How to continue using the original YouTube app on an Amazon Fire TV or Fire TV Stick

Since Google hasn’t actually blocked the use of the old YouTube app on the Amazon Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, and Fire TV Edition television, this guide shows you how to install the old app so that you don’t need to use the Silk Browser or Firefox to access YouTube.

There is still a good chance that Google will do something to block the original YouTube app from working, but as of now, it is still working.

  1. Turn off Automatic Updates for apps on your Fire TV device by going to:
    Settings > Applications > Appstore
  2. If it’s installed, uninstall the main YouTube app by going to:
    Settings > Applications > Manage Installed Applications > YouTube > Uninstall
  3. Enable the “Apps from Unknown Sources” option by going to:
    Settings > Device > Developer options
  4. Install and launch the Downloader app from the Amazon Appstore.
  5. Enter the following URL into the Downloader app and press Go:
    bit.ly/oldfiretvyoutube
  6. Move the cursor over the download button and click to download the older YouTube app. The app is tiny, so don’t be surprised if the download progress popup quickly appears and disappears.
  7. Select the Install button in the lower right corner when it appears. If you don’t see this screen after downloading the old YouTube app, it’s likely because you have not properly enabled Apps from Unknown Sources.
  8. You can now open and use the older YouTube app as long as Google doesn’t do anything to further block its access. You’ll likely still see the message telling you the app will be disabled at some point, but for now all functionality of the app should still work.

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73 comments
  1. BagiMT says:

    The Android TV version of the YouTube app also works perfectly fine on the Fire TV. I have the Play Store installed so I could directly install it from there, but it could probably easily be sideloaded. Will be using that for now until we know what will happen with Amazons YouTube app. The interface is the same for all apps.

  2. Smileurinla says:

    YouTube add-on in Kodi is an option as well.

  3. 7om Foolery says:

    Another option I found was:
    https://smartyoutubetv.github.io/

    It also has a Youtube Kids apk

    Made for Android TV boxes/TVs but works well

    Need to update manually regularly though it looks like since it’s being actively developed as you can see here from the releases:
    https://github.com/yuliskov/SmartYouTubeTV/releases

    • Y314K says:

      Best option since it is Adless. Don’t want to reward Google.

      • Adam says:

        Agreed.

        I would feel bad about this, but I’m only compelled to use an alternative because Google is using me, an innocent party, as leverage against another multi-national company.

        So screw ’em.

    • EarlyMon says:

      Update manually means that it lets you know an update is available upon launch and walks you through it – no different from Sling TV in that regard,in my experience.

    • rsohne says:

      I really like this app and will probably not switch back when Google and Amazon kiss and make up. This app runs flawless and instead of playing games with other alternatives give it a go.

    • Pupe says:

      Thanks for the post. Smart youtube tv works great. But the youtube kids app doesn’t open. It says that isn’t available in my country. How can I solve this? Thanks again

  4. Mike says:

    I cannot play HDR at all with this version.

  5. Ulises A. Rodriguez, Ph.D. says:

    Tomi, I’m sorry to hear that after you installed the 4 applications that I mentioned earlier, you could not log in using the YouTube (GoogleTV) APP.

    I find it very strange that it does not work for you, because I have installed these 4 APPs in all my FireTV units (1st. and 2nd. Generation FireTV-Sticks and Boxes), and I have never had any problem when registering using this YouTube APP (GoogleTV) version.

    Are you sure you have installed the latest versions of the APPs?

    Google Account Manager v4.4.4-1227136

    Google Services Framework v4.4.4-1227136

    Google Play Services (AndroidTV) v11.9.51 (836-177350961)

    Google Play Store (AndroidTV) v4.6.17

    Which are all available at http://www.apkmirror.com

    After having installed these 4 Google APPs, I have also tried Gmail and Google-Drive, and they have also worked perfectly well on my FireTV units.

    However, I must say that when you log in to your Google account, you must be very careful when you enter your email and password, because with FireTV it is a little uncomfortable to write them and many times we repeat or miss the letters, which gives always an error.

  6. Mark says:

    You’re awesome, Eli!!!

  7. wolfmanbass says:

    The app i made that just loads up http://www.youtube.com/tv still works a treat.

