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Amazon’s Fire tablets offer a lot of bang for the buck. With list prices starting as low as $60, they’re far cheaper than any iPad, and more affordable than most Android tablets from companies like Samsung or Lenovo. Amazon’s tablets also go on sale for even lower prices at least a few times a year.

But despite their low prices, Fire tablets tend to have decent displays, good battery life, and acceptable performance (considering the low price tag). They’re also somewhat hackable – if you don’t like the limitations that Amazon puts on the tablets, you can sideload applications that aren’t available from Amazon’s Appstore or even install the Google Play Store if you have a model that supports it (most recent models do). And one of the most useful tools for hacking Amazon’s tablets is a free third-party utility called Fire Toolbox.

Amazon Fire HD 8 (2020) with Google Play)

Amazon’s Android-based Fire OS is probably fine if all you need is a simple device for web surfing, watching videos, and maybe playing some light games. But Fire OS doesn’t ship with the Google Play Store and Amazon doesn’t make it easy to change your keyboard, lock screen wallpaper, or many other settings.

That’s where the unofficial Fire Toolbox app comes in.

Developed by xda-developers forum member Datastream33, Fire Toolbox is an app that runs on a Windows or Linux computer that allows you to hack your Fire tablet by plugging the tablet into the PC with a USB cable and then running a series of commands to do things like install the Google Play Store, replace the default Fire OS home screen and launcher, side-load apps, disable pre-installed apps, or make other changes.

You could theoretically do the same things by typing a series of commands into a command line window, but Datastream33’s Fire Toolbox bundles a bunch of those functions together into a single tool that lets you make changes just by clicking a few buttons.

One thing you cannot easily do is replace Fire OS with a different operating system. Most recent Amazon tablets are locked down too tightly to make that possible. But Fire Toolbox does provide the tools to make Fire OS feel more like stock Android.

And while Amazon updates its software from time to time in ways that may break some of Fire Toolbox’s features, Datastream33 is constantly updating the software with new features, improvements, and workarounds for Amazon’s latest restrictions.

Among other things, Fire Toolbox also lets you:

  • Change your screen density options (to make text and graphics look larger or smaller).
  • Disable some or all of Amazon’s pre-installed apps (I suggest using the manual option and just checking the apps you know you don’t want or need).
  • Enable or disable automatic updates, over-the-air updates, or change other system settings.
  • Sideload apps (install applications downloaded to your PC from trusted sites like APK Mirror if they aren’t available in the Amazon Appstore and/or you don’t want to install Google Play).
  • Backup all data on your tablet to your PC, or restore from a previous backup.
  • Move files to and from your tablet.
  • Record a video or save a screenshot.
  • Disable the lock screen.
  • Hijack the home button so that pressing it opens a third-party app launcher instead of the Amazon Fire OS home screen.

Fire Toolbox v33 is the most recent version of the utility as of December, 2023. It supports all Fire tablets released in 2023 or earlier, including new models like the Amazon Fire Max 11 and Fire HD 10 (2023) tablets (including some workarounds for hijacking the home button to open third-party launchers and other workarounds for some features that may no longer work on the latest versions of Fire OS).

There are also several other recent changes that should allow Fire Toolbox to work better and more efficiently, and developer Datastream33 has revamped the Advanced App management tool, which lets you extract apps from your tablet, view app info, view or manage app permissions, or force stop (terminate) a running app.

Other recent updates to Fire Toolbox include the ability to search the Settings database for specific keys that you may want to modify or delete, the ability to replace Amazon’s Alexa voice service with Google Assistant or perform other tweaks to customize the software on your Amazon Fire tablet. It’s also a little easier than it used to be to use the Toolbox to sideload Android applications from your PC (which you can download from sources other than the Amazon Appstore or Google Play).

There’s also a tool that lets you remove lock screen ads from some Fire tablets – but when doing so, you’ll see a warning message that makes it clear that the official way to do that is to pay Amazon $15, but maybe you bought a used tablet on eBay and didn’t even know that there were “special offers” on the lock screen? Fire Toolbox provides a way to disable them for free.

Note that the Fire Toolbox will also frequently recommend you block automatic updates from Amazon in order to ensure that hacks you make using the tool aren’t overwritten by future Fire OS updates. Just keep in mind that if you go down that road you may also be blocking potential security updates, so proceed with caution.

