One big change with Fire OS 5, which affects all apps that interact with external storage, is the stricter file permissions that come with Amazon upgrading the core operating system in Fire OS to Android 5.1 Lollipop. With Fire OS 5, an app cannot freely write data to any directory on an external USB drive or microSD card, like it could with Fire OS 3. This change affects both the 1st and 2nd generation Fire TV. Here’s what you need to know about the new restrictions and how to work around them.
There are two methods for an app to have permission to write data to external storage on Fire OS 5. The first method, which is the ideal method, is for an app to ask the user for permission. If an app properly understands the limitation, it will prompt you to select a directory where you grant the app to write data. ES File Explorer is one such app which asks for permission correctly. Before writing files to external storage for the first time, the app will pop up a message informing you that you are about to be asked to grant the app permission to write to external storage. The screen that follows is a bit confusing, but basically you just need to navigate to the root directory of your USB drive or microSD card and select it as the location that the app may modify. If you select the top most directory, then you are granting the app permission to write anywhere on external storage. You can find more details about this directory selection screen in Fire OS 5 here.
Unfortunately, most apps do not properly ask for permission before writing data to external storage on Fire OS 5. If that’s the case, then you must force the app to only use its allocated directory on the USB drive or microSD card. The allocated directory that an app can write data to, without having to ask for permission, is the
For example, Kodi’s package name is
Here are the different full paths for the various Fire TV versions and external storage types:
- Fire TV 1 USB Drive:
- Fire TV 2 USB Drive:
- Fire TV 2 MicroSD Card: