Some Amazon Fire TVs refuse to proceed with the initial setup process if they encounter an error when checking for updates or when trying to download updates. From all the feedback I’ve received, the Fire TVs most likely to encounter this issue are very early Fire TVs running software version 51.1.0 and newer units running software version 188.8.131.52 and above. Hopefully the video above and the information below can help you get through the Fire TV initial setup without updating.
First and foremost, this method will not work for all Fire TVs. It worked for me on this particular Fire TV without fail, but that doesn’t mean it will work for all Fire TVs. The Fire TV’s update procedure is still a mystery because the entire process is encrypted, which makes it difficult to determine what is happening.
The Fire TV I used to discover this process is running software version 184.108.40.206_user_513011820. It is pure stock and has never been rooted. It started life with version 220.127.116.11_user_510055620 and has been allowed to normally update over the air. I factory reset it and found that, for the first time, it would not complete the initial setup without updating. It was trying to update to version 18.104.22.168_user_514006420. I used the opportunity to try and find a way past the update and after several hours of trying various things, I stumbled on this method that works everytime for this particular Fire TV. Your Fire TV may act differently depending on what software version it is currently running and its history.
This guide should be used in conjunction with my guide on how to setup a new Fire TV without blocking Root.
- Block the following domain through your router:
I did not have softwareupdates.amazon.com blocked. You can first try with both blocked and then try with just the one. You can also try with nothing blocked, but I would not recommend it because the Fire TV continues to try updating in the background even after you get past the update check.
- Power on your Fire TV without an internet connection.
- Get to the screen where it asks you to select a wifi connection.
- If the light on the front of the Fire TV isn’t orange, wait for it to turn orange.
- Plug in an ethernet internet connection and keep a close eye on the orange light. The instant it turns white, unplug the ethernet internet connection.
- The Fire TV should get past the update check and stop on the registration screen. If it does not work, you can try varying how long you wait before pulling the ethernet cable.
- If you have the domain in step 1 blocked, you can now safely plug the ethernet internet connection back in, sign in, and complete the setup. Again, It’s important to keep the update domain blocked because the Fire TV continuously tries to download updates even though it doesn’t say so on the screen.