Until recently, Firestick users could easily access their device’s Developer Options menu. But after an update to the Fire OS, that option has been hidden.
Fortunately, there’s a simple trick to unlocking the power of Firestick developer options. Follow the steps below to enable apps from unknown sources and unleash your Firestick’s full potential!
1. Unknown Sources
In June of 2022, an update to Fire OS removed the Developer Options menu from the Settings for devices like the Amazon Fire Stick 4K Max, FireStick Lite, and the Fire TV Cube. The move was done to prevent sideloading of third-party apps. Fortunately, it’s still possible to unlock this hidden setting and regain access to features like ADB debugging and Apps from Unknown Sources.
To do this, go to the About page in your Fire TV’s Settings and select the first option seven times. A countdown will appear at the bottom of the page letting you know when the menu is about to become available. Once the countdown has finished, you’ll see a message saying “No need, you are already a developer.”
From now on, you should always keep this setting enabled unless you have a specific reason for disabling it. Otherwise, you’re essentially giving it blanket permission to download files from anywhere on the internet, which isn’t a good idea from a security perspective.
2. ADB Debugging
ADB is an Android development tool that can be used to interact with your device in a number of ways. It can be used to install system updates, a custom ROM, and other things that aren’t possible with the default settings.
The first step is to enable USB debugging on your device. To do this, navigate to the Settings app and tap the Build Number item multiple times until you receive a message saying that you’re now a developer. Next, you’ll need to allow USB debugging from your Chromebook or other computer.
Once you’ve done that, open your Chromebook’s terminal and type adb connect ip address of your device>. Click Allow when prompted whether you want to allow the debugger. This is required to establish an ADB session. Once connected, you can run adb commands to control your device like:
3. Root Access
The root account is king of the system and has 100% management control, including access to all commands, files, and directories. It is also the only user account with a full set of privileges.
In a recent update to Firesticks, Fire TV Stick 4K, Fire TV Cube and other devices, Amazon hid the Developer Options menu on these devices by default. This is similar to the way Google hides the developer menu on Android devices. Fortunately, it is easy to restore the Developer Options menu after a few simple steps.
To regain access to the Firestick Developer Options, open the Settings app on your device and select “About”. Tap the name of your Fire TV device multiple times (it uses the device’s name as a reference rather than the build number) until you get a message saying that you are now a developer. This process is the same as that used to unlock the developer options on Android phones, so it should be familiar to most users.
Many Firestick users will never need to touch the Developer Options menu, but it’s there for anyone who wants to expand their device’s abilities. It can help them sideload apps that aren’t in Amazon’s official app store, connect a USB mouse to the Firestick, and more. Unfortunately, Amazon recently pushed an update that hid the menu from the Settings menu of some devices.
Thankfully, this isn’t a permanent change, and it’s easy to unhide the menu again. To do so, you’ll need to navigate to the “About” setting on your Fire TV Stick and select the first option (which is likely your device’s name) quickly seven times. Each time, a countdown text will appear at the bottom of the screen, letting you know how many more selections you need to make. Once you’ve made the required number of selections, a message will appear at the bottom that says “No need, you are a developer.” From there, you can open the Developer Options menu and enable ADB debugging and install unknown apps.