How to Install an Amazon Fire TV Stick

Watch streaming movies and television shows anytime

The Amazon Fire TV stick is a portable device you plug into your TV to stream shows, movies, and music to your TV. It turns any TV into a smart TV quickly, and you can use it on any TV with an HDMI port.

There are currently two versions available for purchase: the Fire TV Stick and the Fire TV Stick 4K. Both offer the same basic functionality, with the 4K version allowing you to view shows and movies in 4K resolution. 

The Amazon Fire TV Stick functions similarly to the Amazon Fire TV. The main difference is the form factor and portability of the Amazon Fire TV Stick.

See: How to Stream for a month without paying a dime on Hulu Free Trial

Why Use a Fire TV Stick

In a word, simplicity. It looks like a USB thumb drive but plugs into a free HDMI port on the back of your TV. Plug it in, set it up, and you’re ready to go. It’s so small (4.25 in x 1.1 in x 0.55 in (including the connector)) you can pack it in your luggage and bring it with you wherever you go. 

The Fire TV stick delivers an optimized entertainment experience from your favorite services like Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu, and more. It provides stunning visuals up to 1080p with the regular stick and up to 4K Ultra HD with support for HDR, HDR 10, Dolby Vision, HLG, and HDR10+ with the 4K stick.

Amazon Fire TV
Amazon Fire TV

With both options offering 8 GB of storage and built-in quad-core processing, you’ll have access to over 500,000 shows and movies, along with millions of songs from your favorite providers like Amazon Music, Apple Music, and Spotify. 

These newer versions of the Fire TV stick offer Alexa functionality so that you can browse offerings through the stick with your voice. Browse through the offerings using voice commands spoken into the remote. 

Other Benefits to the Amazon Fire TV Stick

  • Cut the cord from your cable or satellite provider and stream TV shows and movies wirelessly. – even live TV (with the right apps)
  • Control your other compatible smart home devices with Alexa through the Fire TV stick, including lights, thermostats, and cameras. 
  • Use Alexa to search through most of the apps you download, giving you broader search capabilities.
  • Low content buffering through the high-powered Wi-Fi connectivity (802.11ac standard).

What’s in the Box?

Each Fire TV Stick comes with: 

  • The Alexa-enabled voice remote and two batteries
  • Power adapter and micro USB power cord
  • HDMI extender
  • Instruction manual

How to Connect a Fire TV Stick

To set up a Fire TV stick, you’ll need a TV with a free HDMI port, a power outlet, an Internet connection, and an Amazon account (though you can sign up for one during the installation if you like). 

  1. Plug the power cable into the power adapter and then into the Fire TVstick.
  2. Plug the power adapter into an outlet.
  3. Plug the Fire TV Stick into the open HDMI port on your TV (you can also use the optional HDMI extender if there’s not enough room for the stick on your TV).
  4. Turn on the TV and tune it to the correct input. This will be the same HDMI port you plugged the Fire TV Stick into, such as HDMI 1 or HDMI 3.
  5. Your Fire TV stick will search for your remote and pair with it automatically.
  6. Press Home on the remote. 
  7. Press Play.
  8. Select your language.
  9. Choose your Wi-Fi network and connect to it. You will have to enter your Wi-Fi password to log the device onto your network. 
  10. Register the Fire TV stick with your Amazon account by logging in to your existing account or creating a new one.
  11. Confirm whether you want to save your Wi-Fi password to Amazon. Choosing No means the password will only be used for your stick and no other Amazon devices.
  12. Enable/disable parental controls as necessary.
  13. At this point, you can choose apps to install on your Fire TV stick, such as Hulu, Showtime, Sling, and more. You can also do this later.

Your Fire TV stick is now set up and ready to go.

Problems With the Fire TV Stick Remote

The remote should pair with the Fire TV Stick right away once you plug in the stick, but sometimes it doesn’t. If you’re experiencing problems, try one (or all) of these three things:

  • Remove and reinsert the batteries into the remote. It should automatically re-pair with your Fire TV stick.
  • Press and hold Home on your remote for 10 seconds. It should refresh the connection and work again.
  • Replace the batteries in your remote.

If your remote still doesn’t work, you may need to replace it or contact Amazon for more information. 

As an alternative to the remote control, you can download the Amazon Fire TV Remote App and use your smartphone as your Fire TV remote. There are apps available for both iOS and Android.

Use Alexa on the Fire TV Stick

The Fire TV stick comes with an Alexa-enabled voice remote that lets you use your voice to control it. You can use it to control the playback of your show or movie, play games, and control compatible smart home devices.

