10 Ways to Avoid Autoplaying Ads on Fire TVs, Firesticks, Fire TV Cubes, and Fire TV Smart TVs

Amazon recently made what is quite possibly the worst change it has ever made to Fire TV devices by enabling fullscreen autoplaying ads to appear when the device wakes up or powers on. While there is no simple option to switch these ads off entirely, here are ten things you can consider doing to avoid the ads or make them less annoying.

1. Disable Video and Audio Ads

While there is no option to turn the ads off entirely, there is an option to disable the video and audio, which turns the ads into silent images. In your Fire TV Settings, go to Preferences > Featured Content and set both “Allow Video Autoplay” and “Allow Audio Autoplay” to “OFF.”

2. Double Tap “Home”

One of the easiest ways to never see the autoplaying ads is to simply get in the habit of double tapping the Home button on your remote when you want to wake up or power on your TV, instead of pressing the power button. The first press will wake/power on the TV and the second press moves away from the ad so the regular home screen loads. You need to space out the two presses by about a second, but, when you get the timing right, you should be able to press twice before the TV finishes turning on. Your TV needs to support HDMI-CEC, which allows the TV to power on when it detects an HDMI device wake up, and you need to be sure the option is enabled on your TV. There is also an “HDMI CEC Device Control” option you need to have enabled on your Fire TV under Settings > Display & Sounds.

3. Say “Alexa, go Home”

If you use voice commands to wake up or turn on your Fire TV, consider saying “Go Home” instead of “Turn On.” I’ve found that, especially with a Fire TV Cube, this command tends to bring up the home screen without a full screen ad playing most of the time. Whereas saying “Turn on the TV” pretty much always displays the ad.

4. Use a Custom Launcher/Home Screen

A custom launcher allows you to replace the entire home screen of your Fire TV device. Unfortunately, the process of installing and using one isn’t easy because Amazon constantly tries to block the use of custom launchers on Fire TV devices. If you’re tech savvy enough, there are several working methods for bypassing Amazon’s home screen. For the sake of the Fire TV community, I’ve decided to stop covering specifics about how to use a custom launcher because doing so almost always guarantees the method gets blocked quickly, as many Amazon employees frequent this site. Searching XDA Forums and Reddit would be a good start if you’re willing to take on the endeavor, but be aware that it often leads to a cat-and-mouse game with Amazon.

5. Use App Shortcut Buttons

If your remote has an app shortcut button along the bottom for the service you plan to use, try getting in the habit of using those buttons instead of the power button. Doing so will bypass the autoplaying ads and the entire home screen. It may seem like a silly suggestion, but I often forget to use those buttons because I’m so used to navigating through the home screen instead, even when the app I plan to use has a dedicated button on the remote.

6.Use a Pro Remote

If you have an Alexa Voice Remote Pro for your Fire TV, you can use one of the two customizable buttons as an “Ad-Free Power Button” of sorts. You can assign the button to launch my Apps Shortcut, which will load the Fire TV’s built-in app grid which works well to get you to your apps without seeing ads. You can also consider assigning the button to the voice command “Go Home” to skip the full screen ads most of the time. Either way, if you assign the button to a handy app/command and get in the habit of using the custom button instead of the home or power button, you won’t be seeing the usual ads.

7. Disable Sleep

Fire TVs tend to show full screen autoplaying ads most when the device wakes up, so one option to see far fewer ads is to prevent it from going to sleep. There is no option in the Fire TV settings to disable sleep, but you can do it by running the shell command settings put secure sleep_timeout 0 through ADB. A full guide for this can be found here.

8. Default to Last Input (Fire TV Smart TV Only)

If you use a Fire TV Smart TV and are seeing ads because you always use the home screen to get to your HDMI inputs, consider changing your TV’s setting so that powering on the TV defaults to the last used input instead of the home screen. This setting can be found under Settings > Display & Sounds > Power Controls > Power On.

9. Disable Wifi (Fire TV Smart TV Only)

If you are using a Fire TV Smart TV for its inputs and aren’t using the Fire TV interface at all, you can avoid ads by turning the TV into a “dumb” TV. This can be done by disabling its WiFi connection and/or logging it out of your Amazon account entirely. Of course, you can’t use any streaming apps built into the TV this way so this only applies to people using external input devices, like cable/satellite boxes or other streaming devices.

