’s Why

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Couple stuck with Firestick issue on TV

Are you stuck trying to understand why your Firestick is saying it can’t play this link?

I’m not surprised! It may be hard to believe, but thousands of people find themselves in the same situation every day.

I know it can be really annoying to feel stressed while doing something that should help you relax and enjoy yourself.

But don’t worry, you’ve come to the right place for answers. Below, you’ll find a list of the things that might be causing this and several ways to solve them.

The 8 fixes that can stop your Firestick from saying it “can’t play this title” are:

  1. Check your connection
  2. Check your platform’s servers
  3. Disable your VPN
  4. Clear cache & data
  5. Restart your Firestick
  6. Update your Firestick
  7. Update your apps
  8. Reset your Firestick

Read on to fall back in love with your device!

#1 Check Your Connection

First, I want us to make sure your internet connection is doing ok.

Granted, service drops have gone down a lot in the last few years, but it’s not safe to say they don’t happen anymore.

Normally, it’s really easy to tell when you have a bad connection, as you won’t be able to browse the web. But sometimes, you might only have a weak signal. This would allow you to still do some things on the internet while also having your Firestick tell you it can’t play a link.

Why? Because streaming is much more demanding on your network than other activities.

As a general rule, most streaming platforms need at least 5 Mbps to play content in Full HD (1080p) and 25 Mbps for 4K (2160p).

If your current plan is not fast enough, it would explain why you’re having this issue. And to make matters worse, a slow network could also cause other technical difficulties, such as Error 1061.

Solution: A good way to estimate your needs is by multiplying the number of people you share your home network with by the number of Mbps your platforms require. For example, if you want to play a title in 4K and live with 3 people, your plan should offer at least 75 Mbps.

Assuming that your current plan is already fast enough, give your provider a call and ask if they’re having issues in your area. If they tell you everything’s fine on their end, try resetting your modem and see what happens.

If this is your first time doing it, don’t worry! It’s very easy:

  1. Without unplugging the modem, turn it around so that you can see the back of the unit
  1. Locate the reset button (more often than not, it’s not a button, but a small hole with a “Reset” label on it)
  1. Use a paper clip or a thin toothpick to press down on the actual button inside this hole. Hold it down until all the lights at the front of the unit turn on, and then turn off
  1. For a brief moment, all lights on the modem will be off, that’s your cue to stop holding down the reset button
  1. Wait a couple of minutes and try watching your favorite shows on your Firestick. If your connection was to blame, everything should be back to normal.

#2 Check Your Platform’s Servers

Next, I want us to check how your favorite platforms’ servers are doing.

As you’ve probably heard, these are responsible for storing important information and allowing millions of people to stream their favorite content at the same time. Without them, your experience in many of your favorite services would be different.

And not for the better!

Given how important they are, a lot of work has gone into making them very resistant. And while all the effort has paid off, they’re still not failproof.

If your Firestick is saying it “can’t play this link”, chances are a coding bug, a bad hard drive, or minor hacking are to blame. Not on your end, mind you, but on your favorite streaming companies’ servers.

The easiest way to tell if any of these things are happening is by looking out for some signs, such as endless buffering, login difficulties, random flickering, and much more.

Now, let’s not place all the blame on streaming services. Your Firestick could also be having trouble. Here’s what you can do about that.

Solution: Assuming that the issue lies with the device itself and not your streaming platforms, checking the real-time status of Amazon’s servers is your best bet:

  1. Open Google, and type “Is Amazon down?”, then hit Enter to search your query
  1. Locate “Downdetector” on the search results, and click on it (or click on this link:
How to check if Amazon is down
Make sure you’re entering the official Downdetector webpage
  1. Once you’ve entered the webpage, you’ll see a bunch of data, and a large graph
Downdetector report graph
The taller the spikes, the more likely you are to be having trouble

Sadly, if Amazon’s servers are, in fact, down, there’s nothing you can do. But I wouldn’t worry too much about it.

The company has a very capable IT department, and these issues rarely ever last long.

In case you’re only getting the “can’t play this link” message on one streaming service, try the steps above to check its server status. Chances are, there are a lot of user reports coming in.

#3 Disable Your VPN

Moving on, let’s talk about your VPN. If you have no idea what this is, relax! You’re in the clear.

