How to update a Rooted Amazon Fire TV to the Latest Version Without Losing Root

amazon-fire-tv-pre-rooted-updates

Currently, the latest Amazon Fire TV software version, 51.1.3.0_user_513011520, has blocked the towelroot rooting procedure, so is therefore unrootable. The incredibly talented rbox, creator of the first Fire TV custom recovery, has released a pre-rooted version of software update 51.1.3.0_user_513011520. Read on to learn how to update any rooted Fire TV to the latest version without losing root.

  1. Follow my guide and install ClockworkMod Recovery.
  2. Download the latest Pre-Rooted Stock Software from AFTVnews.com/roms
  3. Follow my Custom ROM installation guide and install the pre-rooted Stock Software
  4. Show your appreciation by donating to rbox! He has put in a tremendous amount of time and work to make this all possible.

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67 comments
  1. Joe says:

    Amazing Job Rbox. Not many people know how much time and effort you put into this but it is appreciated. What sucks though is 3 months down the line unless we have a real root – Fire TV rooting will basically be dead for anyone who hasn’t already rooted their boxes.

    I love the Fire TV box – it’s amazing – but it may just be time to go to an unlocked alternative. Especially since the newer boxes offer Quad Core processors and Octo-Core GPU’s. And you’ll never have to worry about root.

    I realize why amazon has done this – it’s losing them a ton of money if we can root it. But the Fire TV is so far ahead of Roku and Apple TV that I have no clue how they are even still selling either of those boxes.

    Thanks again Rbox.

    • jason says:

      I still think the fire tv is the best box out there. I have played around with others and honestly for the average person the fire tv is better. It offers a more tv like experience without having to have an air mouse which allot of people don’t like and apps designed for a touch screen that don’t always work right where as here the apps are designed for the bluetooth remote

  2. sunrise 495 says:

    Excellent website / excellent information / excellent news / excellent job by Rbox.

    I know this may not be the case today, but if I have a brand new FTV that has version 51.1.3.0_user_513011520 installed on it from the factory, there is no way to root it today?

    Every option that we are talking about today is based on already having root to the FTV?

    There is no procedure to force a none root version 51.1.3.0_user_513011520 into a “recovery” mode and then load a version that can be rooted?

    Just trying to get a better understand with a the new fast moving options available today?

    Thanks again.

    • AFTVnews says:

      Thanks for the kind words!

      That is correct, if your Fire TV is on stock 51.1.3.0_user_513011520, there is currently no way to root, no way to install ClockworkMod recovery, and no way to install pre-rooted ROMs.

      My suggestion is to block updates and stay on the lowest software version you can. This way you keep yourself open to the most possibilities for future rooting methods.

  3. Scott says:

    Great guide! I’m glad I was patient and didn’t update to the newest firmware prior to this.

    One thing I noticed, but it didn’t really change the process. When I downgraded to 51.1.0.2_user_510058520 when it reboot into this version (or whenever I rebooted into it) it actually showed a lock screen with a padlock, and the time. Kind of like a cell phone would. It was very strange. Luckily a mouse is all you need to get out of the lock screen.

    Did anybody have that happen when they downgraded to 51.1.0.2_user_510058520? It went away once I upgraded to the pre-rooted latest version.

  4. Scott Howell says:

    So I had some major issues with FreeTime after this – When I selected FreeTime on the menu, my child’s picture would show for a split second but quickly disappear and it would go to my Watch List. I was able to get in by being quick with the remote. However, then it was having issues loading and would flash the FreeTime screen over and over.

    I couldn’t even get to Exit to log out. To fix it, I had to go into Recovery and do a system wipe, and reinstall rbox’s pre-rooted release from Scratch. This did work.

    I also noticed after a true “clean” refresh the Legal and Compliance Documents are working again and no longer blank.

  5. Bobby says:

    Anyone having issue with Market Helper after installed pre-rooted software? I tried both version 1.1 and 2.0 beta but doesn’t work.

  6. David E says:

    If I am already rooted, am I correct in assuming I would have to reinstall and reconfigure any apps I have including sideloaded ones, if I did this?

    • AFTVnews says:

      No, your apps and settings should remain in place and unaffected. Of Course it is always a good idea to backup anything you don’t want to lose. Somethings, like Xposed modules do need to be re-enabled.

  7. Alex D says:

    So I bricked my FTV which came with 51.1.1.0_user_511070220 but during factory reset it upgraded to 1520. Am I screwed now?

    • Joe says:

      @Alex D

      For the moment you are – you can still side load XBMC or other programs onto your Fire TV but at the moment you cannot gain root access once that is downloaded. My suggestions:

      1) Wait, maybe Towelroot or someone else will come up with a way to root the newest firmware.

