Want to sideload apps on an Amazon Fire TV Stick? It’s not that hard… once you jump through a bunch of hoops so that you can push apps to your device from a PC over a WiFi network, because the Fire TV Stick doesn’t have a USB port.
Want to sideload apps on the larger (and more expensive) Fire TV? That’s a lot easier, because all you need is a free app and a USB drive.
Amazon’s Fire TV devices run a custom version of Google Android called Fire OS, and it has a built-in app installer. Before you can use it to install apps that are not downloaded from the Amazon Appstore though, you’ll need to dig into the Developer options in your settings menu and toggle the option for “apps from unknown sources.”
Once that’s done, all you need to do is load the Android APK file you want to install onto a USB flash drive, download the free Total Commander app from the Amazon Appstore, open Total Commander, and use your remote control to locate the file on your flash drive.
Select the file, choose “install,” and you can load games, media players, or other software.
Note that some Android apps will work better than others. The advantage to sticking with software available from the Amazon Appstore is that there’s a better chance it’ll work properly with a device like the Fire TV which doesn’t include a touchscreen.
Want more detailed, step-by-step instructions? AFTV News has you covered.