How to move and organize Fire TV apps with the new Pinning feature

As of software update 5.2.6.9 for older Fire TV models, like the Fire TV boxes and Fire TV Sticks, and software update 6.2.6.0 for newer Fire TV models, like the Fire TV Stick 4K and Fire TV Cube, the way to arrange the order of your apps and channels on the home screen and the app grid has changed. It’s no longer possible to move apps up and down the list. Instead, you can now select to pin apps to the front of the list. I’m told that the ability to move apps will be added to the new pinning feature in a future software update, but, until then, here is the best way to control the arrangement of your apps and channels.

It’s first helpful to understand how apps and channels are ordered by default and how pinning affects that order. Pinning an app moves it to the very front of the list, no matter what. If you pin three apps, for example, the third pinned app will be at the front of the list, with the second pinned app behind it. Whenever a new app is installed, it will be placed immediately after the last pinned app. If you have no apps pinned, this means the newly installed app will be the first app on the list. When an app is unpinned, it behaves the same way as a newly installed app, meaning, an unpinned app will be placed immediately after the last pinned app. Apps installed prior to the pinning update will come after pinned, newly installed, and unpinned apps.

Now that you know how apps and channels are arranged, positioning them in the exact order that you want is just a matter of pinning them in the reverse order that you want them to appear. In other words, the app or channel that you want to be at the front of the list needs to be the last one that you pin. The one that you want to be second on your list needs to be the second to last one that you pin, and so on.

The best place to pin and unpin apps and channels is the “Apps” grid screen. you can do it form the Home screen, but all of your apps will not be shown if you have many installed. The Home screen also does not display a pin icon on the pinned items, like the grid screen does. To get to the grid screen, press and hold the home button on your remote until the shortcut menu appears. Select the “Apps” shortcut and the grid screen will load.

Once on the grid screen, you should probably first unpin all items if you’re unhappy with the current order. To do this, highlight each pinned item, one by one, and press the menu button on the remote. A series of options will appear in the lower right corner and “Unpin” will be one of them. Once all apps are unpinned, highlight the app you want to be last and select to “Pin to Front” from the options menu. Then continue doing so in the reverse order that you want the apps to appear.

This method of arranging all of your apps and channels in a specific order is more tedious than the old ability to move apps, but it is only a temporary inconvenience. I’m told that a future software update will allow you to move apps that you have pinned. Once that update arrives, you’ll be able to quickly rearrange apps into specific spots, just like before.

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31 comments
  1. Y2Bogus says:

    Yeah, this “feature” is a spectacular fail of epic proportions.

  2. Red says:

    Trying to fix stupid (“people couldn’t find new apps they installed”) turned into major fail.
    Fix can’t come soon enough.
    Let stupid be…

    • AFTVnews says:

      I agree that the fix can’t come soon enough, but I disagree in saying “Let stupid be”

      New apps and channels going to the end of the list was a legitimate issue that needed to be addressed. I constantly get emails from Downloader users about not being able to find the app they just installed. It’s. Never. Ending. Literally the day I first wrote about the new pinning feature, a friend of mine who I consider to be a very knowledgeable techy sent me a message asking how to get to the Prime Video Channel content that he just subscribed to, because the channel icon was now at the end of his massive app list.

      Pinning makes complete sense if they just didn’t remove moving of apps. You pin something if you want it to be locked to the front, regardless of what channel you subscribe to or app you install in the future. Then you just have everything that isn’t pinned in reverse chronological order, so the new stuff is easier to find. The concept of pinning fixes the lost app/channel issue and is simple to understand. They just totally botched things by not allowing people to also move apps.

      • Red says:

        Instead of all this they could have just put the newly downloaded app at the front instead of back and people wouldn’t “lose” them. Once “found” you could move wherever you want. Simple.

        Thanks for all you do, my patience would be severely tested if I had to answer this issue never ending.

        • AFTVnews says:

          I’m sure they considered just putting newly installed apps in the front and keeping everything else the same, but the problem with that is it would mean that every time you installed something, it essentially messed up your arrangement. You would essentially be required to fix your front apps anytime you installed something, and that’s not going to make anyone happy.
          I think pinning with the ability to still freely move apps is the best of both worlds. It’s just too bad it didn’t launch that way in the first place. I’m glad you enjoy the site and that I can help ease your frustration.

          • Red says:

            I have to fix my apps every time I install an app now. Fix them in a frustrating round about way that is worse than before they messed with it. Installing the new app in front, not eliminating “drag & drop” would have been the smarter, better, simpler solution to “stupid”. Add the pin feature when they get around to it.

          • Gary says:

            You’re wrong. It’s the worst of both worlds.
            Having “Move” and “Move to Front” was the best way to organize. New apps can go to the front. If it messes up someone’s arrangement, they simply use the Move command. No need for pinning *at all*.

      • PHT says:

        How’s this – leave both the ability to move and pin instead of removing organizing features all together – especially when their competitors (Roku) allow users to organize apps. I find this move condescending and arrogant as if I am too stupid to find an app! I wonder what percentage of Amazon users expressed this issue – Amazon is one of my favorite companies but this updates infuriates me.

