New method to use custom launchers on Fire TVs can disable Amazon’s app blacklist

The cat-and-mouse game continues between Amazon and the modding community over the use of custom alternate home screen launchers on Fire TV devices. Several months ago, Amazon hit back hard by blacklisting Launcher Manager, a popular app that had been used for years by Fire TV customers wanting to use a custom launcher on their device. Now, a new method has been developed to, once again, use alternate launchers, and it does so by, essentially, disabling Amazon’s app blacklist using a feature already built into the Launcher Manager app.

Over the last few months, there have been several new methods developed to use custom launchers on Fire TV devices. The problem with these methods is that they all rely on some “helper” app, like a task executor, DNS changer, or Firewall app, to work. I’ve avoided posting about them because I knew the moment I did, Amazon would notice and simply blacklist the helper app being used, just as it did for Launcher Manager.

This new method to make custom launchers work again is ingenious in that it uses only Launcher Manager, an app that is already blacklisted, to work. For that reason, it should be more difficult for Amazon to block this new method and, therefore, is safer to draw attention to. Launcher Manager has a seldom-used feature to execute ADB commands. This new method uses that feature to kick off a looping command that runs every 10 seconds to clear Amazon’s app blacklist, among other things. With the blacklist cleared, and because it usually takes about a day for a blacklisted app to be removed, you’re free to use Launcher Manager without it being removed.

This method was developed by members of XDA Forums and the main credit goes to Finnzz and virtuacool for being the primary developers of this method, as well as credit to tp11075, graffix420, Pro-me3us, and others for their contributions as well.

The key to this new method, which you can find a full guide for here, is an ADB command that re-runs every 10 seconds. The command clears Amazon’s blacklisting app and clears Amazon’s over-the-air updater app. Doing so, essentially, disables both the blacklist and software updates as a whole. The looping command also force quits the default home screen launcher about every 5 minutes for improved custom launcher stability.

One caveat of this method is that you must also disable the sleep functionality of your Fire TV because the custom launcher stops working if the device goes to sleep. You can still turn your TV off and use the screensaver, but the Fire TV will never go to a black screen after the usual 20 minutes of sitting idle. If you use this method, you need to be careful of potential screen burn-in caused by forgetting to turn off your TV.

If disabling sleep, software updates, and the default launcher sound fine, then give this new custom launcher method a shot. It is all easily reverted without any permanent changes to your Fire TV, which I explain in the last step of the guide.

  1. Mauro says:

    Work on echo show 15 ???

  2. Hereward the Woke says:

    I’ve found leaving Wolf Launcher as it is, not such an inconvenience, pressing the Home button when I want to exit an app, then relaunching Wolf. If only more App designers bothered to put Exit buttons in their apps. It’s bl**dy annoying clicking the Back button dozens of times to get out of Apps.

    • Hereward the Woke says:

      Biggest offender is PhotoGuru, a brilliant App but it takes twice as many ‘Back’ button presses to return to the Home page than to get to your photos. (You also have to do this if you want to clear the cache after you’ve just uploaded new photos.)

      I have mentioned it to the developers but to no avail.

    • Jeff says:

      Amazon’s own Silk browser could do with a Quit button, especially after reading thru several news stories of a morning….

  3. Rob P says:

    I’m trying this out with the Wolf launcher. I like the simplicity of the launcher as my 2 Firesticks and Nvidia Shield TV are primary used for Emby, Netflix, Prime Video, and Amazon Music. I like the idea of a simple and consistent menu for the 3 devices. Amazon Music is also very annoying when exiting the app and I prefer the Shield when leaving the app compared to the firesticks. Any idea if this would work on the 10″ Fire tablet or something very similar?

    • The concept of monitoring the device log for a specific “Home” event should work on a Fire tablet, but Launcher Manager, as it is today, wouldn’t work because it looks for the Fire TV’s very specific remote home button press in the device log file.

  4. Isd says:

    Great question hope someone has answer.

  5. Majik515 says:

    I wish I could delete remove all the Amazon pre-installed apps that would free up a lot of space

  6. CheeseMonger says:

    Correct language: Blocklist

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