FireStarter not compatible with new Fire TV software update


It appears that the new Fire TV and Fire TV Stick software update is disabling FireStarter. The app remains on the Fire TV, but is removed from the “Apps” section and cannot be launched. The app is also removed from the “Manage Applications” section of the Settings menu. If you uninstall FireStarter using the ADB command adb uninstall de.belu.firestarter and then reinstall it, you will be able to launch the app. However, once you reboot the device, the app will once again be inaccessible.

It’s unclear at this point why FireStarter is being disabled by the Fire TV. One theory is that it is being disabled and quarantined due to its unconventional practice of establishing an internal ADB connection, which is one of the ways it detects home button presses. Once more people, including myself, receive the new software update and get a chance to diagnose why FireStarter is being disabled, we should know more. For the time being, if you are a fan of FireStarter, and don’t want to lose its functionality, you may want to block software updates until more is learned.


  1. TechyChris says:

    I have blocked updates via ADB on my 2 Gen 1’s for now (fingers crossed) When I click on “check for updates” the wheels spin and I get an error message saying “sorry we are unable to update your system at this time” so far so good BUT I smell a rat. Yes I am a conspiracy theory type of guy, first Amazon adds banner commercials to their home screen then almost immediately they come with a completely unnecessary update that “oh by the way” also forces you onto their home screen. Yes I do think the end is coming soon, for those of us who like to customize our FTV’s. Which we should be able to do, we own them, we do not rent them from Amazon and should have the right to do as we please. Sorry for the rant but I have been down this road before, way back in the early days of Roku when they decided what was best, updating software and crippling apps which in the end made their system a miserable experience, which is why a got rid of my Roku’s and switched to FTV’s. I was going to upgrade to Gen 2 but sadly, not now. My next box will be an Nvidia Shield, I sick of the politics of bloated companies forcing their consumers to swallow whatever they are feeding them. Amen.

  2. Tim says:

    Yeah, I have to see this as part of a larger plan that started with putting advertising on the Home screen. Of course they’re going to want to take away our ability not to avoid the Home screen.

    First get the banner ads up and running, then make updates unblockable, then block the Kingroot exploit*, and finally, block Firestarter. Letting us have Kodi on the Home screen also fits the plan as a concession to keep power users from completely abandoning the platform.

    I like the box (and stick) but as a customer, not as a tightly controlled product to be sold to advertisers by Amazon. What pushed me to the Fire TV over the Shield was that I am a Prime customer. However as time’s gone by I’ve noticed I don’t watch that much Prime content, and when I do, I chafe against the pre-content advertising.

    Right now with Firestarter and Kodi it is a satisfying customer experience using the Fire. If it becomes irritating, I don’t feel I’d lose much moving to the Shield, and in the meantime I’d gain satisfaction of actually owning the device I paid for.

    (*To be fair, I’m sure Amazon really, really, doesn’t like the external connections (to China, right?) and other stuff that Kingroot does, so I don’t blame them for blocking it purely on a basis of protecting customers)

    • Y314K says:

      I can kind of understand them removing Root. That is part of the game. But removing/hiding a 3rd party app for any reason what so ever is one step away from removing/hiding Kodi/SPMC.

      I went with AFTVs 1st Gen for the cost vs. features vs. community. It won on all three. Decided to skip AFTV v2 & FTVS & wait to upgrade until the next version. But it might be time to start looking into the NVidia Shield instead of an FTV v3 or FTVS v2.

      Amazon better get very specific with whats going on with FireStarter & Kodi/SPMC in the future. It’s for your own good excise will not cut it.

  3. clocks says:

    Almost sounds like I should pre-emptively remove Firestarter, before it is stranded on the box(in an unusable form).

  4. eskay993 says:

    My 1st Gen FTV got the new update. FireStarter does’t work (haven’t tried the workaround) BUT sideloaded apps now appear in Recent Apps! Tried it with Kodi, SPMC and BT Sports. I can live with that!

