How to Sideload APK Apps on Amazon Fire TV, Stick, Stick Lite, Stick 4K, Cube, or Fire TV Edition with Downloader — Updated Sept. 2020


Installing apps that are not available in the Amazon Appstore, a.k.a sideloading apps, on Amazon Fire TV devices varies slightly depending on which model you are using. This guide covers how to sideload APKs on all models, including Fire TV boxes, Firestick, Fire TV Cubes, and Fire TV Edition televisions and soundbars. It has also been updated to cover the new 2020 Fire TV Stick 3 and Fire TV Stick Lite.

  1. Determine Fire TV model and OS with Informer App (optional)

    The exact steps for sideloading differ slightly depending on which model and generation of Fire TV you are using. Steps for all versions are listed in this guide, but it’ll be a little easier to follow if you know which model you have and what version of Fire OS it’s running. If you don’t know this info, install the free Informer App from the Amazon Appstore and the app will tell you.

    Fire OS 5 (Android 5.1 Lollipop) Devices:

    • 2014 Fire TV 1st Gen
    • 2015 Fire TV 2nd Gen
    • 2014 Fire TV Stick 1st Gen
    • 2016 Fire TV Stick 2nd Gen
    • 2017 Fire TV Stick Basic Edition
    • 2017 Fire TV Edition television by Element & Westinghouse

    Fire OS 6 (Android 7.1 Nougat) Devices:

    • 2017 Fire TV 3rd Gen
    • 2018 Fire TV Cube 1st Gen
    • 2018 Fire TV Stick 4K 1st Gen
    • 2018 Fire TV Edition television by Toshiba & Insignia
    • 2019 Fire TV Edition television by Toshiba & Onida
    • 2019 Fire TV Edition soundbar by Nebula & TCL

    Fire OS 7 (Android 9 Pie) Devices:

    • 2019 Fire TV Cube 2nd Gen
    • 2019 Fire TV Edition television by Grundig & JVC
    • 2020 Fire TV Edition television by Toshiba & Insignia
    • 2020 Fire TV Stick 3rd Gen
    • 2020 Fire TV Stick Lite 1st Gen

  2. Install Downloader App

    Search for and install the Downloader App from the Amazon Appstore. Once the app is installed, do NOT open it yet.

  3. Go to Developer Options in Settings

    Now that Downloader is installed, and you haven’t launched it yet, you need to change a setting on your device.

    If you have any Fire TV box, Fire TV Stick, Fire TV Stick 4K, or Fire TV Cube, navigate to: Settings > My Fire TV > Developer Options

    If you have a any Fire TV Edition television, navigate to: Settings > Device & Software > Developer Options

  4. Enable Apps From Unknown Sources

    If you have a Fire OS 7 device, which includes Fire TV Cube 2nd Gen, Fire TV Stick 3rd Gen, Fire TV Stick Lite, Fire TV Edition televisions by Grundig & JVC, and 2020 Fire TV Edition televisions by Toshiba & Insignia, select the Install unknown apps option, scroll to Downloader, and change its setting to ON.

    If you have a Fire OS 5 or Fire OS 6 device, which includes all other devices, select Apps from Unknown Sources to change the setting to ON.

    Note: You DO NOT need to turn on the ADB Debugging option.

  5. Open Downloader and Grant Storage Permission

    Now, go to your list of apps on the Fire TV Home screen and open the Downloader app. If you have a Fire OS 6 or Fire OS 7 device, as soon as you launch the app, you will be asked to allow Downloader access to files on your device. You must select Allow. If you accidentally dismissed the prompt or selected Deny, then reset the app by following this guide.

  6. Enter URL and Download your APK file

    Enter the URL for where the APK file you want to sideload is located and select the Go button. If the URL is directly to a file, the file will begin to download. If the URL is to a website, the website will load in the built-in browser. Use the circular UP/DOWN/LEFT/RIGHT buttons on your remote to find the download link and click it by using the center select button on your remote.

  7. Install APK

    After the APK file downloads, you will be asked to install the app. Press Down and Right on the remote a few times until the Install button is highlighted. Press the center Select button on the remote to begin installing the app and then select Done when it’s finished installing.

    If you have a Fire OS 5 device, the install prompt looks like this:

    If you have a Fire OS 6 device, the install prompt looks like this:

    If you have a Fire OS 7 device, the install prompt looks like this:

  8. Delete the APK file (optional)

    After the app has installed, you can now delete the APK file that you downloaded to free up storage space on your device. To delete the file, select the Delete button within the Downloader app. You can also delete the APK file by going to the Files selectin in the Downloader app and selecting the APK file from the list.

  9. Open the Sideloaded App

    You’re done and can now launch the sideloaded app. To do so, go to your list of apps by holding the Home button on your remote and selecting the Apps option.

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41 comments
  1. AFTVUser says:

    The Downloader app is, and always has mostly been, a fine simple, basic, and single-purpose app for sideloading to Fire TV devices, but for those who may be interested in a somewhat more robust, configurable, and functional app, be sure to also check out adblink at http://www.jocala.com/, which I have used for a number of years for AFTV backups, sideloads, thumbnail deletions, directory clean-ups, etc, etc, etc, and yet still keep finding new uses for it. As always, each and every app has its own purpose. Perhaps, at some point, Elias may do a review of this very capable app.

  2. pete v says:

    thank you.Im so glad your back.you were missed.

  3. John says:

    I smiled when I saw this post. Reminds me that its good to have you back.

  4. c ag says:

    Do you plan on any articles on the Fire HD tablets?
    Tips and Tricks, Downloader, Google Play, etc

  5. Alfredo Rodriguez says:

    Hey Elias excelent explanation,and i bet you miss doing these tutorials.
    Welcome back.

