Have an Amazon Fire tablet that’s been updated to Fire OS 5… but not happy about the lack of support for full-disk encryption or the new user interface? Amazon has outlined the procedure for downgrading to Fire OS 4.
But there are a few things to keep in mind. You’ll lose any data on you device (so you may need to re-install apps or games and re-download books). The process can take up to 72 hours to complete. And there’s no way to downgrade 5th-gen Amazon Fire tablets which ship with the latest version of Fire OS. This is only for 4th-gen tablets.
That means you can downgrade the Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 (4th gen), Amazon Fire HD 7 (4th gen) or Amazon Fire HD 6 (4th gen). But you cannot perform this procedure on the new Amazon Fire, Amazon Fire HD 8, or Amazon Fire HD 10 tablets that launched in 2015.
There also doesn’t seem to be any way to downgrade the Amazon Fire TV or Fire TV Stick once they’ve been upgraded to Fire OS 5.
OK, still want to give it a try? Just go to the Amazon website, find the Manage your Content and Devices page, select the Your Devices tab, find your tablet, and then choose the “Reset and Downgrade to Fire OS 4” option from the drop-down menu.
Sometime within the next 3 days, Amazon will automatically perform a factory reset on your device and restore an earlier version of its operating system, bringing back the carousel-style home screen, support for encryption, and that warm comfortable feeling you get from using the same software you’ve grown accustomed to.
Just want disk encryption? You might want to wait a few months. Amazon plans to bring it to Fire OS users this spring.