Factory Reset on Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick Explained

fire-tv-stick-reset-factory-defaults-guy

The Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick’s “Factory Reset” option seems to be the source of a lot of confusion. Questions constantly come up on what it does or doesn’t do, and whether it is safe to do on a modded Fire TV running custom ROMs. Some of the confusion stems from the options label, since it most certainly does not reset the Fire TV to the state it was in when it left the factory. Hopefully this post will clear up some of the mystery behind this option.

Performing a Factory Reset will…

  • Remove Apps and App Data
    Performing a factory reset will delete all of your installed apps and the data associated with them. This includes both official apps downloaded from Amazon and sideloaded apps. Some games will save your progress to Amazon’s cloud servers, so reinstalling those games after a factory reset will restore your progress.
     
  • Disable ADB
    Performing a factory reset will disable ADB access. This is important because it essentially locks you out of the Fire TV. Some of the first bricked Fire TVs became bricked because they were factory reset with modified system files. Without ADB, there is no way to access those system files. So if you’ve rooted and modded your Fire TV and run into issues, think twice before performing a factory reset since it will disable ADB and close the best venue you have to fixing your issues.
     
  • Re-Enable Updates
    Performing a factory reset will re-enable updates if you’ve disabled them using the “pm disable” method. This is why it is a good idea to also block updates in your router. This is not much of an issue if you are running ClockworkMod custom recovery since a stock update that gets downloaded will not be installed upon rebooting anyway if you have ClockworkMod installed. That said, the first thing you should do after performing a factory reset is to re-disable updates.
     
  • Force Initial Setup Process
    Performing a factory reset will cause you to go through the initial setup process again. This is important to realize because the Fire TV or Fire TV Stick will try to update during the initial setup. Depending on the software version you are running, the device may refuse to complete the initial setup without updating. A Fire TV that got through initial setup fine with updates blocked won’t necessarily do it everytime.
     

Performing a Factory Reset will NOT

  • Downgrade or Change Your Software Version
    Performing a factory reset will not change the software version currently running on your Fire TV or Fire TV Stick. It doesn’t matter what software version your device originally came with, or what software version is currently installed. It will still have whatever version is currently installed after the reset. This applies to both stock software and custom ROMs. If your Fire TV is running a custom ROM, it will not go back to a stock ROM by factory reseting.
     
  • Remove Root
    Performing a factory reset will not remove root access. However, if you are running a stock software version that has been rooted with towelroot, it may seem like you’ve lost root because the towelroot and SuperSU APKs will be gone. But in reality, root access survives because the SU binary remains in the system. The same goes for any pre-rooted ROM.
     
  • Remove ClockworkMod or the Kernel Boot Menu
    Performing a factory reset will not remove ClockworkMod custom recovery or the Kernel Boot Menu. With either one (or both) installed, it’s safe to do a factory reset. You can do it from either the Fire TV settings menu or from within ClockworkMod.
     

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61 comments
  1. tuxen says:

    I think the confusion stems from the “Looking for software upgrade” screen that appears after a factory reset.

    It lead me to be uncertain wheter a newer version would be found if i factory reset a older version without router block.

  2. netager says:

    Well… Great article, but not complete… :-P

    So, what the best option to start over on rooted Fire TV?
    I played with mine for a while now, so it’s time start over and do it right.

  3. tuxen says:

    +1 Great article.
    It would be nice if you could provide a guide to get everything back to somewhat factory state. As said doing a a factory reset in fireOS rebooted me into cwm, does that mean i should perform it in cwm. Also as i brought up before it failed to delete /sdcard/Android/data and obb.

    I also get a strange error resetting in cwm after it has formatted /cache and /data, the error goes something like:

    E:
    Error could not mount sd-ext

    Could it have something to do with anything

  4. jstan says:

    I currently have a new FireTV that is running a rooted version. I mistakenly started it up and it downloaded – but did not install – a newer and unrootable version. It’s currently waiting to install the software. How can I stop this pending update? Would a factory reset do it?

  5. opti says:

    Same problem like jstan but without rooted rom.
    I used a non blocking router and the update is already downloaded (I am not rooted and on version 51.1.20_user_512073320)
    Is there any way to stop the pending update! Will “factory reset” clear the downloaded update? thnx

  6. William says:

    What if I performs the “deregister account” function on the FireTV? Does it work like a factory reset?

  7. Robert says:

    How can I reset a AFTV tied up to another person’s account that boots up to a login/register device screen?

  8. Tony says:

    Just so I fully understand:
    My Fire TV is currently rooted and have ClockworkMod and Kernel Boot Menu installed. Lets say an app like “Setting” that I sideloaded messes up. (That has happen to me before and the only way to fix it was to reset my Fire TV at that time it was not rooted). If this happends now that I am rooteed how could I reset the Fire TV but keep my Root? and if I do reset would that require me to reinstall of towel root,busybox, and su root? Keep in mind that “Setting” app uninstalling and reinstalling was not going to solve the issue.

  9. Carlos says:

    Hi AFTVnews, seems that just clearing cache data and flashing a ROM does not erase everything do we need to format/erase something else to have a clean system but keep it rooted, with boot menu & CW recovery ?

    I have unlocked the bootloader.

    Thanks in advance.

  10. Mike says:

    When I do this, it boots me into the CWM recovery screen. What do I do from there? Reboot or use the wipe data/factory reset from the menu listing of CWM?

  11. David says:

    I start amazon and it just stays on amazon icon can reboot or nothing , nothing works?

  12. Sam says:

    Hello
    I accidentally performed a factory reset on my Amazon Fire TV stick, is there anyway of undoing this or do I have to reinstall everything again?

