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.
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
Install Downloader App
Search for and install the Downloader App from the Amazon Appstore. Once the app is installed, do NOT open it yet.
Enable Developer Mode
You must enable developer mode to reveal the “Developer Options” menu. This is done by going to Settings > My Fire TV > About and tapping the first “Fire TV…” menu item 7 times. For detailed instructions on how to do this, see this guide.
Go to Developer Options in Settings
Now that Developer mode is enabled, you need to change a setting on your device.
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.
Note: You DO NOT need to turn on the ADB Debugging option.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.