New Fire TV Firmware Blocks Rooting


Three different source have reported that their Fire TV has received a new firmware update. All three sources have said that the update removed root access and they were unable to root their Fire TV after installing the update. To me, this confirms that Amazon has blocked the current towelroot rooting method with this new firmware version. One reader says the new firmware version is I don’t know what changes this new firmware brings yet, but at this time you should keep your update blocks in place if you want to keep root access. 

  1. Bruce says:

    Any reports on whether you can still manually downgrade to a rootable firmware?

    • AFTVnews says:

      No, no reports yet. We’ll know more once we can grab the update URL and examine the package. At the moment, it’s best not to attempt a downgrade, as this could potentially brick the Fire TV.

  2. Anthony says:

    can XBMC still be loaded onto this after the dreaded update?

  3. Travis says:

    I just got my FTV 2 days ago and upgraded to the latest update. The update my FTV is reporting as the current version is however I am still unable to root. After I run towelroot, it reports that I have root, however when I try to install SuperSU it fails. Everything I’ve read says can be rooted but the _user_511070220 is still a mystery. Is it possible that root can be blocked in this version too?

  4. James says:

    Hmmmm, I bought a FireTV last night (8:00pm CDT), it updated when I first booted it up, I went through the rooting process and did not encounter any issues. I will check the version when I get home, but I have XBMC 13.2 running just fine.

    I did find that play store work around was useless.

    • Mike says:

      james — where did you buy it? From Amazon? Did it give you an option to NOT update it when it first booted, or was it automatically updated? I just bought one on Amazon 10 minutes ago, it’ll be here on Saturday, hoping I’ll have no issues….

      • krawhitham says:

        You need to block upgrade through your router, it looks for upgrades when 1st boot and does not ask permission

        • Mike says:

          Thanks for the reply … important info right there…

          To make quintuple sure, if I block these I should be fine?


          • AFTVnews says:

            Yes, as of now, those are the only domains we know of that Amazon uses for updates. Be aware that you will need to unblock those domains if you ever do a factory reset as they are aslo used to initially register the Fire TV.

          • Mike says:

            Hmmm …. so if i do a factory reset I’ll need to unblock those, but when first purchasing, i won’t need access to those, since it will have already run through that process on Amazon’s side before they sent it out?

          • AFTVnews says:

            I just ordered a new Fire TV for testing the “fresh out of the box rooting” scenario. It will arrive Saturday. I plan to firewall the device and dissect every internet call it makes to try and determine the best way to get the device up and running while still being able to root the device. If all goes well, I’ll have a post with instructions up Saturday evening or Sunday morning. If you can hold out until then, I’ll have more answers for you.

            The main problem is that the Fire TV uses to both check for updates, register the device, and verify an internet connection exists. So blocking that domain outright will prevent the Fire TV from getting to the Home screen. If you can’t get to the homescreen, then you can’t enable ADB, and you can’t root. My initial guess is it will be enough to block only, which is the domain that hosts the update files. With just that one domain blocked, hopefully a new Fire TV will register, check for an update, see there is an update available, fail to download the update, and then just continue booting to the homescreen.

            That’s what I hope happens, but it’s possible it wont proceed to the homescreen if it encounters an error while downloading the update. In which case I’ll try to figure out a way to trick the Fire TV into thinking there is no update. I’ll know for sure once the new Fire TV arrives.

      • James says:

        I bought it at Best Buy……
        I did not give me an option, said it was downloading updates as soon as I plugged it in.

        I blocked OTA as soon as I had it rooted.

  5. Mike says:

    You’re awesome. Thanks so much. I know you’re not just doing this for me, but for the whole community, but wanted to say that I really appreciate it. What’s the best way to keep up to date on this? This thread? Or will there be a new post? or …? Did I mention THANKS!!!??? :)

  6. Joseph says:

    Like James said, I rooted a FTV today and basically was in a mad rush to get to rooting it. What I did was gave my credentials – had my FTV hard wired to skip the WiFi step and then went directly to settings and cancelled the update. Then got my IP address from the settings, then Rooted and blocked the update.

    Hope this helps anyone trying to root a new FTV that doesn’t have the newest firmware.

  7. joseph says:

    Also – not tested but you may be able to unplug a hard wired connection once the intro video starts. Then plug it back in and root it.

    Gonna need a new box and don’t plan to get one for at least a couple days to test this. I’ll keep you guys in the loop when I figure it out.

  8. Jonny says:

    Is there a way to make your Fire TV “normal” again without having to reset? Like if I want to unroot and enable OTA updates again.

  9. I just got two of these. Both did the same thing for me, I powered them up, got them online, even setup apps on both, all without ever looking into the version because I was unaware of the root block.

    I noticed a little bit ago that in the help/about screen that it said there was an update that would apply the next time the aftv was not in use or was rebooted. The version it was saying it would update to was so I went ahead and did it before rooting and blocking updates on the one im using. The second unit is in my dads room and I did the same update to it but have not rooted it yet, but now will certainly be doing the same to it first thing when he wakes so this new update doesn’t get pushed to it.

    I am unsure whether the newest update isn’t being pushed to devices in my region yet (would be odd, I’m not far from Seattle) or if they update in steps but I am glad I didn’t rob myself of the ability to root.

    Just thought I would share my experience and toss in a well deserved “Great site!”.

  10. jan says:

    my Fire tv was rooted – i then got the update and now its gone – is it possible root the device back again at the moment ?

  11. Clayton says:

    I can get towel root and makeitrain but when I try to install supers i get installation fail. I have tried different versions of supersu

    I am on 511070220


  12. Phil says:

    Ordered one can you side load and run xbmc/spmc even if it has the latest firmware?


  13. eric says:

    I simply sideloaded all the programs into the fire tv box after the opening sequence. As long as it is displaying the settings about network screen where you find the ip address, the box will not update. I performed all the steps for installation. Towelroot, super su, LLama , root check….all of them first and xbmc last. then i blocked the OTA’s. When I finally fire it up, viola. I am a green rookie, this was my first time. Have fun guys.

  14. Jass says:

    I just ordered a brand new AFTV from ebay a week ago, it hasnt arrived yet, but i’m wondering if some of the new devices now already have unrootable firmware installed? Or am I okay if I just block the update IPs?

  15. Thomas says:

    I have an AT&T Motorola NVG510 router that only seems to have packet filters that use source and destination IP addresses. I can not figure out how (or even if this router can) to block URL domains from amazon, and also keywords, to prevent auto updates from amazon. Any help?

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