10. Ditch Fire TVs Entirely

While most Fire TV owners knew going in that ads would be part of the experience of the device, the addition of full screen autoplaying ads has crossed the line for many people. If you’re one of them, your best option might simply be to ditch Fire TVs and use a competing device instead. A good alternative to a 1080p Fire TV Stick is the Chromecast HD or the Onn Streaming Stick. An Alternative to the Fire TV Stick 4K or 4K Max would be the Chromecast 4K or the Onn 4K Streaming Box. If you want the best of the best and an alternative to the Fire TV Cube, your best option is a Shield TV or Shield TV Pro. There’s also the Apple TV and numerous Roku models.

30 comments
  1. tech3475 says:

    Other potential alternatives may be games consoles like the Xbox One/Series and PS4/5.

    Whilst long term they may not be advisable, they may be useful for now until a sale is on for e.g. CC 4K or those hoping that Amazon reverse the change.

    Personally, I might replace my Fire Stick Max with a C.C. 4K when that goes on sale, fortunately I won’t need it till next spring.

  2. David Brown says:

    Another great post Elias. Thanks so much for the help, I’m going to try some of these tips right now.

  3. Scalinger says:

    I bought a “Strong Leap S3” due to Amazon’s constant harassment regarding advertising. There is nothing better, I have no regrets, on the contrary it was the best decision. 3s runs so much better and faster. I can customize so much. all without advertising. Replacing the Amazon fire TV Stick was so right.

  4. Dominick says:

    I’m just not buying fire tv’s anymore. Just gotta nice new samsung for my living room & when I replace my family room tv it will probably be a saumsung or roku. My kids have roku tv’s.

    • Gary says:

      Roku goes against everything in this forum. Non-Android. They are fine for the vast majority that are not tech savy or those who like to pay full price for their content.

  5. newwavehalifax says:

    Autoplay ads from my Firestick are heard at night on my Echo 4th gen speakers and subwoofer (hometheatre setup) — spooky and annoying. I can’t get rid of the Firestick as I’m invested in the full Amazon home theatre setup, which is fantastic for listening to Twitch djs. I’ve tken to unplugging the Firestick power at night.

    • Just a heads up that Fire TVs tend to perform a little more poorly if unplugged when not being used. This is because being unplugged forces all tasks that would have occurred while the device was not being used to happen right when it is powered on and probably being used. Things like update checks/downloads, thumbnail downloads, etc.. One option is to put the Fire TV on a smart plug that powers up on its own every morning so that the Fire TV has some idle time to do its background tasks before you start using it.

  6. Mike Birk says:

    Maybe I am just weird, but I don’t mind the ads at all. Easy way to find out about new promoted products. Although I do like your idea about your shortcut to Apps that can be used on the Remote Pro custom buttons. Works great, one button access to all my apps, fantastic. The other button I use your Settings shortcut. I really like all your FireTV stuff. I just may need to send you a Christmas gift.

    • John Smith says:

      You’re like that jeffrey Dahmer kind of weird

      • Mike Birk says:

        Yes, I do like most people. How about some lunch. I could use a bite.

        Anyway, now thanks to Elias I have one button access anytime I want to a list of all my apps with no ads showing at all. I also have one button access to all my Settings with no ads showing. No complaints from me. The new Firestick Max is the best streaming device I have ever used. I like it better than Roku, Google, or Apple. Maybe I will just complain about the weather and let all of you complain about things that don’t matter to me.

  7. JEFFERY says:

    Turn on your TV using alexa voice via an echo or firetv cube. Then make a routine that turns on the TV and then navigates the firetv to home

  8. Kary says:

    This was a great article. If you do the first one you’ll only see a static image, no video or audio, and you’ll only see it the first time you hit home. I’ll have to try the double tap thing.

    And BTW, you may need to disable audio/video previews in other apps too, like Netflix, Hulu, etc., but I don’t remember which ones are necessary. But it’s very annoying to have video/audio when you haven’t yet selected a video to actually play!

    Also a tip I give over and over, if you have Paramount+ without commercials, and you get a commercial for one of their shows, just hit back and then play the content you want again. It won’t show the commercial. Annoying as hell to get commercials when you pay to avoid them. This shouldn’t be necessary, but it is.

  9. Joey says:

    The problem with turning off the video autoplay is that you have also disabled the preview autoplay for every title in the entire ecosystem. So if you want to see a preview, you have go select the title then find the “play trailer” button and press that. It’s 3 or 4 clicks. Every time.

    It’s unacceptable, but I had to do it because the stupid ads kept waking up my receiver and blasting sound in the middle of the night.

    It’s such a disappointing miss from Amazon. And I just just bought a bunch of 4k maxed, too. Thinking hard about converting to Google TV, at I already have a couple of Sony TV’s, and I had to buy a chromecast 4k because I bought an LG which doesn’t support Chromecast, so it wouldn’t take much to switch. Hopefully Amazon is listening.