  8. RickO says:

    I sideloaded this version of Youtube but it keeps updating to the “use Silk or firefox” version.
    How do I prevent it from updating ?

  9. Rob says:

    Tried this method. Was able to install the app, it works, however it doesn’t show up under the list of apps or under recent apps. In order to launch the app I need to go into settings>applications>managed installed applications. Am I missing something? At this point it’s easier just to use Firefox.

    • RickO says:

      Same here first time I installed it showed up under apps but now it does not. I had to reinstall because I forgot to turn off updates.
      Then it stopped showing up. So I assumed I did something wrong.

      I do have root access I would be curious what is needed to make it show up in the list of apps.

  10. sosh says:

    Good info in this thread, but thus far, watching it in Firefox is -=identical=- to my eyes as it was before, which was just a webpage after all, right?

    In general, I wish the web version had the shuffle playlist option, like the PC website does, that is a gripe I have but the Firetv version didn’t have this either, so nothing lost, or gained…

    • likefunbutnot says:

      I’ve found that the browser-based Youtube via Silk and Firefox doesn’t present all my subscriptions as they exist on my Youtube account. It might be a work-alike, but neither of them are as feature complete as the app was.

      • sosh says:

        That’s strange–for me, I can’t tell them apart, the interface is identical. Mind you, it was always a bit lacking, no shuffle feature for playlists is my big gripe, but all of my subscriptions (and I have many), show up fine. I guess the official Android app may have more robust features–haven’t compared, I don’t watch much video on my fone, but Firefox’s view of youtube is the same as it always was on my fireTv…

  11. Jack says:

    I’m using Super You Tube on both a first gen and second gen Stick. Works fine on both.

  12. Ulises A. Rodriguez, Ph.D. says:

    Tomi, happy to know that now after installing all the versions of the applications that I mentioned, finally you have been able to install these 4 APPs without problems and that also all of them have worked flawlessly!

    As you may have noticed, it was a matter of installing different versions of each of these 4 APPs, which I had already been testing for some time, to be able to select which versions worked and which ones did not …

    Interestingly, not all nor the most recent ones versions of these 4 APPs work in FireTVs… That’s why you’ve seen that of the 4 APPs, 2 are from a year ago, the Play Store APP is from October 2, 2014, and Google Play services is the latest version of this APP for AndroidTV:

    Google Account Manager 4.4.4 -> January 17, 2016

    Google Services Framework 4.4.4 -> January 16, 2016

    Google Play Store 4.6.17 (nodpi) -> October 2, 2014

    Google Play services (Android TV) 11.9.51 (836-177350961) beta -> December 2, 2017

    However, this does not matter, because as these 4 applications will be installed in a FireTV that has not been rooted, and therefore we will not be able to use Google Play Store.

    What we need is to have these APPs installed so that other applications can see that they are available in our FireTV and so they can work properly.

    Glad to help you!

    • Ulises A. Rodriguez, Ph.D. says:

      Tomi, I forgot to mention that as many new video streaming APPs as Terrarium require having installed the latest Google Play Service, if possible you should always use the latest version of this APP… Or you will always get some error notification messages on your FireTV…

    • JFC says:

      Ulises, once you install those older Google apps on the Fire TV, including the Google Play Store, won’t it at some point automatically try to update those apps in your group to the newer/current versions, and thus render them non-working?

  13. Yayo R. says:

    Youtube in Silk or Firefox are NOT the same as the original app.
    You can not “Cast” from the Phone as if it were a simple “Crhomecast” ….
    … And use the Phone only, having the full control of YouTube.

    IS NOT THE SAME!!!

    Netflix app “no original”, ….no Cast ….no 1080p.

  14. Daniel Cushing says:

    As of today it seems to not be working. It keeps freezing my device, and I had to reinstall once, as it tried to direct me to use a web browser. I’m using a 1st gen 4K Fire Tv

    • Yayo R. says:

      Today it’s keeps be working perfectly fine he older YouTube app.

      “You’ll see the message telling you the app will be disabled the 1/1/2018, but for now all functionality of the app should fine work.”

