I’m often asked if it’s safe to perform a factory reset on a rooted Fire TV and, if so, how it should be done. Here is exactly what a factory reset does and doesn’t do to a rooted Fire TV, as well as how to perform one with TWRP custom recovery.
A factory reset will:
- Delete all user installed apps.
- Delete all user data and settings.
- Disable ADB debugging.
- Enable over-the-air updates, if they were blocked on the device.
- Force you to go through the initial setup process, which requires a remote or game controller to complete. Also note that the initial setup will check for and download OTA updates, so you will want to have updates blocked through your router and complete setup without updating.
A factory reset will not:
- Downgrade the operating system.
- Remove pre-rooted ROMs.
- Remove root.
- Remove TWRP.
- Restore/fix the OS.
If your goal is to restore your Fire TV to as clean and stock as possible, but still keep root, you should also install the latest pre-rooted ROM. Installing a ROM, even if it’s the same version as is already on the device, will always completely wipe out and replace the existing OS, which a factory reset does not touch. It doesn’t matter if you install the ROM before or after following the below factory resetting steps.
- Connect a USB keyboard to the Fire TV and power it on.
- When you see the boot menu, press the RIGHT arrow on the USB keyboard to boot into TWRP custom recovery.
- From TWRP’s main menu, select the “Wipe” button in the upper right. (If you don’t have a mouse/touchpad connected to the Fire TV, use the arrow keys on the keyboard to move the cursor and press enter to select buttons under the cursor.)
- Select the “Advanced Wipe” option and check the boxes for “Dalvik / ART Cache”, “Cache”, “Data”, and “Internal Storage.” Then select the button in the lower right with three arrows on it. You don’t actually have to swipe the button. You can just click it.
- When the wipe is done, select the “Reboot System” button and you’re done. It’s normal for the Fire TV to take longer than normal to boot up the first time after performing a factory reset through TWRP.
- The first thing you should do now is block software updates on the device, since factory reseting will restore OTA updates.
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Will you be giving instructions soon on updating a Fire TV 1 that has already been rooted so that we can safely update the OS to 5.05? Thanks for all your work!
I will post a guide for that as soon as the pre-rooted 5.0.5 is released for the 1st-gen Fire TV. I do not know when it will be released.
many people are running into issues because they don’t have a physical ftv remote for some reason following a reset.
can you confirm if there is any way around this issue on ftv and ftv sticks? or is obtaining a physical remote the only way past the initial setup obstacle? [if this wasn’t covered already that is.]
I can confirm that there is currently no known way to complete the initial setup without a physical Amazon remote or game controller. The very first step of the initial setup process is to pair the remote or keyboard and the Fire TV will not proceed if it does not pair with one, even if you have a keyboard connected.
Thank you for reminding me of this. I’ve included it in the post to warn people.
That, was a particular pain in the ass.
Just updating my FTV1.
Already had one depression spiral when I soft bricked my device and realised too late I had left a rom and not my previous backup.
It has been over half the day (especially pushing the files from my laptop) and I am tempted to throw the unit against the wall and buy a cheap gaming PC.
Also are we no further away from just physically disconnecting the device during initial set up? I have the domains blocked on my router but one for some reason doesn’t come up with the RED YOU HAVE BEEN BLOCKED BY NETFLIX PAGE.
I’m tempted to write an essentially an android hotspot or traffic interpreter, with rules like you can only get 30 kb/s and then it declines rapidly.
Would anyone suggest phone hotspot vs yanking the cable out?
I was also wondering, (not that this is a complaint mind), but it can be hard to find the most recent and relevant articles with out trawling the main feed/blog thing. I was hoping you might consider starting and (even if slowly, maintaining) a wiki? Or I’m sure get some enthusiasts to help. I’m definattely not saying you need a bigger work load! It can be pretty confusing for me when I’m reading about a new blocking or routing method and then realise it was written a year ago!
Oh and lastly (sorry I now you get this all the time on reddit, here and other forums but) thank for all the hard work you put in. If it wasn’t for you and rbox I would have bought a HTPC last year!
One thing that i would like to know is how much free space should the firetv have initially (or after a factory reset) ?
My first firetv had about 4.5gb free since i could remember and i did a lot of factory resets. But recently after the 5.05 update and another factory reset it had about 5.3gb.
My new firetv v2 came with 4.4gb of free storage and already registered. I did a factory reset and i still have 4.4gb of free space. Now i rooted it and did some mods and i dont want to do another factory reset. But i havent used the twrp recovery wipe yet. But i miss the 1gb less storage of the firetv v1. I wonder why is there a difference so big.
I’m not sure the exact default free space (I’ll try to look into it), but something to keep in mind is that the Fire TV downloads a bunch of images for the screensaver, movie cover art, actor photos, your own personal photos for the Photo section, and more. These images total multiple 100’s of megabytes. When you boot up a brand new Fire TV, these images usually haven’t downloaded yet. As you navigate around the menus, they begin to be cached in the background to speedup the interface. So this is likely why a brand new Fire TV appears to have more free space than one that has been used for a while, even though you don’t have much installed on the device.
