How to temporarily fix FireStarter on Fire OS 5 and the 2nd-Gen Fire TV


FireStarter is a great way to easily access sideloaded apps like Kodi. Its killer feature is being able to accurately detect when you press or double-press the Fire TV remote’s Home button, allowing you to do things like launching any app with a double-press of the Home. It achieves this feat by establishing an internal ADB connection with the Fire TV, which allows it to monitor the system log file for Home button presses. Due to changes brought on by Fire OS 5, FireStarter can no longer immediately detect Home button presses. Here is how to temporarily restore FireStarter’s ability to detect Home button presses.

This is a temporary fix because you must perform these steps every time you restart your Fire TV. Big thanks to jocala, creator of a great Fire TV utility called adbFire, for figuring this out. The developer of FireStarter is waiting for the official release of Fire OS 5 on the 1st-gen Fire TV before he tries to figure out if this issue can be permanently fix.

Important: This fix causes ADB connections on your Fire TV to stop working. If you need to make an ADB connection to your Fire TV, like to sideload an app, you need to first force quit FireStarter. When you’re done using ADB, you can follow this guide to restore FireStarter functionality again.

Everytime you turn on your Fire TV, you need to…

  1. Launch FireStarter manually from: Settings > Applications > Manage Installed Applications
  2. Toggle ADB debugging off and then back on.
  3. That’s it. FireStarter should be able to detect single and double Home button presses. It’s not perfect, but should help get you by for the time being. If you notice flickering when launching apps, try changing the “Jump Back Watchdog Time” setting in FireStarter to 0. (The default is 5,000.)

  1. trojan4evr says:

    If you’ve downloaded Kodi from the amazon app store when it was available and you then sync your fire tv, does Kodi appear in your recent apps after you launch Kodi like on 1st gen fire tv?

    • Me Ted says:

      *Amazon updated their firmware and killed it.*

      I reinstalled KODI on the 1st Gen AFTV, (I too have the KODI icon that was from Amazon App store) and I could NOT get the KODI icon to show up in the recent apps section after doing this. I tried resyncing and I also de-authorized and then authorized with no luck.

      Is there any other way to get that KODI icon to show up on a 1st gen?

      • Me Ted says:

        Does the icon only work with Helix 14.2?

        • trojan4evr says:

          For me the Kodi icon showed up in recents because I downloaded it when it was available(14.2 helix) have you tried going to your conten/devices section of your amazon account to see if you can install the app to your new fire tv. I was able to do that when someone deleted my classic tv app which is noqt available for download anymore. Since I had bought it I was able to send it to my first gen tv via my amazon account and since llama was already set up it started to work again. That’s why I was wondering if someone who had downloaded the old 14.2 was able to send it to their new fire tv and be able to see it in their recent section.

      • MJ says:

        Sideload FireStarter using DOS ADB commands, the ADBFire app, the FireTV Utility app, or download the apk directly to the stick from using the ES File Explorer app available from the Amazon android app store. Easy to set up home click options.

      • StaplerUk says:

        I am using isengard 16.0 and it shows up in recent, On the amazon home screen i went down to Apps and over to Your Apps Library, Moved over to Kodi selected Add to favourites then launched Kodi and after it opened i clicked the home button and Kodi appeared in recent.

  2. Jonathan Whitehead says:

    Older LCD tv, How do I set the thing to native 480, so I can change it to 720? My screen is black and I cant toggle anything and the new game controller does not list which button is = to select. I contacted support and they submitted a case for me. Any help out there? Thanks.

  3. Dustin says:

    This is getting TERRIBLE reviews on Is this thing a buggy mess?

    • Grinder says:

      OS 5 was a buggy mess that broke a whole bunch of stuff. Seems Amazon wasn’t able to patch it.

      In fairness the first release of Android Lollipop was also an absolute dog, and is only now becoming usable.

  4. stephen says:

    There has to be an alternative to fire starter launcher

  5. Mike says:

    Problem now is if you do follow the above instruction to stop/start ADB Debugging it works fine however if you reboot the entire AFTV box or unplug it and plug it back in you have to stop/start ADB again.

  6. Mike says:

    For now I’ll stick with Autopilot. It works great on Gen 1 & 2 Fire TV boxes. You just launch Autopilot one time and tell it what app you want it to run at startup and when you reboot the box or power it on after a few seconds it boots into Kodi.

  7. sunrise495 says:

    Tell us more about Autopilot. Is it free? How do you load and configure it? This may be the answer to making the use of Kodi and FireTV 2 easier for the “tech. challenged.”

  8. sunrise495 says:

    Thanks for the tip. Will give it a try this weekend.

  9. Supi says:

    I must tick also USB-debugging to stop the error messages. On Pic 2 you do not show this or is it from AFTV1?

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