Amazon Fire tablet.
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Amazon’s Fire Tablets are extremely popular thanks to being incredibly affordable. However, these devices are surprisingly capable for their bargain bin prices. If you have one, you’ll want to make sure you’re getting the most out of it.

Install the Google Play Store

Amazon Fire Tablet.

Unsurprisingly, Amazon Fire Tablets come with the Amazon Appstore. That’s a bit disappointing as the Google Play Store has far more Android apps, including those from Google.

The good news is you can actually just install the Play Store on your Fire Tablet. The process is fairly straightforward and mostly requires downloading a few files for your specific model. We have an in-depth walkthrough to installing the Google Play Store on your Fire Tablet.

RELATED: How to Install the Google Play Store on an Amazon Fire Tablet

Sideload Apps

If you don’t want to go through the hassle of getting the Play Store up and running, you can bypass it and simply sideload apps. Sideloading is the process of installing apps from outside a central app store.

It’s very easy to do this on a Fire Tablet. The most difficult part is finding the APK file for the app you’d like to install. We recommend APKMirror.com. If you don’t need a lot of apps, this is a good method to use.

RELATED: How to Sideload Apps Onto Your Amazon Fire Tablet

Grab an SD Card

SD card next to a microSD card and adaptor
Vitalii Stock/Shutterstock.com

Most Amazon Fire Tablets include a slot for a MicroSD card. This is great since one of the things that’s sacrificed for the low prices is storage space. You can add an extra 128GB of storage for less than $20.

After you insert the MicroSD card, you’ll see a prompt asking to format it for the tablet.  One benefit of an SD card is the ability to put apps on it and free up the built-in storage space. You can do that from Settings > Storage.

Samsung EVO 128GB MicroSD Card

An affordable microSD card from a trusted brand. The Samsung EVO microSD card also comes with an adapter to be used in full-size SD card slots.

Change the Keyboard

Select the newly installed keyboard from the menu.

Amazon Fire Tablets are Android devices at the core, which means you can take advantage of core Android features. Don’t like the stock Amazon keyboard? Use a different one!

You’re free to download a third-party keyboard from the Amazon Appstore or Google Play Store—if you set that up. Once you’ve got a new keyboard, you can easily enable the keyboard from Settings.

RELATED: How to Change the Keyboard on an Amazon Fire Tablet

Turn it Into an Echo Show

An Amazon Echo Show on a table.
Amazon

The Amazon Echo Show is an Alexa-enabled smart display. It puts Alexa front and center and aims to give you access to things you might need on a daily basis, similar to a Google Home Hub. Your Fire Tablet can be an Echo Show, too.

if you have a supported Fire Tablet, you can switch it to “Show Mode” simply from the Quick Settings panel or by saying “Alexa, switch to Show Mode.” Just like that, you have a smart display!

RELATED: How to Turn a PC or Tablet into an Echo Show

Uninstall Pre-Loaded Apps

Tap "Uninstall App."

When you first power on your new Fire Tablet, you may notice a handful of apps that have already been installed. There’s a good chance you don’t want all of these apps, so let’s remove them.

The easiest way to do this is to tap and hold an icon on the home screen and select “Uninstall App.” You can also choose “Edit Home Screen” from the menu to remove more than one app at a time. Sadly, you won’t be able to uninstall every app.

Remove Suggestions from the Home Screen

Select "Not Interested."

Another thing you may want to remove from the home screen is suggestions and recommendations. These live at the top of the “Home” tab in two sections—“Continue” and “Discover.”

The “Continue” section is for apps you recently used, while “Discover” is basically ads for Amazon products and media. You can tap and hold on anything in these sections and select “Remove from Home” or “Not Interested.”

Get Rid of Lock Screen Ads

Remove lock screen ads.

This last feature is going to cost you—literally. If you were given a Fire Tablet as a gift, it may have ads on the lock screen. These models are popular since they are slightly cheaper. You can remove the ads for a small fee.

To do this, go to the Device Manager page on Amazon’s website. Select the tablet you use and choose the “Remove Offers” option. For $15, you can have an ad-free lock screen, a small price to pay, especially if it was a gift.

RELATED: How to Remove Ads and Special Offers from Your Amazon Kindle


Amazon Fire Tablets are handy little devices, but you’ll want to take advantage of these features to get the experience to your liking. And when you’re done with the tablet, it can be repurposed for other things!

RELATED: How to Turn an Old Android Tablet Into an Auto-Updating Digital Photo Frame

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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