How to Sideload APK Apps on the Amazon Echo Show 15

The Echo Show 15 now has access to most of the Fire TV apps in the Amazon Appstore, but, unfortunately, Amazon has blocked the regular ways used to sideload apps on Fire TV devices. Thankfully, a workaround has been discovered by AFTVnews reader Super Street Racing. Using that discovery, here are full step-by-step instructions for sideloading APK app files on the Echo Show 15.

Update

The Downloader app has been blocked by Amazon from being installed on the Echo Show. I’m currently in talks with Amazon to understand why and will update this guide after I learn more. In the meantime, you’ll need to use a different app to get your APK file to the Echo Show, like one of these apps. Once the file is on the Echo Show and in the “/sdcard/Download” folder, you can then follow this guide starting with step 9.

  1. Install and open the app Downloader from the Amazon Appstore.

  2. Select “Allow” to grant file access in the Downloader app. (If you accidentally selected “Deny” then you must go to the Echo’s settings by swiping down from the top of the screen and selecting “Settings.” Then go to Fire TV Settings > Applications > Manage Installed Applications > Downloader > Permissions and tap “Storage” to change it to “Allow.”)
  3. Select “Settings” from the menu on the left in the Downloader app.
  4. Select the “Download Folder” option in Downloader’s settings menu.
  5. Change the download destination from the default value of “Downloader” to the new value of “Download” and select Save.
  6. Uncheck the “APK Auto-Install” option.
  7. Use the Browser in Downloader to download the APK file you wish to sideload. You can use this URL shortener made for use with Downloader for long URLs if needed.
  8. Select “Done” once the APK file has finished downloading. (Selecting the Install option at this point will not work.)
  9. Install and open the app X-plore File Manager from the Amazon Appstore.
  10. In X-plore File Manager, expand the “App Manager” menu and select the “System” option.
  11. Scroll down the large list of system apps and select the “Files” app to launch it.
  12. In the Files app, select the APK file you downloaded in step 7.
  13. Select “Continue” to dismiss the message that appears and then select “Install” in the lower right corner.
  14. The APK file has now been installed. You can open it from here or from your list of all apps on the Fire TV home screen.
  15. Optional: To clear up space on your device, you can delete the APK file you downloaded by opening Downloader, selecting “Files” from the menu on the left, and selecting the APK file.
  16. Optional: To skip needing to use X-plore File Manager in the future, you can sideload a shortcut to the Files app. Download the shortcut by entering 2099 (or aftv.news/2099) in Downloader and following this guide to install the shortcut app. Once installed, you’ll just need to select the shortcut from the Fire TV app list instead of needing to use X-plore File Manager and scroll through the large list of system apps.

36 comments
  1. Greg says:

    how about for an original Echo show?

  2. Victor says:

    Would have worked for me if I found how to re-enable Developer Mode Tool. Seem to have gone after my last update.

    Anyone can help?

  3. Louis says:

    worked for me, but looking for a working version of BBC iPlayer and Spotify for it….just about the only two services missing for me (cut-down version of spotify on there is pretty poor).

  4. Dave says:

    This is great.

    If you figure out a way to get the Recast DVR working on the Show 15 again after the FireTV update let us know.

  5. Kir says:

    and from a smartphone through “Easy Fire Tools”, Send files to TV”, “Apps2Fire” will it work ?

  6. Laurens says:

    Does this mean I can sideload the HomeAssistant app?

  7. Lee Stover says:

    I had trouble changing “Downloader” to “Download,” but oherwise I was able to sideload a few apps. Thanks!

  8. Gino Campos says:

    Same here say unavailable to download downloader :(

  9. Sean says:

    How do I download X-plore to the show? It shows all my devices that are available in the show 15 does not show up

    • Anthony Rossetti says:

      you have to do it from the show 15 itself , go to fire tv mode and go to search and search for xplore ad install it from the amazon app store

  10. Anthony Rossetti says:

    “The Downloader app has been blocked by Amazon from being installed on the Echo Show. I’m currently in talks with Amazon to understand why and will update this guide after I learn more. In the meantime, you’ll need to use a different app to get your APK file to the Echo Show, like one of these apps. Once the file is on the Echo Show and in the “/sdcard/Download” folder, you can then follow this guide starting with step 9.”

    “you’ll need to use a different app to get your APK file to the Echo Show, like one of these apps. ”

    Uh care to b e a bit more specific?
    I tried x-plore file browser but it is just a file browser , there doesn’t appear to be a web browser

    so which one of these apps has a web browser that will allow me to download an .apk?

    I tried silk and it says ” downloading is disabled at this time”

    firefox is no longer available even though it shows up
    so are there any web browsers that will allow me to even download an .apk or do one of these file browsers have web browser built in?

    • Anthony Rossetti says:

      EDIT: ok I figured it out, I used wireless file manager to send the downloader.apk to my echo show 15 and I got it installed with files
      then I used files to install the shortcut to the files app and now I can access files from the apps section of the fire TV home screen, but now I have another problem, I can not see downloader in all apps on fire TV home screen, so then I figured I could go to settings>apps and launch it again from there, then I realized there is no settings, so now I have downloader installed but no way to go back to it, so is there a way to install a shortcut to downloader that will show up under apps on the fire TV home screen/launcher?
      The only other thing I can think of doing is trying to install side load launcher, anyone tried this yet? does it show up in apps? will downloader show up in there, I assume it will

      • Anthony Rossetti says:

        EDIT:
        also when I search “downloader” it still says “unavailable” as it does when it is not installed, so even though I have successfully sideloaded downloader it will not let me search for it and open it, there appears to be no way to re open it now.

        • Anthony Rossetti says:

          EDIT: Yes, it works for anyone wondering
          side load launcher by chainfire will show up in fire TV launcher on the show 15 and downloader shows up in side load launcher for anyone wondering.

      • The Brain says:

        I was trying to reply to Victor’s message above

  11. kitzi says:

    all file mangers seem to have been blocked from installing apps this sucks not like they are losing a ton of money

    • Mideea says:

      Yeap, happened to me today as well.
      We are not able to download any apk onto Alexa anymore, regardless of what download app I am using and I have tried every single one from appstore.

    • The Brain says:

      I was trying to reply to Victor’s message above.

      • Victor says:

        Managed to get Apple TV App installed but navigation button not working. No onscreen remote presented and FireTV remote app also not working unfortunately.

        tv
        Watch Apple TV+. ind popular channels. set recommendations.
        Sign In or Create Apple ID
        Sign In Later

        (Above, tried attaching ECShow 15 screen shot)

    • Louis says:

      That BBC iplayer one worked for me!
      You don’t get the proper icon, but thats no issue. Also worked in touch mode rather than the onscreen remote, which is actually better :-)

      Cheers

  12. Jade says:

    I installed downloader before Apple removed the ability to install it but I still cannot get it to work.

    I had no issues with steps 1 – 10. However, when I opened the files app, the downloaded file was not there. It looks like they have disabled the ability to download any files to the files app using downloader. Note storage is set to allow on downloader app.

    I then tried to install from my NAS using X-plore file manager but even though the permission is set to allow on this app, it would not install.

    Any update?

  13. Jade says:

    I meant Amazon not Apple

  14. Jorge says:

    Any update

  15. Maurice says:

    Looks like Amazon now removed the built in file manager.

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