But my older firetv has more free space than my brand new firetv2 out of the box. And the first thing i do is to disable the screensaver and clear the data of all apps. But even after that i get about 4.4gb on my new firetv2 instead of 5.3gb of the firetv1
Once a new firmware version is out, and let’s say the new firmware blocks root, will doing a factory reset potentially initiate an update immediately after it reboots before you have a chance to block updates? I think the router blocking method, as long as it’s based off the device MAC address should be safe, but I want to make sure
Yes, a factory reset will cause the Fire TV to check for and download OTA updates during the initial setup process. This is definitley a concern and I’ll add a note to the article about it, but it’s still possible to complete the initial setup without updating.
I had a rooted firetv 1 but tbh I saw no benefits and now have stocks firmware.
What useful benefits are there because I found it a lot of hard work having to keep sending custom updates through terminal on my mac
anything on how to get the recovery on a fire stick yet
Perhaps I am wrong but I think there should be a safer way to “block software updates” within the intial process.
On the Fire OS 3 I found out that it was still possible to simple rename the /system/app/com.amazon.dcp.apk to com.amazon.dcp.apk.bak to disable the update.
They just jump over the step updating the system. No error no strange behavour.
Perhaps it is still possible in Fire OS 5 to do this and it should be also possible over TWRP, or?
Sorry I can not test it, I am still waiting for PreRooted-Rom for Box Gen1 with unlocked bootloader. :)
Hope this help you to imporve this how-to and following how-to’s.
Because is not really easy to block 100% amazon-servers because of this many many different router-models.
Greetings by Daniel / I_did_it_just_tmrrow
I completed the root on my AFTV 5031 and can confirm updates are blocked by my router by testing with my other AFTV. Everything went smoothly and after root using kingroot 4.1 it rooted my device, i installed pre-rooted sloane-18.104.22.168-rooted_r1.zip via TWRP ver 6 and wiped it in TWRP and rebooted AFTV.
After trying to block updates via ADB i get an error msg :
127|shell@zeroflte:/ $ su
[-] Connection to ui timed out
The guide on here mention to wipe after root and i have but can’t connect back to the AFTV. I have the SU app and TWRP but after typing SU it’s not asking for me to Allow or grant access to permit me to disable updates . I’ve read i need to sideload kingroot again but that would put all the junk back on the AFTV and so the Wipe would have been pointless.
I installed sloane-5.0.5-rooted_r4.zip and now when i connect via adb and
type the su command i get the prompt to grant permission and then i was able to disable the updates. I guess i’ll stay on 5.0.5 for awhile
Did you get an answer for this it seems SU is disabled after factory reset to remove kingroot rubbish.(Pre rooted rom latest version)
Same problem and no real answer but solution is simple. I rebooted once again to recovery, pushed the pre-rooted ROM zip back over, installed it again, rebooted system from TWRP.
Even if I wiped before I would need update on SD or USB or completely rely on pushing through TWRP’s ADB interface once wiped.
Thanks this worked, i wasted a lot of time figuring out but did not succeeded. Anyways just reinstalled in the pre-rooted ROM and su started working.
in newer prerooted builds are the updates blocked by default, should I be able to overcome the searching for update page without changes after a reset like this?
thanks it works great, small note
maybe it is obvious it was not to me and after this procedure. the fire TV could get stuck at the update screen.
reboot -> remote-> language -> network -> update < – register amazon account – home
Since it was previously registered to an amazon account it will not register again and gives out unable to update Fire tv, try again later screen", so I had to go to https://www.amazon.com/mn/dcw/myx.html/ref=nav_youraccount_myk#/home/devices/9 and deregister it, then it let to the next screen(register) on the fire tv and I could register again(this drove me nuts for 2 days)
I screwed up somehow and my rooted FIRE TV updated and I have now lost root access. After flashing 22.214.171.124, I noticed that my Fire TV was no longer registered — and I no longer could access the Fire TV Home Page (Although KODI worked fine).
I registered the device which is what I assume triggered OTA update. Damn.
I would like to FACTORY RESET the device to “off-the-shelf” settings and without the remnants of the rooting and TWRP process.
How exactly do I accomplish this?
Thanks for any help provided.
How long should it take to reboot? I know people said it takes a while, but how long is a while?
I reflashed the custom rom and wiped the cache. Stuck on Amazon Fire TV static screen for 1/2 hour now.
Done everything as in guide, but now stuck in boot loop without “cache” – “Faild to mount `/cache (Invalid argument)”
That wiping ended in errors. What to now?
Already tried to install ROM again, but I am stuck in boot loop without mounted cache!
Finaly did default “factory reset” within twrp (without ticking all 4 boxes in advanced department) and all is ok now.
I reset my aftv to factory default and went straight to my bootloader. Did the typical reset from there as well. When i tried to re-install my apps. I noticed my aftv is not rooted anymore but i have my superuser still installed. I have no clue how i lost my root. When i’ve done this plenty of times. Please help me out
How can i fix restore my fire stick 2 witj adbsell
Someone please help, I accidentally wiped everything within TWRP to try and downgrade a ROM. Now all I get is the white Amazon logo at startup and nothing else. The install_firetv_2.bat file won’t even see the FTV with my A to A cable. I have no idea what to do.
yes, i follow everything…then the box said i got updates, when i install the update..and reboot..nothing show up? is that mean that my box is bricked?