    I’ve just hidden updated on my 2nd Gen, so can’t confirm it Recent works there.

    • Skwann says:

      Yes I had the same experience with Being able to load Kodi from a Kodi icon on the home screen. Shutdown one opens another

  5. I have just installed kodi on an updated firestick and now it won’t load in the apps section and message at the bottom saying this app was not downloaded from Amazon. How do I get around this ?

  6. Danie says:

    I have been looking to setup an HTPC on an Amazon Fire and came across this site today – and it seems like there are a lot of bad changes happening! My question is:

    If I were to go ahead and buy a Fire Gen 2 today, when it arrives, will I be able to immediately block updates and install Firestarter, or will it automatically come with this ominous update? In other words, did I miss the boat?

    Secondary question: If this update DOES block Firestarter, does that mean you can no longer use Kodi on the Fire, or am I misunderstanding the issue? Would you still be able to use other (more complicated) methods of getting Kodi to run on the Fire?

    Thanks for your help!

    • David says:

      I’ve had 2 firesticks update recently and kodi/spmc that I sideloaded now appear on the home screen with a double click of the home button. Once kodi is opened, it then appears on the recent apps section. If it stays that way, I can live with it. I personally think they want you signed into Amazon now rather than bypassing the home screen with firestarter.

      • Josh2x says:

        Same issue here. Fire Starter is no longer in “manage applications”. I reinstalled Fire started and it said “Filtering Installed Apps” and Fire Starter is nowhere to be seen. The kodi icon is now just on Amazons regular home screen.

  7. Randall says:

    Anyone knows if Kodi is being blocked?
    Kodi is not working on my Amazon Fire TV v1 since yesterday.
    Not Firestarter installed, just Kodi.

    • Constable Odo says:

      I’ve no problems running Kodi Jarvis on 2nd generation Fire TV after the update. My Fire TV had rebooted after the update and when I found the Firestarter app was missing, I launched Kodi from the Fire TV Apps menu. I started right up just like the last time I had used it a few days ago. It’s funny, the Firestarter app is still there but its hidden somehow from the Fire TV UI.

  8. Rockchild says:

    Even after update Firestarter is working on my Firestick.

  9. jbrodack says:

    Fortunately FireStarter isn’t quite as needed with this update since they now show sideloaded apps on the home screen.

    Still, it is very convenient to have and I hope it is able work again soon.

  10. Edgar R. says:

    Anyone know how to disable updates without root on adbfire app? I try to do it but says device offline. I have firestarter but followed adbfire directions on “device offline” issue. So I’m successfully connecting to device.

  11. Damien says:

    Will disabling updates block all updates like Netflix and other apps or just Amazon’s software updates?

  12. Josh says:

    New version of fire starter out! Anyone know what it does? I assume it has something to do with this new Amazon update.

    Yes,kodi still works fine after the update. I got the update on one of my devices. In fact it makes it easier to use kodi and other side loaded apps for those who don’t have for starter it will be great.

    • Tim says:

      For others that want to use on the device they paid for what Amazon doesn’t give /permission/ to use, not so much.

  13. Y314K says:

    My FTVS got updated today. Not liking the double home click option. It loads & reloads my close to 500 AFTVS compatible apps to the list. At worst only the ones chosen as Favorite should be loaded there. What was Amazon thinking. Annoying as heck.

    Since we never know when a developers device will get the update. Thanks to Jkchr1s over at XDA. The method & a fix option was able to be discover. But we will need to wait for an official release by Sphinx02.

    So the bad news is that FireStarter was specifically targeted by Amazon. Amazon is checking for the FireStarters package name @ boot so it can disable it. And Kodi/SPMC can be next.

    The good news is that this can be fixed by simply renaming the package to something different.

    This is my experience when I tested the mod. Sphinx02 might change things or fix more then just the loading on the official release. No idea.

    But it is fixable. And a fix is coming.

