How to play files larger than 4GB off the Fire TV’s FAT32 USB storage in Kodi

fat32-4gb-limit-drive
Since the Amazon Fire TV will only accept FAT32 USB Drives, you can’t store files larger than 4GB on a drive that the Fire Tv can read. This poses a problem since many high definition video files are larger than 4GB in size. There is actually a simple solution to this problem. Kodi has the ability to detect split RAR files as a single video file. All you need to do is split your larger video files with a RAR utility before moving them to your USB drive. This guide will show you how to do that on both a Mac and Windows computer.

Update

This method also works for playing files larger than 4GB off of a microSD card with the new 2nd-gen Fire TV. Just look for the files in the directory /storage/sdcard1

Windows Guide

  1. Download and install WinRAR.
    winrar-download-link
  2. Right-Click the video file on your computer and select “Add to archive…”
    winrar-add-to-archive
  3. From the “Compression method” menu, select “Store“.
    winrar-compression-method
  4. From the “Split to volumes, size” menu, select “4,095MB (FAT32)“.
    winrar-split-volume-size
  5. Click “OK” and wait for the process to complete.
    winrar-wait-compress-progress
  6. When WinRAR is done, you will have 2 or more new files in the directory containing the original video file.
    winrar-new-split-files
  7. Connect your FAT32 USB drive to your computer and move the new files (not the original video file) to a new folder on your USB drive. The folder’s name should be the same as the original video file.
    winrar-moved-to-usb-drive
  8. Connect your FAT32 USB drive to your Fire TV and launch Kodi. Open Files > extUSB and navigate to the new folder you just created.
    winrar-kodi-extUSB-folder
  9. Open the folder and you’ll see that Kodi detects the split files as if it were the original large file. You can play the file as you would any other file in Kodi.
    winrar-kodi-split-file

Mac Guide

  1. Download and install SimplyRAR.
    simplyrar-download
  2. Launch SimplyRAR and drag the video file into the SimplyRAR window.
    simplyrar-drag-file
  3. From the “Compression Method” menu, select “Store“.
    simplyrar-compression-method
  4. Check the “Split archive” option on the right.
    simplyrar-split-archive-check
  5. From the “Split to volumes into” menu, select the “100Mb Files” option and click the “Create RAR” button at the top.
    simplyrar-split-100
  6. Create a new folder to save the files into. Both the new folder and the files should have the same name as the original video file.
    simplyrar-split-save
  7. When SimplyRAR is done, connect your FAT32 USB drive to your computer and move the new directory (not the original video file) to your USB drive.
    simplyrar-usb-drive
  8. Connect your FAT32 USB drive to your Fire TV and launch Kodi. Open Files > extUSB and navigate to the new folder you just created.
    winrar-kodi-extUSB-folder
  9. Open the folder and you’ll see that Kodi detects the split files as if it were the original large file. You can play the file as you would any other file in Kodi.
    winrar-kodi-split-file

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19 comments
  1. dzdvc says:

    brilliant!

  2. Patt says:

    Wouldn’t FTP file transfer allow for larger file size?

    • John says:

      The file size limitation is only for files stored on a FAT32 USB drive. If the files are stored elsewhere (like a network drive) then there is no file size limitation).

  3. Neogeo71 says:

    Great article!

  4. Gryzor says:

    Wow, great tip, had no idea about that Kodi feature!

    One question, how are subtitles handled? Should they be included in the rar archive or remain separate?

  5. cxcorpx says:

    Is a lot of work, is waste time, I prefer the 51.4.3 where I mount the disk and put whatever I want or a nas hdd and Kodi I use folder mount for mount data and obb and I have the perfect TV box

    • Will G says:

      Stickmount still works with 51.1.5.0. The only downside is I don’t believe you can move apps to the USB drive if you don’t format it as FAT 32.

  6. Marc says:

    Fantastic news for my unrooted Fire TV! It worked perfectly. Thank you for the great and straight-forward guide.

  7. N2Outlaw says:

    Does anyone know of a “External Powered USB HUB” that works on the latest “Prerooted Rom” (rbox) with “BootMenu” and that you don’t have to keep unplugging after reboot because it will get stuck on “Amazon” white logo if not unplugged from power. It’s just a pain.

  8. ponghclub says:

    I got update fw on my fireTV then I connected 32g flash drive aftv can see it…..today I connect my old 250g HHD to see it will work or not..to my surprise it work I can play movies mp4, avi and PDF files. Does update fw make all that?

  9. blahey says:

    I just finished doing this and now my USB drive is having issues. It won’t disconnect from my computer when I try to eject the drive and it is no longer connecting with the AFTV. Any suggestions? The error message on my PC said it was unable to eject the drive because a program was still running something from the drive. I shut down the computer and everything and still receive the message.

  10. Habenjero says:

    Isn’t a better solution to root it and enable it to read NTFS?

  11. Adam says:

    Hello,

    it is possible to connect a USB HHD true USB Power Port for the Stick version? I read that ADB communication over USB is possible. So it is not only a power USB port. I think over a active USB Hub shall the Fire TV Stick work together with a USB HDD? So there must be a possibility to enable USB support. Or not?

  12. jake says:

    try AVI Splitter.

  13. Immo says:

    Thanks for the guide! I can play these files fine when I go through “Video” and “Files”, but they don’t show up in the librarie under “Movies”. When I trie “Movie Information” Kodi says “No videeo files found in this path”. Any idea what I’m missing?

  14. HyperShrike says:

    To play video files over 4 GB (need ES File Xplorer and Kodi):

    Open ES File Explorer, then insert your NTFS-formatted USB thumb drive that has your video.
    You should see your USB drive appear.
    Ignore the “fat only supported” error message.
    Choose the USB drive on the left side of the screen, then find your video file in the USB folder on the right side.
    A “select” box will appear…choose Kodi (I get no sound using ES File Explorer’s built in video player).
    I have only tried this one time using an 8GB USB thumb drive and one 5.2GB mkv file,though smaller avi and mpg files play flawlessly also.
    Your mileage may vary.

  15. Dan says:

    If anyone is looking at these instructions now, I have a small update. In the original screenshots in steps 3 and 4 it shows using RAR for the Archive Format. The current version of WinRAR for Windows, version 5, uses RAR5 by default, which Kodi won’t read. You need to select RAR4 as the Archive format. Here’s a screenshot.

    https://goo.gl/goJwTe

  16. Paul says:

    I tried to split a 4.19gb file with SimplyRAR on a decent speed iMac and it was SOOO slow. Watching the folder while the split files were added was like watching a tortoise climb the stairs. I gave up.

    I can’t afford an hour+ to convert one movie.

    What idiot at Amazon thought using FAT32 would be ok for a TV box that can play 4K video. Any moron with a calculator can tell you a full length film is going to be big.

    My old WD Media box would read anything, even HFS (mac) format.

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