  6. Jay says:

    The app is amazing! Lately, the Google web search has been acting up when I download Drive files, Mega files, etc. It throws off a download error if I were to download for example, a .zip along with cursor issues when I scroll on some websites. Other than that, its very useful with very low slowdowns

  7. Nancy says:

    The app I am trying to use downloads and opens, but then when I try to sign in (Xfinity Stream), it says Unsupported Browser Link, and that Amazon Fire does not open browser links. The app is nowhere to be found, on my home screen. Can you please help?

  8. hdmkv says:

    Hey Elias, realize you need to fund this site, but noticing many more ads than before. Really takes away from enjoying your great content. Alternatively, do you have a way for us to donate instead and allow you to limit ads?

  9. John greenman says:

    HI
    when i type in downloader in search bar then select the word from list, it does not come up with the app, the results come up with 1 row of films and 2nd row with youtube, amazon photos and amazon browser, this was just after my stick updated, i rebooted stick and still the same, it seems pretty hard to search for items and get the right results, my other stick is fine. my friends have the same issue

  10. Billy Burnett says:

    Yesterday I replaced my old fire stick with the 4K version. I did that because I could not get the downloader app to work with HD***** streamer. It always stopped at the initial down load and switched to the google browser. I am still having the same problem. I have enabled 3rd party apps. I have checked the boxes to auto install, to accept JavaScript etc. I checked allow access to files etc. it starts the download and immediately goes to google browser and then I’m stuck. I feel like I wasted the money on the new stick. Can anyone help me. The download file is http://hd*****. It downloads the file for creating the player.

    • The URL you are entering is likely incorrect. Enter the URL on your phone or a computer EXACTLY as you would enter it in the Downloader app to see if it comes up correctly on the phone/computer. If it does not, then there is a problem with the URL so it will not work in the Downloader app either.

      • Billy Burnett says:

        First thanks for reaching out to me. I did as you suggest and it worked. It went to google and showed the apk ready for download. My daughter used the downloader app and her download worked flawlessly. I did notice control over permissions is locked out which maybe causing the problem. Is there anyway for me to show you the screen I get. BTW, I don’t want to be a pain. So thanks.

  11. Michael A Peila says:

    I’m trying to download the VidAngel app onto my Fire Stick using Downloader but I’m not having any success. Help please.

  12. happy camper says:

    Thank you so much. You made it super easy!

  13. Chris A says:

    Thank you thank you thank you! I followed your guide and it worked on the first try!

  14. Cyclist says:

    I can’t seem to find the downloader app on the Fire Stick to download. I type downloader in the search button, click on the downloader app link, and it does nothing. I also searched for it under Apps, Categories, Utilities, and it’s not listed there either. Has the app been removed from the Amazon App Store?

  15. Lord Tynecastle says:

    Downloading to a Sony Android TV and Apps are being sent to System Apps. Which means that whilst the downloads work, they are hidden deep into the system settings menus.

  16. Peter says:

    the hbo max downloads and I can launch from that download confirmation. However, it does not appear with my app. I must go through the whole process to watch hbo max. Why doesn’t the app become available Amongst my other apps??

  17. Eileen says:

    I downloaded the file but when I go to install, I get a message “X App not installed.” It shows the HBO Max logo, but is there something I might have done wrong or a setting I need to change? Thanks so much for this guidance!

  18. Sweat Pea says:

    Thank you it was helpful and I donated to the cause.

  19. Piers says:

    Hi all, I downloaded the latest version 1.4.1 to my firestick 4K. When I try to install any file after downloading I get the “”No app found to handle this file” error. I thought this was fixed in a previous version. Any ideas anyone?

  20. I followed all the steps, but after running install it says the app did not install. Any advice?

  21. Mick O'Neill says:

    I don’t have a problem with the downloader app not working just can’t see live streaming that is behind apps displayed on screen, can hear the live stream and just see part of picture but apps displayed block most of vision of live stream

  22. gsatt says:

    I followed your easy to understand instructions to install the Downloader on my new Fire TV Stick (2nd Gen) and then followed instructions (https://www.aftvnews.com/how-to-install-and-use-hbo-max-on-amazon-fire-tv-or-firestick-avoiding-common-icon-launch-issues/#:~:text=HBO%20Max%20is%20not%20currently%20available%20in%20the,precautions%20to%20avoid%20common%20issues%20with%20the%20app.) on how to download the HBO Max app. Some of the easiest instructions I’ve ever used to solve a tech challenge.

  23. Henry Jones says:

    Is there a set up for Apple TV box

  24. Michael Fields says:

    Hi I truly love the app but I’m having a problem with s link and I was wondering if you could help. I tried downloading a link but it would give me a no connection error. So I attempted to try downloading a couple other links and it worked . help me out please

  25. ro bran says:

    I have downloader installed. Can someone please give me the correct url for Xfinity Stream so I can install it via Downloader to my amazon fire tv box, second generation. ty

  26. John Good Jr says:

    On my old android phone I was allowed to download the Downloader app now that my old phone got damage I had to buy a new one now when I try to download the Downloader app again it says that my new and old phone are not compatible. Can someone please help me by the way My new phone is a LG Stylo 6.

  27. Mani says:

    Could somebody please provide a link to a Tidal apk able to run on Fire Stick TV 4K (OS 6 – Android 7.1 Nougat)?

    Thanks in advance

  28. pdihal51 says:

    Comcast stream app opens but I get error 14001 when opening any channel. I can’t find a solution.
    Some post indicate Comcast is feuding with Amazon and is blocking its programming to firetv/firestick customers.
    I’m getting ready to drop Comcast cable programming as a result.

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