That said, some of Amazon’s updates may remove functionality of the Toolbox. For example, in November, 2021 some users discovered that after installing Fire OS, the app would no longer let users:

  • Set a third-party launcher app as the default launcher
  • Block OTA updates
  • Remove lock screen ads
  • Disable some of Amazon’s system apps

Fortunately, Fire Toolbox developer DataStream 33 found a semi-functional workaround for the launcher app situation about a month later. While you still cannot uninstall the default Amazon home screen and app launcher on tablets running Fire OS or later, you can install a third-party launcher and effectively hijack the home button so that whenever you press it, you’ll be taken to the launcher app of your choice rather than Amazon’s. So that’s how the Custom Launcher feature works in Fire Toolbox v26 and later, effectively making Amazon’s tablets feel a little more like they’re running stock Android software rather than Fire OS.

Unfortunately this method won’t survive a reboot, so if you ever have to reboot your tablet running Fire OS or later after changing the default launcher app, you’ll likely see the default Amazon Fire Tablet launcher/user interface at startup and you’ll need to run the Fire Toolbox software again to set your preferred launcher.

Folks running Fire OS or later also won’t be able to block over-the-air updates, so if you do find yourself with a Fire tablet running an earlier version of Fire OS and you want to keep it as hackable as possible, you may want to try disabling OTA updates.

How to get started with Fire Toolbox

OK, so let’s get down to hacking our tablets.

In order to use Fire Toolbox on a recent Amazon tablet, you need to:

  1. Download and install the latest version of Fire Toolbox on a Windows PC.
  2. Enable USB debugging on your Fire tablet by following these steps:
    1. Open the Settings app on your Fire tablet.
    2. Scroll down until you find Device Options and tap it.
    3. Tap the serial number 7 times until a message pops up saying that you’re now a developer.
    4. Tap the back button to return to the previous screen.
    5. Tap the new item that says “Developer Options.”
    6. Slide the toggle to enable Developer Options.
    7. Scroll down until you find “USB Debugging” and slide the toggle so that it’s enabled.
    8. Plug your tablet into the Windows PC using a USB cable.
    9. Run the Fire Toolbox app on your PC.
    10. A box should appear on the tablet. Click OK.”

You can find the latest version of Fire Toolbox at the xda-developers forum.

In the market for a cheap tablet, and need help figuring out which Amazon Fire tablet may be right for your needs? We’ve got your covered with our spec comparison table for Amazon’s current-gen tablets.

Amazon Fire 7 (2022)Amazon Fire HD 8 (2022)Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus (2022)Amazon Fire HD 10 (2023)Amazon Fire Max 11
Display7 inch, 1024 x 6008 inch, 1280 x 8008 inch, 1280 x 80010 inch, 1920 x 120011 inch, 2000 x 1200 pixels
Storage16GB or 32GB + microSD (up to 1TB)32GB or 64GB + microSD (up to 1TB)32GB or 64GB + microSD (up to 1TB)32GB or 64GB + microSD (up to 1TB)64GB or 128GB + microSD card reader (up to 1TB)
CPUMediaTek MT8168V
4 x ARM Cortex-A53 @ 2 GHz
MediaTek MT8169A
6 x ARM Cortex-A55 @ 2 GHz
MediaTek MT8169A
6 x ARM Cortex-A55 @ 2 GHz
MediaTek MT8186A
2 x Cortex-A76 @ 2.05 GHz
6 x ARM Cortex-A55 @ 2 GHz
MediaTek MT8188J
2 x ARM Cortex-A78 @ 2.2 GHz
6 x Cortex-A55 @ 2 GHz
GPUMali-G52 3EE MC1Mali-G52 2EE MC2Mali-G52 2EE MC2Mali-G52 2EE MC2 @ 1 GHzMali-G57 MC2 @ 950 MHz
BatteryUp to 10 hoursUp to 13 hoursUp to 13 hoursUp to 13 hoursUp to 14 hours
PortsUSB 2.0 Type-CUSB 2.0 Type-CUSB 2.0 Type-CUSB 2.0 Type-CUSB 2.0 Type-C
Charging time4 hours (5W wired)
  • 5 hours (5W wired charger – included)
  • 3 hours (9W wired charger, sold separately)
  • 2.5 hours (15W wired charger – sold separately)
  • 3 hours (9W wired charger – included)
  • 2.5 hours (15W wired charger – sold separately)
  • 3 hours (9W wireless charging dock – sold separately)
  • 4 hours (with included 9W charger)
  • 3 hours (with a 15W charger)
  • 4.2 hours (9W)
  • 3.5 hours (15W)
AudioMono speaker
3.5mm headphone jack
Stereo speakers
3.5mm headphone jack
Stereo speakers
3.5mm headphone jack
Stereo speakers
3.5mm headphone jack
Stereo speakers
WiFiWiFi 5WiFi 5WiFi 5WiFi 5WiFi 6
Cameras 2MP rear (720p)
2MP front(720p)
5MP rear (720p)
2MP front (720p)
5MP rear (1080p)
2MP front (720p)
5MP rear (1080p)
5MP front (1080p)
8MP front
8MP rear
Latest OS versionFire OS 8Fire OS 8Fire OS 8Fire OS 8Fire OS 8
Optional accessories
  • Cover
  • Screen protector
  • Cover
  • Screen protector
  • Cover
  • Screen protector
  • Wireless Charging Dock
  • Cover
  • Screen protector
  • Bluetooth keyboard case
  • Stylus (4096 levels of pressure sensitivity)
  • Cover
  • Screen protector
  • 2-in-1 detachable keyboard
  • Stylus (4096 levels of pressure sensitivity)
Dimensions180.7 x 117.6 x 9.7mm202 x 137 x 9.6mm202 x 137 x 9.6mm246 x 165 x 8.6mm259.1 x 163.7 x 7.50mm
Weight282 grams337 grams342 grams434 grams490 grams
Starting price (MSRP)$60$100$120$140$230