But if like me, you love secure browsing and being able to access international content from anywhere in the world, this definitely concerns you.

Believe it or not, a lot of streaming companies hate VPNs. Some of them, like Disney Plus, HBO Max, Prime Video, and many more, have even blocked subscribers who use them often.

I know, that sucks. But when I tell you why they do it, you might feel differently.

You see, a lot of the content available on your favorite streaming services is only licensed to be played in some countries. Since VPNs allow people from other areas of the world to access it, steaming platforms must take action.

It’s either that or face terrible legal consequences.

Now, this doesn’t mean you have to stop watching your favorite shows with your VPN. You can still do it by using a premium VPN subscription that offers obfuscated servers.

These make your VPN traffic nearly impossible to detect, thus decreasing your chances of being blocked by your favorite platforms.

Solution: Disable your current VPN and stream without it for a while. If your Firestick is no longer saying it “can’t play this link”, there’s your answer.

Do some research, find a VPN company you like, and get a premium subscription. Most of them go for as low as $60/year!

#4 Clear Cache & Data

Now, let’s take a look at your cache & data.

If you don’t know what these are, that’s ok, most people are in the same boat. But now that you’re reading this, I’d love to tell you a little about them.

Your cache & data are where your apps store important information. In them, you’ll find audio, video, user preferences, and login credentials. By keeping this data handy, your streaming services can load much quicker when launched, making your experience better.

In most cases, it’s best to leave them both alone. But sometimes, this could be the reason why your Firestick keeps saying it “can’t play this link”.

In that scenario, your best bet is to clear them.

Solution: The process should be the same for all the installed apps on your Firestick. Below, I’ll use Prime Video as an example:

  1. Press the “Home” button on your Fire Stick controller
  1. Navigate to the gear icon to open the device’s settings
How to access settings on Amazon Firestick
  1. From the new menu, select “Applications”
Open Applications Menu on Amazon Firestick
You can manage all your apps’ settings there
  1. On the new menu, select “Manage Installed Applications”
How to manage installed applications on Amazon Firestick
  1. Once you see a list with all your installed apps, scroll down until you reach “Prime Video” and select it 
Locate Prime Video on Amazon Firestick
You may have to scroll down for a while if you have many apps installed
  1. Select “Clear data”
Clear data of Amazon Prime on Amazon Firestick
  1. Select “Clear data” again
  1. Go to the previous menu by using the return button on your controller (the little curved arrow)
  1. Now, hover above “Clear cache”
Clear cache of Amazon Prime on Amazon Firestick
Clearing your cache frequently can save you a lot of headaches
  1. Press the “Rewind” button on your controller (the two arrows pointing left), and then select “Confirm”
Rewind button on Amazon Firestick controller
Depending on your Firestick version, your controller might look different
Clear Amazon Prime cache on Amazon Firestick
Depending on your model, the “Rewind” button may look different

If this didn’t work, don’t worry; we still have a lot of ground to cover. Keep reading to discover more useful fixes for this issue!

#5 Restart Your Firestick

Sometimes, the solution could be simpler than we think. There’s a chance that all you need to do to get your Firestick back to normal is restart it.

Yes, it could be that easy.

Whenever we use our favorite apps, there are thousands of background processes running at the same time. In most cases, they work as you’d expect and that’s the end of it. But sometimes, one or more can crash and start causing trouble.

By restarting your Firestick, you’re giving the device a chance to reload any files that might be corrupted. And the best part is that this fix should work for most technical difficulties out there.

Don’t be afraid to try it out!

Solution: There are two ways you can do this, the quick one and the right one. For the former, just unplug your Firestick from its power source and plug it back in afterward.

For the latter, please follow the steps below:

  1. Press the “Home” button on your controller
  1. Navigate to the gear icon to open the device’s settings
How to access settings on Amazon Firestick
Look for the gear icon on the right side of your Home Screen
  1. On the set of options that appear, select “My Fire TV”
How to access My Fire Tv on Amazon Firestick
  1. On the new window, select “Restart”
How to restart Amazon Firestick
Be careful not to select “Reset to Factory Defaults” by accident
  1. Once you’re asked to confirm if you want to restart, select “Restart”
Confirm Reset on Amazon Firestick

This might take a little while. Once the process has been completed, try streaming something and see what happens. If this was the source of the issue, you should be able to play all the titles you want.

