Smart DNS Proxy l December 3, 2020

Three Ways to Sideload Apps on Fire TV Stick

In our previous videos, we showed you how to sideload apps on Android TV. If you haven’t seen that one, search the YouTube cards for it.

Now, Amazon’s Fire TV stick technically runs a customized version of Android TV, so basically, all the apps that work on Android TV will also work on your Fire TV stick. There's one major difference - there is no official Google Play Store on Firestick (which make sense, since Google and Amazon compete with each other).

So, how do you sideload Android Apps on your Firestick? Well, we’ll show you three different ways to sideload Android apps on your Firestick. One method is better suited for smartphones, another for computers, and rest for directly downloading on you Firestick. 

Okay, let’s begin now.

First: Enable Third-Party Apps in Settings

To install apps from outside Amazon’s App Store on Firestick, you need to turn on sideloading option from Firestick settings, just like you do it on an Android smartphone. This is a one-time process only. Go to the Fire TV home page, then navigate all the way to the Settings tab. Go to “Device,” then “Developer Options”. Under “Apps from Unknown Services,”. Select “Turn on”.

Also, while you are at it, also enable the ADB debugging ON. This allows you to remotely install apps on your Firestick like you did on your Android smartphone (you need to do this only if you are using the method #2 i.e. sideloading apps from your Android phone).

Okay, now you can easily install apps from outside the Amazon App Store, let’s start with the most popular method of downloading apps on your Fire TV from the internet using the downloader app. 

Method 1 - Sideload apps directly from the Internet

Downloader helps you to download apps on your Fire TV from the internet. I’ll show you how to use it, after downloading. To get started, go to Amazon app store and search for “Downloader.” Or press the Alexa voice assistant button on your Alexa remote and say “Downloader”. Once you see it, press the get app button.

Once installed, open the app and go to the browse section. 

Now, as you can see, the Downloader app is essentially a browser, but not just any web browser, rather a specialized browser to download APK files from the internet.

Say, for example, I want to sideload Stremio on my FS. So, head over to Google from the Downloader app. You can use the remote to move the cursor and the on-screen keyboard to type the search terms. Search for ‘stremio apk’, select the first stremio official link and download the latest Android apk. 

Once you download the apk, Downloader will then automatically open it in the installer window. Once you’ve selected a file, the Downloader app will automatically begin the installation process. Select “Install” to start, then “Done” to finish. That’s it now you can find the Stremio app appear on the home page and under the “Apps” section. 

Similarly, you can find all the apks from the internet or by using the website apk downloader. It’s safe and only contains legit apks after checking for their source code. However, I don’t recommend downloading apk on your Firestick from the source that you don’t trust.

Method 2 - Sideload from your Android Phone

If the app you want to sideload on your Firestick is already installed on your Android smartphone, then this is one is the fastest way. Simply use the Android app called Apps2Fire, which directly sends apk from your Android to Firestick, but also install it right there.

Let’s see how it works.

So, download the Apps2Fire app on the Play Store (there will be a link in the description of the video) and then open it. Next, tap the three-dot button in the upper-right corner and select “Setup.” In this screen, tap “Network.” Wait for the scan to complete, and make sure you are Firestick is plugged in the TV and connected to same Wi-Fi network your Android is connected to.

You’ll see all the devices connected to your local network, pick the Firestick from the list and tap on it to connect. If you are not sure, what’s the IP address of your Firestick is, you can go to Firestick Settings > Device > About > Network, and you will find the IP address of your Firestick there. 

Once connected, go to the local apps section on the Apps2Fire app, you will see the list of all Android apps installed on your phone, you can tap any of the apps on your phone, then “Install,” and it will be sent over the network to your Fire TV. And the best part is (since you have given USB debugging permission in the beginning of the video), this will automatically install the apps on your Fire TV stick. You don’t have to do anything; the app will install itself in the background and appear on your home screen of your Firestick automatically.

Method 3 - Sideload an apk from iPhone/computer

In the previous two methods, we showed you how to sideload apps from either the internet or Android smartphone. But what if you already have an apk of the app you want to sideload either on your laptop or a USB stick? Well, in that case, you can use Cloud storage such as Google drive or Dropbox. Let’s see how.

To get started, head over to your Firestick and download any file manager of your choice such as ES file manager.  Once done, open the app.

Use the d-pad on your Alexa remote to navigate to the left-most column, then click on “Network”, highlight “Cloud” and click it. Here, you can log into one of your cloud storage such as Google drive, Dropbox, OneDrive etc. Log into the one you use, for me it’s Doogle drive.

Now, head over to the device where you have apk, like your computer or iPhone. In my case, I’ve an apk on my iPhone that I want to send to my Firestick. So, on your iPhone, copy the apk and put it in the Google drive folder. 

This will automatically upload the apk to cloud and when you go to Firestick, you will find the apk appear in the cloud folder of your ES file explorer app from which you can just download the app and install it.

So, yeah, these were a couple of ways to sideload apps on your Firestick from the web, Android or computer etc. There are some others options as well such as using an USB storage via OTG cable or using FTP, all of them are covered in our YouTube videos so search for them in our profile.

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