This article was originally published Nov 30, 2020 and last updated December 21, 2023.

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  1. So, I don’t like the Amazon launcher but I like the fact that you can use it to limit your kids time on the tablet and encourage education work prior to all games.
    I have been working with the Fire Toolbox on their tablets (new tablets so limited functionality) but wondering if there are ways keep the Fire Launcher to still keep the time limits enabled but limit 90% of the junk apps? What have others been doing regarding this?
    Thanks for the article and information!

  2. Hello, Thanks so much for your article. The only reason I’m looking into this is that I want to change the date to 2015. Will I be able to do this if I use the Fire Toolbox? Or could there be an easier way? Thanks!

  3. Fire Toolbox is an app that runs on a Windows or Linux computer

    I hope I can find an equivalent that runs on macOS. It looks like a great tool.

  4. Question. When done with modifying Amazon Fire tablet, should one shut down the developer’s stuff or leave it on? Reason for asking this, with the developer’s option on, I can not keep the Fire Toolbox open to modify it again. With disconnecting the cable, the program does stay open.

  5. I couldn’t access my account after disabling ‘device setup’ on my Amazon Fire HD 8 ( 7th generation). I ended up having to reset the tablet to factory defaults .I had to go through them all manually to find the culprit. ( It’s a bit of a long story ).

    1. So tell. We’re listening, and maybe we can help. Or did you solve it?

      I found that trying to hack (before anyone gets in an uproar about that word, look up the original meaning!) android devices to be a pain. I used to use android phones as tablets with no service just to have a pocket computer, and they make it harder and harder to modify them as time goes by.

      What happened with you exactly?

      1. Of course that was back in the day when you could just download the KingDong super user exploit or whatever the heck it was called – to gain root privileges to modify the device however you wanted and disable a bunch of google garbage. I bricked more than one phone that way taking it a little too far… Ultimately I gave up on android devices deeming them not to be worth the hassle.
        I kind of think Amazon devices are similiar. You’re just throwing your money away if you accidentally brick it. Here’s a hint: stay away from the superband blobs or whatever they’re called. They’ll brick the device beyond repair if you disable them. (I’ve had a little to drink and can’t remember the name of it right now, it’s the modem baseband thingy).

      1. I suspect it’s redditors, ever since an article from lili was posted there, I’ve noticed there has been an uptick in pre-adult posters here. It’s sad they won’t be more mature. People who think the world revolves around them and one day life will bite them hard in the rear and watch their small little lives fall apart.

        Moving along…

    1. Why did the OP perhaps want to get into a parent’s account? Maybe one of the parent’s (single mother) contacts is doing something they shouldn’t to the potential minor / the “Person” user posting the question? Maybe try not to be so judgemental next time until you know the motivation instead of just belittling them?

  6. How to you clear all the charges and apps added to stalk/spy/hack all my accounts? Since my divorce in 2020 I’ve been in hell and finally figured out the psychotic BS and really don’t want to have to buy all new equipment AGAIN

    1. The easiest way to would be to open the Settings app, choose the Device Options menu, and then choose the option that says “Reset to Factory Defaults.”

      This will erase all of your apps and data, leaving you with a tablet that’s pretty much the same as what you would have had if you bought a new one from Amazon. That means you will have to sign in with your Amazon account again and reinstall any apps that you use, so make sure to make a list of apps before you do this.

