How to Install Apps (APKs) on Firestick – 3 Different Methods

by
Frederik Lipfert
Dr. Frederik Lipfert Founder, vpncheck
Updated on 3 Mar 2022

Guide to Apps (APKs)

Many well-known apps aren’t available on the Amazon App Store. That is a shame since most of those applications work seamlessly with Firestick. The only option you have is to sideload those applications.

In this guide, we’ll be providing you with three methods using which you can sideload your favorite APKs on your Firestick. All three methods work with every Firestick model.

The first of the three methods require the Downloader app. The 2nd and 3rd methods, meanwhile, involve an Android phone and your personal computer, respectively. Read on to learn how to install APKs on your Firestick.

How to Install APKs on Firestick?

Here are three methods to sideload apps on your Firestick:

Method 1: Using the Downloader App

Let’s kick things off with the easiest method. To download APKs using the Downloader app, you have to tweak your Firestick’s settings, download the Downloader app, and follow the remaining steps given below.

Part 1: Getting Downloader App on Firestick

Step 1: Go to your Firestick’s homepage. Click on the ‘Settings‘ icon. Click Settings AppStep 2: Click on the ‘Search‘ icon. Firestick home page with prominent Find and Search buttons

Step 3: Type ‘Downloader‘ in the search bar.Amazon Firestick search function with Downloader highlighted

Step 4: Select the Downloader app’s icon from the results.Amazon app menu with Downloader highlighted

Step 5: Click on ‘Download‘ or ‘GetClickable option to install Downloader on Firestick

Once the download is complete, move on to the next step.

Part 2. Tweaking Settings to let Downloader Sideload apps

Step 1: Select the Settings option from the home screen or long-press the apps button on the remote control to directly open Settings.Firestick’s home screen, Setting highlighted

Step 2: Select My Fire TV from the list of menus and options. Amazon Firestick Settings menu with My Fire TV highlighted

Step 3: Click on ‘Developer Options.’

Developer options highlighted in the My Fire TV menu, find Developer options.

Step 4: Select ‘Install unknown apps.’

Please note that if you’re using an older model of Firestick, you’ll probably see ‘Apps from Unknown Sources.’ 

Apps from Unknown Sources categorized under Developer Options in My Fire TV settings

If that’s the case, you’ll need to turn on the setting and skip the upcoming steps.

Step 5: Select the Downloader app you just installed and turn it ‘ON,’ or turn the ‘Apps from Unknown Sources‘ option ON. 

Now you can download APKs on your Firestick using the Downloader app.

Part 3. Use Downloader to Sideload apps

Step 1: Press and continue to hold the ‘Home‘ button on your remote control. A list of menus will show up on your screen.

Step 2: Select ‘Apps.’Select Apps

Step 3: Run the Downloader application. The Downloader app tile highlighted in the tile menu under Your Apps & Channels category

Step 4: If you’re using the app for the first time, it will ask for your permission to access media on your device.

Click on ‘Allow‘ to move further. Permission dialog asking to allow Downloader to access photos, media and files on your device with Allow and Deny options

Step 5: A ‘Quick Start Guide’ will pop up.

Go through the guide if you want, and then click on the ‘OK‘ button.

Step 6: Select the URL search box in the Downloader’s home menu.

Step 7: Paste the URL of the APK you want to sideload.Downloader browser keypad, paste the URL of Cinema APK

We are going to install the Cinema HD APK file for demonstration purposes. The URL for Cinema APK is https://vpnch.ec/k/cinema-apk

Step 8: Click on the ‘Go‘ button. Cinema HD v2.4.0 APK ( LATEST ) highlighted

Step 9: Be patient while the APK file gets downloaded. The ETA depends on the internet speed.

Downloading CinemaHD

Step 10: Once the download is complete, the application will request your permission to begin the installation.

Click ‘Install‘ to continue.Cinema HD app installation window, Install button highlighted

Cinema HD app installed windone, Done button highlightedStep 11. Once the installation is over, delete the APK. It has already served its purpose and is only consuming space now.Downloader browser Cinema HD app delete APK files prompt

Step 12. While you’d be trying to delete the APK file, a pop-up might appear asking you whether you’re sure you want to delete it. Select ‘DeleteDownloader browser Cinema HD app delete APK files confirmation prompt

Step 13: If you don’t want to delete anything, click on Open.

Doing this will launch the app. 

Great work! You’ve successfully installed an APK on your Firestick.

Method 2: Sideloading Apps on Firestick Using an Android device

In this particular section, we will show you how to sideload APKs on your Firestick using an Android Device. 

