How to Fully Unlock the Amazon Fire TV Bootloader

amazon-fire-tv-bootloader-unlock-header
This guide will walk you through the steps to unlock your Fire TV’s bootloader. Credit goes to dpeddi for outlining the unlock procedure and to rbox for developing a tool to make it incredibly simple to do. Unlike the partial bootloader unlock, this full unlock enables fastboot flashing and booting. For the time being, unlocking the Fire TV’s bootloader still requires that your Fire TV is already rooted, so this will not allow you to root newer Fire TVs. For now, the average person will gain very little from fully unlocking their Fire TV’s bootloader if they’ve already partially unlocked the bootloader. So there’s not much reason to follow this guide yet, but hopefully that will change as custom ROMs get developed for the Fire TV. At which point this guide will become more useful.

Important
If your Fire TV software is…

  • Any of rbox’s Pre-Rooted Custom ROMs, then you DO NOT need to downgrade. You may proceed with this guide and unlock your bootloader.
  • Stock Version 51.1.0_user_510047320, 51.1.0.1_user_510055620, or 51.1.0.2_user_510058520, then you DO NOT need to downgrade. You may proceed with this guide and unlock your bootloader.
  • Stock Version 51.1.1.0_user_511069920, or 51.1.1.0_user_511070220, then you DO need to downgrade before unlocking your bootloader. Follow my downgrade guide and downgrade your Fire TV to version 51.1.0.2_user_510058520
  • Stock Version 51.1.2.0_user_512073320 or Newer (including 5.0.0 and up), then you cannot unlock your bootloader and cannot follow this guide.

Guide

  1. Be sure your Fire TV is rooted and that you’ve read the section above to determine if you need to downgrade your Fire TV before proceeding with this guide.
  2. Download the aftv-full-unlock file from rbox’s XDA post. The download link is at the bottom.
  3. Connect to your Fire TV via ADB.
  4. Transfer the file you downloaded to your Fire TV by running the following ADB command:
    adb push aftv-full-unlock /data/local/tmp/
    (Note: This assumes the file you downloaded is in the same directory as ADB, otherwise enter the full path to the file, like this:
    adb push C:\full\path\aftv-full-unlock /data/local/tmp/
  5. Run the command:
    adb shell
  6. Run the command:
    chmod 755 /data/local/tmp/aftv-full-unlock
  7. Run the command:
    su
    (Note: If this is the first time you’ve ever run the command su, a pop-up will appear on the Fire TV screen where you will need to select “Grant” within a few seconds before it disappears. If you miss it, then run this command again.)
  8. Run the command:
    /data/local/tmp/aftv-full-unlock
  9. Your Fire TV will reboot, and should now have an unlocked bootloader. Your command prompt / terminal window will display the text “Rebooting…” and may freeze. It’s fine to force quit your command prompt / terminal window once your Fire TV reboots.
  10. [OPTIONAL] Verify that your Fire TV’s bootloader has been unlocked by following the guide here.

It’s not a required step, but you can now connect your Fire TV to your computer using an A to A USB Cable, and run the following ADB command to enter fastboot mode:
adb reboot bootloader

The Fire TV will reboot and stay on the white Amazon Logo. Staying on the white Amazon logo means your Fire TV is in fastboot mode. It is in this mode that you can flash custom ROMs now that your Fire TV is unlocked, but that will be covered in a separate guide when we have something to flash. To exit fastboot mode, simply unplug the A to A USB cable and restart the Fire TV.

You should thank (and donate to) rbox (direct donation link) and dpeddi for making this possible.

SourceXDA-Developers

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54 comments
  1. justin says:

    Wow that was quick! Thanks for the clear instructions as always. Will try this out tonight.

  2. Angelo says:

    Already did it and Work. I connect the Amazon Fire to the computer but is trying to install Android drivers. Where I find the correct Drivers for the Amazon Fire on my Computer. Thanks

    • bula says:

      Once I run “adb reboot bootloader” my box reboots and hangs on the white Amazon logo. Is this what should happened?

      Does boot stays unlocked once procedure was done or needs to be unlocked every time I would like to enter fastboot?

      Thank you

      • Keith Little says:

        Once it’s unlocked you’re all set unless you need or choose to lock it.
        I assume since you asked that your aftv booted properly?

      • AFTVnews says:

        Yes, that is what is supposed to happen. Running that command puts the Fire TV into fastboot mode. When in fastboot mode, the Fire TV freezes at the white Amazon logo until you exit fastboot mode by rebooting it.

        Once it’s unlocked, it will stay unlocked.

        • anthony says:

          how can u tell is it unlock…when i do the last step, it’s said setting unlock key……………..and rebooting…and the device reboot…and i exited…but when i run command adb shell it’s said shell: android..is this correct?

