How to Sideload Apps to your Amazon Fire TV using a Mac with OS X

sideload-apps-macSideloading allows you to install apps to your Fire TV that are not available in the Amazon Appstore. There are numerous apps in the Google Play store that may work on the Fire TV that have not been officially ported over. You can download these apps using online APK downloaders. There are also apps like XBMC, which we will be using in this guide, which are not available on any appstore and can only be installed by sideloading.

Update

This guide is out of date. Please see the new Ultimate Sideloading Guide.

You will only have to do Steps 1-3 the first time you sideload an app. Once you’ve sideloaded your first app, skip to step 4 for each subsequent app.

Step 1 – Enable ADB Debugging
In order for the Fire TV to accept sideloaded apps, you must enable ADB Debugging. You may turn it back off once you’re done sideloading apps.

  1. From the home screen, scroll down to “Settings”
    sideload-1-1
  2. Scroll right to “SYSTEM”
    sideload-1-2
  3. Scroll down to “Developer Options”
    sideload-1-3
  4. Change “ADB debugging” to “ON”
    sideload-1-4

Step 2 – Obtain your Fire TV’s IP Address
You will need your Fire TV’s IP address for step 4. Here is how to find it.

  1. From the home screen, scroll down to “Settings”
    sideload-1-1
  2. Scroll right to “SYSTEM”
    sideload-1-2
  3. Select “About”
    sideload-2-3
  4. Scroll down to “Network”
    sideload-2-4
  5. Write down the numbers next to “IP Address”
    sideload-2-5

Step 3 – Setup ADB
ADB is a tool used to communicate with your Fire TV from you Mac. You will only have to set it up once.

  1. Download the Android zip file from here: adb-fastboot-install
  2. Unzip the file you downloaded by double clicking it.
  3. Open the unzipped folder.
  4. Open Terminal (Search for it from Spotlight with ⌘-Space if you don’t know where it is)
    Screen Shot 2014-05-20 at 3.28.43 PM
  5. Drag the “ADB-Install-Mac.sh” file from the unzipped folder into the Terminal window. Then press enter in the Terminal window.
  6. Once the installation completes, quit Terminal.

Step 4 – Sideload an APK file
Now that everything is setup, you can sideload an app.

  1. Open Terminal (Search for it from Spotlight with ⌘-Space if you don’t know where it is)
    Screen Shot 2014-05-20 at 3.28.43 PM
  2. Type: adb connect 192.168.1.131 and press enter.
    (*be sure to replace 192.168.1.131 with your Fire TV’s IP address that you wrote down from step 2.)
    Screen Shot 2014-05-20 at 4.03.26 PM
  3. Type adb install /Users/USERNAME/Downloads/xbmc-13.0-armeabi-v7a.apk and press enter.
    (*be sure to replace /Users/USERNAME/Downloads/xbmc-13.0-armeabi-v7a.apk with the path to your app file.)
    Screen Shot 2014-05-20 at 4.04.56 PM
  4. Your app is now installed on your Fire TV. To launch it, go to “Settings” > “SYSTEM” > “APPLICATIONS”, select the app, and select “Launch application”.
    sideload-4-4 sdieload-4-4-2

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6 comments
  1. bg says:

    stuck on the installing busy box screen! help?

  2. frank says:

    i was able to get the first one to work but then when i try again it tells me error more than one device and emulator

    what does that mean?? mac 10.6

    Thanks

  3. malcolm chapman says:

    Thank you worked for me. I wish I could put the kodi icon on the home screen

  4. Jason Heine says:

    don’t use this method,it’s difficult and text/type based which is awkward.
    instead just download “adbFIRE” App for Mac,it does all of that simply for you.

  5. Carlos says:

    Hello, I did the commands which everything worked until step 4. I did what you said with my IP address but it said in terminal unable to connect. Please any assist would be greatly appreciated.

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