First, we will download and install the app ‘Easy Fire Tools‘ on your Android device. This app will help create a bridge between your Firestick and the Android device. Next, we’ll use the Easy Fire Tools app to download the APK. 

Make sure your Android device has the latest version of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Opera or any other browser. Also ensure that your Firestick and the Android device are connected to the same Wi-Fi network.

Part 1. Download and Install the Easy Fire Tools app on your Android device

You can install the Easy Fire Tools app from the Google Play Store. 

Step 1: Open Google Play Store on your Android device.

Step 2: In the search box, type ‘Easy Fire Tools.’Google Play Store on your Android device, type Easy Fire Tools

Step 3: Tap on the first result.

Step 4: Select ‘Install‘.Google Play Store on your Android device, Install Easy Fire Tools

Step 5: Select’ Open.’Google Play Store on your Android device, Open Easy Fire Tools

If you cannot find the Easy Fire Tools app on the Play Store, follow these steps:

Step 1: Open a web browser on your Android Device. 

Step 2: Type’ easy fire tools apk‘ in the search box. Press enter.Android device browser, search Easy Fire Tools

Step 3: Tap on the first search result.

It will take you to a page from where you can download the app.

Step 4: Once the website has loaded, find the download button and tap on it.Easy Fire Tools download page on Android deviceStep 5: Tap on ‘OK‘ to continue downloading the app. Android device warning message for downloading Easy Fire ToolsStep 6: Head over to the ‘Downloads‘ menu within the browser and wait for the download to complete. 

The ETA varies depending on the speed of your internet connection. 

Step 7: Once the APK is downloaded, tap on it.Download Easy Fire Tools APK file on Android device

Step 8: Your phone will open the APK to install the app.

Select the ‘Install‘ button. Easy Fire Tools Install prompt

Step 9: Tap on ‘Done‘ when the installation is over. Easy Fire Tools app installed prompt

Now that you’ve downloaded and installed the Easy Fire Tools app on your Android device, it’s time to link the device with your Firestick.

Part 2. Configure the Easy Fire Tools app on your Android Device and Firestick

Step 1: Open the Easy Fire Tools app on your Android device.

Step 2: Read the app’s terms and conditions if you want.

Tap the ‘Agree‘ button. Easy Fire Tools app terma and condition prompt

Step 3: Head over to your Firestick and make sure that you have turned on ADB debugging.

  •         Go to Settings.Click Settings App
  •         Click ‘My Fire TV.’Amazon Firestick Settings menu with My Fire TV highlighted
  •         Then select ‘Developer options.’Developer options highlighted in the My Fire TV menu, find Developer options.
  •         Finally, turn on the ‘ADB debugging‘ option. ADB debugging option highlighted

Step 4: Go back to your Android Device.

Tap on the ‘discover‘ icon located in the top right corner of your screen. It will be the second icon from the right (see screenshot).Tap on the 'discover' icon on Android device

Step 5: Wait for the app to find and discover your Firestick. Make sure that both the devices (Android and Firestick) are connected to the same network.

Step 6: Notice your Firestick’s name in the search results?

Click on it to link your Android device and Firestick.link your Android device and Firestick Step 7: You will get a ‘Use this device permanently‘ pop-up.

Tap on the ‘Yes‘ button.Use this device permanently pop-up, click Yes

Step 8: Next, click on the ‘plug‘ icon (as shown in the screenshot).

The plug icon will be on your screen’s extreme top right corner.Easy Fire Tools, click on the 'plug' icon

Step 9: The app will show a ‘Trying to connect‘ message. Easy Fire Tools, trying to connect prompt

Head over to your Firestick.

Step 10: A USB debugging menu will appear on your Firestick screen. Check the box titled ‘Always allow from this computer.’ 

Step 11: Click ‘OK.’Allow USB debugging window

Step 12: Switch back to your phone and tap on ‘Continue.’ Easy Fire Tools, authorization request prompt to connect firestick

You will notice that the plug icon has turned green, which means that your Android device and Firestick are now connected. 

Now that your Firestick and Android device have been linked, it’s time to sideload your favorite APK.

Part 3. Using the Easy Fire Tools app on your Android Device to Sideload apps

It’s time to sideload apps from your Android device to your Firestick. 

a) Sideloading an app that has already been installed on your phone

Here’s how you can do it:

Step 1: Open the Easy Fire Tools app.

On the application’s homepage, you’ll see a list of apps. Once you’ve found the app you want to download, click on it.

