Amazon’s 2017 tablet lineup includes a new and improved $50 Fire Tablet with a 7 inch screen, and an updated $80 Fire HD 8 tablet that has a higher-resolution display, more memory, and more storage than the 7 inch tablet.

While hackers haven’t found a way to root either device or install custom ROMs yet, we’ve already noted that you can install the Google Play Store and other Google apps, hijack the home screen, and even uninstall Amazon’s pre-loaded apps and services (sort of).

Doing that requires connecting your tablet to a computer and running a series of commands in a terminal/command prompt window. But now there’s a tool that automates the process, making it easier to hack Amazon’s 2017 tablets… for better or worse.

It’s called the Amazon Fire Utility, and basically it’s a simple application that lets you choose from the hacks mentioned above, plus a few others.

The utility is Windows-only, and there’s a chance you may need to use Root Junky’s Super Tool (or a similar tool) to install Amazon drivers before the Fire Utility, (formerly know as the Amazon Fire Tablet Tool), will work. But once that’s done, you can plug in your tablet, run the latest available *.bat file, and then choose from options that let you do things like remove Amazon over-the-air updates (OTA), remove lockscreen adds, remove pre-installed Amazon apps, install Google Play services, change the default app launcher, and reboot the tablet.

There are a few things to keep in mind before you get started. First, it’s unclear if the remove OTA option will actually prevent Amazon’s latest tablets from downloading over-the-air updates from Amazon that may undo some of your changes. We’ll probably have to wait to see if the tablets hacked with this tool survive the first major OTA update before we know for sure.

If you’re using an older Fire tablet running Android 5.3.1 or earlier, the OTA blocker should work though.

Second, removing Amazon bloatware removes a lot of things… including Amazon’s Kindle, music, email, contacts, photos, and even appstore apps. If you’d rather choose just those apps you want to remove on a one-by-one basis, you should probably just refer to our earlier guide (or you could open the Fire Tool.bat file in a text editor and remove the commands for uninstalling any individual apps you want to keep).

Third, installing Google services also installs Google Photos, with the assumption that if you’ve uninstall the Amazon Photos app you may want a replacement. The Google app is also installed, so that if you use the Nova launcher app you can conduct Google searches from the search bar.

Fourth, it’s worth noting that none of these changes are irreversible — because you’re only removing the apps from the primary user’s account. They’re still in the system directory on your tablet. While the Fire Tool doesn’t provide a simple method for restoring apps one-by-one, you can reboot to recovery if you want to perform a factory reset, which will reinstall all of the default apps (and wipe your user data from the tablet).

So while you’ll probably want to proceed with caution when using this tool, it’s nice to know that you can always perform a factory reset if anything goes wrong. Just make sure to back up any important files or data before you get started.

One more thing to keep in mind — this article is up-to-date as of July 26th July 31st, 2017, which is just a few days after the Fire Tool was released. The developer may make changes to the menu items, the list of apps that are installed and uninstalled at each step, or other features in the future. So make sure to read the notes at the Fire Utility thread at the xda-developers forum for the latest information on the tool before using it.

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22 replies on “Amazon Fire Utility makes hacking Amazon’s 2017 tablets easier”

  1. I have a Fire Tablet 5th generation. My goal is to display books from the Tablet to a TV screen so I can read the books while i walk on the treadmill. Is there a toolkit or some kind of settings that I can use? — thanks.

  2. I decided to give this a try on my Fire HD 10 7th Gen. Removing the Lockscreen Ads failed but getting the Google apps on succeeded which was more important. Haven’t tested removing the preloaded apps.

  3. I was looking for a step by step instruction start to finish. I downloaded the Amazon drivers and the tool to my desktop, but am unsure what to do next

  4. Does this fix the issue with other launcher where the tablet switches back to the fire launcher home screen for a second when you press the home button? I find this issue to be incredibly annoying and it’s pretty much a deal breaker for me ;-( but I haaaaate the fire launcher
    Thanks in advance

  5. Supposed to make it easier but I can’t get it to recognize my tablet. Tried installing the Windows ADB and Kindle drivers but nothing. Oh well since I can’t root anyway I’m not missing anything I guess.

    1. Did you enable adb debudding on the tablet itself?
      Try using a different USB cabble, as some only support charging and others support data transfer

  6. I updated my tool. Could you please update the picture and clarrify that the Launcher hijack is NOT BY ME WHATSOEVER it is by BaronKiko and ParrotGeek
    github.com/BaronKiko/LauncherHijack/releases

    1. I added a link to Launcher Hijack’s github page, but when I download the updated Fire Utility and run it, it looks identical to the version shown in the picture. What’s changed?

    1. In my tool it will automaticly enable widgets in the Launcher with this method, so no need to worry.

  7. I have a 2016 Fire HD 8 32GB (my second) which has been a problem child in many ways, the most exasperating of which is full-page sales pop-up ads
    which seem to originate with Amazon. Will the 2017 still be susceptible?

  8. “and an updated $80 Fire HD 8 tablet with a higher-resolution display, more memory, and more storage.”

    The way you wrote it, makes it seem like the 2017 HD8 is much improved, when pretty much the only thing that changed is its price.

      1. You didn’t include, it is called the Amazon Fire Utility not the Fire Tablet Tool, I forgot to update the title name on the actual Window. On My post it says that. I would appreciate if that was fixed 🙂

  9. I bought an 8″ Fire during Prime Day and promptly installed the Play Store using the instructions in the prior article. Worked great, and I have to say that without the Play Store I wouldn’t want the tablet.

    As far as doing anything more, I’ll pass, but thanks for keeping us informed. Given my limited use of the tablet (only about 4 programs)I don’t mind Amazon’s skin on the tablet, but then I’ve not really been bothered by any company’s changes to Android. I did find Samsung reversing the two navigation buttons to be annoying, but that’s about it.

    1. I did the same thing. My HP Slate8 Pro can’t seem to open a single browser tab without a ten minute notice these days. Figured for $50 the Fire 8 might be an acceptable replacement for web browsing, reading comics and tabletop gaming books, and a few simple games. Also figured I’d like to experiment a bit with it as these exploits are found.

      So far, I haven’t felt the need to add Google Play for anything yet. I’ve found alternate sources for non-Amazon Store apps I wanted (Naked Browser to replace Silk, and Cool Reader just because I’m used to using it). Google Drive/Docs/Sheets might be the only thing that will make me add Play Services.

      I wonder if installing Play Services affect its battery life? Because so far, the Fire 8’s battery has really impressed me.

    2. You can change the navigation bar and reverse it in the Settings of your Samsung

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