  3. Richard Killingsworth says:

    I did everything that was detailed on this page, and I read somewhere else that once I “unlocked” the Fire TV I was supposed to get a root prompt when I typed in adb shell. I’m actually getting a shell prompt when I type adb shell. Did I do the unlock correctly? Is there any other way I will be able to tell if I did it correctly other than typing in adb reboot bootloader? That just makes the Fire TV stick at the white Amazon logo.

    • Dave says:

      You’re the 2nd person to say that in this very short list of comments so I’m gonna hold off for now.
      When you type adb shell then su if it’s the first time using it on that computer it might ask for admin password. If it’s the first time your aftv is using shell a prompt will come on your tv screen asking for superuser permissions and you click “grant”
      Haven’t tried to yet but for the partial unlock a message saying “unlocking…all done!” At least I think that’s what it said. I know it gives an indication that you unlocked it.
      So what did you do when it hung? Did you just unplug it and it rebooted normally?

      • Richard Killingsworth says:

        I’ve been rooted since I first bought the Fire TV last summer. I’ve been using adb shell since then also. When it was hanging on Amazon logo I just unplugged it and it rebooted normally after I plugged it back in.

    • Ryan says:

      I too have the same issue once i type the commands adb reboot bootloader, My fire TV reboots and hangs forever @ the “white” Amazon Splash screen since reading the posts I’m now the 3rd person with this issue. Hopefully somebody can shed some light on this for me and the rest of us.

      • Dave says:

        Maybe you can answer this–after waiting about 5 minutes for my terminal to respond after “rebooting…” I only had to type “exit” once. This is the first time I’ve exited a root shell command by typing exit just one time. It’s probably nothing but I’d just like confirmation someone else had the same experience. Thanks.
        And sorry again for all the posts.

        • AFTVnews says:

          I updated the guide and removed the exit commands. I realize now they’re unnecessary since the Fire TV reboots. There was no harm in typing exit before, so no need to worry.

      • AFTVnews says:

        Hanging on the white Amazon logo is not an issue. It’s normal. I’ve updated the end of the guide with more details about it.

  4. Dave says:

    By the way, when we do use a fastboot cable, will it work with an android phone or tablet instead of a computer? I’ve been looking for A to A fastboot cables on ebay but every pic reveals a micro usb to usb connection. Can someone post a link where to get one? Or answer my first question…Thanks a lot.

    • Dave says:

      Sorry. I did notice you had already posted it. You guys are fast! Thanks.

      • Dave says:

        I’m also guilty of not reading the guide COMPLETELY. “adb reboot bootloader” is not part of the unlock process. And I assume if there isn’t a 2nd boot loader installed it’s not going to boot to anything. But I’m not 100% on that. Also I assumed you needed a fast boot cable but now I thik it’s just a standard usb. The ones in the link are 3.0. I have a 2.0 so still need to know if that will work.

        • AFTVnews says:

          Any A to A USB cable will work. It doesn’t need to be a special “fastboot” cable. USB 2.0 is fine.

          Nothing I’ll be different after unlocking the device. It is simply ready to be flashed now. Once there is something to flash (e.g., install), I will write a guide covering that.

  5. Dave says:

    I don’t mean to flood this but I tried it. I think it worked? But after entering the final command–/data/local/tmp/aftv-full-unlock

    Unlocking…
    Reading idme data …
    Setting unlock_code to (Long string of letters and numbers, about 3 lines) then it says
    Rebooting…
    It doesn’t hang on amazon but…actually I was going to say the “rebooting…”never went away but it just did. I can now type exit. That took about 5 minutes for my terminal to respond.Sorry. It might be useful info if others are having the same non-issue. Thanks again!

  6. anthony says:

    what happen if you skip step 11?

    • AFTVnews says:

      Step 11 used to be entering fastboot mode. I’ve now updated the guide and moved those instructions out of the “steps” since it’s not required to unlock. You don’t need to enter fastboot mode to unlock the device.

  7. Piers says:

    It’s said that this won’t work on ‘unrootable’ software versions, but what if unit is hardware-rooted?

  8. AFTVnews says:

    I’ve updated the end of the guide to explain what happens next and what freezing on the white Amazon logo means.

  9. Gujju_Boy says:

    Hi,

    I am currently on the pre-rooted ROM 51.1.4.0_514006420 (updated one). So what would be the steps to upgrade to the latest pre-rooted rom? Do I still need to partially unlock bootloader to install the boot menu or the above steps will suffice? I think, the latter should suffice to install the boot menu, but just want to confirm.

    By the way, this is an excellent, excellent site and one stop shop for all the fire tv news, tricks etc. Keep up the great work!! Also, excellent, excellent work by rbox.

