How to downgrade apps like Kodi on the Amazon Fire TV or Fire TV Stick

This guide will show you how to downgrade an app on the Amazon Fire TV, Fire TV Stick (a.k.a. Firestick), and Fire TV Edition television. There are 3 methods to choose from, where one will not preserve your app’s user data and two will. This guide specifically shows you how to downgrade Kodi, but can easily be adapted to downgrade any app, as long as you can locate an APK file of the older version of the app.

Method 1: Uninstall and Reinstall without Backup

The easiest way to downgrade an app is to simply to uninstall the current version and reinstall the older version. While this method is easy, it is not ideal because it will result in all of your user data being erased. In the case of Kodi, this means all of your settings, library, database, and add-ons will be deleted. Method 2 and Method 3 will preserve your user data, but if you don’t care about the app starting fresh, you can use this method.

  1. From the Home screen of your Fire TV device, navigate to: Settings > Applications > Manage Installed Applications
  2. Scroll down the list of apps and select the app you want to downgrade. Next, select the “Uninstall” option.
  3. Now just sideload the older version of the app.

Method 2: Downgrade with ADB (Preferred Method)

This method involves using the ADB command line to downgrade the app. This is the preferred method because it automatically preserves all of your user data. It does require using a computer to run commands using a command line/terminal, so it might be complicated for some people if you’ve never used ADB before. Method 3 also preserves your user data and can be done without a computer, but you must backup the data and restore it manually.

  1. Download the older version of the app you want to downgrade to onto your computer.
  2. Follow this guide to connect to your Fire TV device via ADB.
  3. With your computer connected to your Fire TV device via ADB, run the following command to downgrade the app:
    adb install -r -d PATH-TO-OLDER-APK
    Be sure to replace PATH-TO-OLDER-APK with the full path to the APK file you downloaded in the first step.

    Example Windows command:
    adb install -r -d C:\users\name\downloads\kodi174.apk

    Example Mac command:
    adb install -r -d /Users/Name/Downloads/kodi174.apk

Method 3: Backup, Uninstall, Reinstall, and Restore

If you want to preserve your user data and if method 2 is too complicated, you can follow this method instead and downgrade without losing your data using only your Fire TV remote. This method involves backing up your user data using a file browser app, uninstalling the current app version, reinstalling the older version of the app, and then restoring your user data.

  1. Install the free app Total Commander on your Fire TV device. You will use it to backup and restore your user data. You can also use other file browsers, like ES File Explorer or File Commander (paid version required), if you prefer, but this guide will specifically show you how to use Total Commander. You’re going to need to know where the user data is located for the app that you want to downgrade. In this guide, I will show you how to backup and restore Kodi’s user data, but if you’re downgrading a different app, you’ll need to figure out where that app’s data is and adjust this guide accordingly.
  2. Launch Total Commander and navigate to your app’s user data. For Kodi, the user data is in:
    /sdcard/Android/data/org.xbmc.kodi/files/.kodi/userdata/
    To get there in Total Commander, select:
    USB storage > Android > data > org.xbmc.kodi > files > .kodi
  3. Highlight the “userdata” folder and press and hold the select button on the remote to open an options menu. Scroll down the menu and select the “Copy to clipboard” option.
  4. Scroll to the top of the file list and highlight the row with the blue upward pointing arrow. Press and hold the select button and select the “Go to home folder” option.
  5. Once again, select the “USB Storage” line to open it. Now, while highlighting the row with the blue upward pointing arrow, press and hold the select button to open the menu again. This time select the “Paste here (Copy)” option.
  6. Your app user data will now be copied from its original location to the internal /sdcard/ directory on the Fire TV device.
  7. Now that your user data is backed up, you can uninstall the current version of the app you want to downgrade. To uninstall the app, go to: Settings > Applications > Manage Installed Applications
  8. Scroll down the list of apps and select the app you want to downgrade. Next, select the “Uninstall” option.
  9. Now sideload the older version of the app.
  10. After the older version of the app is installed, launch it once so it creates its empty user data folder. Then reopen Total Commander.
  11. In Total Commander, navigate back to the downgraded app’s default user data folder. Be sure you don’t navigate to the backup you just made. For Kodi, select: USB storage > Android > data > org.xbmc.kodi > files > .kodi
  12. Highlight the user data folder and press and hold the select button on your remote to open the options menu. Select the “Delete” option to delete the default user data folder.
  13. Scroll to the top of the file list and highlight the row with the blue upward pointing arrow. Press and hold the select button and select the “Go to home folder” option.
  14. Once again, select the “USB Storage” line to open it. Now, scroll down and highlight the backed up user data folder. Press and hold the select button and choose the “Copy to clipboard” option.
  15. Now scroll up and navigate back to the downgraded app’s user data location. For Kodi, this is: Android > data > org.xbmc.kodi > files > .kodi
  16. With the row with the blue upward pointing arrow highlighted, press and hold the select button to open the options menu. Select the “Paste here (Copy)” option to copy your backed up user data into the downgraded app’s default user data location.
  17. Once your backed up user data is done being copied, you’re done. You should probably force stop the downgraded app before opening it. To do that, select “Force stop” from the same menu you used to uninstall the app earlier. Once you’ve verified that your user data is appearing correctly in the downgraded app, you should delete the backed up user data to free up internal storage space. To do that, open Total Commander, select “USB storage,”
    highlight the user data folder, press and hold the select button, and select the “Delete” option.

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2 comments
  1. phil d says:

    I just received my new fire TV3 I downloaded the downloader programand then kodi 17.5. when i click install i get a message that says no app found to handle this file. i have installed 17.5 on many firesticks without any problems.

    • Chsd Stockton says:

      I got my new one and had to install though es problem is the app doesn’t show up. I have to open it though es now?

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