TCL TV Slow to Respond: How I Fixed It

TCL TV Slow to Respond: How I Fixed It

I have a TCL TV in my living room which I mostly use to watch basketball games. 

However, for some days, I noticed that the TV was becoming increasingly slow to respond to my commands. 

Whenever I tried to navigate through the menu or switch between apps, there was a noticeable delay. At first, I ignored it thinking it might be a temporary glitch. But over days, the TV started to freeze completely. 

That’s when I decided to take matters into my own hands. 

I did some research online to figure out what was causing my TCL TV to slow down and sat down to troubleshoot them one by one. 

After going through multiple options, I finally found the solution that fixed my TV in an instant.

If your TCL TV is slow to respond, unplug the TV from the power socket, press and hold the power button on the TV for 60 seconds, plug the TV back in, and turn it on. 

Why is Your TCL TV Slow to Respond

Whenever my TCL TV has become slow, I’ve usually encountered one of these issues:

  • The TV takes too long to boot up.
  • Apps take too much time to load.
  • The video lags compared to the audio.
  • The TV takes too long to respond to remote control functions.

Depending on the reasons behind the slowness of the TV, here are the different solutions that have helped me improve its performance.

Reasons for slow TVPossible Solutions
Software issuesPower cycle the TV, update the software
Clogged memoryRemove unused apps, clear cache
Hardware issuesGet the TV repaired

Once you identify the specific issue with your TCL TV, you can apply the relevant fix to make your TV faster.

Power Cycle Your TCL TV

Power cycling helps to clear any temporary issues or glitches that may be affecting your TCL TV. It’s the most simple and effective troubleshooting step that you must try before exploring other solutions.

To power cycle your TCL TV:

  1. Turn off your TV.
  2. Unplug the TV from the power socket.
  3. Press and hold the Power button on the TV for 60 seconds.
  4. Plug the TV back in.
  5. Turn on the TV using the Power button on the TV.

When you press and hold the power button with the TV unplugged, it drains any residual power from the TV. This forces your TV to reset, thus removing minor glitches present in the system.

Power cycling is a safe option since it doesn’t affect any personal data and settings in the TV. 

Update the Software of Your TCL TV

New software updates often contain bug fixes, performance improvements, and new features that can enhance the overall speed and performance of the TV. 

If you’re using outdated software, your TCL TV may be missing out on these improvements, causing it to run slower.

To update the software of your TCL TV:

  1. Press the Home button on your TCL remote.
  2. Navigate to the Settings menu.
  3. Scroll down to the System option.
  4. Select System Update.
  5. Click on Check for Updates.

If an update is available, download and install the update. This may take several minutes depending on your internet speed. 

Your TCL TV will restart automatically once the update is installed.

Once your TV turns on, check if its performance has improved. In case your TCL TV is still slow to respond, it may be an issue with clogged memory.

Clear Storage Space on Your TV

When your TCL TV’s storage space is full, it may not have enough free space to run processes or store temporary files. 

This results in slow performance, freezes, or crashes.

There are different ways you can clear some storage space on your TCL TV:

Uninstall Unused Apps

There are always some apps on your TV that are rarely used. You may not have used some of them in a long time. 

If your TCL TV is slow to respond, you can consider deleting such unused apps.

To uninstall an app from your TCL TV:

  1. Press Home on your TCL TV remote.
  2. Navigate to the Settings option.
  3. Click on Apps.
  4. Select the app you wish to uninstall.
  5. Click on Uninstall.

This will remove the app from your TV and free up some much-needed storage space to improve the performance of your TCL TV.

Delete Unwanted Files or Move Files to External Storage

If you have any media files like photos, videos, or audio, you can consider deleting them to clear some space on your TCL TV. 

You can delete unwanted files using the in-built file manager app on your TCL TV.

  1. Find and open the File Manager app on your TV.

Note: In case you do not have a built-in file manager app on your TCL TV, you can download one from the available app store.

  1. Look for the media files stored on your TV.
  2. Open the media file you want to delete.
  3. Click on the three lines to open additional options.
  4. Click on Delete or Remove

You can either remove individual files like this or delete the entire media folder if you wish to delete all the files in it. 