  13. Tim says:

    I have a pin lock on an old aftv device.. Tried resetting it on Amazon no luck.. Will factory reset clear this?.. If not I will just have to run with old installs :(

  14. michelle says:

    someone please help me I have the Kodi installed on my fire stick and its unlocked an everything but for some reason lately it hasn’t been letting me watch anything at all and things have gone missing what should I do and I keep getting error messages for everything I go into

    • asia carter says:

      Yes mines doin the same thing every time I try to watch sumthin on kodi it just go back to the setting where I have to launch the app and it still doin the same thing so plz can u help I’m scared to reset cause I think I will delete the kodi and Genesis wht can I do

  15. ricardo says:

    I need help with my tv fire stick, I install the apk settings and disable the Bluetooth error. Fire control and my stick unresponsive. Disable bluetooth as I can not navigate the menu. As active again without using bluetooth control and I can not? help…

    • ROYBOY says:

      please can you tell me if you ever fixed your issue with nothing working after disabling the bluetooth. im stuck with a unresponsive fire stick remote
      and control nothing now.
      please help me out

  16. deepasadish says:

    I have the same question as many of the earlier questions, but a clear answer is not yet given.

    FireTV already has 51.1.4.0 or newer rbox pre-rooted rom.
    Planning to install the latest 51.1.6.3 rbox pre-rooted rom.

    After I upgrade, I would like to do a complete factory reset/wipe.
    Yes, lose all apps, especially remove towelroot (that was installed when I first rooted the firetv!), etc.

    What is the best way to reset? Do it from firetv reset, or clockworkmod?
    Can I also format the data partition? Also, do I have to disable the amazon update service again?

    It would be nice to have an article on this. Thanks.

  17. Mike House says:

    This will DEFENATLY Upgrade The Software in You Fire Tv. it Upgrade mine from 51.1.1.0 to 51.1.6.3 and it was rooted with updates blocked.

  18. tommy says:

    Plug fire stick in and just get a message sayin ti leave it few minutes it will start up and everythin will resume but it doesn’t. Turned it off and on a few time and still get that message in red writing. Any1 any ideas how to fix this???

  19. Carrie says:

    My fire stick keeps restarting?????? Why????

  20. Danny says:

    I got a Fire TV stick and did nothing but sideload Kodi and everything was working great for days. Then I started loading it up with other apps and noticed Kodi started buffering and wasn’t able to play some streams (I have over 50Mbps). I did a factory reset and reloaded Kodi but the slowness has stayed. I am going to start trying the usual fixes, but is it possible that some remnants of the other apps are still in there slowing me down? I had put Llama, ES file explorer, Chrome, and some kids educational apps (as sacrificial apps to try to get Kodi on the home screen via Llama) before the factory reset. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

  21. D. Collins says:

    None of the reset buttons on the remote cause a reset…nothing happens. Unplugging and replugging bring up the home screen but cannot make choices…buttons dont work. Can watch a couple programs then everything goes dead. Is it a defective unit?

  22. aj says:

    Kodi is gone. How do i get it back? Someone please treat me like a child and break it down barney style.

  23. Jeffrey says:

    KODI not working properly after latest auto update from amazon. Fire tv and fire stick both having problems. Now im whishing i had blocked updates in the first place. Should i try reinstalling KODI?

    • Jj Torres says:

      My Firestick updated and kodi stopped working. The new version didn’t have the options for kodi to work properly. I did factory reset and reinstalled kodi. With correct version back all is well. What I want to do it take my account off without changing any apps or versions so I can give back to guy that had me fix it.

  24. Cate says:

    Fire stick stopped working. It scans through all the recent shows quickly, but won’t stop. The time has lost an hour. I tried unplugging and holding the home button God 10 seconds. Still won’t work. Please suggest something.

  25. Bob says:

    I wish I read this before I did the reset…now nothing works, blank screen and when I unplug the power it comes back with the “resetting” screen then just goes black again. Now what??

  26. Omar says:

    Purchased an amazon fire stick online and the person I purchased it from put a pin lock on it. Is there a way to bypass this? Or am i SOL andI need to register on amazon and buy one on my own.

  27. Gabby says:

    I factory reset my fire stick, but I have been using the remote app since I lost the remote. Now I am having trouble pairing the remote app from the factory reset. The fire stick won’t start without the remote and the remote app won’t find the device until it starts up. Does anyone know any tips and tricks?

  28. Diana says:

    Hey everyone, I bought one of these Amazon Fire Tv Box from Sunday Market and it doesn’t allow me to use it, I get a message saying Register or Login … I called amazon and gave them the serial on the box and they told me it’s been reported Lost or Stolen and they can’t give me any details and now I am stuck with the box.
    Anyone know any way to bypass this problem so I can be able to use it ? Thank you #Amazon #FireTv

  29. charlie says:

    I bought a fire stick and it will not go past the update screen so I can not even use it. can any one help me? I have a wireless router. and windows 10 if that helps. I don’t know a lot about ‘puters but treat me like maybe a 8th grader. I have unplugged it and re-plugged it in about 100 times. nothing, just says try again in a little while or unplug…. ect… does anyone know how to fix this problem or do I have to send it back? :'(

  30. Tiffany says:

    I bought my fs off the street but when I try to download explorer it has the old version but won’t allow me to update it what do I need to do

  31. On a amazon firestick factory reset does the serial number change

  32. Steve says:

    how can you unroot a fire stick rooted with kingo root?

  33. Jj Torres says:

    I want to know if I deactivate account will fire tv also delete kodi and other apps I want to remain

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