Read Me First!
Update: March 13, 2017
I have posted a tutorial for running Android TV on the
Fire TV. I'm using a Fire TV currently rooted on 5.0.5 firmware and first updating it to
220.127.116.11. Note that 18.104.22.168 can not be rooted out of the box (unless you want to break out
a soldering iron), you must already be rooted on a prior firmware for this to work. It's
in the Other Tutorials menu.
Update: December 31, 2016
I'm happy on 5.0.5 firmware and that's where I'm staying.
Keep that in mind when reading my rooting tutorials as they are for 5.0.5. I pretty much
just use my Fire TV now for Kodi. The Apple TV does all the surfing for content ever
since either Amazon or Netflix decided to hamper my video output with regards to the
Netflix interface since I don't want to update from 5.0.5. I just don't want to keep
playing cat and mouse with Amazon every time a new firmware comes out. It's just not
worth it to me.
A quick note on the tutorials I have posted. I only own the Fire TV 2nd generation model
(late 2015, with 4K video), but I have a few of them. I have one rooting tutorial where
you don't need a computer at all. I highly recommend following this tutorial (unless you
are on 22.214.171.124 firmware). Otherwise,
my tutorials are written for Mac users. If you need Windows tutorials then I recommend
stopping by AFTV News.
want even more in-depth discussions on hacking the Fire TV check out the
are the two web destinations where I learn A LOT.
I intend to only have a few key tutorials on this site. In fact I think I've pretty much
written all I'm going to write right now. My rooting tutorials are lenghty (it's really
just the screenshots that make them so long) as I prefer having a more all in one guide.
There's a lot of terminology in rooting the Fire TV so here's some definitions and the
workflow to help you put it all together.
- Step 1. Root the Fire TV. This opens up the Fire TV OS file system making it
read/writeable so you can modify it to add applications and features like turning off
software updates from Amazon that may block rooting.
- Step 2. Install TWRP custom recovery. This is important because if you just root your
Fire TV and start installing and uninstalling things, and modifying files and you find
you've messed up your file system you won't have any way to recover from serious issues.
This is what custom recovery is for. It allows you to reboot into a special mode that
doesn't load the Fire TV OS so you can work under the hood so to speak. Custom recovery
is also for installing new future software updates from Amazon that have already been
rooted for you.
- Step 3. Use TWRP to install a pre-rooted ROM. First off the following terms are
interchangeable (at least how I hear them discussed): ROM, Amazon software update,
firmware, Fire TV OS. At the time of this writing Fire OS 126.96.36.199 is the most current.
Pre-rooted ROMS are especially helpful when you are on an older Fire OS (5.0.5) but a new
one (188.8.131.52) is available and has already been pre-rooted for you. All you have to do is
install it and you are on the latest Fire OS and still rooted.
- Step 4. If using the KingRoot method (this no longer works on 184.108.40.206), then use TWRP
to perform a factory reset. This will get rid of all the bloatware that KingRoot installed
(not to mention other issues), and leave the Fire TV with a clean file system (other than
the addition of the SuperSU program which you have to have).
So as not to confuse anyone (like I was when I started learning) here's a brief run down
on the tutorials in my menu above.
I have three rooting tutorials that achieve the exact same thing for Fire TV 2 on almost
all firmwares. If you are on 220.127.116.11 firmware and want to stay on that firmware (or even
downgrade to firmware like 5.0.5) then you must use the 2nd Next Best Method as KingRoot
no longer works on this firmware. Otherwise use the first tutorial (Best Method).
- How to Root the Fire TV without a Computer using KingRoot, Install TWRP Custom
Recovery, a Pre-Rooted ROM & Block Software Updates (Best Method). The only difference
between this tutorial and the Next Best Method is not needing a computer.
- How to use KingRoot to Root the Fire TV, Install Custom Recovery, and Install a
Pre-Rooted ROM (Next Best Method). The biggest difference bewtween this tutorial and
the 2nd Next Best Method is you do not need to purchase a specific USB A to A cable to
connect your computer to your Fire TV to root it. It's also has a lot fewer steps.
- How to Root the Fire TV, Install Custom Recovery, and Install a Pre-Rooted ROM (2nd
Next Best Method). This tutorial requires a specific USB A to A cable as you must connect
your computer directly to your Fire TV to root it.
- How to Install Kodi and FireStarter and use an External Hard Drive for Media Content.
You do not have to root your Fire TV to do this.
- How to Wirelessly Transfer Files to the External Hard Drive on your Fire TV. You do
need to root your Fire TV to do this. ES File Explorer allows you to set up an FTP server
on your Fire TV. Simply use your favorite FTP client on your computer and you can