Are you stuck trying to figure out why your Firestick is stuck on a spinning circle?
Welcome to the club! It may be hard to believe, but every day, thousands of people face the same issue and are left deeply confused.
I know it can be very annoying not to be able to enjoy a service you’re paying a monthly fee for. Streaming should not feel like a chore.
But don’t worry, you’ve come to the right place for answers. Below, you’ll find a list of several simple steps you can take to fix this issue once and for all.
The 8 easy steps that can stop your Firestick from being stuck on a spinning wheel are:
What makes identifying this problem so difficult, is that it has many looks. You may encounter it while streaming on your favorite platform or while adjusting your Firestick settings.
Sometimes, you might even see the endless spinning circle on top of a completely blank screen. Although this issue can manifest itself in many ways, the fixes for it are usually the same.
Having cleared that up, let’s dive in.
The first thing we need to check is that your apps’ cache & data are not acting up.
If you don’t know what these are, that’s ok! A lot of people are in the same situation. But now that you’re here, I’d love to shed some light on the concepts.
Your cache & data are where your favorite apps store important information. In them, you’ll find audio, video, user preferences, and login credentials. By keeping this data handy, both your Firestick and your apps can load much quicker when launched.
Most of the time, it’s best to leave them both alone. But in some cases, this could be the reason why your Firestick is stuck on a spinning wheel.
In this scenario, your best bet will be to clear them.
Solution: The process is the same for every app. I’ll use Prime Video as an example to show you what to do:
If you have no idea what these are, you’re likely in the clear, so relax! But if like me, you love being able to access international content and secure browsing, read on.
Although VPNs are great, there are a lot of streaming companies that dislike them.
In fact, some of them, such as Disney Plus, Prime Video, HBO Max, Netflix, and many more have even blocked subscribers who use them.
And when I tell you why, you might sympathize.
You see, a lot of the content available on these platforms is only licensed to be played in some countries. Since VPNs allow people from outside these areas of the world to access said content, streaming companies are forced to take action.
It’s either that or be sued for a lot of money.
If you can’t live without using a VPN with your Firestick, try getting a premium subscription with a provider you like. These normally take full advantage of your internet plan and offer obfuscated servers.
These can make it much harder for streaming platforms to detect your VPN traffic, thus decreasing your chances of being blocked.
Solution: The best way to tell if your current VPN is to blame is by disabling it and streaming without it for a couple of days.
If your Firestick is no longer stuck on a spinning wheel, there’s your answer. Time to start looking for alternatives.
You probably already figure this one out yourself. But it’s important to understand why a bad connection could cause this.
Most of the time, it’s very easy to notice when your internet connection is failing, as you’ll be completely cut off from the internet. But in some cases, you might only have a weak signal. This would still allow you to browse lightly and chat while also having your Firestick stuck on a spinning wheel.
Why? Because of the different requirements each activity has.
Texting your friends about your day is lighter on your network than streaming your favorite content online. Most streaming platforms need at least 5 Mbps to play shows in Full HD resolution (1080p), and 25 Mbps for 4K (2160p).
When your network does not meet these requirements, you can encounter several issues, such as Error 7631.
Solution: If you share your home network with several people, I recommend having a connection that’s 5-6 times faster than what your favorite platforms need. Let’s say you want to stream something on Prime Video in 4K resolution. In that scenario, you’d need to have a connection offering at least 125-150 Mbps.
If you live alone, you might be able to get away with something slower.
Assuming that your current plan is already fast enough, call your provider and ask if they’re having coverage issues. If they tell you everything’s fine on their end, try resetting your modem and see what happens.
Yet another very common reason why you could be experiencing this is a server failure.
As you may know, these are responsible for storing important information and making both your Firestick and favorite apps work.
They’re crucial to any company’s operations, so many engineers have worked really hard to make them as resistant as possible. But even with all their effort, they still haven’t managed to keep them from having trouble now and then.
Things that seem unimportant, like a coding bug, a bad hard drive, or even minor hacking can affect how your Firestick and apps work.
When any of these events take place, you’ll likely experience random flickering on streaming platforms, out-of-sync subtitles, and of course, the inability to use your Firestick normally.
Solution: To confirm our suspicions, we need to check the real-time status of Amazon’s servers. Luckily, doing this is very easy:
If your issue is not related to how your Firestick works, but rather to how a streaming app is performing, follow the same steps shown above. All you have to do is change the name of the platform you’re looking into.
Sometimes, the answer is simpler than we make it out to be.
There’s a good chance that all you need to do to stop your Firestick from being stuck on a spinning wheel is restart it.
Why does that work? Because it gives your system the chance to start its processes from scratch.
You see, when we use our favorite apps/streaming devices, there are thousands of lines of code running at the same time in the background. Normally, they work as you’d expect and that’s the end of it. But sometimes, a bug or a glitch can make them crash and cause trouble.
By restarting your Firestick, you’ll be patching corrupted files up and making it easier for your device to act normally.
And the best part is that this fix works for most technical difficulties out there. Don’t be afraid to try it out!
Solution: Here’s what you have to do:
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, your Firestick should no longer be stuck on a spinning wheel.
If the spinning wheel is only appearing on your streaming platforms, there’s a chance that the issue is not that serious.
You may not know this, but every piece of content within streaming services is processed individually. By doing this, streaming companies can prevent a single problem from becoming a general failure.
For the most part, this is great news. But in some cases, this safety measure could trick you into thinking that the entire platform is having problems. Even when it’s not.
Solution: Try watching other shows and movies and see if your Firestick is still stuck on the spinning wheel. Assuming that it’s not, chances are the title you’re trying to watch is currently not available.
But don’t worry, these kinds of things are normally resolved quickly.
Most people don’t give updating their streaming systems enough importance. Granted, keeping them outdated won’t cause the end of the world, but it can be the source of many technical difficulties down the line.
Most streaming platforms are updated with newer versions of streaming device software in mind. Using the latest version of your apps with an older version of your Firestick’s software could explain why you’re having this problem.
In most cases, this is something you don’t have to worry about, as there’s automatic updating. But sometimes, a weak network or a glitch can get in the way.
In that scenario, you’ll have to manually download and install the latest software version of your Firestick.
Solution: Here are some easy steps you can follow:
Last, but definitely not least, let’s try a Hail Mary.
When nothing else works, you might have to revert your Firestick to its Factory Defaults. As its name suggests, this will cause the device to go back to brand-new condition.
The process will delete all your downloaded apps, preset configurations, and user preferences. I know this sounds less than ideal, but sometimes bugs and corrupted files can be very stubborn.
To save you some time in the future, I recommend keeping a list of your downloaded apps and their login credentials written down somewhere.
Solution: Assuming that you’ve determined there’s nothing else you can try, here’s how to Factory Reset your Firestick:
Once that’s done, you can start re-downloading your apps and entering your preferred settings.
Having your Firestick be stuck on a spinning wheel can be very annoying. I bet the last thing you want to do after a long day at work is troubleshooting and playing technician. Especially considering you’ve spent money on something that should be making your life easier.
What a disaster!
Luckily, as I hope you’ve learned in this piece, fixing most of the causes behind this issue is really easy. More often than not, simple actions, like keeping your Firestick updated and making sure that your internet connection is strong, should do the trick.
Thank you so much for sticking with me all the way to the end. If you found this article helpful, you’ll be happy to know that we upload new content weekly. Check out our other incredible resources below to become a Tech Detective yourself!
I wish you all the best.