FireStarter is a non-root Launcher Replacement with fantastic Home Button detection

The Fire TV Home screen is a fantastic interface if you’re happy living within Amazon’s approved app ecosystem. But if you use many sideloaded apps, or even if you just use Kodi a lot, having quick access to unapproved apps through a replacement launcher is extremely handy. FiredTV was the first homescreen replacement app for the Fire TV, but unless your Fire TV is rooted, using FiredTV is a frustrating experience because it can’t accuratly detect Home button presses and be reliably launched. A new Fire TV and Fire TV Stick launcher replacement has emerged, called FireStarter, which does very acurate detection of the Home button without the need for your device to be rooted. Read on for a full overview of this great new alternative to the Fire TV and Fire TV Stick homescreen.

There is no way, without rooting the device, to change what happens when you press the Home button on a Fire TV or Fire TV Stick remote. It will always launch the default homescreen. FireStarter cleverly monitors the Fire TV’s log output to know when the Home button has been pressed, and then launches itself, or any application you configure it to launch. Using this log monitoring method, FireStarter can even detect if you double-click the Home button. It can’t actually stop the default homescreen from launching, which is why you will see it very briefly flash on the screen when you press the home button, but your configured application/launcher will launch a split second later. It’s not perfect, but it works extremely well and reliably.


To install FireStarter, simply download the latest APK and sideload it as you would any other app. One caveat is that you must keep ADB-Debugging enabled within the Fire TV’s settings in order for FireStarter to work correctly. As long as your Fire TV is on a secure network, there’s no harm in keeping ADB-Debugging on all the time. Once sideloaded, launch FireStarter from the Settings > Applications area and configure its settings.


The first thing you’ll want to do is configure FireStarter’s single and double home button press behavior. By default, FireStarter is set to launch itself whenever you press the home button on your remote.


For either a single press or double press of the home button, you can have FireStarter launch: the default Fire TV homescreen, the Fire TV settings panel, FireStarter, or any installed app. If you’re a heavy user of sideloaded apps and occasionally view Amazon content, you may, for example, want to set a single home button press to launch FireStarter and a double press to launch the default home screen. On the other hand, if you just want quick access to one app, like Kodi, you could set a single home button press to launch the default homescreen, and set a double press to launch Kodi. You would essentially never see the FireStarter interface, which is a perfectly reasonable way of using this app.

The developer of FireStarter, sphinx02, has done a fantastic job with the application and is continuing to improve it. He has made the app open source, which is a great way to give back to the community. Give FireStarter a try, and if you find yourself liking it and using it, do please throw a few bucks into the developer’s donation jar. He really does deserve your support.

  1. santi says:


  2. Josh Broome says:

    It is about time- sounds marvelous!

  3. Dusten says:

    You are the man! Perfect solution to not being able to get kodi in the recent apps drawer on home screen anymore.

  4. Bogi says:

    Perfekt thanks !!

  5. Dave Tunny says:

    Looks like Amazon has pulled Kodi from its app store.

  6. Rik smith says:

    Kodi works fine on recent apps .. Go to amazon web page get the app .. Sinc fire stick .. Then deregister then re register

  7. IrishBiker says:

    Yup – it looks like Kodi has been pulled from amazon store

  8. FireTVuser says:

    There’s a much better launcher available called “Shafa launcher”

  9. Justin says:

    Looks good. Will have to give it a try. Good to have options like this that don’t require root.

  10. aleaddict says:

    This is way too cool, works great!

  11. freaksloan says:

    The TWC TV app will not work if ADB-Debugging is enabled :(

  12. Joey says:

    Found this ( Even though it’s not entirely in english, I have to say using its IOS8 theme, its the best launcher I’ve tried so far.

  13. John Powell says:

    I set the home button to launch Plex. And for it to launch Plex upon boot. Now I can’t get out of Plex and my husband wants to listen to Pandora.

    Any tips to get to the launcher screen again?

    • AFTVuser says:

      Hold down the Home button. This will take you to the AFTV home page. Use the app to remove Plex from Single click Home button

  14. Joey says:

    You can install the WuKong remote on your mobile phone or tablet and then use the home button on there, or launch Pandora from the quick launch feature of the WuKong remote which is actually a great alternative to installing a launcher in the first place.

  15. dave says:

    Still cant embrace any of these launchers. I like changing things up but go right back to stock. Right now i use kodi ftv skin as my main launcher because amazon actually has a nice UI if you can use all of the media (not a prime subscriber)
    What wouldve been cool is android tv leanback launcher–free in playstore but needs lollipop. That might be the closest we get to having a custom rom. Then again…we probably have a better chance of cm12 than amazon updating the OS to the newest.

  16. Ujn Hunter says:

    LTTP: FireStarter is a MUST have! Love being able to click the Home button for Amazon Fire TV menu and double click for FireStarter menu. So great.

  17. gorzo says:

    The installation instructions include the following. Can someone explain what this is doing? Would like to use this but am reluctant to load anything that isn’t fully explained.

    Start FireStarter once with adb (or manual from settings menu):
    adb shell am start -n “de.belu.firestarter/de.belu.firestarter.gui.MainActivity”

  18. jason says:

    I love this launcher but does anyone know how to change the background picture? I see where to change it in the settings but i don’t know how to get another pic onto the fire stick.

  19. Chris Lira says:

    Needs an update to work with the 10/5/15 version of Fire Tv.

  20. Stephen says:

    Does not work with new 4k fire TV, any fix?

    • Davcorp10 says:

      I am unable to find any fixes as of yet so we’ll just have to wait for an update,i found this post on another site which may help for now until an update appears.

