Top hidden features of the Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, and Fire TV Cube Remotes

You probably use your Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, Fire TV Cube, or Fire TV Smart TV remote every day without knowing that it has tons of hidden capabilities. Holding down certain buttons and certain button combinations serve as shortcuts to a lot of common tasks like rebooting the Fire TV, opening apps, checking the time, skipping ads, and much more. Here is a list of the top tips, secrets, and hidden features of the Fire TV remote.

Quickly Reboot Your Fire TV


Whether an app is acting up or the entire Fire TV is being annoying, regardless of the problem it’s often solved which a quick restart of the device. You could do this by getting up and physically unplugging the device or by digging through the settings menus, but there’s no faster way to do it than to simply press and hold the PLAY and SELECT buttons on your remote for about 5-10 seconds. A message will appear on your screen telling you the Fire TV is restarting and you’ll be back up and running in no time. This can be done regardless of what is currently on the Fire TV screen.

Open the Alexa Shortcut Panel


You likely already know that you can press and hold the microphone/Alexa button on your remote to perform a voice search or make an Alexa request, but what you may not know is that pressing the button without holding it causes an Alexa shortcut panel to pop up in the lower part of the screen. The items available in the panel have changed throughout the years, but it usually gives you quick access to your smart home controls, the weather forecast, the “My Stuff” tab on the Fire TV, News, and more. Right now it also has access to cooking videos and the FIFA World Cup bracket.

Skip Prime Video Ads


The next time you’re watching something on Prime Video and a pre-roll ad comes up before the movie or TV show starts, just press the fast-forward button once and the ad will be skipped.

Easily Access Profiles, Apps, Sleep, Mirroring, & Settings


All Fire TVs have a quick access shortcut menu that you can bring up by simply holding down the HOME button for a few seconds. This menu gives you quick access to your profile switcher, your grid of all apps, and the Fire TV settings. You can also force the Fire TV to sleep immediately from this menu or enable Miracast mirroring. It also shows the date and time, which is handy since this menu will pop up on top of whatever app you’re currently using, without taking you away from the app. Just press BACK on the remote to dismiss it and get back to what you were doing if all you want to do is check the time.

Switch your TV HDMI Input


Fire TV remotes don’t have input buttons for changing your TV’s input, but they do have the capability. You just need to use your voice. If you’ve gone ahead and set up your TV under the Fire TV’s equipment control settings menu, then you can say “Switch to HDMI [#]” and the remote will switch the input for you. This also works for soundbars and AV receivers that have multiple inputs. Just be sure to point your remote at the appropriate equipment after you issue the voice command. If you tell the Fire TV what equipment you have on each input by adding equipment in the settings menu, you can just call out the equipment by name, such as by saying “Switch to Xbox.” Bonus tip: if you switch inputs often and have a Fire TV Alexa Voice Remote Pro, you can assign the input switching command to one of the custom buttons so that you can switch inputs with the press of a button.

Fire TV Remote is Transparent


While the Fire TV remote seems to be made of opaque solid black plastic, it’s actually made of a special material that is transparent to IR light. Seen through a special IR camera, the remote housing appears completely transparent. This is so that the IR emitters in the remote that can control your TV, soundbar, and AV receiver can easily beam signals out of the remote. So, the next time you’re going to turn your TV on/off or change the volume, try not bothering to point the remote at the TV and I bet the signal gets to it anyway.

Remap App Buttons You Don’t Use


If your remote has app shortcut buttons at the bottom that you don’t use, it might be possible to remap them to open apps that you do use. The one catch is that the button the app is originally meant to open cannot be installed, so you can’t remap a button like the Prime Video button because you can’t uninstall Prime Video. See here for instructions on how to remap the app buttons on Fire TV remotes.

More Remote Features


If you want even more hidden secrets and tips about the Fire TV remote, see this other article where I list some of the more obscure capabilities, like opening hidden menus with the remote, enabling certain accessibility features, changing output resolution, and more.

43 comments
  1. nvidiashieldguy says:

    I would love to know where I can get one of the remotes with the DAZN or APPS button as I can’t remap due to needing Prime, Netflix, Disney and Hulu installed. Any one know how I can order one?

    • The remote with a DAZN button is sold in Japan and the remote with an Apps button is sold in India. The Pro remote in the UK also has an Apps button on some units.

      • Nividiashieldguy says:

        Just now noticing one has Amazon music button. That would probably be more accessible here in the US. Any idea where that one is on sale?

        • Slartibartfast says:

          You can’t remap the Amazon Music button. For remapping to work you have to be able to uninstall the app the button normally launches so you can install the remapper app which spoofs the removed one. Amazon Music can’t be removed unless you root the device.

  2. Russell says:

    The FireTV remotes are Bluetooth, not IR.
    FireTVs control power, volume and input through the HDMI cable.

    • Niner says:

      They have ir for controlling your tv volume, power, etc…

    • Fire TV remotes communicate to the Fire TV over Bluetooth and communicate to TVs, soundbars, and AV receivers over either IR or HDMI-CEC.

