How to set custom Sleep or Screensaver times on the Amazon Fire TV or Stick without root

While the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick allow you to select from never, 5, 10, or 15 minutes for the screensaver timer, there is nowhere in the device’s settings to change the sleep timer. That’s set to 20 minutes regardless of how the screensaver is configured. Even though it’s not in the interface, it’s actually possible to set a custom sleep timer, a custom screensaver timer, or disable them altogether. This guide will show you how. Read more ›

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How to install and use Amazon’s Silk Web Browser on the Fire TV and Fire TV Stick

Amazon is working on bringing their Silk web browser to the Fire TV and Fire TV Stick. If you simply sideload the Silk browser, it’s not useable due to missing components that will likely arrive in a future Fire TV software update. I’ve created a simple Opener app for the Fire TV that takes a URL you enter and opens it in the Silk browser. While this solution is not as good as the fully functional Silk browser, which is expected to support voice input, it does allow you to use the Silk browser today on the Fire TV, before it’s officially released. Read more ›

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How to play videos from external microSD or USB drives on the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick

The Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick were primarily designed to stream media over the internet, but they can also be used to play local video files. Many users access their local video files over their home network, but if setting up a shared network folder seems too daunting of a task, it’s probably easier to just play video files off of a microSD or USB drive connected directly to your Fire TV or Fire TV Stick. Here is a breakdown of everything you need to know to play video files from an attached external microSD card or USB drive. Read more ›

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How to remove the blue circle icon overlay floating on the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick

Some people are finding an odd blue circular icon appear on top of their Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick interface. The questions of what it is and how to remove it keep popping up time and time again, so hopefully puzzled Fire TV owners in the future will find their way to this post for the solution. The icon is ES File Explorer’s way of notifying you of something. To turn it off, open ES File Explorer, go to “Settings,” select the “Logger floating widget settings” option, and then uncheck the first option that’s labeled “Enable logger floating widget.” If you’re just using ES File Explorer to sideload, you could also just uninstall it and use my Downloader app instead.

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How to add Google’s Voice Assistant to Alexa on the Amazon Echo and Fire TV

The two leading voice assistants are Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s unnamed voice assistant. While Alexa is capable of doing more, Google’s voice assistant tends to respond to knowledge questions more accurately with the help of Google’s search engine. Thanks to an open source project, it’s now possible to unofficially add Google’s voice assistant to Amazon Echo and Fire TV devices as an Alexa Skill. This allows you to simply say “Alexa, ask Google …” followed by any question to hear Google’s answer. Here’s how to set it up on your Amazon account. Read more ›

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How to install TWRP custom recovery and an initial ROM on a rooted Fire TV Stick 1

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This guide will walk you through the steps of installing TWRP custom recovery and a pre-rooted ROM on the 1st generation Amazon Fire TV Stick. Read more ›

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How to disable auto-playing video and audio on the new Fire TV home screen interface

At the top of the new Fire TV interface, added with the 5.2.4.0 software update, is a “featured content” area that is essentially a big banner ad. While scrolling down from the the main menu, if you pause long enough on the ad, the static image will turn into a video that automatically starts playing. While you can’t remove the ad entirely, it’s thankfully easy to disable it from auto-playing. Here’s how to limit the “featured content” banner ads to remain images. Read more ›

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How to use DirecTV Now on a rooted Amazon Fire TV or Fire TV Stick

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If you are seeing an “Error 40” or “QP1005” error message when you launch DirecTV Now, it’s probably because your device is rooted. Here is how to get around the message and use DirecTV Now on a rooted Amazon Fire TV or Fire TV Stick. Read more ›

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How to root the Amazon Fire TV using the Dirty COW vulnerability

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This guide will show you how to root the Amazon Fire TV using the DirtyCOW exploit. This is primarily for the 1st-gen Fire TV running older Fire OS 3 versions that were previously unrootable, but it may work for other devices and software versions. Read more ›

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How to sideload apps like Kodi or SPMC on the Amazon Fire TV & Stick using Downloader

This guide will walk you through the steps of installing (a.k.a. sideloading) a 3rd-party app, like Kodi or SPMC, onto an Amazon Fire TV or Fire TV Stick. This guide uses my own app, called Downloader, which is available for free from the Amazon Appstore. You do not need a computer, an external drive, a keyboard, ADB, or anything else to follow this guide. All you need is your Fire TV remote and about a minute of your time. This is currently the quickest way to sideload apps on the Fire TV or Fire TV Stick, and is easier than using ES File Explorer. Read more ›

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