      1.Turn off Automatic Updates for apps on your Fire TV device by going to:
      Settings > Applications > Appstore

      I’m using a 1st gen Fire Tv Stick.

  15. Brad says:

    Thanks. This worked great. I never updated my YT App on my FS till today out of curiosity then I regretted it. I knew I was gonna get screwed and I knew better.

    But luckily I found this site and now all is well.

    Thanks

  16. Larry says:

    You can install the old app and it appears to work for a moment but then continually reboots with a message saying that you can no longer watch YouTube on this device. Good thing I have an old Chromecast lying around…

    • Larry says:

      Actually, the YouTube optimized website through the Firefox browser looks exactly like the old app and appears to work perfectly fine.

      • Michajin says:

        This one works great, better than the browser one and old fire one.

        https://github.com/yuliskov/SmartYouTubeTV/releases

        Also it seems to block ads,
        Good luck,

        • John Jensen says:

          Will this work with the new YouTube tv service and she?

          • John Jensen says:

            And DVR service.

          • Michajin says:

            No, this is for youtube only. I have tried to install youtube tv but got stuck on locations services. There are reports that youtube tv works in firefox, but i can not confirm. I don’t have a subscription. I have seen a spike in attempts to get youtube tv working, but i cant confirm. Head over to XDA and see if there are any developments…

          • JFC says:

            I have a YouTube TV subscription that works great on my PC’s Chrome browser and on my Roku devices via the official YTTV app for Roku.

            But every time I’ve tried YTTV on the Fire TV by sideloading the Android version of the YTTV app or trying to log-in via a browser, it fails on “cannot find your location.”

  17. Brad says:

    Works fine here. No reboots at all. Still has the popup though that says it will quit working but I just click cancel and start watching YT.

  18. Richard says:

    do any of these methods leave you with a Youtube app that can be cast to from a PC or phone?

  19. Brad says:

    Well. It quit working today. Even the one in Firefox which use to look just like the original is now useless.

  20. Matt says:

    Doesn’t work anymore. Now it’s the YouTube homepage that is a horrible interface. Thanks a lot Google and Amazon. I guess I’m just gonna order a Roku

  21. chicki says:

    as of today, 22 jan 2018 i can longer watch the old style YouTube app using the amazon fire stick on my tv. after a long frustrated search i am taken to the unwatchable version offered by both silk and firefox. im furious as this was the main reason for buying the firestick. damn you amazon and google that’s another reason to hate you and your near monopoly over all things internet related.now it doesnt even work on the firefox or silk platforms and what i can see is on a tiny box at the top of the screen with next to no facility to search for YouTube videos. its crap.
    im just gonna have to try any work around i can find to take me back to the sanity of the old style app

  22. Jack says:

    Use Smart YouTube. Works fine.

  23. Brad says:

    Yup. I installed SmartTube today. Not as smooth as the original but it’s the next best thing.

  24. Rob says:

    Looks like YouTube using Firefox is working once again. Hopefully it will continue to work.

  25. Brad says:

    So is the original. I just re-installed it. Still get the popup but it’s working fine now to.

  26. Jerry says:

    I can use youtube on firestick via firefox but can not access youtube tv. Any thoughts as to how I can access it.

  27. drojek says:

    This worked so very well. I was able to enable my YouTube account too. Remind people to turn automatic updates back on and disable unknown apps again.

  28. impy1980 says:

    Installing Google services/Google music as instructed by aftvnews works no problem if you follow it step by step.

    Unless someone has a later version of Android TV YouTube app working and signed in, I would suggest installing version 1.3.11, any of the version 2 iterations I’ve tried (I’ve not exhausted them all) just signs me out, and then when I try to sign in it crashes the app back to the Fire TV home screen. I’m guessing it’s due to some code Google put in version 2 iterations to block Fire TV use.

    But I can confirm after the 4 Google services apps have been installed by following aftvnews instructions, that’s what I did a least 2 years ago when the Fire TV YouTube app started to randomly buffer and stutter, version 1.3.11 YouTube (Android TV) definitely works and you are signed in and get your subscriptions list. The only annoying thing is you can’t turn off auto play unlike versions 2, a minor issue considering.

  29. Paul Marn says:

    Excellent. Thank you so much. Works perfectly.

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