      2) Sell your FireTV to someone else and buy a new one

      3) (Devious Method) Buy a Fire TV – return old one the next day.

      • Ronald Smith says:

        **3) (Devious Method) Buy a Fire TV – return old one the next day.

        Aren’t FTVs registered with Amazon so would they be able to tell if you had switched?

        • Stephen says:

          It really shouldn’t matter because most stores just salvage it out and not return it to the manufacturer. You can register more than one FireTV to a single Amazon account. I have one for my self and one I bought for my gf. Both are registered under my account so she can watch the free stuff under my Prime account.

  8. Why would I do this? says:

    If I am on the last rootable fw and rooted, what would be the point in doing this upgrade if everything is working fine?

    That is, what is the actual benefit or gain?

    Thanks!

    • AFTVnews says:

      The only benefit is to get new features and improvements while maintaining root. Of course, right now the latest unrootable update does not contain many desirable features and improvements. However, as Amazon continues to release updates, staying on version 51.1.1.0 will be less and less desirable. There’s nothing wrong with staying on older software versions if you’re happy with them, but when the day comes that Amazon adds something you want, this guide will get you those new things without losing root. (Assuming a pre-rooted version of future updates has been released by rbox or someone else.)

    • Romylus says:

      If you are a Prime customer and live in the UK or Germany and got your fire tv from the US as i did, now all the prime features will be available on this latest update ( 51.1.3.0_user_513011520 ).
      Thats the benefit for 1, so for me in the UK all amazon features work.
      If you dont have Prime then the update is not all that desirable.

      • Steven Alis says:

        I am currently trying to “push” the latest modded firmware to my ftv and it takes ages albeit it is a large file. Question. I am in UK and therefore am limited in adding apps from the screen. I can a side load apps but this is hit and miss. If I type my uk amazon details in will I lose my Hulu plus etc and other American apps such a season, show time etc?

  9. Paul says:

    Hi

    I was asking myself the same thing, as there is no real feature in the updates that would make it worth applying this.

    Will wait to see whether anything is added in the future to the firmware making it worth it.

    • Chris says:

      better Netflix that can be switched to different regions makes it worth it for me. Crackle wasn’t working in Europe for me with the US Fire TV, now it does. Everything is just much smoother and less buggy. I would normally agree but when I actually use it a notice how smoother it is than the previous versions.

  10. william vargas says:

    hello i bought a fire tv on sunday i followed you tube videos to install xbmc and was successful but today i was going to open xbmc by going into the applications in setting and when it asks for my security pin it will tell me “an unspecified error occurred. ” idk whats going on

  11. ED Wodehouse says:

    After 78 installations, I just received a Staple $74 Fire TV that is presenting a different start-up screen. After a new message (unrecognized from the previous one) stating that my FTV required an update (an update I have blocked on my router), I now get a second message that “They are trying to update, but cannot contact their services).

    I have left it on this screen for two hours…. hoping that it would advance to registration just as my most recent ones have.

    I’m not sure how to proceed at this point if I’m hoping to root this FTV.

    • robL says:

      Just wondering if this method voids your Amazon warranty? I don’t think the regular towel root method voids it but this method changes the stock recovery so it may.

    • Eric says:

      I get the same problem. Except this device has been sitting in a box for the last month.

      It eventually times out for me saying “Unable to update your Amazon Fire TV”. As it stands I’m unable to get it booted to the home screen and I don’t want to possibly lose root by allowing it to update.

      Is there any way to find out what version software this thing is on without access to the home screen and not updating?

    • Brad Haswell says:

      I just did 2 of the $74 Staples boxes using method 2 in this guide:
      http://www.aftvnews.com/how-to-setup-a-new-fire-tv-without-blocking-root/

      • daffung says:

        i actually let it install the latest software and still got the latest rootable fw.. lucky i guess?? ive actually been doing that with staples i got from 75$

  12. Daniel says:

    Hi,
    I got my fire tv recently, I was able to load xbmc on it, then I accidently updated to the latest version. Xbmc is working but I have no more access to the root as I wanted to add google play. Any idea or it’s dead end?

  13. Brad Haswell says:

    my voice search stopped working after this update, anyone else or should I investigate a different cause?

  14. Jon says:

    Thank you. Got my box from amazon today. Took 10 minutes to block updates, install clockwork, and install prerooted img. I was lucky it came with older firmware.

  15. Bill says:

    Do you have any idea why am unable to open the supersu app installed with the pre-rooted rom? I cannot set it to grant permission.