Step 2: Confirm your decision by tapping on ‘Yes.’Easy Fire Tools, sideload apps you want Easy Fire Tools will transfer your app to your Firestick.

After the transfer is completed, it will automatically install the app on your Firestick.  You can start using the app when you get a notification on your Firestick that it is ‘Ready to launch.’

b) Sideloading an APK file downloaded on your phone to your Firestick

Follow the steps below: 

Step 1: Click on the ‘CUSTOM APK FILE‘ tab.

Step 2: Select ‘Select file.’Easy Fire Tools, Click on the 'CUSTOM APK FILE' tab

Step 3: Select the three horizontal lines located on the top left of your screen.

Step 4: Browse and open the folder where you stored the APK.

Step 5: Select the APK you want to sideload.Easy Fire Tools, Select the APK you want to sideloadStep 6: In this step, you’ll see the preview of the app you’re trying to sideload.

Tap’ Install.’Easy Fire Tools, install the app you want to sideload

Step 7: The application will ask you to confirm sideloading; tap ‘Yes.’Easy Fire Tools, install the app prompt, click yes

The app’s transfer will begin.

Once the transfer is complete, you will receive a notification stating the same. 

Congratulations! You have successfully sideloaded the APK file from your Android device to your Firestick.

Method 3: Sideloading Apps on Firestick using a Mac/PC/Desktop/Laptop

Firstly, download and install the Downloader app on Firestick from the Amazon Store. Secondly, for this method to work, make sure that your Firestick and PC/Mac are connected to the same Wi-Fi network.

Part 1. Enable ADB debugging and allow Installation of Unknown Apps from the Downloader App

Step 1: Go to your Firestick’s home screen and click on the Settings gear.Click Settings AppStep 2: Select the ‘My Fire TV’ option.Amazon Firestick Settings menu with My Fire TV highlighted

Step 3: Then, click on ‘Developer options.’Developer options highlighted in the My Fire TV menu, find Developer options.

Step 4: In the developer options, turn on ‘ADB debugging.’ADB debugging option highlighted

Step 5: Next, click ‘Install unknown apps.’Install unknown apps highlighted > Select Install unknown apps

If you’re using an older model of Firestick, you’ll get the option ‘Apps from Unknown Sources,’ turn it on and then skip the upcoming steps. 

Apps from Unknown Sources categorized under Developer Options in My Fire TV settings

Step 6: Navigate to Downloader and then toggle it on.Downloader shown as turned on and highlighted among the Install Unknown Apps options in My Fire TV settings menuCheck twice that it has been toggled on before moving further.

Part 2. How to Download, Install and Use MiXplorer

We will now install MiXplorer using the Downloader app. The app will assist you in transferring APKs from your PC/Mac to your Firestick. 

Follow these steps:  

Step 1: Long press the ‘Home’ button on your Firestick’s remote.

Step 2: Select ‘Apps.’Select Apps

Step 3: Navigate to Downloader and open it. The Downloader app tile highlighted in the tile menu under Your Apps & Channels category

Step 4: Tap on the URL search box.

Step 5: Enter the following code in the search box: 

https://vpnch.ec/k/mixplorer 

Then click ‘Go.Downloader browser keypad, type Mixplorer URLStep 6: Once the page has completely loaded, scroll down and click on the ‘Latest Version’ button.

Step 7: Wait for the page to load, scroll down once again and click on the ‘Download‘ button.Downloader browser Mixplorer website, download button highlightedStep 8: The APK will start downloading.

The respective ETA depends on the speed of your internet connection. 

Step 9: Once the app is downloaded, it will open automatically to install the app. Choose ‘Install‘ to begin the installation process.MiXplorer app install button highlightedStep 10: Click on ‘Done‘ or ‘Open‘ once the app is installed. 

If you want to delete the apk file, click ‘Done.’MiXplorer app delete APK files prompt

MiXplorer app delete APK files confirmation promptStep 11: If it’s your first time launching MiXplorer, it will ask for your permission to access your files. Select ‘Allow.’Allow Mixplorer to access photos, media and filesStep 12: Click on the ‘Ok‘ button. MiXplorer app agree to privacy policy

Step 13: Next, click on the three vertically lined dots located at the top right corner of your screen (please see screenshot).MiXplorer app click on the three vertically lined dots

Step 14: Navigate to ‘Servers‘ and click on it. MiXplorer app click on the Servers tab

Step 15: Select ‘Start HTTP/WebDav Server.’MiXplorer app Select 'Start HTTP WebDav Server'

Step 16: You’ll see a URL on your screen; note it down. In part three, you’ll be entering this URL on your PC/Mac.

