This guide will show you the best things to do to try and stop a software update from installing, that is currently downloading or has already downloaded, on an Amazon Fire TV or Fire TV Stick.
Kill the internet connection immediately by unplugging the ethernet cable from your Fire TV or by turning off your WiFi. If your Fire TV or Fire TV Stick is still powered on, do not turn it off. Verify that the update has not finished downloading by going to the device’s Settings > System > About menu and scroll to the last option. If it says “An update is available” at the top with a message asking you to “Press SELECT to install now,” then you need to move to the “If the update has already downloaded” section of this guide below. Otherwise, continue with this section.
If the update is still trying to download or an error message is displayed, then you just need to block software updates before the update has a chance to fully download. Read my update blocking guide, restart your device, and perform update blocking method 1 (on a rooted device) or method 2 (on an unrooted device) of that guide once your Fire TV or Fire TV has booted back up.
You should disconnect the coax cable or phone line from your internet modem, but leave the modem and/or router powered on. This should allow you make an ADB connection to your Fire TV or Fire TV Stick even though there is no actual internet connection. That way you can run the update blocking commands without worrying about the update downloading. If you can’t establish an ADB connection without the internet being live, just be sure to block updates as fast as possible once the device is rebooted.
If an update has already downloaded and is waiting to be installed, it is best that your device is still on. Just be sure you do not leave it idle while reading/following this guide because it will reboot itself and install the update. Navigate up and down a menu every 15 or 30 seconds to ensure it doesn’t go idle and restart. If an update fully downloaded and you turned the device off, there is a chance you can still stop the update, but it’s not the ideal scenario.
Your best chance of stopping an update that has already downloaded is if the device is rooted. Check my rooting starters guide to see if rooting right now, with something like KingRoot, is an option. If you root, then follow the “If your device is rooted” sections below.
If rooting is not an option or if you do not want to root, it’s not guaranteed that you’ll be able to stop the update. First, you should follow my update blocking guide to block updates now, but this will not prevent the already downloaded update file from installing once your device reboots. To hopefully stop the already downloaded update from installing, do the following:
- Connect to the device via ADB.
- Enter ADB shell by running the command:
- There are two known locations where the downloaded update file might be stored. The first and likely location is
/cache, but that location can only be accessed if your device is rooted. The second location is in /sdcard. You should still continue with this guide regardless, but run the following command to delete the update file if it happens to be in the accessible location:
rm -f /sdcard/Android/data/com.amazon.device.software.ota/files/*.bin
- The next few steps require powering off the device at a specific moment. Read ahead because you only get one chance at this since, once you power it back on, the update will install if you didn’t clear it. Now, run the following command to make the device check for updates again:
pm clear com.amazon.device.software.ota
- Go to the Settings menu on the device and go to System > About
- Select the Check for System Update option. The device will find and start to download the update again. As soon as you see the download progress bar move, kill the power to the device.
By making the device re-check and try to re-download the update, it hopefully cleared the completed download. By killing the power while it was re-downloading, it should think that the download is incomplete and not try to install an update when it’s powered back on. All you can do now is power the device back on and hope you don’t see the update installation screen. Remember, you should have updates blocked externally, either through your router or using OpenDNS, before powering back on. At the very least you should have your ethernet cable disconnected and/or your WiFi turned off so it doesn’t just immediately redownload the update when it powers back on.
If an update has already fully downloaded and you powered the device off, you can only block the update if it’s a Fire TV 2 that can be rooted using the A-to-A USB cable method. If it isn’t a Fire TV 2 or if it can’t be rooted using the A-to-A USB cable method, then there is no way to stop the update from installing.
If it is a Fire TV 2 and you’re willing to root it using the A-to-A USB cable method, then follow my rooting guide, but be sure to not allow the device to go too far into the booting process when instructed to power it on during the guide. If the rooting script doesn’t detect the device power on within a few seconds, pull the power and try again. Do not let it just sit powered on because it will start to install the update. Also, skip the step where you power on the Fire TV while setting up your PC drivers. Once the device boots into TWRP and you install the latest pre-rooted ROM, the official update will not be able to install.
First, follow my software update blocking guide to block future updates. Next, you need to find and delete the update file that already downloaded to prevent the update from installing. Use a file browser like ES File Explorer and delete any
adb shell su rm -f /sdcard/Android/data/com.amazon.device.software.ota/files/*.bin rm -f /cache/*.bin
If your device doesn’t have TWRP or ClockworkMod custom recovery installed, then there is nothing you can do to stop the update from installing once your device is powered back on. The only exception is if you have a Fire TV 2 that can be rooted using the A-to-A USB cable rooting method. If it is a Fire TV 2 and you’re willing to root it using the A-to-A USB cable method, then follow my rooting guide, but be sure to not allow the device to go too far into the booting process when instructed to power it on during the guide. If the rooting script doesn’t detect the device power on within a few seconds, pull the power and try again. Do not let it just sit powered on because it will start to install the update. Also, skip the step where you power on the Fire TV while setting up your PC drivers. Once the device boots into TWRP and you install the latest pre-rooted ROM, the official update will not be able to install.
If you do have TWRP or ClockworkMod custom recovery, the official update will likely be blocked from installing on its own. To be extra safe, power on the device, select to boot into your custom recovery, connect via ADB, enter shell, and then run the following commands:
rm -f /sdcard/Android/data/com.amazon.device.software.ota/files/*.bin rm -f /cache/*.bin
This will delete any possible update files present. Note that TWRP has a built in terminal under the “Advanced” menu, so you can run those commands directly within TWRP without needing to connect via ADB.