In case your TCL TV supports external storage like a USB drive, you can also move some of your apps to it. This will clear the local storage space on your TV. 

To move apps to external storage:

  1. Connect the USB drive to your TV.
  2. Press Home on your TCL remote.
  3. Navigate to the Settings menu.
  4. Scroll to the Apps section.
  5. Select the app you want to move.
  6. Click on Storage.
  7. Select Change Storage Location.

You can then select the connected USB drive to move the app to it.

Note: You will need to connect the USB drive to your TV every time you want to use the moved apps.

That’s why it’s a good practice to keep the frequently used apps on the TV and move the rest to external storage.

Similarly, you can also move the media files to external storage and connect the storage drive to your TV whenever you wish to access the files.

Clear App Cache

Clearing the cache of your apps can also help to free up space and improve performance.

To clear the app cache on your TCL TV:

  1. Open the Settings menu on your TCL TV.
  2. Scroll to the Apps section.
  3. Select the app you want to clear the cache for.
  4. Click on Storage.
  5. Click on Clear Cache.

You need to repeat this process for all the apps installed on your TCL TV. Alternatively, you can also click on the Clear All Cache option if available. 

All the methods will eventually free up the storage space on your TCL TV. This helps to improve its performance and ensure that your TV runs smoothly.

Factory Reset Your TCL TV

A factory reset should be your last resort after you have tried all other options.

Factory resetting your TCL TV restores it to its original state, thus clearing out any issues that may be causing your TV to slow down.

It’s important to note that performing a factory reset will erase all the data and settings on your TCL TV, including apps, accounts, and personal preferences. Make sure you back up any important data before proceeding.

To factory reset your TCL TV:

  1. Open the Settings menu on your TV.
  2. Scroll to the System section.
  3. Select Advanced System Settings.
  4. Click on Factory Reset.
  5. Select Factory Reset Everything to confirm the reset.

Once the reset is complete, your TV will restart automatically. You will then need to perform the setup and activation process before you can start using the TV. 

In case none of the solutions work for you, the best option is to contact TCL Support and have your TV repaired.

TV Too Slow? Try a Streaming Device.

While smart TVs offer a range of features, their performance can be limited by the speed of their components. Either their processor is not powerful enough to stream content for a longer duration, or the lower RAM results in buffering and lag while streaming high-quality video. 

This is where using a streaming device with your smart TV can be advantageous as they offer benefits like faster processing speeds, improved graphics, and a variety of streaming services. 

Additionally, the streaming devices are portable, so you can take your content with you wherever you go. All you need to do is connect them to the available internet connection and you will be able to enjoy your favorite movies and shows on the go.

If you ask me, I’d recommend investing in an Apple TV. 

Along with the superior quality video and sound, it can be seamlessly integrated with your other Apple devices. It comes loaded with all popular streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+. And if that’s not enough, you have the App Store which gives you access to a wide range of apps, games, and other content for your smart TV.

So, if you don’t want to spend too much time troubleshooting your slow smart TV, getting a streaming device is the best option.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between TCL Roku TV and other TCL TVs?

TCL Roku TV is a smart TV that features the Roku operating system, which offers access to a wide range of streaming services and other apps. Other TCL TVs may not have smart features or may have a different operating system.

How do I connect external devices to my TCL TV?

To connect external devices such as a cable box or game console to your TCL TV, use the HDMI ports on the TV. Simply plug in the HDMI cable from your device to the HDMI port on the TV, and select the appropriate input on the TV’s menu.

Can I install additional apps on my TCL TV?

Yes, you can install additional apps on your TCL TV through the TV’s app store or by downloading and installing APK files. However, be aware that not all apps may be compatible with your TV, and installing unofficial APK files can be risky.

About the author

Maria Chan, or MC, as we call her, is the genius girl-boss who gave up on her cushy silicon-valley job to grind it out with us. Her undying pursuit of wanting Zeebox to the best makes it very clear that she has no interest in running a generic tech-site.

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