Also make sure to leave the screen as it is. We’ll be getting back to it in part three.MiXplorer app download 'Start HTTP WebDav Server'

This is how you are going to download, install and use MiXplorer.

Now it’s time to turn all our attention to the PC.

Part 3. Transfer APKs from PC/MAC to your Firestick

Follow the steps below on your PC/Mac:

Step 1: Download the APK file for the app you want to install on your Firestick. 

You can use any web browser to download the APK. Make sure that you keep track of the location where you saved the file. 

We are going to install the Cinema APK file for demonstration purposes. The link for the APK is https://vpnch.ec/k/cinema-apk

We don’t distribute or host this APK, and it will redirect you to the host site.  

Step 2: Open a new tab in your web browser and type the link in the search/URL box from the Firestick. 

The link will look something like this: http://192.155.15.155.9191.

Keep in mind that the link is just an example. Make sure to use the link you see on your Firestick. Folders of your Firestick on your PC or Mac

Step 3: You will now be able to see all the folders of your Firestick on your PC/Mac. 

Navigate to the ‘Downloader‘ folder. We will save the APK in this folder.Folders of your Firestick on your PC or Mac, click DownloaderStep 4: Select ‘Choose file.’Downloader Folders of your Firestick on your PC or Mac, click Choose File

Step 5: Browse and navigate to the location where you downloaded the APK in the initial step. 

Step 6: Select the APK and then open it.

Step 7: Click’ Upload.’Downloader Folders of your Firestick on your PC or Mac, Browse and Select the APK and then open it

Wait for the upload to complete. You’ll be able to see the APK file in the folder once it has been uploaded.

Part 4. Install APK that has been transferred from PC/Mac to Firestick

Now that the APK file has been moved to your PC, we will be using the Downloader app to install the app on your Firestick. Here’s how:

Step 1: Switch back to your Firestick.

Click ‘Stop HTTP/WebDav Server.’MiXplorer app Select Stop HTTP WebDav Server'

Click the ‘X‘ button. MiXplorer app clsoe the Servers prompt

Step 2: Long press the Home Button.

Step 3: Click on ‘Apps.’Select Apps

Step 4: Find and open the Downloader app.The Downloader app tile highlighted in the tile menu under Your Apps & Channels category

Step 5: Select the ‘Files‘ tab on the Downloader’s home screen.

Step 6: Select the APK file you transferred from your PC/MAC.Downloader Files tab, Select the APK file you transferred from your PC or MAC

Step 7: The installation window will appear. Click on ‘Install.’Cinema HD app installation window, Install button highlightedNow, wait for the app to install.

Great job! You’ve successfully sideloaded an APK on your Firestick.

FAQs

What is Sideloading?

Sideloading refers to downloading apps that aren’t available on your device’s app store. Take the example of Firestick. Sideloading an app on Firestick means downloading any app that isn’t available on the Amazon App Store.

Sideloading usually involves two steps:

        Step 1: Downloading the app’s APK on your device

        Step 2: Running the APK to install the app.

Make sure to sideload apps from reliable sources. If you sideload apps from unknown 3rd party sources, you might end up putting your device at the mercy of malware or ransomware.

Why is there a need to Sideload Apps?

The biggest benefit of sideloading apps is being able to download applications that aren’t available on your device’s official app store.

Sideloading applications helps you to access an immense collection of apps. You are no longer restricted to these Stores. Plus, you can use any app you want to use, as long as it is compatible with your Firestick.

Is It Illegal to Sideload Apps?

The short answer is NO. You can sideload any app you want on your Firestick. There are legitimate websites giving you links to download and install any application of your choice. Most of these resources let you download apps for free.

But there’s one vital aspect you should know. 

You cannot download and install the APKs of the paid apps. That’s because using the paid content of any app is illegal.

Is it Difficult to Sideload Apps?

No. Firestick users only have to tweak a few settings to sideload apps on their device. Changing those settings would take you less than five minutes (at the most). And you’ll be able to sideload any app of your choice afterward.

Is Jailbreaking required to Sideload Apps on Firestick?

While the earlier versions of Firestick did require jailbreaking before you could sideload apps, that isn’t the case with the latest models. With the models released in the past few years, you only have to tweak a few settings to allow sideloading.

Conclusion

We have shown you three methods to sideload APKs on your Firestick. All the methods are practical and straightforward.

But if you want to sideload multiple APKs, then sideloading them using your PC/Mac is the quickest and most convenient way.

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