How to stop a software update in progress from installing on a Fire TV or Fire TV Stick

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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.

If the update is currently downloading

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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 the update has already downloaded

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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.

If your device is not rooted and still powered on

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:

  1. Connect to the device via ADB.
  2. Enter ADB shell by running the command: adb shell
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. Go to the Settings menu on the device and go to System > About
  6. 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 your device is not rooted and powered off

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.

If your device is rooted and still powered on

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 .bin files in the /cache and /sdcard/Android/data/com.amazon.device.software.ota/files directories. Alternately, you can connect via ADB and run the following commands to delete potential .bin files in the above directories:

  1. adb shell
  2. su
  3. rm -f /sdcard/Android/data/com.amazon.device.software.ota/files/*.bin
  4. rm -f /cache/*.bin
If your device is rooted and powered off

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:

  1. rm -f /sdcard/Android/data/com.amazon.device.software.ota/files/*.bin
  2. 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.

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21 comments
  1. jonas says:

    if you have not removed the .bin file, but did manage to root the device and block updates, is there a chance that the update will still kick in after a reboot?

  2. xnamkcor says:

    Why would you need to keep the Modem on? The only think the modem does is modulate/demodulate the signal to/from you/outside line. The closes thing to routing it does is send thing out and accept things in(If the router decided to send something out it’s WAN port, it’s probably only going out to the internet(weird glitches and situations are rare exceptions)). The Modem does not real Routing dealing with your LAN.

    PS: I have a MAC Address filter and my Fire TV isn’t even allowed to use the WiFi.

    • Y314K says:

      Some folks that have an ISP like ATT-Uverse use a single GateWay device for modem & router. And the easiest way to turn off the internet while leaving the router working is to unplug the coax cable or phone line.

      If you have separate modem & router. I would just unplug the Cat5e/Cat6 cable on the router end that goes from the modem to the router to do the same thing.

      • xnamkcor says:

        Usually takes me a good minute to remove the coaxial cable. Uplugging it from power to keep it from downloading, then maybe restoring power after you have the cable removed might be faster.

        • Y314K says:

          Unplugging the power cable is always an option. But I prefer to skip a full reboot on the modems end. If your modem & router has already gotten past the boot startup. And you use assign local IP’s for devices on your router. The quickest way to get the internet going again is to use the Cat5e cable as the switch.

    • AFTVnews says:

      As Y314K said, for some people the modem and router is a single device. To simplify things, disconnecting the coax or phone line from your modem is a universal way to keep your home network up while preventing internet access, regardless of your setup. Of course, if you have a separate modem and router, you can just unplug your modems power or disconnect the modem from the router.

  3. Elbobbo says:

    Can I remove the latest update if so How?

  4. Ihsan says:

    I have a non-rooted device i have blocked updates via methods 2 and 4. If i root my device in the future will i have to re-block updates

  5. Shon says:

    Fire TV 1. Rooted with Rbox recovery.

    I had been continually seeing the device rebooting to recovery because the device wants to update.

    Previously I had blocked the addresses through my router and turned off updates via ADB but I think the ADB method got canceled when I updated the devices software with one of the prerooted versions you guys have.

    Regardless of all that, I did find a *.bin to delete in the /cashe, but I don’t see the com.amazon.device.software.ota folder where you say it should be. I’m not suggesting your telling me it WILL be there, but that a file could reside there if I were to see that folder.

    So now with that said, in settings this device still shows update 5.0.5XX is ready to install when the device isn’t in use. I have rebooted and I’m interested to see if the screen saver on the device will continue to save the screen or if I will reboot to recovery.

    Maybe the settings update notification will always be there now, or possibly them dirty scoundrels have hidden the update elsewhere, different folder?

    Any helpful suggestions would be received with gratitude.

    • Shon says:

      The box continues to download update *.bin’s and rebooting to recovery. I just deleted another from cache. I also verified my router still has all the sites blocked as mentioned.

      Any ideas? I just wish it would stop. I imagine the auto shutdowns are playing havok with Kodi’s cache files.

  6. Paul Derrick says:

    Whilst testing settings on my router I inadvertently allowed one of my unrooted FireTV 2 boxes to download firmware 5.0.5.1. Started to panic that it would update and looked here for advice but couldn’t delete the update files (assume they were in /cache). In the end did a factory reset before the update installed – worked like a charm, still on 5.0.5. Might be worth adding that as an option under “If your device is not rooted and still powered on”.

  7. Mike says:

    I was following the “If your device is not rooted and still powered on” method. The only thing I did different was have updates blocked via OpenDNS prior to doing this. Now instead of stating an update is ready to install, when I check for updates it states System Update Error. It never goes to a download progress bar. Am I good?

  8. Damob says:

    I did method 1 on rootAFTV2 5.0.5 and when i go to system-about it said-Check for System Update-Installed Date Checking now—Last Checked Checking now…… and freeze on there cheking now.. i reboot device and it said the same thing.. thats a sign i did it well???

  9. less cranky says:

    IFF root why not revoke W permissions to

    /sdcard/Android/data/com.amazon.device.software.ota/files/

    ?

  10. Dajo says:

    this directory:
    /sdcard/Android/data/com.amazon.device.software.ota/files/
    doesn’t exist on my firetv stick and yet under system>about, there is still an option to install update. I always decline. Every time I reboot I have to stay there and decline several times.
    The .bin is already downloaded. Later I blocked updates with router but too late.

    If it matters, I am rooted with kingoroot

  11. kywildcat says:

    Saved me, I somehow enabled the update app through tit. Backup. Kept rebooting to cwm. Luckily it wouldn’t install the update. Used and o!James to remove the bin..thanks. also when will you have a guide for those of us on the latest os3 to update to os5?

  12. Andre says:

    Hi, so my Fire TV is on the update that can be rooted but it started the update so i just pulled the plug before it finished. I want to root my device but how can i enable USB and ADB debugging if i cant turn on my fire TV before it updates?

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