Speed Up Your Firestick by Closing Background Apps

Published January 23, 2020

Slow ResponseI began to notice a slowdown in response time on my Amazon Fire devices (Fire TV, Firestick and Amazon tablet). My first remedy was to check the Internet connection. Sometimes that solves the problem, but not always. What I later found was there were a bunch of unused apps running in the background. All of these running apps slowed my device response time.

My search for a way to close those background apps led me to a neat little tool called Background Apps and Process List. Aside from the fact that it works, it’s also free and downloadable from Amazon.

Closing Applications

Being a Windows user, I’ve grown accustomed to clicking the little “x” in the upper right-hand corner of a window to close it. That’s not the case with mobile apps. On smaller devices, such as phones or tablets, one must swipe up, down or sideways to close out apps. Fire TVs or Fire Sticks don’t have such options. As a result, applications keep running unless they’re manually closed. Even clicking the app’s “Exit” button doesn’t mean it will stop running in the background.

Background Apps

To manually close apps on the TV, I’d have to go to Settings - Applications, Manage Installed Applications select the application then click Force Stop. The process took just as many steps on the tablet.

With the Background Apps & Process List utility, I don’t have to constantly tiptoe along a winding path to reach the engine room of the device to close running apps.   All I have to do is open the Background app to see which apps are currently running and it will transport me directly to the engine room (can you tell I binge-watched Star Trek the Next Generation?).

Background Apps
The first time I ran the app on my tablet, I had 16 apps running in the background (some of which I haven’t used in days).

In other words, the app doesn't actually close the apps. It just speeds up the process by taking you to the Force Stop setting for the desired apps.

Closing Multiple Apps

If you have more than one app to shut down, after closing the first app, hitting the back button on the remote or tablet will bring you to the next app’s management page. There you will click Force Stop again. Wash, rinse and repeat until all unwanted apps are closed.

Force Stop Warning

On the Amazon tablet, you might get a notification about stopping the app. You won’t get such notifications with the Fire Stick or Fire TV.

After you close the unwanted apps, hit the back button to return to the Background & Process List app. Refresh the page to ensure the apps are closed.

The app is a little clumsy, but it’s free and does what it advertises to do. (FYI, on my Fire tablet, I left all of the Google and Amazon Fire apps running.)

Systems Apps

BTW, I clicked the System/User button and it showed all of the system apps running in the background. I got out of there as quickly as possible. No sense in messing around with things that I’m clueless about.

System Apps

The bottom line is, the app helped me to quickly close out apps that didn’t need to be running in the background.


  1. I thought the background applications would close if I restarted my TV (Settings - Device & Software - Restart), but I was wrong. When I restarted the TV the apps were still running. Ditto for the Amazon tablet.

  2.  After the initial use, get into the habit of hitting the refresh button before deleting apps. Sometimes upon opening the Background utility, it shows the apps from your previous session. Hit refresh to show the currently running background apps.

Related Reading: How to Rearrange Apps on the Home Screen

Felicia (aka Low Tech Grandma) is a wife, mother, grandmother, freelance writer and low-tech blogger.

Last Modified: 28 January 2024


  • Sherrilyn Richardson February 20, 2021, 3:41 pm

    On my Amazon tv Fredrick, I have developed tools. I have 10 apps running in background. If I hit Close All Apps, will that permanently get rid of them? Because I don’t want to lose say my iptv app or th NFL app or the CNN app. I just want to make sure I don’t delete them permanently. Please help, much thanks. Sherri

    • Felicia March 7, 2021, 8:03 am

      It shouldn’t delete the apps, just close them. To delete apps, you’ve got to uninstall them.

  • Dani December 16, 2020, 4:02 pm

    Glad to have found your website.

    Just got my Firestick and am fumbling around trying to learn it along with IPTV. You left some of your apps running in the background, is this necessary on some apps? Does it help that specific program run better?

    For me specifically, I’m wondering if I need to leave my vpn app running in the background? I see an icon about you choosing IPVanish (going to go read that next) my husband wanted to go with SurfShark because it was recommended by two of his co-workers.

    Thank you so much. Looking forward to exploring your website

    Washington State

    • Felicia December 17, 2020, 8:36 am

      Hi Dani,

      Every so often I shut down the apps running in the background. Too many running will slow things down. However, I only use my vpn with certain programs.

      I have to turn the vpn off when using Hulu, Disney or any of the monthly subscription apps I use. Those apps display content based on my home location. As such, if the vpn is on, they notify me that I’m not in my home area and cannot display the content I want.

      However, if I’m streaming movies from apps such as Cinema Free, TTV or any other Terrarium type of app that I don’t pay for on a monthly subscription, then I use my vpn.

  • Shannon Mason December 9, 2020, 11:02 am

    Hi there!
    I’ve tried a few methods to force stop an app called “news” running in the background. It doesn’t show up in my list of apps. I have successfully closed all other apps with Background Apps & Process List. Do you have any suggestions?


    • Felicia December 9, 2020, 12:30 pm

      Hi Shannon,

      I’m not so sure I’ll be of much help, but the only other thing I can think of is attempting to kill the process using the ADB shell.

      This process is not for the faint of heart. I have not tried it myself, but I’d wander around the Internet to see if someone has a user-friendly explanation on how to do it.

      If I find something that might help, I’ll update this reply.

      • Shannon Mason December 10, 2020, 9:49 pm

        Thanks for replying. I used ES File Explorer, and was able to erase the app!


        • Felicia December 11, 2020, 8:51 am

          Thanks so much for letting us know you resolved the issue. This will help not only me but other folks who run into the same problem.

  • Elizabeth Low November 5, 2020, 6:21 pm

    Hi Felicia, like you I like fb Messenger first, then comes texting on phone. But I use WhatsApp too lastly.

    • Low Tech Grandma November 9, 2020, 10:52 am

      I took a quick look at WhatsApp. It seems interesting. I’ll have to check it out.

  • Loretta January 24, 2020, 9:44 am

    Hi Felicia. You are lightyears ahead of me when it comes to some of the devices that you are writing about. I like to think that I am somewhat tech savvy, but I cannot keep up. As soon as I hear about one thing (e.g. Firestick) before I can understand its function some other device has been placed on the market. I was talking with an UBER driver this morning and said something about using Skype. The young lady politely said, Mam, not many people use Skype anymore. They use Snapchat now. Snap what??? You see what I mean. Keep educating folks like me Felicia, so that we can keep learning. Thank you. Take care, my friend.

    • Felicia January 24, 2020, 11:18 am

      LOL! Loretta, I know what you mean. Although I’m aware of Snapchat, I’m a novice. When I do find something that works for me I stick with it. I guess that’s why I still blog rather than Facebook.

      I recently gave up using email as my primary method of electronic communication. I know I frustrated everyone close to me because I was probably the only one who still used email. I’ve now graduated to Facebook Messenger as my preferred method with texting coming in second. Still, nothing beats a good ol’ phone conversation. 🙂

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