How To Install An APK On The Amazon Firestick
Last Updated: October 26, 2019
The Amazon Firestick is a great device with a bunch of available apps. Those apps will cover most requirements but there are some that didn’t get the green light from Amazon. You can still use those on your Firestick but you will have to sideload them. It’s a simple process that uses an APK fie which contains everything the app needs to work. This tutorial is going to show you how to install an APK on the Amazon Firestick.
APK stands for Android Package and is a self contained file that contains everything an app needs to work. You don’t usually see the file format at the app store will manage the installation of any apps for you. It is only when you’re sideloading an app yourself that you see it’s an APK. It’s a safe file format and as long as you trust the source of it, will be fine to use on your Firestick.
Sideloading just means installing something using a method other than the official app store. It’s a fancy term for copying an APK file from one place to another. Either from the internet or from a PC.
Install an APK on the Amazon Firestick
Installing an APK on the Amazon Firestick is very straightforward. You just need to enable a couple of security settings and then download or copy the file onto your device. Explaining how to do it will probably take longer than actually doing it!
First we need to enable the ability to load unofficial files onto the Fire TV Stick.
- Connect your Firestick and turn on your TV.
- Select Settings and My Fire TV.
- Select Developer Options.
- Turn on both ADB Debugging and Apps from Unknown Sources.
These two settings are security settings that allow you to circumvent security and install any file you like. We enable the option here, install the APK and then turn the setting back off again to re-enable device security.
Download an APK onto a Firestick
Downloading the APK file is the easiest way to use it on a Firestick but requires you to be able to find the source. If you know where to find the file, this is how to use it on a Firestick.
- Navigate to the Firestick Home screen.
- Select Search and enter Downloader as the search term.
- Select the Downloader app and install it.
- Open Downloader from your Apps list.
- Enter the URL of the APK file into where you see http:// and hit Go.
- Download your APK file and select to install it.
If you’re installing something well known like Kodi from an APK, the URL of that file will be well known. If you’re downloading a lesser known file, a little work may be necessary to find it. Either way, once installed, repeat Steps 1-4 above to turn off ADB Debugging and Apps from Unknown Sources.
Copy an APK onto a Firestick from a PC
If you already have a copy of the APK file or have created on yourself, it’s straightforward to copy it from a PC onto your Firestick. You will need a different app this time, called ES File Explorer. It does a similar job to Downloader but has more options for using network shares.
Make sure your PC is turned on and connected to the same network as your Firestick for this to work.
- Navigate to the Firestick Home screen.
- Select Search and enter ES File Explorer as the search term.
- Select the ES File Explorer app and install it.
- Open ES File Explorer and allow it permission to use your device.
- Select View on PC from the left menu of ES File Explorer.
- Select Turn On to join the network.
- Write down or record the FTP address that appears.
- Enter that FTP address in the URL bar of any folder on your computer. You should see all your Firestick folders appear.
- Select the folder to save your file.
- Open another window and navigate to your APK file.
- Drag it across to the Firestick folder and let it copy across.
- Use ES File Explorer to locate the file on your Firestick and select it.
- Allow the app to install itself.
The APK file is a self-contained installer that has everything necessary to install the app. Once you select it in ES File Explorer, it should offer the chance to install and then complete the installation. Once done, you should be able to use the app the same as any other.
Once installed, repeat Steps 1-4 at the top to turn off ADB Debugging and Apps from Unknown Sources.