Amazon Fire TV Remote and Screen.
Joe Fedewa / How-To Geek
  1. Enable "Developer Options" by going to Settings > My Fire TV or Device & Options > About > Click the device name until a message says "You are now a developer."
  2. Allow apps to be installed from outside the Appstore by enabling "Apps From Unknown Sources" at Settings > My Fire TV or Device & Options > Developer Options.
  3. Use the "Send Files to TV" app on your Fire TV and phone to transfer the APK file and install it.

Amazon’s Fire TV and Fire TV Stick technically run Android, but you wouldn’t know it from looking. Even though Fire TV devices only have official access to the Amazon Appstore, you can install Android apps from other places too.

Sideloading is the process of installing apps without the Appstore. We’ll manually download the APK and install it ourselves. There are apps made for Android TV and Google TV that aren’t available in the Amazon Appstore, and some Android apps work fine on a TV despite not being designed for it. Sideloading allows you to use them on a Fire TV.

How to Enable Developer Options on Amazon Fire TV

To enable the hidden “Developer Options” menu, go to Settings > My Fire TV or Device & Options > About > Click the device name until a message says “You are now a developer.” Here’s what that process looks like.

First, go to the Settings and choose “My Fire TV” or “Device & Software.”

Select "My Fire TV."

Next, select “About.”

Select "About."

Now click your devices name seven times until you see a message that says “You are now a developer.”

Select the Fire TV device name seven times.

The Developer Options menu will now be visible underneath “About” on the “My Fire TV” or “Device & Software” screen.

Unlocked "Developer Options" menu on Fire TV.

That’s all there is to it! This menu used to be visible by default, but now it more closely resembles the process for enabling the Developer Options menu on other Android devices.

Allow Apps From Unknown Sources on Fire TV

To sideload Android apps on a Fire TV device, you need to first allow “Apps From Unknown Sources” to be installed. This can be done from the Developer Options menu we enabled in the section above.

First, go to the Settings and choose “My Fire TV” or “Device & Software.”

Select "My Fire TV."

Next, select “Developer Options.”

Unlocked "Developer Options" menu on Fire TV.

From the Developer Options menu, you need to select “Apps From Unknown Sources” to turn it “ON.”

Select "Apps from Unknown Sources."

You’re all set! Now we can go ahead and install apps from sources other than the Amazon Appstore.

How to Sideload Android Apps on Fire TV

Before we can do anything, you’ll need and APK to sideload, and we highly recommend using your phone for this part. You can download APKs with some tools, or use the APK Mirror website, which is a trusted source for downloading apps. Just make sure to download APK files, not app “bundles.”

Next, we need to move the APK from your phone to the Fire TV. For that, we’ll be using an app called “Send Files to TV.” You’ll need to install the app on your TV and Android phone.

"Send Files to TV" app.

After installing the app on your Fire TV, open it and and grant permission to access media. Then, go to the main screen and select “Receive.”

Grant permission and select "Receive."

Now open the app on your Android phone and grant it permission to access media. This time, choose “Send” from the main screen.

Grant permission and tap "Send."

Find the APK file you downloaded earlier, then select your Fire TV device to send it.

Send the APK file to your Fire TV.

You’ll see the file transfer appear in the app on your TV. Once it’s finished, select the file.

Select the transferred APK file.

Select “Open” from the menu.

Select "Open."

Next, select “Install” from the menu.

Select "Install."

Lastly, when it’s finished installing, you can select “Open” or click the menu button on the remote to open the app.

Open the newly installed app.

The sideloaded app will appear in the “Apps & Channels” menu along with all the other apps on your Fire TV.

Sideloaded app in the menu.

That’s it! There are other ways to load APKs onto a Fire TV device, but this is easily the most user-friendly. Now you have a whole world of Android apps at your disposal, not just the few found in the Amazon Appstore. You can also sideload Android apps on Amazon Fire tablets, by the way—even the Google Play Store.

Profile Photo for Joe Fedewa Joe Fedewa
Joe Fedewa is a Staff Writer at How-To Geek. He has been covering consumer technology for over a decade and previously worked as Managing Editor at XDA-Developers. Joe loves all things technology and is also an avid DIYer at heart. He has written thousands of articles, hundreds of tutorials, and dozens of reviews.
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Profile Photo for Michael Crider Michael Crider
Michael Crider is a veteran technology journalist with a decade of experience. He spent five years writing for Android Police and his work has appeared on Digital Trends and Lifehacker. He’s covered industry events like the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and Mobile World Congress in person.
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