How to truly turn off a Fire TV Cube without unplugging it

Amazon Fire TV devices never really turn off. Even when they go to sleep after not being used for a while, or when they are manually put to sleep, they actually just black out the display but remain powered on. This is so that they can instantly be ready to use and so they can perform software updates while idle. For Fire TV remotes with a power button, pressing it just turns the TV off and does nothing to the Fire TV itself. Anyone that wants to actually power down their Fire TV must pull the power cable. However, the one exception to all of this is the Fire TV Cube, which is the only Fire TV model that can truly be turned off without needing to unplug anything.

To turn off a Fire TV Cube, you simply hold the Action button on top of the device for about 10-15 seconds. The Action button is the right-most button with a dot in the middle. This works on both the 1st-generation and 2nd-generation models. Doing so will indeed shut down the device so that it is using no power. Since all other Fire TV and Fire TV Stick models don’t have any buttons on the device itself, they cannot do this. To turn the Fire TV Cube back on, simply press the Action button once and it will boot up, as if it were unplugged and you plugged it back into power. While truly off, the Fire TV Cube will not respond to any remote button presses, so you have to use the Action button to turn it back on.

I don’t expect many Fire TV Cube owners will do this regularly, but it’s good to know it’s possible if you won’t be using the device for a while and want to save some power. The 2nd-gen Fire TV Cube is the fastest model to power on, at about 30 seconds, so it’s not too inconvenient to turn it off with this method if you don’t mind walking up to the device. The 1st-gen Fire TV Cube takes just over a minute to power on, so that’s a bit more time to wait.

The biggest disadvantage to turning off a Fire TV Cube regularly is it may feel a bit sluggish for a while after being turned back on. This is because the device couldn’t perform updates and maintenance tasks while idle so it may be doing more in the background while you’re actively using it than if it was left on but asleep.

Update

Thanks to a great comment from Heath, it turns out the Fire TV Cube is technically not fully powered off when in this state. Heath astutely points out that the red microphone disabled light remains lit after shutting down the Fire TV Cube using this method. So, holding the action button for 10-15 seconds is more akin to putting the device in a deep suspend state where all processes are shut down and very little power is used, but is not a fully off state.

10 comments
  1. Doc Wadder says:

    Interesting, but if someone’s finances are that tight that they’re concerned about saving a few pennies worth of electricity, they probably should have bought a far less costly Firestick model rather than a top of the line Fire cube. Just Saying…..

    • Scott Lewis says:

      The assumption that people turning off devices that won’t be in use for awhile are people who cant afford a few pennies of electricity is complete nonsense. There are lots of reasons to turn off a device.

      We really need to stop painting people in only the most negative light, and we also need to stop painting entire groups of people into one category.

  2. Bob says:

    on my Hisense the screen never turns off when the 2nd gen cube goes to sleep. Works fine on my Samsung and Vizio. Maybe the Roku Hisense thinks the cube is still needing the display? What I’m mean is the backlight stays on and I have to actually turn the TV off for the screen to turn black.

  3. Ahmad says:

    Are they going to upgrade the hardware and release new one this year?

    They should call it fire tv cube 4K max

    It will get wifi 6 + AV1 codec

    I have feelings this will come out around october 2022

    Maybe it will get a new hexa core cpu with 4 gig ram and 64 gigabyte memory

  4. Heath says:

    This isn’t quite accurate. Holding the action button down for 15s doesn’t power off the device, it simply shuts down all processes in an irreversible manner. The Cube remains powered on, as you can see by the mute button still responding, lighting on and off.

    Shutting down the Cube using the action button is the equivalent of:
    ADB shell reboot -p

    The downside of shutting down the Cube like this is that it requires physically unplugging and plugging the Cube back in to turn it back on.

    • Interesting, thanks for the info! I measured the power usage to see if it was actually off and my meter read zero watts, but you’re right that the red mute light does stay lit so it must not be fully off. However, you don’t have to physically unplug and replug to turn it back on. Pressing the action button once does boot it back up.

      • Heath says:

        Sorry, I forgot about pressing action to reboot. It was a little finicky when I tested it. But that works well as long as you don’t press other buttons.

        It might be semantics, but this is more the cube using the suspend/wake feature, rather than a shutdown. With the cores and DDR ram suspended the device is drawing less power than your meter can measure, less than 0.1w

        Amazon could have used the suspend/wake feature and actually had the OS suspend and wake, rather than shutdown into suspended state and reboot. I guess it didn’t fit their cookie cutter design.

        Here is the UART output of what is going on during the action button initiated suspend:

        https://forum.xda-developers.com/t/temporary-unlock-root-twrp-magisk-firetv-2nd-gen-cube-raven.4445971/post-87000167

  5. Rik Emmett says:

    Do you risk powering off at a moment that could brick the device?

  6. Mark says:

    My Fire TV 3 shuts down without me unplugging it. I use the USB from the TV for power and the USB shuts down when the TV is off. I get a freshly booted FTV3 everytime I turn on the TV! Been doing it this way for years, updates and all.

  7. Joe says:

    Unplugging is still the safest way for me. I don’t trust amazon devices and never will.

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