Recently Used App row goes missing on some Fire TVs

Some people are finding that the “Recently Used Apps” row on the Fire TV home screen has been removed. Several users on Reddit and Cord Cutters News are seeing this change across numerous Fire TV models including the Fire TV Cube, Fire TV Stick 4K Max, and Fire TV Smart TVs. While Amazon has been making positive changes to the Fire TV home screen recently, like the recent addition of a Continue Watching row, this change is upsetting a lot of customers.

It’s unknown at this point if the removal of the Recently Used Apps row is an unintentional bug, an experiment, or an intentional permanent change that will make its way to all Fire TV devices. Amazon often rolls out changes to the Fire TV home screen to a small number of customers as an experiment to gauge how the change will be received. It seems to me like this change is more likely a bug or an experiment than a change rolling out to everyone because all of my own Fire TV devices, and I have a lot of them, still have the Recently Used Apps row present.

If your Fire TV has lost its Recently Used Apps row, you can get in the habit of using the Recents button on your remote if you have the Enhanced Alexa Voice Remote which comes with the 3rd-gen Fire TV Cube, 2nd-gen Fire TV Stick 4K Max, and Fire TV Smart TVs. If you don’t have that remote, then you can try using my Recent Shortcut app which loads the exact same interface as the remote button when the app is launched. If you use an Alexa Voice Remote Pro, which does not have the Recent button, you can map one of the customizable buttons to the shortcut app to replicate the same functionality.

  1. Ujn Hunter says:

    I don’t think I’ve been hit with this yet… though this is quite disturbing. It boggles my mind how difficult this stuff is for Amazon to continually keep messing up. I’ve also noticed when turning on my Amazon TV recently that it automatically pulls down the Full Screen Ad at the top above the Main Icon Bar instead of letting me scroll Left/Right to get to where I want to go. Super annoying.

    • SC says:

      I don’t think the automatic pulling down the full ad is an bug or an accident. It’s on purpose. Amazon has already said it wants to up the number of ads on Fire TV (and Echos) in the near future…and I think that pull down full ad when you turn on tv is the first of it. Really makes me want to switch to googletv or something without so many ads. Sad.

  2. Juan C. Figueroa says:

    Too many problems these times with the Fire TV’s and Fire Sticks and now with the lurking Vega OS on the table this will be bad. Nvidia still working fine.

  3. Erik says:

    I just pulled out my old FireTv Cube (did switch to Apple TV) and OMG, this is completely nuts. I still got the recent apps row but it’s been moved down and I first get the sponsored apps row; and when I click on an installed app in this row it goes to the store instead of opening the app… I also get this full top ad experience, what a crap.

    Does Amazon even employ UX designers or product managers who use these devices? I mean, come on, this is the worst shit I’ve seen for quite some time. You need to literally click 5 times to get to your installed apps screen…

    That’s not a TV / streaming device anymore, it’s an ad center which might be able to stream if you have the patience to click a thousand times…

  4. Gary says:

    I found a fix for it by syncing Amazon content. Mine disappeared and I couldn’t figure out why

  5. Dave Butler says:

    My recent apps disappeared earlier today. This evening I turned on my 4k max 2 and it’s back. Makes you wonder who’s doing the programming.

  6. ben says:

    maybe its just a gltich why would they remove it

    • Gary says:

      My 3rd generation Cube had recently used apps disappear. I found a way to correct it (as least I think I did) by syncing Amazon content. Coincidentally or not, I could not download apps like Plutotv or Crackle. They would stay in queueing or reconnecting state. Now today they work. Are they messing with us?

      • Dominick says:

        I’ve had that issue to sometimes when I would factory reset my fire tv. I think it’s just a technical issue on Amazon’s end.

  7. Dominick says:

    Looks like recent is gone for me when I put the TV on this morning but I hate the full screen on boot up of ads. I love my rokus & i thjnk that’s what I’m sticking with as I replace my tvs. Maybe google tvs also but I’m not sure if they are similar to the fire tvs.

    • Kary says:

      Buy a TV based on the screen, not the smart TV features that you shouldn’t even use anyway. Better to add a separate device.

      Smart TVs are like the old TV/DVR combo units–a stupid idea, but unfortunately a stupid idea that has caught on due to ignorant consumers.

  8. Kary says:

    Amazing how many people complain of ads on Fire TV. I’ve never seen one, and neither of the pictures here show any either. Maybe Fire TV built into smart TVs is different–I’ve never used such a TV (or any Smart TV’s features).

    I do see TV show suggestions, but those are often for other services, particularly when hovering over that service.

  9. Gary says:

    Amazon Tech Support’s answer most times is to factory reset the device instead of taking the time to diagnose and correct the root cause. It’s the easy way out but forces the user to painstakingly recover every app and try to restore data somehow

    • Kary says:

      That’s typical of a lot of tech support, and a lot of users on Reddit. It’s lazy and indicates a lack of ability to troubleshoot.

      But as a practical matter, most the time I call tech support (which is very infrequent) the person on the other end knows less than I do. The exceptions are far and few in-between, but 20+ years ago Microsoft had good tech support. Not sure about now because I haven’t had to call.

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