    • Wokkawokka2x says:

      I agree with you. It seems Amazon is targeting FireStarter and soon will be targeting Kodi all together. Amazon knows many of their sticks are being used for “Kodi” purposes. Hence the limit of only buying 2 at retail stores. With the pressure of copyright infringement and other legal threats, I’m sure Amazon is now attempting to put an end to Kodi all together.

      I’m calling it

      • Simon8or says:

        I totally agree! But I’m sure that someone will eventually figure out a back door. What I’m afraid of is; Amazon or others collecting ip addresses and contacting the cable companies about infringement, in turn having the cable companies cancel your internet, or worse, reporting you to the U.S copyright office, or FCC. It seems far fetched, but the times are changing, you never know!

        • Rob says:

          This is just BS remember Napster -well so do they its just Amazons way of making sure they get everyone to sign up and maybe they will get prime-I did because I order stuff on there and now I had it for this too. No biggie , They will not block Kodi as other on here said if they did them the firestick will be in the 99 cent store bins LOL

  14. vulcan195 says:

    Hey Amazon – instead of spending developers time on such ‘fixes’ … how about you tackle some of the more critical issues – for starters, how about adding a “Recent Searches” to the Search screen (you already do this on the SmartTV version of your app). Next, how about enabling the ‘>>’ button on the remote to jump from front to back of a long horizontal list of titles. At present, the ‘>>’ button does nothing while scrolling.

  15. Batman bin Emdad says:

    This makes me think: If Amazon can and have specifically disabled the FireStarter app by making it inaccessible from the “Manage Applications” section of the Settings menu as well, how long is it before they also specifically block Kodi from being accessible from the “Manage Applications” setting?

    Also, I have never seen the Kodi app appear under “My Apps” section of the Fire TV, although I see SPMC there. Is that a sign of things to come or am I being paranoid?

    • TROJAN4EVR says:

      What software is your fire tv on? With the 5.0.5 update kodi appeaed in the Apps section on the home menu. Did you ever download kodi from the amazon app store when it was briefly available? If so you’ll need to delete it and then kodi which you sideloaded will show up on the home screen on all your amazon devices depending on the software versions you have(5.0.5-apps section or section)

    • Steve says:

      If you go onto your Amazon a count on computer then search for your apps and delete kodi then sign out and sign back in on your fire tv then kodi will appear on your apps lib

  16. Joe D says:

    Kodi will show on the Recent menu but SPMC which I vastly prefer will not. 2nd Generation FireTV box on Any ideas how to get SPMC to show?

    • Steve says:

      Delete it from your Amazon account apps list on computer amazon site then sign out and in on fire tv it will appear in apps lib

    • Constable Odo says:

      As I commented below, I got Firestarter working again on my 2nd generation Fire TV. Firestarter allows an install of SPMC in the Settings/Update menu if you want it. I’m definitely tempted to try SPMC but I’ll let someone else do it and if it works well for them I guess I’ll do it.

  17. Joe D says:

    As I was typing this my first generation just began upgrading to Boo!

  18. Bryan Mckinney says:

    i tried to reinstall firestarter and now my fire tv is screwed cant even read what it says on the screen.

  19. Kurt says:

    I was very excited after I purchased my fire tv and began customizing it, firestarter was the best thing ever! I actually can’t function without it. If Amazon would just redesign a home screen similar to tv OS and have a banner added at the extreme top that’s small and unobtrusive, the fire tv would once again be right up there with the best of them, I mean seriously, android has a sick problem of adds every freaking place u go, it is so annoying for me I can’t stand android for the adds part of it, but as I said if u make adds only rest at the extreme top or bottom of the screen and disable adds that pop up in what ever app you’re using then I tell you Amazon fire tv would be a winner.
    The single bar scrolling method used by Amazon is too time consuming to scroll sideways one app at a time. Make it like tv OS or make a one click grid like fire starter and Amazon will make every one of their customers happy, I guarantee it!!!!!