        Now to my problem – I accidentally added CBS all access via the Amazon subscription, immediately corrected it by canceling the subscription but now I don’t have the option to UNPIN it from my apps. When I select it, press the Option button – I only get Pin. When I click the app next to it and repeat the same function, I get Pin to front, More info and uninstall.

        I am so annoyed!

  3. Y314K says:

    @Elias

    Any chance FTV 1 Box update link has been capture yet ?

    • AFTVnews says:

      No, not yet. I’m checking daily. The rollout has been slowed down, but I’m told it has not been halted.

      • Y314K says:

        TY, keep us posted.

        For some reason on my FTV1’s on PreRooted FW 5.2.6.6 (Running unrooted).
        They sometimes randomly reboot. Not sure of it is because of the FW or old hardware overheating. Wanted to test the latest FW.

        Can you reach out to Amazon & ask if FireOS 6 will ever come to to older (FTV1) devices ?

        • AFTVnews says:

          At this point, it’s pretty safe to assume that Fire OS 5 devices will never get Fire OS 6. Amazon hasn’t outright said that, but Fire OS 6 has been out long enough now that if they planned to do it, they would have updated devices by now. I know this isn’t something you probably want to hear, but I’d just be happy that the Fire TV 1 is even still getting updates at all. That model is about to turn 5 years old, which is a damn long time for a device to stay nearly feature identical with the latest model.

          • Y314K says:

            Right, pleasantly surprised how long my FTV1’s have lasted & are getting updated. They are still my go to device.

            Right now most apps are for Android 4/5 or above. But I am just wondering if most streaming apps become Android 6 & above required. I guess Amazon will have to make a decision whether to update the old FW or not, then.

          • AFTVnews says:

            I wouldn’t worry about apps not supporting Fire OS 5 anytime soon. By my estimates, there are more Fire TV Stick 2 users than ALL other Fire TV models COMBINED. Since its a Fire OS 5 device, app support for the older OS isn’t going anywhere.

            BTW, I just captured the Fire TV 1 & 2 updates today and passed them on to rbox already.

          • Y314K says:

            Awesome, seems I’ll have a fun weekend updating my FTV1’s. Thanks for all you do for the AFTV & Streaming community. Very Appreciated.

            I’ve been tempted to update devices a few times. But the FTV1’s are such a solid device that I just keep putting it off. I was even gifted a Android TV Box which I only took for a spin once. It’s been in its box in case my FTV1’s ever died on me. But haven’t needed it yet.

            Will probably wait to update any FTV1’s until I start upgrading/replacing my TV’s to 4K or above.

            Amazon really have made their Android platforms one of the most stable Android options.

            Thanks again, Elias. This is still my daily go to tech site. You do a marvelous job of giving us great content daily.

          • Y314K says:

            BTW, I still use AppStarter v4.0 (wish someone would take over its GitHub to update it, add live tiles, etc). So the FireOS App grid will not affect me at all. I still prefer the simple grid design of AppStarter. Then most newer Horizonal grids that Amazon & other Launchers use now.

  4. Kurr says:

    I never expected amazon to do a dumb thing like this, this is the most bone headed Firetv update ever!!!!!!!!

  5. tango says:

    i arrange my apps by category type. amazon go away.

  6. Jenna says:

    I think this feature is fantastic. I love the ability to pin my favorite apps up front so I don’t have to search for them anymore. Such a handy tool!

  7. Charlie says:

    In prior setup you had the option to move to the front any app, so any app you wanted to give highest priority to was easy to move, from just installed(at the bottom) to first in line of you app row.

    I guess this what happens when someone thinks they have a good idea and it gets implemented and later has to be fixed.

  8. RG Geiger says:

    I noticed all live TV channels played are appearing as separate tiles in recent bar rather than a single tile showing last played channel. I haven’t pinned anything yet so maybe that will mitigate my anxiety over the increased congestion on recent bar between recent apps and recent live TV channels.

    • AFTVnews says:

      What is the source of your TV channels that are now appearing individually? (Recast, Fire TV Edition built-in tuner, Philo, PlayStation Vue, etc…?)

  9. docc says:

    An absolute digital nightmare. Im not installing any new apps now.

  10. tampa8@yahoo.com says:

    Not my favorite way of doing it but I am used to it. My Samsung TV apps work the same, you pin the ones you want to appear first. Also if Amazon is in the end going to allow more free movement as reported this isn’t such a big deal. for those that assort them by category pinning isn’t the best method for that I would agree. I position them by most used so pinning isn’t a far stretch from that.

  11. Frank Nitty says:

    Just use a launcher, problem solved

  12. NOYB says:

    This is like NASA putting the rocket upside down on the launchpad so that they can get to the moon by going through the center of the Earth.
    How can anybody question such mind-blowing genius?
    I will be looking for an option to turn off auto updates.

  13. NOYB says:

    Guys & gals let’s try to be more understanding.

    The scuttlebutt is that the programmer was hit by a lightning bolt and was found fried to the keyboard.

    So, there you have it.
    Perfectly understandable tiny little error.

  14. Willis says:

    Classic example of “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”. It wasn’t broke, now is. Please fix it soon, then break off the knob

  15. Kamla-Kay says:

    A ridiculous “upgrade”. I thought I hade broke something. Can’t wait for the option to disable this “feature”.

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