How to root a Kindle Fire running OS 6.2.1 or earlier
When Amazon pushed out version 6.2.1 of the Kindle Fire software earlier this week the company improved performance and offered a few new features. But users who had rooted their tablets discovered that the update also removed root and replaced any bootloader or recovery options they had installed — and made it difficult to re-root the tablet.
Now there are new tools available that let you root any Kindle Fire running OS 6.2.1 and earlier, and install the TWRP 2.0 recovery utility so that you can flash a custom ROM such as CyanogenMod on the tablet.
Here’s how to do it.
Update: It’s now even easier to root your Kindle Fire running software version 6.3.1 or earlier. Just follow our guide for using Kindle Fire Utility.
In order to complete this process you’ll need to have adb installed on your computer. The most straightforward way to do this is to follow our steps for setting up the Android SDK from our original guide on rooting the Kindle Fire.
There are other ways to get adb up and running, and if you’ve previously rooted your Kindle Fire you probably already have those tools on your computer.
2. Root the Kindle Fire with BurritoRoot
Copy the apk file to your tablet, open a file browser such as ES File Explorer, locate the file and click it to install. Then run the application and tap the button that says “root.”
3. Install SuperUser
Unzip the superuser.zip file to a folder on your computer. The easiest way to follow the next few steps is to unzip it to the same directory where you have your adb executable files. On my computer, for instance, that would be C:\Program Files\android-sdk-windows\platform-tools.
Open a command prompt. If you’re using Windows, you can do this by opening the start menu and typing “cmd” into the run box (without quotes.
Navigate to your adb directory. On my computer I did this by typing “cd /” to go to the root directory and then “cd C:\Program Files\android-sdk-windows\platform-tools”
Now type the following commands one at a time:
- adb root
- adb remount
- adb push su /system/xbin/su
- adb shell chown 0.0 /system/xbin/su
- adb shell chmod 06755 /system/xbin/su
- adb install com.noshufou.android.su-1.apk
- adb reboot
When that’s done your tablet should reboot and you should have root access. This will let you do nifty things like installing the Google Android Market on the Kindle Fire or installing a custom recovery application and replacing the Amazon Kindle software with a custom ROM.
There’s also a new way to install the TWRP 2.0 custom recovery app.
4. Using TWRP Installer
This step is optional. You don’t need a custom recovery to use a rooted tablet — but you do need one if you want to install CyanogenMod or another custom ROM on your tablet.
Kindle Fire hacker Vashypooh has put together a new tool called TWRP Installer that works on rooted Kindle Fire tablets running any version of the Kindle Fire OS. You can use it to install the Team Win Recovery Project 2.0 utility on your Kindle Fire.
This makes it easy to create a complete backup of your device, restore from a previous backup, or flash a custom ROM or other software updates.
For some reason I’ve found that it’s a good idea to reboot your computer after using BurritoRoot the first time to root your tablet before trying to use TWRP Installer.
Download the latest version of TWRP Installer from the xda-developers forum.
Unzip the files into a folder on your computer, connect your Fire with a USB cable, navigate to that directory and then double-click the install_twrp.bat file to get started.
Press any key to continue and the app will download the latest version of TWRP.
Then launch the BurritoRoot app on your device and choose root.
Press any key in the command window on your computer and follow on-screen directions carefully.
This will reboot your Kindle Fire and install TWRP. When it’s complete you should see a “reboot” button your tablet. Press it to reboot.
After your device reboots and you see a yellow triangle on your tablet screen you can press any key in the terminal window on your PC to change the bootmode back to normal so that you can reboot into Android on your tablet running Kindle Fire OS 6.2.1 or earlier.
You can also try using the Kindle Fire Utility to change the bootmode if you run into problems. You may have to reinstall the Kindle Fire drivers and/or reboot your computer if you get stuck at the screen with the yellow triangle and FireFireFire logo when trying to reboot.
Update: If you do get stuck in fastboot mode and Kindle Fire Utility doesn’t appear to help, here’s something to try:
- Download and unzip the Kindle Fire Utility to a directory on your computer
- Press-and-hold the power button on your Kindle Fire until it shuts down.
- Press it again so it boots up and displays a yellow triangle with a fire icon in the center.
- Connect your Kindle Fire to your PC with a USB cable.
- Open a command prompt and navigate to the Kindle Fire Utility directory.
- Navigate to the “tools” subdirectory.”
- Then type the following commands one at a time:
- fastboot oem idme bootmode 4000
- fastboot reboot
Hopefully this should reboot your Kindle Fire. You’ll see the yellow triangle again for about ten or twenty seconds, but after that you’ll see the Kindle Fire logo and then your tablet will load the Android-based operating system.