The Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K doesn’t officially support connecting anything to it except Amazon’s Fire TV Ethernet Adapter, but, using an inexpensive OTG cable it’s possible to use USB peripherals, such as keyboards and wired gamepads, as well as external USB drives. The support for USB drives, in particular, isn’t as thorough as the Fire TV Cube, which does officially support external storage, but it’s much better than the Fire TV 3 (pendant), which the Fire TV Stick 4K has replaced, so it’s a step in the right direction.
The Fire TV Stick 4K does support OTG USB cable splitters that allow you connect a USB device to its sole micro USB port, while still being able to power the device through the same port. You don’t need to root the device, as you did with the original Fire TV Stick, or anything special, for the OTG cable to work. It simply works with the cable right out of the box. If you want to use multiple USB devices at the same time, you can connect a basic USB hub to the OTG cable and use all of the hub’s ports simultaneously.
For basic USB peripherals, like keyboards, mice, a FLIRC, and USB gamepads, they connect right up and start working right away with the Fire TV Stick 4K. With a USB hub, you can use multiple peripherals simultaneously.
USB Ethernet adapters paired with an OTG cable also work with the Fire TV Stick 4K. If all you need is Ethernet, you’re probably better off using the official Fire TV Ethernet Adapter in case there are compatibility issues with 3rd-party adapters in the future. If you want to add Ethernet to the Fire TV Stick 4K but also want to connect other USB devices, don’t buy Amazon’s Ethernet adapter because it does not pass OTG connections through its micro USB port.
Instead, I recommend getting the UGREEN Ethernet Adapter with a built-in USB hub. Connected through an OTG cable, this adapter allows you to add Ethernet to the Fire TV Stick 4K, as well as 3 functioning full-sized USB ports.
When it comes to connecting USB drives, things aren’t as good as they could be with the Fire TV Stick 4K, but USB drives are supported more than they were with the Fire TV 3 (pendant). If you recall, USB drives were only supported on the Fire TV 3 through apps, like file browsers, that could mount the drive themselves. This severely limited your ability to use the drive because it did not appear in apps like Kodi and emulators. With the Fire TV Stick 4K, USB drives are properly mounted by the operating system, so the files on the drive are available to every app automatically.
The only issue is that USB drives are not fully supported in the Fire TV Stick 4K’s settings menu, like they are with the Fire TV Cube. With the Fire TV Cube, connecting a USB drive via an OTG cable will display a message asking if you want to use the drive for app storage or external data. This is not the case with the Fire TV Stick 4K. When you connect a USB drive to the Fire TV Stick 4K via an OTG cable, an empty notification appears in the lower corner of the screen and the drive does not show up in the device’s settings menu.
This means that you cannot use the drive to expand the Fire TV Stick 4K’s internal storage and transfer apps to it. There is also no way to unmount the drive safely, so you have to just pull it out and deal with any consequences, or pull it out while the Fire TV Stick 4K reboots to be extra safe.
While it would be great if USB drives were handled on the Fire TV Stick 4K the same way they are handled on the Fire TV Cube, it’s not that bad because at least the OS is properly mounting the drive automatically and making its contents available to all apps. When you connect a USB drive, it will be mounted under the directory
It would be great if a future update to the Fire TV Stick 4K added the Fire TV Cube’s external drive handling prompts, but, for now, the only thing really missing from the Fire TV Stick 4K is the ability to move apps to external storage. That’s pretty good for a device that technically doesn’t officially support 3rd-party USB devices.