      1. Unfortunately that doesn’t remove the apps that were added which are used to teach me and control my WiFi, phone and everything connected. The permissions clearly state their ability to reroute/block calls, messages etc access/discover all networks, make changes, delete accounts/passwords and so much more

        1. That sounds like the apps were installed as “system” apps, which requires root or ADB. Things installed there will survive “factory reset”s, and if something is removed from there, it’ll remain removed after a factory reset. At least, that’s how it was on my Galaxy s5. It’s either that, or someone is using a built-in option for remote management of your device.

  7. Tengo una Tablet Fire 5ta. generación, me queda la duda si resulta usar Toolbox? La versión es bastante anterior a las mencionadas en los comentarios.

  8. If you install NoRoot firewall from playstore, you can block absolutely everything from Amazon and turn your Fire into a very fast and flexible android tablet.

    1. YES EXACTLY! One factory Reset bought so many phone with new numbers then went to Apple and have three iPhone and had nine IDs but one app allows knowledge of all networks, accounts, passwords and factory reset whitelist. My calls, texts and emails get redirected or just blocked. I couldn’t contact my attention during the pandemic lock down to file PPO as my ex admitted who wired my car ( to track Rob and kill me) while I found a folder he compiled with all my retirement, SSDI & Longterm disability award letters and two life insurance polices on me dated after the divorce and I’m sure there’s others by his response to me finding these. PLEASE WHAT DO I DO TO GET MY LIFE BACK

  9. Buy a more ANDROID tablet… You want a Sentra to do 300 miles an hour. KNOW your limitations and do some research. Most of what you have asked/mentioned is EASILY found if you make an effort.

    1. I’ve been researching and am now broke from security systems/ camera new phones and TVs. I’ve learned a lot but unlike you I guess not everyone is tech savvy. My life is literally at risk! BELIEVE ME MY EFFORT ISN’T LACKING

  10. I can plug in an external USB webcam to my Fire HD10 and use it by an app I installed, but can’t for the life of me get the external camera in use on a Duo call. Anyone get this to work or have ideas? Purpose is for having a top down camera for remote board gaming, but still have the tablet display available on the table.

  11. Fire toolbox worked for both my kids Fire HD 8 but would like to warn people that the Fire Toolbox loaded a log4j2 virus on my computer. Fortunately the security on my computer identified it and took measures before any damage was done.

    1. I thought it was just me. After following the above instructions my tablet was converted but the PC took a bit of a hit and started running slowly which was annoying. I had to reset the whole thing to get rid of it.

    2. No, it didn’t. Your virus scanner gave a false positive.

      PLEASE read up on these things before you just pop off and spread false information.

  12. I just got the fire HD 10 2021 and it has OS version and Fire Toolbox will not load new launcher. I did load the Play Store, and YouTube. Will I lose those whenever Amazon has a new update? There is no place in Settings to disable OTA updates. Thanks.

    1. Amazon updates don’t typically remove Google apps once they’ve been installed, but starting with version, Amazon blocks the method Toolbox had used for installing third party launchers and blocking over the air updates.

      It’s possible that the developer or other Fire tablet hackers will find workarounds, but for now those are two things that cannot easily be done on the latest version of Fire OS.

      1. I just got the fire HD 10 (generation 11) and it has OS version I don’t get if I can use this manual to change the system to get Play Store, Chrome and more. I am not good with technology, sorry. Really thanks for your answer

  13. Just got a Fire HD 10 (2021) and Toolbox 25.1. Can’t disable OTA updates. With every change, I get the prompt to disable OTA updates. I always respond Yes, but OTA updates are not disabled and the toggle is inoperative.

    1. Download the Noroot firewall from playstore. It will block anything Amazon tries to load on your Fire hd10 including updates. Totally configurable and very effective.

    1. Have you considered creating a partition on the internal disk or creating a boot disk which boots from the recovery menu (power button + volume down) *volume up and power button at the same time on some builds. Im not a pro, I am hoping you have more experience and could make it possible to do these things.. Im great at coming up with ideas like this. I just need a team to help get those ideas up and moving. Interested??

  14. I’ve used the Toolbox on both my Fire 10 and 8 and am extremely happy with the results. It takes some patience and carefully following the steps, but it’s well worth it.

  15. I used the toolbox and the standard debloat, but I want to use alexa. I haven’t been able to restore alexa, either by itself or even if I do the “restore all”.

  16. I appreciate what you’re doing. I tried it with my 2021 hd 10+ and was pleased except for one thing: I can’t find a way to make Alexa open and run. I’ve gone back to restore Amazon apps, but nothing works. Once I saw a manual update for Alexa pop up and I updated and it worked for about two days then, nothing.