  1. Tune your TV to the correct input to turn on the Fire TV stick. You must do this even if you want to control a smart home device. 
  2. Press and hold Voice on your remote. (It’s the button that looks like a microphone.)
  3. Raise the remote to your mouth and speak your request. For example, you can say “Pause” or “Dim the living room lights.”

You don’t have to use a wake word (“Alexa,” “Amazon,” “Computer,” “Echo,” or “Ziggy”) to issue commands, just press Voice on your remote and start talking.

  • Release the button.

Commands You Can Use With an Alexa-enabled Fire TV Stick

Here is a starter list of commands you can say to Alexa to control your Fire TV Stick.

To watch content:

  • “Watch [name of show/movie]”
  • “Open Netflix”

To control the content as you watch:

See: How to download movies Amazon Prime Video

  • “Pause/Play/Stop”
  • “Rewind 10 seconds”
  • “Skip 30 seconds”
  • “Play next”
  • “Next episode”

To find content:

  • “Show me [movie or TV show title]”
  • “Show me [genre of content, such as comedy or sci-fi]”
  • “Show me [performer name]”
  • “Search for [show/movie/performer name]”
  • “Add [TV show/movie] to my watchlist”
  • “Show my watchlist”
  • “Search for the [name] app”
  • “Watch [Prime channel name]”

You can also use Alexa to show or play information on any other Amazon device like an Echo.

  • “Play my flash briefing” (if enabled in the Alexa app)
  • “Tell me the news”
  • “What’s the weather like today?”
  • “What’s the weather in [city]”
  • “Play [game app name]” (if you’ve enabled the game in the Alexa app)

Install Apps on the Fire TV Stick With Alexa

It’s easy to install apps on your Fire TV stick using Alexa.

  1. Press and hold Voice on your remote.
  2. Say “Search for [app name]” and release the button.
  3. Results appear on your TV.
  4. Select the app to install with your remote and click Get. Once installed, the app is available to use on your Fire TV stick as usual.

Managing Apps on the Fire TV Stick

You can add, update, and remove apps on your Amazon Fire TV stick easily by using the remote manually or with Alexa and your voice. 

Adding Apps

To add apps to your Fire TV stick:

  1. Turn on your TV and tune it to the correct TV input for your Amazon Fire TV stick.
  2. Scroll through the Fire TV menu and choose My Apps and Games. You can also access your app list by pressing and holding Home on the remote and selecting Apps.
  3. From the Apps page, scroll through the FeaturedGames, or Categories list to find the app to install.
  4. Scroll through the categories to the app you wish to add and click Select on your remote. 
  5. Click Get to start the download.
  6. When the app is ready to be used, click Open. The app will now appear in your app list on the main Fire TV menu.

Updating Apps on the Fire TV Stick

The easiest way is to turn on automatic updates, which are enabled by default.

  1. Turn on your TV and tune it to the correct TV input for your Amazon Fire TV stick.
  2. Scroll through the Fire TV menu and click Settings Applications Appstore.
  3. Click Automatic Updates > On.

Disable Fire TV Stick Automatic App Updates

Amazon Fire TV Stick
Amazon Fire TV Stick

Here’s what to do if you want to disable automatic updates and update them manually.

  1. Turn on your TV and tune it to the correct TV input for your Amazon Fire TV stick.
  2. Scroll through the Fire TV menu and click Settings Applications Appstore.
  3. Click Automatic Updates > Off.
  4. Navigate back to the home page of the Fire TV app.
  5. Scroll to the Your Apps and Games section of the Home page.
  6. Scroll to the app you wish to update.
  7. If an update is available, an Update button appears under the app.
  8. Click Update
  9. Depending on the version of your Fire TV stick, a pop-up window may appear. Click Update App Now to continue.
  10. When the update is complete, the Update button disappears, and only an Open button remains.

Removing Apps

You cannot remove or uninstall the default apps, such as any of the Amazon-branded ones, only ones you’ve installed.

  1. Turn on your TV and tune it to the correct TV input for your Amazon Fire TV stick.
  2. Scroll through the Fire TV menu and click Settings Applications Manage Installed Applications.
  3. Scroll to the appropriate app and select it.
  4. Click Uninstall.
  5. Click Uninstall again to confirm the request.
  6. Your app is removed from your device. 

Updating Your Fire TV Stick

Like other devices, your Fire TV stick also needs its internal software updated to keep it working correctly. It updates itself automatically, but if you want, you can also check manually for any updates.

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