#6 Update Your Firestick

Most people don’t think keeping their Firestick updated is important.

But it is… in fact, it’s vital.

Normally, you should have to worry about this, as your device updates automatically. But in some cases, a weak network or an interface glitch can get in the way.

Having the latest software version of your Firestick installed is necessary because, with every release, app developers implement new features and fix many bugs.

If you use an older version of your Firestick’s software with fully updated apps, you’re very likely to face many technical difficulties.

Solution: Manually downloading and installing the latest software version of your device is really easy. All you have to do is:

  1. Press the “Home” button on your controller
  1. Navigate to the gear icon to open the device’s settings
How to access settings on Amazon Firestick
  1. On the set of options that appear, select “My Fire TV”
How to access My Fire TV on Amazon Firestick
  1. On the new menu, select “About”
Select About on My Fire TV settings on Amazon Firestick
  1. Select “Check for Updates”. You’ll get a message that says “Checking Now…
Check for updates on Amazon Firestick
Try doing this every couple of weeks to make sure your device is always up to date
  1. After your Fire Stick is done checking for updates, you’ll either get an option to install a newer version or get a message that says “Your Fire TV is up to date.”
Amazon Firestick check software version
If you get a message asking for confirmation to update, simply agree and wait

#7 Update Your Apps

While keeping your Firestick fully updated will greatly improve this situation, you won’t see the full benefits if you don’t have the latest version of your apps installed as well.

Not unlike with your device, this should be done automatically. But if it’s not, you’ll have to interfere again.

I know, annoying… but necessary.

Solution: The process for updating all your favorite apps within your Firestick is the same. For this example, I’ll use Cinema HD:

  1. Press the “Home” button on your Fire Stick controller
  1. Navigate to the gear icon to open the device’s settings
How to access settings on Amazon Fire Stick
  1. From the new menu, select “Applications”
Open Applications Menu on Amazon Fire Stick
  1. On the new menu, select “Manage Installed Applications”
How to manage installed applications on Amazon Fire Stick

5. Find Cinema HD and select it

How to access Cinema HD app options
The app list is usually ordered alphabetically, so you should be able to find Cinema HD nearly at the beginning

6. On the new window, look for an option that says “Update”. If you don’t see it, that’s ok! It means your app is already up to date.

#8 Reset Your Firestick

Finally, let’s go the extra mile.

If nothing has worked so far, we might need to try a Hail Mary and revert your Firestick to its Factory Defaults. This will delete all your downloaded apps, user preferences, and settings.

I know this is not ideal, but sometimes it’s the only way to fix what’s causing your Firestick to say it “can’t play this link”. Chances are you’ll have to do this more than once throughout your device’s lifespan, so here’s a useful tip for you.

In the future, keep a list of all your downloaded apps and their respective login credentials written down somewhere. This will save you the effort of having to remember what you have to recover after you’ve performed this reset.

Solution: If you’re sure there’s nothing else you can try, here’s how to Factory Reset your Firestick:

  1. Press the “Home” button on your controller
  1. Navigate to the gear icon to open the device’s settings
How to access settings on Amazon Fire Stick
  1. On the set of options that appear, select “My Fire TV”
How to access My Fire TV on Amazon Fire Stick
  1. Scroll down in the new menu and select “Reset to Factory Defaults”
Reset Amazon Fire Stick to factory defaults
Remember, only do this as a last resort
  1. When asked to confirm, select “Reset” and wait for the process to be completed
Confirm reset to factory defaults on Amazon Fire Stick
Make sure to click on “Reset” to confirm that you want to go back to Factory Defaults

After the process has been completed, you can start the long road of redownloading your apps.


Having your Firestick keep saying it “can’t play this link” can be very annoying. After all, the device is supposed to make your life simpler, but instead, it’s got you playing technician.

What a disaster!

Luckily, as I hope you’ve learned in this piece, addressing most of the causes behind this is really easy. More often than not, simple actions, like checking your network’s speed, and restarting your Firestick, should do the trick.

Thank you for sticking with me all the way to the end. If you found this article helpful, you’ll be glad to know that we upload new content every week. Check out our other wonderful resources below to become a Tech Detective yourself!

I wish you nothing but the best.