What this File Browser screen means and what you should do with it in Fire OS 5 on the Amazon Fire TV


At some point, while using an app on your 1st or 2nd-gen Amazon Fire TV running Fire OS 5, you may come across a strange file browser screen like the one you see above. This just means that the app you are using is trying to modify/write to either a microSD card or a USB drive connected to your Fire TV, but it does not have permission. Before an app can modify an external storage device, it must explicitly ask for permission due to changes implemented by Android 5.1 Lollipop, which is the base operating system used in Fire OS 5. You must grant the app permission using the file browser screen you see above.


Some apps, like ES File Explorer, will warn you just before asking for write permissions on external storage. Other apps will just display the nondescript file browser without any explanation as to what it is or what needs to be done.


If you see this file browser screen, all you need to do is navigate to the directory you want to allow the app you’re using to have write permissions for, and click the SELECT “<PATH>” button at the bottom of the screen. If you trust the app you’re using, it’s best to just select the top-most root directory of your external drive/card. This gives the app permission to write files anywhere on the external microSD card or USB drive.

You only need to grant permission once per app. Once the app has permission, it will maintain permission unless you clear the apps data or change external devices. Note that the “MICROSD” and “USB DRIVE” labels displayed in the images above are just what I named those devices when I formatted them with my computer. Your drives will likely have different labels. Also, you’ll never need to grant an app permission to write to internal storage or to read files from external storage. This only applies to apps trying to write files/changes to external storage.

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