Amazon Fire Tablets mistakenly block sideloading apps

Some Amazon Fire tablets are blocking the installation of sideloaded apps, as reported in Amazon’s device forum and other places. When users try to install apps that aren’t from the official Amazon appstore, a message stating “Unauthorized apk installation detected” is shown and the installation is blocked. This issue has occurred in the past and is very likely a mistake that will be corrected soon.

This issue occurred on Fire TV devices several years ago. When an app is being sideloaded, the installation fails and the following message appears:

Unauthorized apk installation detected. Please do not install performance benchmark apk without permission from

This message is caused by an internal tool used by Amazon to prevent beta testers of unreleased devices from sideloading apps that may leak information about the device. Benchmarking apps, specifically, will often upload hardware information about the device being tested to public databases. The existence of unreleased Amazon devices in the past has been leaked through these benchmarking utilities. As a result, Amazon blocks sideloading of all but select apps on unreleased devices that are being tested internally.

It appears as though the sideloading block to prevent device leaks has once again unintentionally made its way into a software update sent to customer devices. I’m sure Amazon will correct the issue soon through a new software update. If you have a Fire tablet that is displaying this message, you should check for updates regularly until the message no longer appears when sideloading.

  1. Michajin says:

    vNext update? I have only seen this version on prototype updates.

  2. Roberta says:

    Is this what was causing Downloader to not work all day yesterday? It’s back up today, but I spent a good part of yesterday trying to figure it out.

    • No. A server issue caused short codes to not work for most of the day yesterday. I was away all day and couldn’t get to a computer to fix it until late last night. Sorry if it caused you any inconvenience but short codes should be working again.

      • Elizabeth says:

        I’ve not been able as stated in my other comment, in to use downloader in months I’ve uninstalled and reinstalled, many times. It converts the code to the URL but never goes anywhere. I have to take the converted URL and you took browser to install the APK I’m trying to install. This is happening on four different tablets 2 from 2019 8 and 10″ 2 newest HD 10+

    • Elizabeth says:

      I haven’t been able to use downloader in months and months on any of my fire HD 10 or 8 regardless if it’s the latest HD10+ or my 2019. What version downloader do you have and where did you install it from?

  3. Lawrence says:

    I know you doing this

  4. kwest12 says:

    Lol this isn’t a mistake, it’s a trial run. Google and other companies have used this tactic before to test the waters on anti-consumer policies they wanted to rollout just to see what the reaction might be, and see if they can get away with it without people making too much of a commotion. You guys reporting on it will help stave it off for a little while, but mark my words, these “mistakes” will keep happening until they’ve either tired people out, or chased enough vocal ones away that they just finally don’t “fix” it and the “mistake” becomes permanent.

    Honestly it makes me glad I didn’t jump on the recent fire cube 2 deal. I’ll wait to see what the new Onn box looks like.

    • kwest12 says:

      To be clear, I’m all but certain that they’re going to lock down sideloading on all their ‘fire’ devices in the future. This type of thing is likely how it starts.

  5. Karen says:

    Thank you for the post! My child’s fire tablet has been getting this error since yesterday after a software update was applied. I can assure you my 5 year old is not sideloading any apps, but she is upset about the constant pop up message! I contacted Amazon support today and they want me to send it in for repair, which seems ridiculous.

    • Deidre says:

      Seriously??? I have been having the same issue. They better be shelling out some money here soon if they aren’t planning on fixing it

  6. Andrew says:


  7. charles ngyou says:

    i have a 10 ins fire tablet and i cant down load play store

  8. Sneeze says:

    it’s also blocking some APKs from the Amazon App Store installing.

    • Sarah says:

      Same for me – I’ve been trying to download an app from the Amazon app store but get the same message. I have reported it.

  9. Wilde says:

    That’s okay, they can prevent sideloading apps and I will just never buy their tablets again. Totally up to them.

  10. UVIZIO says:

    I can’t download downloader on my fire tv tablet

  11. Sarah says:

    I’m getting this message when I try to install an app from the Amazon app store!! This has only happened since my Kindle Fire was updated to xNote this week

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