Amazon is rolling out a new software update to Fire TV devices that removes the Developer Options menu from the device’s settings menu. This is the menu that allows users to enable ADB debugging, for connecting to the Fire TV from a computer, and, more importantly, it is the menu that allows customers to enable the installation of apps from unknown sources for APK sideloading. Thankfully, the Developer Options menu has just been hidden and can easily be restored.
Having the developer menu hidden by default is the standard behavior on nearly all Android phones and tablets. It’s also the standard behavior on Android TV and Google TV devices. On most Android devices, revealing the developer menu requires repeatedly tapping on the system build version or software version indicator until a message informs you that developer options have been enabled.
Revealing the Developer Options menu on a Fire TV, including on a Fire TV Stick, Fire TV Stick Lite, Fire TV Stick 4K, Fire TV Stick 4K Max, Fire TV Cube, and Fire TV Smart TV is simple and similar to how it is done on other Android devices. However, instead of repeatedly tapping the build value, you must select the “Fire TV” menu item that is in the Settings > My Fire TV > About menu. You can find detailed instrucitons on how this is done here.
It’s surprising that Amazon took this long to follow the trend of nearly every Android device and hide the developer options menu by default. It’s a menu that the vast majority of Fire TV users will never need, but it’s, thankfully, trivial to reveal it for those that do want to access its advanced options. Right now, this change appears to be rolling out to Fire TV devices running Fire OS 7 with an update carrying version 7.2.8.X.