How to restore internal ADB client capabilities on a rooted Fire TV


Starting with software version, Amazon has removed the ADB client utility that used to be present in the Fire TV’s operating system. Some apps, like FireStarter, use this utility to perform internal ADB connections, which allowed them to execute actions that are otherwise not available. For example, this is how FireStarter reliably detects home button presses regardless of which app is currently active. This guide will show you how to restore the ADB client utility on a rooted Fire TV.

Note that the internal ADB client utility that this guide restores has nothing to do with “regular” external ADB connections you would make, like when you sideload apps, to a Fire TV from a PC. The update does not affect external ADB connections. You only need to follow this guide if an app you use, that relies on internal ADB connections, has stopped working.

  1. Download the missing ADB client from here. Note that this file is named adb and does not have an extension. It needs to remain this way.
  2. Connect to your device via ADB.
  3. Transfer the adb file you just downloaded to your device’s /sdcard directory by running the command: adb push [FULL-PATH-TO-ADB-FILE] /sdcard/
    (Replace [FULL-PATH-TO-ADB-FILE] with the actual path on your PC of the file you downloaded. Ex: adb push C:\Users\Bezos\Downloads\adb /sdcard/)
  4. Enter ADB shell by running the command: adb shell
  5. Enter root by running the command: su
  6. Mount the operating system as writable by running the command: mount -o remount,rw /system
  7. Copy the adb file from /sdcard to /system/bin/ by running the command:cp /sdcard/adb /system/bin
  8. Change the adb file’s permissions by running the command:chmod 755 /system/bin/adb
  9. Restore the operating system to read-only by running the command:mount -o remount,ro /system
  10. Exit root by running the command: exit
  11. Exit adb shell by running the command: exit

Once you’re done with the guide, it’s a good idea to force quit the app you use that needs the internal ADB client, then toggle ADB Debugging on and off several times, then start the app again.

  1. DeanR1977 says:

    I take it if I have already downloaded the adb.bin file & have manually copied it to the devices /sdcard location I could follow steps 7-11 ? Or even put the file myself in the /system/bin location Then follow steps 8-11? Is that right? By the way thanks for this.

    • Some One says:

      Nope you’d need to start at 4. At the very least you have to accomplish step 6 (to make the system writable) to proceed with step 7 (copying the bin file with NO .bin extension to system)

      • Some One says:

        Granted if you manage to get the adb file (without .bin extension) to system/bin then yes you would continue with step 8

        • DeanR1977 says:

          yes just done this but had to download it via a pc & transfered with ftp to es file explorers remote manager, & moved to /system/bin & then done 8-11 & rebooted

  2. DeanR1977 says:

    I just downloaded the file from my computer (shows up as adb! not adb.bin) & then put into /systems/bin manually via a file manager, then followed steps 8, 9, 10, 11 & then reboot. Works great, now i have the adb back & with the other post have the single click back on firestarter thanks again AFTVNews

  3. spotmark says:

    Is it fair to assume this will be built into future rooted ROMs, or will we need to do it each time?

  4. SpY says:

    Didn’t work for me for some reason, I followed everything exactly, any ideas

  5. Bori says:

    The ad on this page is very annoying. It is handling my swipe as a click opening it anyway. Not only that it takes up half my phone screen so I have to carefully touch around it as not to have it open several times. This site is on of the few ones I disabled adblock but if this becomes a trend I may reconsider that decision.

  6. Wayne says:

    If I try step 3 with an ADB shell I get the error: tmp-mksh: adb: not found.
    However, if I push it to my sdcard via adbfire, it says it pushed successfully, and I can see it if I use ES file explorer on the AFTV.
    Now when I go to step 7, I get the error: cp: /sdcard/adb: No such file or directory
    Any idea what I’m doing wrong? thanks.

    • Erik says:

      Instead of /sdcard/adb you should try cp /data/media/0/adb /system/bin

      • Wayne says:

        Thanks Erik, that seemed to do it. Now I just need to get Firestopper installed and I should be good to go! No more updates for me.

  7. Brb says:

    Can we also use this method on a rooted TV stick with v5.2.1.0? So far I think all the comments refer to Fire TV, not the stick and wanted to be sure before proceeding.

  8. mGuest says:

    Is Firestopper really working with this adb workaround on a rooted FireTV2 Box with ROM? I did NOT get it working.

  9. BzB says:

    Tried it on fire stick v5.2.1.0 firmware, no luck getting home button detection to work with firestarter/firestopper.

  10. Joe says:

    After doing the command “mount -o remount,rw /system” it no longer sees the directory path ‘/sdcard/’ even though it appears when you do ‘ls’

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