  17. Does this have any issues that affects other apps, specifically Amazon Alexa?.. I noticed shortly after that I could still use Alexa but I couldn’t open the app itself.. all the other Amazon apps are fine just Alexa..

    1. I had the same issue with Alexa. I had sideloaded my Google stuff. Last night I uninstalled from Play store and reinstalled from Amazon App store and that fixed my problem. Don’t know why Play store tried to take over, It was the original app installed on the tablet.

  18. How do I actually download this thing, I don’t see the usual download tab or has it just been a long day. Many thanks in anticipation of a speedy response.

  19. “Uninstall some or all of Amazon’s pre-installed apps” … I wish the Toolbox could do this, but it doesn’t uninstall apps, it just hides them. I could do with the storage space and was hoping that this might help. Sadly no.

  20. A los que les molesta la publicidad y está fuera de estados unidos pueden chatear con el personal de amazon para deshabilitar la publicidad le preguntan cómo si no saben nada “si es posible deshabilitar la publicidad” ellos le van a responder que si, si están en Estados Unidos cobran $15 si están en otro país es gratis. Así de fácil.

  21. appreciate the reply, but depending on how often Amazon updates, I’m thinking I’ll just keep the bloatware. The ads appear on my Home-screen, not my Lock-screen. Thank you anyway.

  22. I also did a post in the Amazon Fire 7″, 9th Generation board on the XDA Forum, but thought I’d try here for an answer as well. Everything worked great with the Version 17.1 of the Toolbox, except, the Fire updated and after it did that, all the bloatware was back. Can you tell me why this happened and whether or not it’s worth using the tool again today?

    Thank you much!

    1. Amazon rolls out automatic software updates regularly to fix bugs, patch security flaws, and add new features. They sometimes overwrite changes that you may have made (for example if you disabled lock-screen ads using the Toolbox, Amazon software updates will often undo that). But some changes you can make with the Toolbox, like installing the Google Play Store, will usually survive Amazon updates.

      I believe recent versions of the Toolbox do give you the option to try to prevent your tablet from downloading and installing updates from Amazon. But I’ve found that this can be hit or miss (sometimes it doesn’t work), and I’m not sure I’d recommend doing it anyway since you probably want security updates from Amazon.

      If you want to remove lock screen ads or other Amazon applications, I’d recommend just running the Toolbox again after Amazon updates are installed. This should remove unwanted software and ads at least until the next update.

  23. Wow! I finally tried Fire Toolbox and it is phenominal! It will walk you step by step through the setting to make your Fire tablet work like a normal Android tablet.

    It’s not for a total novice, but is fairly straight forward.

  24. It’s 4/25/21. The latest Toolbox is 14.? It failed on 2 Windows 10 PCs. 7 ZIP errors when attempting to load up Google Services. Found Version 11 on the internet. Worked like a champ. This was trying it on the latest HD 10.

  25. This is one amazing app. HD 8 8th Gen. Right now, it seems to stick on Nova Launcher, as I’ve set it. In any event, Many thanks!

  26. I’ve used fire toolbox and have installed Google playstore and downloaded Google apps. However the settings app still has vestiges of Amazon which prevents me downloading my contacts already on my mobile How do you make settings fully Google android?

  27. “if you bought a used tablet on eBay or something and didn’t know that there were “special offers” on the lock screen, maybe it’s not entirely illegal to remove them yourself? Maybe?”

    “Ignorance of the law is excuses no one.”

    1. Please dont talk about things you dont understand. The EULA is NOT LAW. Its not in any legal code. Its an agreeent between the seller and buyer in which warranty is void if you dont follow their rules. That is all.

      When you purchase any hard asset item like computer hardware you have a right to do anything you want with it except reverse engineer and sell the IP. Otherwise, you can do anyting including taking it apart and turning it into a keychain or a toilet ornament. You can also modify any software insalled on it as long as its for your own use. No one, has the right to take that away from you and believe me they tried. Corporations have been trying to take away consumer rights a long time and each time they have failed. The latest effort is to move things to the net (cloud) so that you never actually have them on your devices and are just “renting” software. But there is absolutely nothing illegal about modifying your own tablet. It will just void the warranty but its perfectly legal.

  28. If you use this to install Nova Launcher, does it revert back to stock Amazon launcher when you press home?

    1. OK it uses Launcher Hijack just like the older methods, which sucks because it’s a 5 second delay every time you press on Home. Not a solution I like.

    1. Can’t be done. Amazon created the Fire tablets to sell its content and it appears that it’s now locking them down so that’s all they’re good for.