How to Sideload Apps on Firestick / Fire TV [4 Easy Methods]

Amazon Fire Stick has listed all its official apps as a collection on Amazon App Store. It has almost every other popular apps that bring you original content. You can also access third-party apps on Fire TV through the process called sideloading. In general, people refer it as jailbreaking Firestick when you sideload Kodi which lets you access the streaming player out-of-box. For much better clarification, this section deals with how to sideload apps on Firestick in brief.

What Does Sideloading Mean on Firestick?

Sideloading is the process of installing apps that aren’t otherwise meant for Firestick. Such apps are usually from third-party sources and you will not find them on Amazon App Store. Few of the apps aren’t official due to geo-restrictions while many others are found to be violating Amazon terms.

Unlike official apps, sideloading the unofficial or third-party apps isn’t simple and easy. However, it isn’t going to be a complex thing. The only drawback with the process of sideloading apps on Fire TV is that it takes up quite some time. This indeed requires the right sideloading tool to take advantage of any apps on Fire TV.

Why Use VPN on Firestick while Sideloading Apps?

The process of sideloading involves third-party apps and they might in turn hold illegal contents. As a consequence, you might end up dealing with copyright issues from the original developer. With VPN access, your online identity will be hidden completely with a virtual IP address. So, you will not get into any legal issues.

Besides this, VPN will let you access those geo-limited contents without any restrictions. You will be no more dealing with internet throttling issues or ISP monitoring your online activity. Hence, VPN is recommended to use while sideloading apps on Firestick.

How to Sideload Apps on Firestick?

There is more than one way with which Fire TV users can sideload apps on Firestick.

Configure Firestick to Sideload Apps

Firestick supports third-party app installation just after configuring the device settings.

1. Navigate to the Settings options on the Amazon Fire Stick Menu bar at the top.

Firestick Settings

2. Based on the device model, you need to select My Fire TV or Devices or System.

My Fire TV or Device

3. Among the list of options, choose Developer options.

4. Turn on ADB Debugging and Apps from Unknown Sources.

Turn on Developer Options to Sideload Applications on Firestick

5. Click Turn On button to confirm sideloading apps from unknown sources.

Confirm Turn to Sideload Applications on Firestick

6. Press the Back button on the Fire TV remote to get back to Devices.

7. Choose About option to select Network to make a note on the IP address of Firestick.

Select Network

That’s all. With the right side loading tool, you shall install third-party apps on your Firestick.

Method 1 – Sideload Applications on Firestick using Downloader

Firestick users can sideload third-party apps with the help of the Downloader app. Sideloading apps through Downloader app is considered to be the most trusted method as it can be done from within Firestick.

Steps to Sideload Apps using Downloader – At a Glance

It is assumed that Downloader is already installed on Firestick. Otherwise, you shall get it from Amazon App Store.

1. Launch Downloader app on Firestick to further proceed with sideloading apps.

2. You will land up with Home tab selected already. Click next to http:// field.

  • Optionally, you can even click on Browser tab to browse the web to download the app you want to sideload from within Downloader.
Select the URL Field to Sideload Applications on Firestick

3. On the following pop-up, type the URL link of the app that you want to sideload.

4. Proceed with the on-screen instruction to let the Downloader complete the sideloading process.

5. After the installation, the sideloaded app will be available under Your Apps & Games section of Firestick.

Method 2 – Sideload Applications on Firestick using ES File Explorer

Almost any Android user would probably be aware of the ES File Explorer. It is a file manager that can be used to sideload apps on Firestick. This method works just like Downloader.

Steps to Sideload Apps using ES File Explorer – At a Glance

Make sure you have ES File Explorer downloaded and installed on your Fire TV. At times, you might not find the official version on Amazon App Store. In such a case, get the apk version of ES File Explorer using Downloader.

1. On your Firestick, launch ES File Explorer app to select Tools from the left pane on its home screen.

Select Tools

2. Then, choose Download Manager option.

Select Download Manager to Sideload Applications on Firestick

3. Press the + New icon available at the bottom of the screen.

4. On the Download pop-up, click on the Path field.

Click on Path field to Sideload Applications on Firestick

5. When search pop-up appears, type the URL link of the app you are about to sideload. Click the Next button.

6. Provide a name for the file that is about to download. Select Next.

7. Follow the screen instructions to complete sideloading the app on Fire TV using ES File Explorer.

Method 3 – Sideload Applications on Firestick using Apps2Fire (Android Phone)

If you have Apps2Fire app installed on your smartphone, then sideloading apps on Fire TV is much simpler. Apps2Fire will instantly transfer the app that you have installed on your smartphone into Fire TV.

Steps to Sideload Apps using ES File Explorer – At a Glance

1. Connect Firestick and your phone to the same WiFi network.

2. Open the Apps2Fire app on your phone and click on the Menu icon from the top-right corner.

3. Scroll to select Setup option on the menu bar of the Apps2Fire app.

4. Type the IP address of your Firestick that you have noted down and press Save.

  • Otherwise, you shall click on the Network button to allow the Apps2Fire app to scan for available devices. Choose the Fire TV name.
Sideload Apps using ADB

5. When prompted to accept the connection on the Firestick screen, just click OK.

6. Go to the Local Apps section of Apps2Fire to choose the app and press Install on the pop-up.

This will install the app on your Firestick automatically.

Method 3 – Sideload Applications on Firestick using adbLink

With adbLink, Fire TV users can sideload third-party apps. It requires a computer or laptop connected to the same WiFi as that of Firestick.

Steps to Sideload Apps using adbLink – At a Glance

1. Download the apk file that you want to use on Firestick on your PC from a trusted source.

2. Then go to the official website of adbLink to download based on your OS.

3. Locate the downloaded file to run and install it on your PC.

4. When you launch an abdLink.exe file for the first time, choose the New button under Select Device.

Select New

5. Enter necessary details like Fire TV name, IP Address, location, etc, on the respective field.

6. Under adbLink, select the Install Apk button. Now, select the apk file and click OK.

With this adbLink will install the apk on your Firestick.

These are the few ways wherein which you can enjoy the Sideloading. Be careful with applications as some apps may harm your device and data. Write to us in the comments, and we will address your queries.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does sideloading apps on Firestick a safe process?

Yes. Sideloading apps is absolutely safe as this process doesn’t deal with hacking or modifying the device settings.

What are the apps that Firestick supports sideloading?

There isn’t any limit and almost any Android apk file can be used in the sideloading process. Since Firestick is based on Android OS, it can run all the Android compatible apps without any issues. But make sure the app has landscape orientation support to view it better on Fire TV.

Also bear in mind that not all apps you install will work on firestick. Those Apks that are based on the Google Play Services framework are not compatible and won’t be of use on a firestick. On the other hand, don’t force your firestick to work beyond its limits by installing some of the high-end or high graphic games as it may affect your stick’s performance.

Will I be able to access all the third-party using Fire TV remote?

Not much. Most Android apps aren’t remote-friendly and thus accessing them with the help of Fire TV remote would be a complex thing. However, you can overcome this incompatibility using Mouse Toggle for firestick, a virtual mouse app.

Can I uninstall those sideloaded apps?

Firestick supports removing any apps including those sideloaded from within the device itself. Press the Home button to select Apps. Highlight the app you want to uninstall and press Menu to select the Uninstall option.

Can I sideload apps through adblink on Firestick?

Yes. However, the process will be quite tricky and confusing for many. Otherwise, it works fine on Firestick.

Author: Kacey Butler

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