      This is a known problem. Turn adb debugging off then back on. Repeat this if you reboot the AFTV.

  21. gail stansfield says:

    tried to download firstarter and got this msg any ideas please

    this file does not have any program associated with it to perform this acion. Please install this program or if already installed create an association in the Default Programs Control Panel

  22. Matt Gossett says:

    I get the following error:


    Any ideas? Thanks in advance!

  23. jimbo says:

    installed fire starter now locked on home screen of fire starter how do i get out of it or uninstall fire starter the remote is unresponsive can i reset the amazon tv box back to original setting ie hard resett without the remote

  24. Lori says:

    Soooo easy!!!!! Thank you so much!! LOVE!!!!

  25. Steve says:

    Not very tech savvy so could you put a link on how to sideboard fire starter without a pc thanks in advance

  26. Larry says:

    All seem like great Fixes. After playing around with going through the ES File Manager either through recent or search, I find it quite easy
    to just got to Setting then Applications then Manage Applications to
    launch Kodi. It may takes a few seconds, but if you managed to install
    Kodi yourself this is quite easy and fast.

  27. james says:


    Download agk fire from Google play store on your android mobile. Download firestarter apk to your phone and push to the fire stick using your phone. I sideload all my apps this way and works fine.

  28. Susan says:

    Loved firestarter for Kodi, and installing it through i explorer was so easy. However on trying to install for my daughter it seems that Amazon have stopped this easy access.
    So whats the next best way to install being an interested tech novice ???

  29. Hubert says:

    I installed firestarter 3.2.2. All went fine except now adbfire says firetv is offline so I can’t backup or restore the firetv. My IP address shows up on the adbfire.

  30. GeorgeC says:

    Great app on FireTV

  31. Bryan says:

    It’s dead as of new amazon update

  32. Chris says:

    Yep. Confirmed dead on my FireTV too. Furthermore, it doesn’t even show up as an installed app anymore. And I cannot use adb to sideload it or uninstall it anymore either.

    $ adb install FireStarter-v3.2.3.apk
    1220 KB/s (1373792 bytes in 1.098s)
    pkg: /data/local/tmp/FireStarter-v3.2.3.apk

    $ adb uninstall FireStarter-v3.2.3.apk

    If I use ES File Explorer or adb shell to try and go into the /data directory to look around, I get permission denied or just a blank directory. I’m thinking Amazon decided to lock things down. Bummer too, because I was able to use FireStarter to update kodi from Isengard to Jarvis. I don’t really care that I can launch kodi from the Amazon apps screen. Firestarter was really useful with that ability to apply updates. I’m going to miss that.

    • Chris says:

      Update: I “kind of” got it working again by uninstalling the firestarter package from the command line with adb and then re-installing it.

      However, the option to bring up firestarter as the default home menu when FireTV is powered on is no longer working. And any actions with the home button that rely on adb monitoring are kaput. Firestarter complains about not being able to connect to adb and then falls back to non-adb observation mode.

      In case anyone else uses adb and wants to give it a shot, here is a c/p of the CLI session I used to uninstall the package and re-install firestarter with adb.

      1. Get the name of the firestarter package:

      $ adb shell pm list packages -f | grep -i firestarter

      2. Use adb to uninstall the package:
      $ adb uninstall de.belu.firestarter

      3. Use adb to reinstall:

      $ adb install FireStarter-v3.2.3.apk
      1162 KB/s (1373792 bytes in 1.153s)
      pkg: /data/local/tmp/FireStarter-v3.2.3.apk

      After I did all this, Firestarter appeared in the apps shortcut menu again and I could launch and use it.

      But it can no longer be configured to be the default home screen on start up. And the home button on the remote no longer works to launch it.

      I’m willing to open a bug on this and provide logs if there is a place to do so.

      Note: I have not restarted my FireTV so I am not sure if this will survive across a reboot.

      OS version on my FireTV is: (537175520)


  33. Abe says:

    Hello Everyone
    Does anyone have an update? I am still without firestarter, and would appreciate different launcher suggestions in the event it doesn’t come back…

    Thanks in advance


  34. Jamie says:

    So is mine, any help?

  35. Jacob says:

    Best video I could find to help guide you

    1. On the amazon firestick thru the TV go to settings
    2. Then go to system
    3. Developer options
    4. Turn on ADB debugging and apps from unknown
    5. click back arrow on remote,go to ABOUT
    6. Then to NETWORK
    7. Write down IP ADRESS
    Should be 192.168.?.???

    Site to download adbfire

    1. Download adbfire zip
    2. Unzip it
    3. Run
    4. Click NEW DEVICE
    6. Save and connect.
    Right click adbfire icon and go to properties you need to know the location of the adbfire program EXAMPLE mine is c:\ adbfire
    Click the windows button on your computer search CMD and open the command prompt
    my prompt opens C:\users\jacob>
    SO I have to type cd.. that takes me to cd:\users
    Do it again and it goes to C:\
    Then I type cd adbfire and it goes to C:\adbfire>
    Once you are in adbfire thru the command prompt enter these commands watch the video and you should have no problem
    1. Adb kill-server
    2. Adb start-server
    3. Adb connect 192.168.?.???
    4. Adb shell pm hide
    5. Adb kill-server
    Check your amazon firestick like he does in the video and it should say the same thing, That’s all you need. Disconncet the firestick from the adbfire program you should still have it open and youre ready. No more updates from amazon

  36. Santosh King says:

    If in case you want to know in depth about installing & using irestarter APK on PC & Laptop, then you can refer to this guide any help needed further??? pls. followup in the comments.

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