There are four versions of Fire TV stick on Amazon, but as of now, all four versions come with only 8 GB of internal storage, and when we factor in Amazon pre-installed apps, we are only left with around 5.5 GB of usable memory. - which is definitely not enough.
Well, the good thing is, you can expand your Fire TV stick storage, by simply using an OTG cable and inserting a pen drive. But the biggest con is, older Fire TV sticks don't use that external USB storage as internal storage, so you can only use it to see photos and play videos, but you can’t install apps in it.
But here is the biggest change. In the latest Fire TV stick version, i.e., FireOS 7, let’s you use any external hard drive as internal storage. But the process is not that obvious, so we’ll show you everything in details with all the requirements.
Let’s see how to boost your FireTV Stick internal storage.
Before we begin, let's see what you need.
First thing you need is the latest Fire TV stick, running FireOS 7. If you have recently bought a new Fire TV stick in past 2-3 months, chances are it has the latest FireOS 7. For example, we bought this Fire TV stick 4k MAX a month ago and it comes with the FireOS 7, which you can check by going to settings > my Fire TV > about > look for software version. Now, based on how old your Firestick is, you may see FireOS 5, 6 or 7. For FireOS 7, you can only add extra storage as external storage, for FireOS 6, you can add both internal and external, but this requires tinkering with command line, which is not so easy and finally with FireOS 7, you can do it very easily, which we’ll see in this video. If you have older version of FireOS, as of now, you will have to wait for Amazon to give it an update.
The second thing you need is external hard drive or a thumb drive. It is recommended that you use a USB drive capable of USB 3.0/3.1 speeds. For this instance, we’ll use a Samsung SSD and external HDD of 1 TB. Again, Amazon says, Fire TV sticks supports up to 128 GB, but we have tried 1 TB and it works, some people on Reddit claim to use 2 TB as well, so you are good to go there. Another thing to keep in mind is, if you want to use your hard drive as internal storage, then you will have to format it to fat32 format and then all the data will be gone. So, make sure to make a backup before you proceed.
The third thing you need is a micro USB OTG cable, to connect the USB drive to the Fire TV, you will need. You can find it pretty easily on Amazon, it costs around 5 dollars and chances are most of you already have one.
Now, that you have all the things with you, let’s see how to boost your FireTV Stick storage.
First, connect your OTG cable to your Fire TV Stick and power on the device WITHOUT the USB drive connected. This is the most important part, and many people make a mistake here. Don’t connect the USB drive yet.
Once the Fire TV is powered on and at the Home screen, plug the USB drive into the USB OTG cable. You do not need to format the USB drive to a specific file system format ahead of time. The Fire TV will be formatting the drive for you. But you will lose all your data in that process, so make sure you have taken the backup of your external hard drive.
The moment you plug in your external hard drive. You will see a popup on Fire TV stick. It gives you two option - use external hard drive as device storage or external hard drive.
If you choose external hard drive, then you can use it to see photos and play videos from your HDD to your Firestick and then you can also use the same hard drive with your laptop as well.
But if you want to use the drive for storing apps, you need to select the “Device Storage” option. Your drive will then be erased and formatted to FAT32 format to store apps. This also means you will not be able to use the drive with your laptop or anything else unless you later erase/format the drive.
If your USB drive was already formatted with the FAT32 file system, you will not see the above prompt. Instead, you need to navigate to Settings > My Fire TV > USB Drive and then select the “Format to Internal Storage” option.
In our case, we want to use this external hard drive as my internal storage, so we’ll chose Device storage. Confirm that you want to format the drive by selecting “Yes” on the prompt. Once formatted, all files on the drive will be erased. Depending on the size and speed of the drive, formatting it can take several minutes.
And that’s it, now to check if it’s acting as internal storage, go to Settings > My Fire TV > USB Drive. If the option to “Format to External Storage” is present, then the drive is prepared correctly. If not, check the connection of OTG to see if you HDD need external power and then repeat the previous step.
Now, let’s say you want to move heavy apps like Asphalt games to USB storage, navigate to Settings > Applications > Manage Installed Applications. Now, system apps won’t move to external storage, but if you have installed apps from app store, that can be move to external storage.
If the app can be moved, the option “Move to USB Storage” will be present. If the option is not there, then the app cannot be moved and must remain on the device’s internal storage. Not all apps can be moved. Select “Move to USB Storage” to begin moving the app. To note, app data and cache won’t be moved to external hard drive.
The app may take several minutes to move depending on the size of the app and the speed of your USB drive. Just be patient.
Once moved to USB Storage, pressing ‘back’ to return to the app list will show a USB icon next to the app name, indicating that it is now on external storage.
Now, if you are wondering what happens when you install a new app or eject your hard drive?
Well, if you install a new app that can be moved to external storage while you have your USB drive connected, the new app will automatically be installed to your external USB drive. Ejecting or removing the USB drive while apps are installed on it will cause those apps to disappear from your Fire TV. When you reconnect the drive, those apps will automatically return.
However, one thing to note here is that it is up to the app developer to decide whether their app can be moved to USB storage, for example, we tried moving the Asphalt game and it worked, when we tried Spotify, it didn't work. But mostly, big apps and games usually work well.
Well there you have it, this is how you boost your FireTV Stick storage in the new FireOS 7.
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