  10. TommyZ says:

    What’s the benefits to rooting this…sorry for the noob question.

  11. ultraLord says:

    How about we send emails to amazon asking why usb isn’t available for storage and showing disappointment?

    I have already sent mine.

    • J says:

      I did my complaint to amazon as well. I told them I rooted these boxes. We wouldn’t need root if they had 32 gigs on board memory. And if usb worked properly, we wouldn’t need stick mount app.

  12. John Doe says:

    With some of these questions, I don’t think most of you need to be unlocking the bootloader. I’ve been flashing ROMs to devices for years now, so I can understand the reasons to unlocking. But for most of these people here it just an accident waiting to happen. They’ll brick their devices and then blame it on the people that put together these How-TOs. Leave root alone, leave the bootloader alone, sideload KODI and be happy with that. Never mind, hack away at these things. I’ll pick them up on Ebay for $10, I’ll unbrick and customize them. Then sell ’em back to you for $120.

  13. Wheels498 says:

    I never got the “all done!” Is there anyway to confirm the boot loader is unlocked?

  14. Dave says:

    Unlocked it the 2nd time. Guess I was one of those AFTVs that didn’t work. All Set now. Thanks for updating the guide so promptly!

  15. johnny says:

    Great news. Hopefully this opens the door to 24 Hz video playback, so we can actually watch films in their native frame rate without the judder

  16. Alba1978 says:

    I am stuck on fastboot mode but I have unplugged the box several times and it will not get out of it. I have not got an a to a usb to do something with it but ordered one. Is there any way of getting out fastboot other than rebooting.

  17. nebur orerrac says:

    Any new web site with the program to root the fire tv box?

  18. Lee says:

    Hi, if I fully unlock the Bootloader do I need to use the Rbox’s Boot Menu for Pre-Rooted Stock 51.1.4.1_514013920 ?

    Also, will you be updating the “Fire TV & Fire TV Stick
    Rooting Starters Guide” to include full Bootloader.?

    many thanks

    • corleone says:

      I have the same question..Do we need to install Rbox’s Boot Menu for Pre-Rooted Stock 51.1.4.1_514013920 after fully unlocking bootloader?

  19. Jaaay says:

    Can this be used on the Fire TV stick? version 54.1.0.2_user_102018720?

  20. Drew says:

    When I run the chmod command it tells me that the “operation not permitted”. I have full root access and have run the su command with no issues. Any help is appreciated!

    Thank you

  21. Jason says:

    I’ve tried this about a dozen times now. I was able to do this to one of my other fire tv’s on the first try but when I try on this one I go to verify if it’s unlocked by running adb shell and it always shows shell instead of root. I have no clue what I could’ve done wrong considering I had already done it with success on the other one

  22. Nate says:

    I’m having an issue at the first part.

    adb push C:\full\path\aftv-full-unlock /data/local/tmp/

    I’ve tried several times directing it to the right path. A few times it stated no such file or directory and other times it shows the last half of the command with the cursor flashing where you can type again but didn’t say anything was successful.

    I don’t want to continue any further steps until I know it’s been transferred correctly.

    Thanks for any assistance!

    • justino says:

      Nate,
      Skip ahead to the shell part as a test. If you can connect via shell then that eliminates one trouble shooting step – then verify that the destination directory exists.

      ls /data/local/tmp/

      justino

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  24. Miguel says:

    I am very interested in unlocking, will this current set up work for Fire Stick? and i want to purchase one today would the software version be of any nuisance?

  25. Nate says:

    I’m still having no luck with “adb push aftv-full-unlock /data/local/tmp/”

    Can I use adbFire to push that file into another directory and run it from there? Is there a special requirement for it to be in /data/local/tmp?

    Thanks

    • Nate says:

      Resolved: A friendly redditor saw what I did wrong. I was running the push command under adb shell and not just under normal command prompt. Such a simple problem I’ve been stuck with so long.

  26. Mike says:

    Hi,
    I’m having problems with “adb push aftv-full-unlock /data/local/tmp/”. I keep getting error messages. I saw that someone said to save the AFTV- FULL-UNLOCK file in the ADB directory, but I’m not sure how to do that. Could someone give me some advice.

    Thanks in advance

  27. Mandy says:

    Can to u do this with the new Amazon 4K box???

  28. Patrick says:

    can it be done with the 2nd Generation Fire box?

  29. nidia says:

    Is it true that they have installed some sort of fire wall to block rooting

  30. chemical says:

    Does this work for fire tv 2?

  31. chris says:

    so if I am on version 5.2.1.1 can I downgrade to have the right version or am i SOL with this stick?

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