This guide will show you how to complete the Fire TV and Fire TV Stick initial setup and get you to the home screen without updating the device’s software. This is important for rooting because the Fire TV and Fire TV Stick will try to update their software to an unrootable version during the initial setup process.
Recommended but not required
It is highly recommended that you block Amazon’s update domains via your router or via a service like OpenDNS. You can find instructions on how to do that here.
It is possible to complete the initial setup without blocking the update domains, but be aware that the Fire TV continuously tries to download updates, even when it does not indicate so on the screen. If you proceed without blocking updates externally, you should get to the home screen as fast as possible and immediately block updates internally.
This guide was last updated April 6th, 2016. Note that as Amazon releases new software versions, this guide may no longer work. It is impossible to continuously test if this guide still works because I can’t possibly afford to buy a new Fire TV or Fire TV Stick every time Amazon updates the software version that their devices leave the factor with.
Video Demonstration on a Fire TV Stick
- [OPTIONAL, BUT HIGHLY RECOMMENDED] Follow this guide to block software updates externally. If you’re having trouble getting through initial setup, try unblocking the domains
softwareupdates.amazon.comand updates.amazon.com, but leaving the other domains blocked.
- Power on your Fire TV or Fire TV Stick. Fire TV owners should not have an ethernet cable connected.
- Press “Play” when prompted.
- After the device scans for networks, you should now be on the wifi selection screen.
- If your device skips the wifi selection screen because you already configured your network from a previous boot up, just let it reach the update error screen and then press the back button. You should then be on the wifi selection screen.
- If you have a Fire TV, it is best to use a wired connection, but WiFi will also work. If you’re forced to use WiFi, like with a Fire TV Sticks, select and configure your network, but do not press the “Connect” button yet.
- For Wifi users, prepare yourself to kill the device’s internet connection. You can do this in several ways, like using your router’s configuration, or even physically cutting power to your router or modem. For wired ethernet users, you just need to be ready to pull the ethernet cable at a specific point. The next few steps will happen quickly, so you should read ahead to know what to expect.
- Connect to your network by either plugging in an ethernet cable or by pressing the “Connect” button for WiFi connections. The device will display a “Connecting to…” message.
- The instant you see “Connection Successful”, cut off the device’s internet connection. It’s better to cut it off too soon than too late because you can always try again if it’s too soon, but it may start downloading an update if it’s too late.
- You’ll next see a “Checking for updates” screen. There is a brief moment when this screen first appears that you still have time to kill the device’s internet connection if you didn’t do it fast enough on the previous “Connection Successful” screen.
- If you see a “Downloading…” screen, then you didn’t cut the device’s internet connection soon enough and need to start over. It’s safe to just unplug the device’s power here if it starts trying to download an update.
- After the “Checking for updates” screen you should be taken to the registration screen. If you haven’t blocked updates externally, the device may still be checking and trying to download updates. Otherwise, once here you’re in the clear. You can now reconnect your ethernet cable or turn your Wifi back on. Once the internet connection is back on, it’s best to let the device sit on the registration screen for a few seconds to ensure it has reconnected to the internet. If you go past this screen without an internet connection, you will be taken back to the network configuration screen and will have to start the process over.
- Complete the rest of the setup process. You can check your software version under Settings > System > About.
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