Amazon removes Developer Options from Fire TVs with latest software update

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.

22 comments
  1. Thanks Elias. I made a video on this a few hours ago. Do you think this was a bug as only my Firestick lite had the issue?

    • I don’t see this as a bug or an issue. I’m sure it was intentional. For me, it appears on a Fire TV Stick 3rd-gen and a Fire TV Stick Lite so far. I just think those were the first models to get the 7.2.8.X and that it will eventually come to all Fire OS 7 devices. Maybe even Fire OS 6, since the Fire TV Stick 4K will still be sold for a while.

  2. clocks says:

    It seems I still have the developer options in the menu for now. I hope it stays.

    • I noticed that even after receiving this update which hides the menu, the Developer Options menu was still visible on my device. I had to factory reset the device to see the new behavior where it was hidden by default. My guess is that if you have ADB debugging or Apps from unknown sources enabled, then it keeps developer mode enabled after the update, but I can’t be certain.

      • clocks says:

        Yes, I do have one or both enabled. Half the reason I use FTV over other devices, is I use an alternative program to watch YT videos.

        • Charlie says:

          Yes, Smart Tube is the reason I never fire up my Roku’s any more. It’s just not worth the trouble to restart a video over and over hoping to trick the ads away. They almost ruined Wolf launcher. I saw a car ad on the standard home screen the other day and I think in the screen saver. I’m seeing ads right now in screen saver, most are for freevee, but still ads and not pretty pictures.

        • Pat Ryan says:

          It didn’t take a genius to see this one coming.

          Amazons T&C make it quite clear that their System Software is not to be modified by any user.

          Newbies or inexperienced user’s trusted you to keep them on the right path.

          Followed your video’s to bypass the stock launcher, attempt to block software updates & ‘Freeze amazon system Apps.

          You posted your videos publicly on every social network with the most obnoxious clickbait headlines.

          Amazon are only doing what Android Mobile does, to make newbies think before blindly following someone who puts Ad revenue before his trusting newbie user’s best interests.

          Amazon tried playing nice by just using software updates to bypass your attempts at software update Blocking & blocking your pointless apps.

          You just weren’t smart enough to take the hint.

          • Kir says:

            then INTO THE FURNACE ALL Fire TV devices !!!!

            you give Khadas 4 with completely open system !

            .

      • WOT Box TV says:

        Same here, updated to 7.2.8.5 and Dev options are still showing. I concur this must be because they were already enabled prior to the update.

  3. EmoBrianEno says:

    Good news is to “jailbreak” your device and become a developer all you need to do is tap an option in the menu a few times.

  4. Kerry says:

    My fire stick has completely stopped working the home page won’t even come on.

  5. D3vicx says:

    I’ll picking up one this morning to test this out. Look forward to what is new and how to work with it when sideloading.

  6. Jc says:

    The option is suppose to be like any other Android device, by doing pressing select 7 times.

  7. Mike says:

    No big deal if they hide it. As long as they don’t remove it completely, (which I doubt they’d do). Thanks Elias

  8. Mr. Marcus says:

    Maybe it is because I have one of the original fire TV boxes (2nd gen), that I actually had to hit the “Fire TV” heading several times, each time it would say you have “x” amount before becoming a developer, very similar to the Android phones. It showed after maybe 7 taps.

  9. Greg Linden says:

    Before you start pushing the Panic button have you gir the got this update and secondly if you have. Have you don a Factory Reset. And After the factory reset have you tried to Get Downloader and tried to get a Third Party App. And Did it install and you are using it.
    Remember about a year ago Downloader disappeared for from the AppStore for a while But with in a few weeks it was back. This could be just the same thing just a cliche . Plus Amazon rely on Developers and developers options for new and improving the apps they have now.
    It will be interesting to see what happens ir happened when you did a factory reset after the this update and see what happened.
    It could be it is just developers options and debugging is on by default that’s why it is not showing no more.

  10. Greg Linden says:

    This Only Affects the Firestick lite at this time. And the way to fixed it is to Go to Firestick Settings on your Firestick lite and Press on My Fire TV and About/Firestick lite. And Press it 7 Times. And will come up with something like You Are A Developer. Then Back Out and you will see Developer options Press on it and and just check if ADB Debugging is on And Apps from unknown sources is on and Or check that your list ilof unknown sources are on witch you have to do on some Firestick Devices.

  11. Joe Biden says:

    Clickbait title.

    While technically not false, it should say “hides” not “removes”.

  12. Stitch626 says:

    Thank you for this advice. Worked perfect.

  13. John Smith says:

    And it’s still easier to enable ADB on the fire stick than it is on CC with Google TV
    took me forever to find it on the new CC even after unlocking developer options

  14. Luke says:

    I get must already be a developer when i follow steps given here, any ideas?

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