      • Patrick says:

        Really wish device manufacturers would allow for reprogramming the IR codesets being used. I’ve got a soundbar and Android TV box that both speak the same IR codes and try to control each other. The Android box also reponds when I try to turn off a Fire TV it’s not connected to. The TV box then wakes up the TV it IS connected to and suddenly I have a house full of insane devices. It’s driving ME insane. Oh if I could only go into a menu and tell it to use a different set of remote codes. But you can’t.

  3. Louie says:

    Can I use older firestick remotes with the cube?

    • It depends on which remote you have. Some Firestick remotes work with the Cube and some do not. It’s too complicated to explain in a comment, but I’ll try to put a post up in the near future outlining all remotes and what they work with.

  4. Terry says:

    I have Dish satellite. Can I have fire stick? How to switch from one to the other?

    • Barbara says:

      Yes! I do that. DISH is currently on my TV as HDMI 1 and I use my Firestick (older model) with HDMI 3 input. When I want to switch inputs, I use the remote that comes with my TV. I hit the input button and the list of inputs appears on the screen. I simply scroll to the desired input and click on it. When I am watching with the Firestick, my DISH is off. It does not need to be on.

      • Martyn says:

        If you’re not on the HDMI of your firestick hitting the home button once or twice depending on model will bring it up. Unless your TV is rather old

  5. Christopher says:

    Fire stick is a rip off if they say u need a TV provider what is the use u gotta pay for the channel i could of kept Optimum

    • Martyn says:

      I pay for Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Video, Paramount+ , Customer zon and BFI, why would you be special FireTV to pay for everything, it’s tied to Amazon so you will get Amazon video with your basic Amazon account. I pay for the apps and services I’m interested in.

    • Sharon says:

      You just don’t know how to use it, do a little research remember Google has a lot of useful info

    • Debster says:

      I only have internet through Comcast I don’t have any kind of television service through them. I fully utilize my fire TV, I just don’t watch local stations that’s all.

  6. Leigh halls says:

    Why is fire stick tv coming up on my android phone in direct wi-fi?

    • One of the older Fire TV remotes used WiFi, instead of Bluetooth, to connect to the Fire TV Stick. So there are older Fire TV and Fire TV Stick models that emit a Wifi Network for the remote to connect to. It’s that WiFi signal that your phone is seeing.

  7. Lynn says:

    Can I get closed captioning with a pretty old firestick remote?

  8. zidane says:

    thank you for the information

  9. Sascha, Germany says:

    How can I rename my hdmi Inputs? Doesnt work the way it is descripted here. There is no Input overview to rename…thanks for help. (Fire TV Stick 4K Max)

    • Go to Settings > Equipment Control. From there, select to add a new device. Then you select what the device is, like an Xbox or Blu-Ray, and then you select which HDMI input it is connected to. After that, you’ll be able to say “Switch to Xbox” for example, and the input will change to it.

  10. Larry McNutt says:

    I just bought a fire stick and l hate it waste of time and money. I even paid for VPN

    • Heather Meuse says:

      Give it a chance, I love my fire sticks.

    • DP says:

      No it’s not i was paying $267 mnth for Verizon tv. I did away with it just pay $60 for internet & i have fire sticks in every room now & love besides apps i bought there really r a lot of free apps with great movies & shows. Definitely worth getting the fire sticks!

    • LEE K says:

      I have a firestick and I have real debrid , I can pick a stream and I have never been disappointed and I got 500 mbps Wi-Fi from my cable provider . Those two things alone made my firestick experience so much better, I kicked the vpn out of the game and with most apks I didn’t need any thing else, the guy was right don’t give up on your firestick.

  11. Art says:

    Forgot to mention that the fire removed do not last long. Mine stopped working after 6 months. Features mean nothing if durability and customer support is poor.

  12. Mark Wyant says:

    My Marantz has all of my hdmi inputs. But the fire cube does not list them. It shows cd,phono,something else. Can I fix that so I can add the cable box and chromecast?

  13. Tech guy says:

    I have added my AV receiver to the Equipment Control of my Fire Stick Cube so I can control volume. However, it also turns off the AV receiver when I hit the power button, even though I have Power Control OFF in the receiver settings. I do want to turn the TV On/Off with the Fire Stick remote, but not the AV receiver. How do I accomplish that and still control AV volume?

  14. Sebastian says:

    Is it still possible to jailbreak my older firestick. And what about the newer ones? I was told that they can’t be jailbroken?

  15. Eric says:

    Have a TV in one room that’s not a smart TV. Can I use a Fire stick in the HDMI port and use my home Wifi to make it a smart TV? Would really love to cancel my cable.

    • Barbara says:

      Yes! I do exactly that. My older model flat screen TV is not a smart TV, but plugging in the Firestick converts it to one. Very happy about that. I cut the cord in April and am saving over $100 every month!

  16. Bill says:

    I’m new to firestick. I get blackend screens most of time. Volume works, ads come on, and writing is visible. What’s wrong?

  17. Jim says:

    I have an issue but I’m not sure if my TV or the fire stick is the problem everytime I press the volume button my TV picture will disappear and then my TV will automatically restart
    Anyone who can help me resolve this problem

  18. Arbind Shrestha says:

    Where to get fire tv stick spare remote

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