How to Set Up Firestick for the First Time

by
Frederik Lipfert
Dr. Frederik Lipfert Founder, vpncheck
Updated on 18 Apr 2022

About Amazon Firestick

The Amazon Firestick has been the most popular streaming device over the last several years, and rightly so. The device opens up a new world of streaming by providing lots of streaming apps, excellent performance, a superb interface, and much more. 

The best part about the Amazon Firestick is that it lets you enjoy all popular streaming services such as Netflix, YouTube, Disney+, Peacock, etc. But on top of that, you can also install third-party apps such as Kodi and Stremio.

But before you do all that, you first have to set up your Firestick, and we will show you how to do that. Note that Amazon provides a wide variety of Fire TV devices, but they mostly function similarly. This guide will use Firestick 4K, but it’s also applicable to FireStick 2nd/3rd Gen, Fire TV Stick Lite, FireStick 4K Max, and Fire TV Cube.

How to Set Up Firestick for the First Time

Pre-Requisites

Before setting up Firestick, you’ll need to ensure that you have the following.

  • A compatible TV: You will need a TV with HD or UHD capabilities and an HDMI port. Most TV screens today fit these criteria.
  • A wireless internet connection: The Amazon Firestick doesn’t have an Ethernet port, so you will need to connect it to the internet using a wireless network.
  • An Amazon account: An Amazon account is necessary for registering your Firestick. You can create one for free on the Amazon website. Note that if you purchased the device from the Amazon store, it might already be set up with the account you used. Nevertheless, you can still use a different one.

Part 1: Get Everything Ready

The first thing you need to do is ensure that everything is set before you start the configuration process.

In your Firestick package, you will find a power plug, a USB cable, an HDMI extender, a remote, and two AA batteries.

  1. Plug your Firestick into your TV using the HDMI port. To make everything easier, you can use the HDMI extension cable provided.
  2. Now, connect your Firestick to power using the USB cable and the power plug. Use a wall/extension plug instead of your TV’s USB port, as it won’t provide enough power.Image of Firstick device with wire set
  3. Now, select the corresponding HDMI channel on your TV using the TV’s remote, and you should see Firestick powering up.FireTV logo

Part 2: Connect your Remote

To operate your Fire TV Stick, you now need to connect its remote.

  1. Insert the AAA batteries provided into the Firestick remote and replace the case.
  2. Firestick will start looking for your remote. Click the home button, and the remote should automatically pair up with the device.Your remote pairing up with the FireTV deviceIn case it doesn’t, you can pair it manually by pressing and holding the home button for 10 seconds. This should set Firestick to discovery mode, and the two will pair. 
  3. After the pairing is complete, press the play/pause button on the remote to initialize the setup process.firetv screen to initialize the setup process

Part 3: Connect Your Firestick to Wi-Fi

After connecting your remote to Firestick, you can now connect to your network.

  1. To continue, you will be asked to choose your preferred language.firetv choose your preferred language
  2. From there, you’ll be given an option to use the Fire TV app to set up your device or use the remote. We’ll use the remote for now.firetv option to use Fire TV app or remote to set up your device
  3. Now, you’ll need to connect to the internet to continue. Select your network using the navigation buttons and enter your password. If you can’t see your network listed, scroll to the right and select Re-Scan for Wi-Fi Networks.Select your network and enter your password
  4. After the connection, your device might take a few seconds/minutes to check or download any available software updates.

Part 4: Register Firestick with Your Amazon Account

The next part requires that you register your Fire TV device using your Amazon Firestick.

