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

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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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How to install Android TV’s Google Play Music app on the Amazon Fire TV or Fire TV Stick without root

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This guide will show you how to install the Android TV version of the Google Play Music app on an Amazon Fire TV or Fire TV Stick. Your device does not need to be rooted to follow this guide. Having a mouse and keyboard attached to your device, like the Logitech K400 USB keyboard w/touchpad or 1byone Bluetooth keyboard w/touchpad, will make the guide easier to follow, but it can also be done with just the Fire TV remote. Read more ›

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How to determine which Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick models an app or game supports

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With the introduction of the more powerful Fire TV Stick 2, the Fire TV appstore has become more segmented. The new device is capable of playing many of the games once only availabe to the Fire TV 1 and 2 owners, but not quite all of them. Absurdly, app and game product pages on Amazon don’t tell you which Fire TV models the software is compatible with, so here’s the simplest way to tell which devices can run a specific app or game. Read more ›

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How to access the hidden Developer Tools Menu on the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick

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The Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick have a hidden Developer Tools Menu (previously called the System Status Monitor menu) that contains diagnostic options, most notable of which is a System X-Ray bar which displays CPU, memory (RAM), and network usage. Here is how to access the secret menu and an explanation of each option. Read more ›

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How to clear Kodi’s “first run help” screen on the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick

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If you’ve sideloaded the latest version of Kodi on an Amazon Fire TV or Fire TV Stick recently, you may have run into a little quirk that causes the “first run help” dialogue to appear everytime you launch the app, even though it’s not the first time you’ve run it. This is one of those things that I’ve personally experienced, but never got to the bottom of, because it eventually seems to just work itself out. Thanks to reddit user kilnvideo, I now know the cause and the easy fix. If you always leave Kodi by pressing the Home or Back button on your remote, and never properly exit the app, it never gets a chance to record that you’ve launched it at least once. So the way to get the “first run help” message to never appear again is to simply exit Kodi properly, by using the power icon in the lower left of the Kodi home screen, at least once.

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How to disable lock screen ads on Amazon’s subsidized BLU R1 HD & Moto G smartphones

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Last month, Amazon announced that they will start selling Android smartphones with lock screen ads and Amazon apps pre-installed at subsidized prices. The first two phones available are the Moto G for $149.99 and the BLU R1 HD for $49.99. I picked up the BLU R1 HD to see if it was possible to disable the lock screen ads and found it’s quite easy. This guide will show you how to do it on the BLU R1 HD, but it should also work for the Moto G. Following this guide will disable both the full screen ads and the smaller notification-style ads. Read more ›

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