  20. Constable Odo says:

    Someone mentioned that you need to UNINSTALL Firestarter and then REINSTALL it. That definitely works. I’m now running Firestarter 3.2.3 after the update on my 2nd generation Fire TV. It works the same as it did before.

    I sideloaded an app using Apps2Fire from my Android smartphone called EasyUninstaller and that was able to uninstall the Firestarter app for me. I reinstalled Firestarter 3.2.3 and then immediately opened it. I didn’t have to reboot or anything. I got some errors at first, so then I cleared the Firestarter app cache and everything went back to the way I was used to using it so it seems OK.

    So, the new Fire TV update doesn’t really break Firestarter, it just needs to be UNINSTALLED and then REINSTALLED. Simply installing over the old version doesn’t do the job.

    • Laurie says:

      Didn’t work for me. I uninstalled then reinstalled on my stick & installed on my mom’s. It worked for the most part but the clicking back & forth between Firestarter & Home didn’t work. After I rebooted the sticks Firestarter broke. I clicked on it & saw the screen for a moment then it went back to Home. Then an error window popped up saying to check for the latest version in my library. It’s broken. So is my love for AFTV. I’m switching to Android boxes. I have a Prime account but never watch anything on it so I don’t care now. I just want a damn shortcut on my mom’s stick so she can use Kodi. Both of our sticks are 1st gen. Not going to bother trying this on my AFTV box as I see it’ll be a waste of time.

  21. Laurie says:

    I’ve got my mom’s AFTV stick here trying to update her to Jarvis. It keeps saying the install failed. Tried installing Fire Starter & got the same thing. I thought about doing a factory reset then redoing Kodi but now I’m scared it’ll wipe out what she has which is Isengard. My mom has a hard time navigating to get Kodi running. One time she deleted all her addons accidently. This is very frustrating!

    • Josh2x says:

      FireStarter is pretty much dead with the new Amazon update. Mine said “failed” as well when trying to reload. Even after I pushed the FireStarter apk file through, it still fails to show up in “manage applications”. Seems like Amazon is one step away from blocking Kodi all together now.

  22. Josh2x says:

    FireStarter is pretty much dead now with new Amazon update. This isn’t good considering that people now cannot update the current Kodi versions manually. (without a computer)

    I went to “manage applications” and FireStarter was nowhere to be seen anymore. I reloaded it and it said “filtering installed apps” and once again FireStarter was nowhere to manually start. Right now, the Kodi icon is on Amazons home screen. (no more FireStarter)
    This is NOT good considering Amazon is one step away from now blocking Kodi all together.
    Amazon is blocking the rooting. I’m not liking what I see now.

  23. Dmendez says:

    Fire starter no longer works but kodi icon now shows up on recent home and library apps

  24. Dan says:

    Ill be making my sticks faulty with a huge magnet and getting a full refund of amazon all my family have them so theres will be going back too

  25. Fire Stick says:

    They added a section under apps for sideloaded apps entitled “your apps library” under the app menu so it sort of cushions the blow of them blocking firestarter. (but not really)

  26. Weikel says:

    If anyone can help:

    Im Running kodi with FireStopper to bypass the update.
    The stick is unregistered from an amazon account as it was when it previously booted with Firestarter on fireOS 5.0.5
    The only trouble I’m having is with the Screensaver. It used to display the aftv screensaver after idling while Kodi was open (movie paused/home screen). However I can’t seem to get the same results after the ‘kodi aftv recent apps home screen and Firestarter blacklist’ update, all I can get to function is kodi’s Screensaver and power saving options. FireStopper itself has a sleep function that seems to not have an off capability, only options are to set sleep from 1 min to 120 min, and if kodi is paused halfway thru a movie and sleeps it will exit the movie and go back to its last menu. (It used to just play the amazon Screensaver and leave kodi as is..
    I’m at a loss, I’ve surfed for quite a while now searching for someone with the same problem but, no dice..

  27. Jerry haver says:

    This new update from Amazon makes the controller all messed up and when I go into kodi it doesn’t work I cannot select anything…. I’m bout done with Amazon

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