There’s nothing more frustrating than endlessly scrolling through Netflix, only for the show you picked to keep freezing. It’s also hard to think through the issue logically when you’re already frustrated and needing a break. I have written this article so that next time your Netflix freezes or crashes on your Smart TV, you will have a logical troubleshooting guide to get you through.
The most common cause for Netflix freezing or crashing is poor or slow internet connection, which causes the stream to buffer. Alternatively, you may need to sign out of Netflix, update the firmware on your app and TV or reset the TV. Hardware issues can also cause the TV to crash.
This article will help you understand why Netflix crashes so that you can then fix these issues. You would also benefit from knowing how to test your internet speed to make sure you have the minimum required to stream Netflix.
Netflix Frozen/Keeps Freezing on Smart TV
Netflix can freeze due to issues with the app, issues with your Smart TV or issues with your network connection. Below are the main causes that you should consider.
- Poor or slow internet connection
- Bugs or errors in the firmware on your TV or in the Netflix app
- Overloaded app cache
- Hardware failure
I will explain how these cause your Netflix app to freeze/crash below, and will then provide a number of ways you can resolve these issues.
What Causes Netflix to Freeze on Smart TV
Poor Internet Connection
Poor internet connection will affect how fast the Netflix app can download the video you are watching (if at all). Normally, the app will download the video as you watch it. If you do not have an internet connection or it is too slow, this download will not occur and the video will freeze.
Poor internet can be caused by objects in the home blocking the signal, such as thick walls, water or metal. The signal can also be affected by other wireless devices, such as radios, Bluetooth devices, radios or microwaves. Even having the modem too far away from your TV will reduce the quality of the signal.
Netflix also has recommended download speeds for streaming videos. If your download speed is less than these requirements, your video will freeze. These recommended speeds are below.
- 1.5MB/s (minimum of 0.5MB/s) to load Netflix
- 3MB/s to stream Standard Definition
- 5MB/s to stream High Definition
- 25MB/s to stream 4K or Ultras HD
Bugs or Errors in the Firmware
Bugs in the firmware of either the Netflix app or your Smart TV can cause the app to freeze or crash. Bugs will generally occur every time you perform a particular function because it is an error in the coding of the app. These bugs are only fixed by updating the firmware.
However, other glitches or errors can occur randomly for no particular reason. These errors can usually be fixed by signing out of the app or restarting the system.
Overloaded Cache or Data
The cache is a storage area for temporary files such as cookies. These files improve the performance of the app, but can sometimes overwhelm the app when too many files are being stored over time. This will cause the app to freeze or crash.
If none of the above are an issue, you may have a hardware failure within the TV. If the hardware is malfunctioning, you should notice issues when using other apps on the TV. The only way to fix this issue is to have the TV looked at and repaired by a professional.
How to Fix Netflix Frozen on Smart TV
Improve your Internet Connection
You can improve your internet connection in a number of ways. Below is an outline of the different troubleshooting methods you should try.
- Restart your modem and router (if you have one)
- Move your modem/router within 30 feet of your TV (but at least one foot apart)
- Minimise interference to your WiFi signal (as mentioned above)
- Connect your TV to the internet via an Ethernet cable
Restarting the modem and router should be done in a particular order to ensure both are given enough time to reset and start back up. This has been detailed below.
Step 1: Unplug the modem and router from the power.
Step 2: Wait at least one minute while they are unplugged.
Step 3: Plug the modem back in and wait for it to restart.
Step 4: Once the modem has fully rebooted, plug in the router.
Step 5: Wait for the router to fully reboot before checking the network.
Reduce the Streaming Quality
You can choose to reduce the quality of your Netflix videos to match the download speed of your internet. Netflix has the options of ‘Low’, ‘Medium’, ’High’ or ‘Auto’.
Choosing the Low or Medium option will lower the quality below that of Standard Definition. These are therefore good options if your internet is slow. You can change these settings from any web browser, following the steps below.
Step 1: Open Netflix in your web browser.
Step 2: Navigate to ‘Account > Profile & Parental Controls’.
Step 3: Select your profile and then ;Playback Settings’.
Step 4: Select ‘Change’ to choose your default streaming quality.
Sign Out of Netflix
If Netflix is frozen, you may not be able to sign out normally. Therefore, follow the steps below to access the sign out screen using the remote.
Step 1: Using your remote’s arrow buttons, press ‘Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, Up, Up, Up, Up’.
Step 2: When prompted with the sign-out menu, select ‘Sign Out’, ‘Start Over’ or ‘Deactivate’.
Clear your Netflix Cache and Data
You can clear Netflix data through your TV’s settings. This will vary for different models and brands of Smart TV, but below is a common place to find this feature.
Step 1: Press the ‘Home’ button on your remote.
Step 2: Navigate to ‘Settings > General > Apps > Manage All Apps’.
Step 3: Find and select the Netflix app.
Step 4: Under ‘Storage’, select ‘Clear Data’, ‘Clear Cache’ or ‘Clear Storage’.
Keep in mind that clearing the Netflix cache will clear temporary files such as cookies. These files improve the performance of the app, but are not related to downloaded content. On the other hand, clearing Netflix data or storage will likely delete any movies or TV shows you have downloaded.
Update your Smart TV
Firmware updates on a Smart TV are found in the ‘Settings’ menu, but the exact pathway varies. You might need to go into the ‘About’ menu, the ‘System Settings’ or ‘Customer Support’ to find the update function. Once you have found the update function, you will need to either ‘Check for Updates’ or ‘Install Software Update’.
Update the Netflix App
You can update the Netflix app through your Smart TV’s app store. Once you have found the Netflix app in the app or channel store, you should see an option to ‘Update’. If you do not, it is likely that you are running the latest firmware.
Reset your TV
You can either perform a hard reset on your TV or a factory reset. A hard reset will not erase any of your data, but will clear any errors that have occurred in the TV. To do this, follow the steps below.
Step 1: Unplug your TV from the power.
Step 2: Disconnect all devices attached to the TV.
Step 3: Press and hold the ‘Power’ button on the TV for 30 seconds.
Step 4: Wait another 10 minutes to fully discharge the TV.
Step 5: Plug the TV back into the power and reconnect your devices.
A factory reset , which is detailed below, will remove all saved preferences and downloaded apps from your TV. This will clear errors, as well as return your storage space to its original capacity. It will also clear any data files within your apps.
Step 1: Press the ‘Home’ button on your remote.
Step 2: Navigate to ‘Settings > Advanced Settings > Device Preferences’.
Step 3: Find the ‘Reset’ function and follow the on-screen instructions