Whenever a new software update for the Amazon Fire TV or Fire TV Stick begins rolling out, I usually get the same set of questions from people asking when their device will update and if there’s anything they can do to speed the process along. Here are some commonly asked questions about the Fire TV’s software update process. Feel free to ask additional questions in the comments and I’ll update this post with answers.
- Can I manually download and install an update?
- Can I force an over-the-air update to install?
- When will my device update to the new version?
- What determines when my device gets updated?
- Why does it take so long for updates to roll out?
- How long does it take for updates to reach all devices?
- Why is the latest software version number on Amazon's site wrong?
- Can I block software updates?
- Can I stop a software update that has started downloading?
No, there is no way to manually install an official software update on the Fire TV or Fire TV Stick. The only exception to this is if your device is rooted.
Yes and No. Once a new update starts rolling out to devices, there is no way to absolutely force the update to install on a specific Fire TV or Fire TV Stick. All you can do is force your device to check if its turn has come up to update. You do this by going to Settings > System > About > Check for updates.
One additional thing you can do to ensure your device is fully checking for updates, is to connect to it via ADB and run the command:
This will clear all previous checks and ensure your device fully checks for an update when you force a check under Settings. You’ll know you cleared previous update checks because the “Last Checked” date will say “Never.” It’s not certain if this actually does anything to help, but it can’t hurt.
Every Fire TV and Fire TV Stick has a specific place in line to update. If a particular device’s turn hasn’t come up, there is no way to force it to update. This place in line is random, however each device will always have the same place in line. Meaning, if a particular Fire TV is among the first to update, it will always be among the first to update, and if it updates late, it will always update late. The place in line is not linked to your Amazon account or physical location in the world.
The order at which devices update is random. It is not determined by your Amazon account or by your physical location. The order a device updates is locked to the device’s serial number. This is why one person can have multiple Fire TVs that update weeks apart. If you shipped a particular Fire TV across the country and used it under a different Amazon account, it would make no difference to when it would update.
Amazon rolls out software updates slowly to a few devices at a time. This allows them to detect if there are unforeseen issues with an update. It’s possible for an update to start rolling out and then be halted due to an issue. In those instances, Amazon will quickly fix the issue and start rolling out a new version of the update. It could be a month or more between when an update first starts rolling out and when all devices have received the update.
This varies greatly from update to update. Some updates seem to take as little as a week to reach everyone, while others have taken over a month. For the most part, the larger the update (i.e., many things have changed) the longer it usually takes to reach all devices. This is likely because when many parts of the operating system have changed in an update, there is a greater chance for an unforeseen issue to arise, so Amazon rolls the update out more slowly. Small updates that just fix a few bugs will usually roll out quickly.
The software version number listed on Amazon’s official page for the Fire TV and Fire TV Stick usually does not get updated until most devices have received a particular software update.
Amazon does not provide an official way to block software updates. However, there are unofficial ways to block updates, which you can find here.
See this post for information on how to stop a software update.