  1. On the next screen, select I already have an Amazon Account. If you don’t have one, you can create one for free using your browser.Sign in with your Amazon Account screen on firetv device
  2. Now, you should see a code on your screen.Sign in online code for firetv
  3. Open your browser on another device and head to amazon.com/code. From there, enter the code shown on your screen. If you have not logged in, you will be required to do so. Click Continue.Amazon Code URL for Signing in
  4. You will then get a notification on both sides after a successful registration.firetv successfully registered screen
  5. Next, Amazon will ask you to confirm whether the account you have connected to is registered under the right name. If everything is as it should be, click Continue. Otherwise, click Change my account to provide a different one.Amazon firetv account confirm screen
  6. Firestick will then ask you if you want to save your Wi-Fi passwords to Amazon. Choosing Yes will help make it easier to log in the future as you won’t be required to type in your password. If you don’t want to upload your password, you can choose No.Amazon Save Wi-Fi Passwords to Amazon screen

Part 5: Set Firestick Preferences

Now that you have connected to your Amazon account, the only thing left to do is set your preferences.

  1. On the next screen, you need to decide whether to enable parental controls. If you choose to Enable Parental Controls, you will need to create a PIN, and it will be required before watching videos that have age restrictions.Firetv Preferences set up screen
  2. If your Firestick remote has volume controls, you will be taken through a few steps to ensure that the remote integrates with your TV. If the remote doesn’t have volume buttons, you won’t see this option.
    To set up volume control, Firestick will ask you to press the volume buttons up and down, then listen if this affects the sound you are getting from your TV/output device.Firetv steps to ensure that the remote integrates with your TVIf everything works fine, click Yes. Otherwise, click No, and you will be taken through a few steps that will confirm your sound output device and type of TV.
  3. Firestick will then ask if you’d like to subscribe to Prime Video. You don’t have to do that for now, so just click Not Now.Firestick screen to subscribe to Prime Video
  4. You should then see the Welcome to Fire TV page. You can read through then click Got it.Welcome to Fire TV page
  5. Finally, the Firestick home page should appear.Amazon Firestick Home menu

How to Set Up Firestick Profiles

If you will be sharing your Fire TV device, you can create multiple profiles within the same account. This will allow different family members to have personalized experiences as each profile has different recommendations, watch history, season progress, and watch lists.

  1. On Firestick, scroll to the profile option on the leftmost side of the main menu.Firestick main menu, profile option on the leftmost side highlighted
  2. Now, click Add Profile.Firestick profile option click Add Profile
  3. You will get an option to enter the name, choose the profile icon, and select whether it’s a kid profile. The latter will have limited content customized for kids. After providing the required details, click Add.Firestick profile option enter the name, choose the profile icon
  4. Your new profile should now appear.Firestick profile option new profile created

Amazon Fire Stick lets you add up to 6 user profiles.

How to Install Apps on Firestick

Firestick isn’t complete without streaming apps, so it only makes sense that this is part of setting up Firestick. If you are just getting started with the device, there are two ways how you can install apps on Firestick:

  1. Install apps from the official Firestick store
  2. Sideload third-party apps on Firestick.

The first method is the easiest to use, and it can be used to install official streaming apps, both free and paid. We’ll be installing ExpressVPN in a few, so you can check out the process and apply it to any other official app.

The second method is useful for installing third-party apps not available on the official store. These apps are mostly used for streaming free content, and they include the likes of Kodi, Stremio, CinemaHD, and CyberFlix. We usually provide guides for installing the best free streaming apps and add-ons, so check out our streaming section for such.

How to Install Kodi 19 Matrix on Firestick

How to Use ExpressVPN to Say Safe on Firestick

Streaming and VPNs are two terms that go hand in hand, especially if you are a Firestick user. This is because pretty much every other official streaming app is geo-restricted, and you’ll need a VPN to either access the service or unblock titles that are not available in your area.

The alternative to these apps are third-party apps such as Stremio, but these also have their own equally huge concern – they often offer pirated content, and users can easily end up with a DMCA notice or a cease-and-desist letter.

The best (and technically only) way to solve these issues at once is to use a good streaming VPN. A VPN lets you connect to a remote server and then spoofs your IP address to make you appear as if you are in the server’s location. It also encrypts your entire traffic such that neither your ISP nor government can tell what you are doing online, so you remain both private and secure. 