  16. Bill says:

    Once you install this latest pre-rooted firmware, can you back off and reinstall previous firmware versions again or does it do something such that you cannot back it off to previous versions if needed?

  17. Bill says:

    After installing the pre-rooted 51.1.1.0_511070220-rooted.zip firmware, my Music selection does not work… it is just sitting there displaying “Loading your library”… anyone have this issue and knows how to fix it?

  18. Bill says:

    Nevermind, I went to amazon.com and authorized a push down of the Amazon music app to my devices. I found the music app under the applications folder on my Fire TV and cleared its cache and data. After that, all my amazon music albums and subscriptions showed up under the Music selection now. BTW, I had also upgraded and installed the latest pre-rooted firmware 51.1.1.3 version. My XBMC app started misbehaving on some music selections now, but other than that, all else seems to be working okay. I will will have to try uninstalling XBMC app and reinstalling it fresh to see if it starts working 100% again.

  19. Jeffrey says:

    After updating to the latest pre rooted version my 5 digit pin to enter the applications area is no longer working. I have tried resetting it on Amazon as well and it doesn’t work. I just get a message saying incorrect pin.

    Anything I should try?

  20. Bill says:

    After I updated my XBMC Gotham V3.2 to the newer Kodi 14.x Helix Alpha nightly builds version xbmc-20140928-501ad2d-master-armeabi-v7a.apk, my XBMC quirks went away! So the new Kodi version works better and fine with the latest pre-rooted FireTV software package. fyi.

  21. Adrian says:

    if i have latest update 51.1.3.0_user_513011820 german version without root any chance to downgrade to latest root version,i try manual downgrade i dont have su[ not found} thank you!

  22. slyice says:

    When I try to run and update rom using clockworkmod I get a
    asset failed: !less_than_int(139798677, getprop(“ro.build.data.??? off screen
    Then its says
    E:error in /data/media/0/rom.zip
    (Status 7)
    Installation aborted.
    I have tried different rom files with no success

  23. Dinh Bui says:

    I mounted my USB drive as “SDA1”, but after I unmounted & unplugged it, the folder named “SDA1” is still there, how can I remove this folder “SDA1” ?

  24. nunigb says:

    i did something stupid. i apply this guide for the first time in my aftv with 51.1.1.0_user_511070220. Now i’m stuck in B/W amazon logo. i tried to do the unbrick process but the colorfull scren never shows up. only one time but it didn’t do the trick.
    Any idea? or this is my new expensive paperweight?

  25. t3ch42 says:

    Just a quick question. Can I factory reset with the pre-rooted fw? I have access to external storage using some basic scripts and stickmount, but I wanted to use the latest method of using USB storage as /data and wanted to start fresh.
    Here is the link I’m talking about http://forum.xda-developers.com/fire-tv/general/mounting-external-usb-to-data-t2889319.

  26. EP says:

    After installed pre-boot ROM do I need to manual disable Amazon update or already has been disabled

  27. Darryl says:

    Finally got my Fire TV in UK. Can you tell the version no. from barcode?

  28. Dan says:

    I see it’s available the Pre-Rooted Stock Software version 51.1.4.0_514006420. I wonder if this is OK for North America having in mind that was released for UK and maybe Germany.

  29. Chris says:

    Hi, can anyone tell me if the latest firmware permits the Netflix app to be used in multiple regions? I have rooted a US Fire TV box and am currently in Ireland, but Netflix will only play in the US region and won’t switch to the UK region, forcing me to install an alternative Netflix app which is not designed for the bluetooth remote. I know the UK Fire TV has a Netflix app that plays in the UK region, so I’m wondering is this new update allows Netflix to play in all the regions the Fire TV is currently sold in? I don’t understand why the Amazon Fire TV Netflix app is the only Netflix app which is region exclusive to the country in which the Fire TV was purchased in. Netflix has always permitted region switching according to your IP address.

  30. M says:

    Does this process still work on 51.1.4.0_user_514006420 (version that added the new Netflix app and Miracast support)? Is there an easy way to update without losing my current settings, XBMC, etc, or would I have to use an Android backup/restore tool to do that? Thanks, and great site – keep it up!

  31. qwertytical says:

    donation sent – great stuff

  32. Steve says:

    Ever heard of an Xbox 360 controller not working? I updated my software to see if that solved the problem but still no go. The usb port works with my flash drive or keyboard but nothing with any of my 4 Xbox 360 official controllers. Any ideas…something with stick mount inhibiting its function??

  33. Blu says:

    As with 100+ others’ complaints above, 6.0.5.1.3 works but the latest 6.0.5.1.4 and 6.0.5.1.4a are both broken – hangs at amazon logo on reboot

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