    • Kary says:

      LOL, I consider that a feature! ;-) But I can see where having more precision over the control would be nice. But for me, unless I’m actually watching a show I don’t want to see or hear anything of the show.

    • Kevin says:

      Hold down your home button down for a couple of seconds and you could pick it to go to sleep. At the end of the night so it will not cause your receiver to come on. Hope that helps.

  10. John Smith says:

    My cameras no longer work now since this update
    and asking my echo to show me the camera brings up the full screen ad
    and even when th ead is done the camera streams will not open
    would using a custom launcher break the fire TV recast functionality?
    how would I navigte recast channels with a custom launcher, is it even possible?
    the best solution is just to not watch TV anymore which I hardly do anyways
    I am always on the PC and all TV content these days is just woke trash.
    they just keep making things worse and worse,the camera viewer was totally brokne since they added the stupid “minimize to PIP” button that is not abke to be hiden and is HUGE and obstructs 1/4 of the screen.
    is there another networked TV tuner that will let me use my echo to tune to
    live OTA channels?
    I live ina multi generatinal household and this feature has become somewhat of a must now.
    I really want to ditch fire TV sticks now

  11. Nate says:

    I know this will unlikely be the case, but I truly do hope that Amazon takes notice that one of, if not THE, most popular Fire TV enthusiast site online is now putting forth the idea of consumers abandoning the brand altogether. When you have made so many fundamentally detrimental changes to your ecosystem that your biggest hype man on the outside is telling potential customers to look elsewhere, you have really messed things up. Elias, I cannot blame you for making the suggestion. I understand the necessity of any business to make money, but when that need has told me as a customer that I am now a distant second or third place behind profit and ad placements, I will begin to look elsewhere. It is a shame, as the hardware is truly a great value for the money, but it cannot bridge the gap for the increasingly downgraded OS experience. As I believe Amazon will continue down this path, I will sit with my fingers crossed that the Shield Pro receives a refresh in the next couple of years so I can move to those devices instead.

  12. John117 says:

    method 10 is increasingly looking the best

  13. Frank says:

    Seriously what is Amazon thinking!! This is so annoying

    • Adam says:

      They’re thinking what all the streamers are thinking: My competitors are doing something customers hate but makes them money. This is a chance to do something ruthless but profitable, and hide in the cloud of ambient customer abuse.

      Put another way, what they’re thinking is that the environment is right to make money doing this, and there will not be any financially significant blow back since customers are already taking it from all ends.

      I’m not sure they’re wrong.

      Go capitalism.

      • Dominick says:

        Definitely not a fan of what Amazon did but as more people move away from their tv’s nayne they will get the hint. I just purchased a samsung & other tv’s are roku’s. Roku’s problem is they make many affordable tv’s but they didn’t make any high end tv’s but that’s changing now. I believe some brand is coming out with a high end spec roku tv. I will say I rather deal with this “capitalism” then communism & have nothing or 1 or 2 affordable tv’s because everything else is made for elites. Don’t knock it.

        • Adam says:

          Yeah, that’s our only choice. This or just straight up communism. Nothing in between.
          Interesting take to express on a worldwide communication network created, regulated and subsidized by the US and other governments.

  14. Russ says:

    I’ve used #2 for years, long before they added the ‘ad’. I didn’t even notice the ad at first because I was clicking right thru it.

  15. frodis says:

    I find Roku to be the simplest and best streamer. I just hit the Netflix button while the Tv is off and it goes straight to Netflix. I have a Firestick in the man cave and used it for the NFL app to watch Redzone and the NFL app would crash every 15 minutes. Works perfect on Roku. Did all the 20th century uninstall, clear cache and data garbage but never helped. Roku may not be the best to everyone else but it’s simple. Amazon should retire their streaming sticks. Worst interface out there.

  16. Dave says:

    Glad I found your site, this is great info. I have been quite annoyed ad the enhancements Amazon is making to push stuff. I have a Fire Recast that has worked great but they no longer make or do much support with them so when it breaks I am sunk. The thing I really use is the DVR feature as I have an antenna hooked up and can record local (get lots of channels here on the hill). Anyone have other options for this? I looked at the shield pro but not seeing this as a capability? Would like to be able to record shows and skip the commercials. Thanks for any reply

  17. Keith says:

    Double tap only works on certain (newer) TVs

  18. VB says:

    I haven’t tried this personally since I haven’t used my fire TV in a while, but I heard setting your profile to a kid’s profile also eliminates add

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