However, you will also need to choose your VPN well, as not all VPNs are suitable for streaming. At VPNCheck, we recommend that you go with ExpressVPN. This is because the VPN uses word-class encryption standards, and it has been publicly audited and proven to be a zero-logs VPN service. Further, speed is built right into the name, and the VPN ensures that you won’t have to deal with buffering or low-quality issues.

Here’s how you can start using ExpressVPN to stay safe

Step 1: Sign Up with ExpressVPN

To get started, you’ll need to create an account.

  1. Head to the ExpressVPN website (link) using your browser and click Get ExpressVPN.ExpressVPN.com with the Get ExpressVPN button highlighted> Go to ExpressVPN.com and sign up.
  2. Now, you’ll need to select a subscription plan. The options are 1 month, 6 months, and 12 months. All packages offer the same features and functionalities, but the annual plan offers the biggest savings. All plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee for risk-free testing.ExpressVPN Subscription Plans
  3. After that, scroll down and enter your email address, then select a payment method.ExpressVPN Payment Options
  4. You can then complete the payment and create a password for your account.

Step 2: Install ExpressVPN on Firestick

Now that you have an account, all that you need to do now is install the ExpressVPN app. It is available on the official Firestick store, so the process should only take a few minutes.

  1. On the Firestick home page, hover over Find, then click Search.Amazon Firestick Find menu with Search highlighted
  2. On the search window, start typing ExpressVPN, then click Express Vpn from among the suggestions.vpncheck-spectrum-searching-expressvpn-on-amazon-firestick
  3. Select ExpressVPN on the results page.Amazon Firestick Express VPN highlighted on home screenLastly, click Download. The app will download and then install automatically.ExpressVPN installation option on Firestick

Step 3: Sign In & Connect to a Server

Now, start ExpressVPN to sign in. After installation, you can either use the Open option or go to the Apps & Channels section.

From there:

  1. Click Sign In.ExpressVPN Login INterface
  2. Provide your account credentials, then click Log In. Click OK when you get a connection request.Amazon Firestick connection request screen
  3. You should now see the ExpressVPN main page. The app gives you the option to connect with just a single click by tapping the huge connection button in the middle. This will connect you to the best server, depending on your location.ExpressVPN home screen with Connect button highlightedTo select a specific server, you can click on the highlighted server. This will open ExpressVPN’s network of 3,000+ servers in 94 countries. You can select a server either using the country or a specific city.ExpressVPN VPN Locations screenBesides selecting a server, you can customize your VPN connection by determining the protocol you want to use, the features to activate, how the app behaves, etc. To do this, select Options on the lower side of the app, then choose Settings.ExpressVPN SettingsOnce you are satisfied with the settings, you can go back and select a server or click the connection button. The VPN will connect, and you can now bypass any geo-restrictions and stream privately and anonymously!ExpressVPN menu with the on/off button highlighted

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Do you need internet to use Firestick?

Yes, the Amazon Firestick requires an active internet connection to set up the device and use it. When there’s no internet connection, the device doesn’t display the home menu as it normally would.

Can you turn off Firestick?

The Amazon Fire TV Stick remote comes with a power button, but the button is only meant to turn on/off your TV, not Firestick. The only real way to turn off Firestick is to unplug it from the wall socket. Otherwise, you can wait for 20 minutes, and the device will put itself to sleep.

Is it OK to leave your Firestick plugged in?

It’s always advisable to turn off your electronics when you are not using them to avoid issues such as overheating or even being damaged. If you don’t plan to use Firestick for some time, always turn it off by unplugging it.

Wrap Up

The guide above should help you set up Firestick for the first time, and it also provides a few tips on how to use the device if you are a newbie. However, the Amazon Fire TV Stick is full of possibilities that you should also explore. We usually provide Firestick guides such as how to jailbreak Firestick, best apps for Firestick, etc. You can check out these and more in our Firestick section.