How to Get Past a Forced Software Update on the Amazon Fire TV

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 51.1.3.0 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 51.1.3.0_user_513011820. It is pure stock and has never been rooted. It started life with version 51.1.0.1_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 51.1.4.0_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.

  1. Block the following domain through your router:
    amzdigitaldownloads.edgesuite.net
    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.
  2. Power on your Fire TV without an internet connection.
  3. Get to the screen where it asks you to select a wifi connection.
  4. If the light on the front of the Fire TV isn’t orange, wait for it to turn orange.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

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15 comments
  1. t3ch42 says:

    Another trick is to use your phone as a tethered connection. Allow the firetv to connect and register your firetv, and as soon as it does, cut your data off on your phone. You still have the WiFi connection but no data is transferred. An added benefit to this is that the initial forced video can be bypassed if there is no data connection. Once the firetv makes it to the home screen, go to developer options and enable other sources and adb installs. Then you can use adb shell to use the old “pm disable com.amazon.dcp” trick through terminal to keep downloads from occurring. This assumes you have root and a phone with adb installed(I think it’s in all android phones, but I use a CyanogenMod variant which has more anyhow). ;-)

  2. uCallHimDrJ0NES says:

    I can’t get past your spelling in the headline.

  3. Dan says:

    Well this allow the UK AFTVs to be rooted?

  4. Rob says:

    Had left a fire connected to wifi and reset to default settings. It had the German writing on the screen and I just knew I was in hot water. Came here and sure enough this post is new. Verified it works when step 2 is followed.

    • Rob says:

      FYI, I purchased it about 3 months ago, so an older version that upgraded over the air. I am on 51.1.3.0_user_513011520 now and this tricked worked for it. Thank You!

  5. j says:

    wish this was posted last week…now that i’m on the latest software…can’t root…WHY!!!

  6. TVMC works just fine says:

    Just want to let you know that I updated my AFTV with version 51.1.4.0_user_514006420 and installed TVMC Gotham build…It just works flawlessly; it used to crash on my rooted AFTV. I know it’s not rooted but I use AFTV only for XBMC and I am glad it still works fine.

  7. Jamie says:

    i seem to be stuck ,i tried factory reset and also tried hard factory reset . but after both times it still was on version 51.1.4.0, and says the date it was updated last ” 2 days ago ” so I’m very confused why the factory resets not removing the data . still knows it updated 2 days ago , any help will be much welcomed , i reality want to root the aftv so i can launch straight into aftv.

    • mac says:

      It will not , once updated to 51.1.4.0 is no way back…for now anyway

      • Skydivingcows says:

        Right, out of the box you can’t roll back from that version. Perhaps in the future you can but not as of today. If you were luckily able to install Clockwork Mod recovery at some point in the past then you can rollback though. Which is why it is a great idea to install that as soon as you get the device if you have the ability to. Mine upgraded by air to 51.1.3 and lost root but was able to be restored through CWM recovery.

  8. Mammothman says:

    Unplug right when it says “checking for updates.” gotta be quick.

  9. eskay993 says:

    Great tip! I decided to do a fresh wipe and install, and this worked perfectly with latest rooted firmware 51.1.4.1_514013920-fixed. Had to be quick through and pull the cable the second the light turned white.

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