Best Firestick Tips, Tricks and Hacks

The best streaming gadget at the moment is undoubtedly the FireStick as it is inexpensive, quick, incredibly user-friendly, and gets regular software updates.

It is compatible with several different streaming services, including Netflix, Prime, Hulu, Disney+, and others as well as download, install, and use third-party software.

But there are many ways you can improve the overall experience with some small and useful tips and tricks which we are going to cover about in this post.

These are my best Firestick tips and tricks that I’ve come across while using my device over the years.

Also known as sideloading is the simple process of installing third-party apps that are not available on the Amazon app store or not verified by Amazon. 

Jailbreaking is not the typical belief of changing or modifying the system software like a phone but simply turning on a setting on your Firestick.

By installing these third-party apps, you get access to thousands of free movies and tv shows as well as free live tv and sports games.

It’s a very simple and direct process that anyone including your grandma can do and you can go through our step by step guide on how to jailbreak your Firestick.

2. Uninstall unused apps

The Firestick and other Fire TV devices come with a ton of apps that most likely you will use only one or two since many of them are subscription streaming apps.

These default apps however take alot of your Firestick memory and storage. The Firestick device comes with very minimal system specs that doesn’t allow you to install many apps and so uninstalling them will relive your system allowing you to install third-party apps that you will use and also have your Firestick running smoothly.

Below are the steps to uninstall apps from your Firestick.

Step 1. Turn on your Firestick and scroll far right to the cog icon.

Step 2. Scroll down to Applications and open it.

Step 3. Scroll down to Manage Installed Applications and open it.

Step 4. Scroll to an app that you don’t use and select it.

Step 5. Scroll down to Uninstall.

3. Clear cache on apps

Clearing app will also help your Firestick device run faster and smoothly. Usually when you open an app it stores some data on the memory of your device, reducing capacity thus reducing the speed of your Firestick and the more apps you open the more slower or laggy your device gets.

Clearing the cache on your apps relieves the system memory and I recommend you do this everytime before using your Firestick. It’s a very simple and straight forward process and you can do by following the steps below.

Step 1. Turn on your Firestick and scroll far right to the cog icon.

Step 2. Scroll down to Applications and open it.

Step 3. Scroll down to Manage Installed Applications and open it.

Step 4. Scroll to an app and open it.

Step 5. Scroll down to Clear cache and go back to do the same for the other apps.

4. Turning off Preferences Settings

These are additional settings that tend to consume system resources of your Firestick and should be turned off to relieve system memory. 

I also recommended turning these off as one of the first things to do the first time using the device to help speed up your device for a smoother interface experience.

Some settings on Preferences let the device collect your personal data that Amazon uses to sell you products based on your browsing experience.

Here are the steps to turning of some Preferences Settings.

Step 1. Turn on your Firestick and scroll far right to the cog icon.

Step 2. Scroll down to Preferences and open it.

Step 3. Scroll down to Privacy Settings and open it.

Step 4. Click on Device Usage Data and click Turn Off.

Do the same for:

Collect App Usage Data

Interest-based Ads

Data Usage Monitoring

Featured Content (Allow Video Autoplay, Allow Audio Autoplay)

5. Increasing storage

All Firestick devices come with a very limited internal storage size of 8 GB which is inadequate by today’s standards. It’s actually less than that because the system also used some of that storage.

This limits you to the number of apps that you can install into your device. The good news is, you can actually increase storage using an external storage devices like usb drives or usb hard drives of upto 2 TB, though Amazon recommends upto 128 MB.

This now allows you to install as many third-party or jailbreak apps as you want on your Firestick device. However this only works flawlessly with the new Fire OS 7 versions or newer.

How to increase internal storage

What you need

  • USB storage 
  • OTG adapter
  1. Connect the USB storage to the OTG adapter
  2. Connect the OTG adapter to the Firestick
  3. Connect the Firestick power adapter to the OTG adapter
  4. Plug in the Firestick to your TV
  5. On pop up screen select Device Storage and click Yes

That’s it. You have now expanded your storage and can now add more apps.

6. Using your phone as a remote control

One of the best things about the Firestick is that you can actually control it with your phone in case you lose your original remote. Just download the Amazon Fire TV app from Play Store or App Store from your phone.

Once you have downloaded the app, you need to sign up and link both your phone and Fire TV device to set it up. You can pretty much control everything except the volume and power.

The app has a touch pad that acts as the navigation where you can swipe up, down,left or right and touch or tap to select.

7. Controlling your Fire TV device with your TV remote control

One of the earliest things I discovered on the Firestick was the ability to control it with your tv’s remote control. Actually i accidentally discovered it when I mistook it for the Firestick remote.

Now this may not work on all tv ‘s for compatibility reasons but should work on all smart tvs effortlessly without any set up.

8. Calibrating your TV display to fit videos

Sometimes videos don’t fit perfectly on tv screens and can look a bit skewed. Calibration can assist you in adjusting to fit the screen, whether they are squished or overshooting.There is a way to fix that and can be done in 5 easy steps from your settings.

These are the steps to calibrate the FireStick screen to fit your TV:

  1. Scroll to Settings from the cog logo on far right.
  2. Scroll down to Display & Sounds and open it.
  3. Scroll down to Display and open it.
  4. Scroll down to Calibrate Display.
  5. Click up, down, left or right to adjust.

9. Using Alexa to control your Fire TV device

Alexa comes pretty handy in controlling your Firestick. It can perform commands like checking the weather, set alarms and reminders, search the internet, play music, control smart home devices and more.

Alexa can also open streaming apps for you and also search for titles. This means you do not have to use the physical remote all the time and this can be very convenient. However it can only open official apps from the Amazon app store and not third-party apps.

10. Connecting Bluetooth headphones/speakers to FireStick

Connecting a Bluetooth device such as headphones or external speakers are one of the best features of the Amazon Fire TV devices because you can watch a movie privately with headphones or listen to music or watch a movie in base thumping surround sound.

This can be done in these simple steps:

  1. Scroll to Settings on the cog icon on the far right.
  2. Scroll down and open Controllers & Bluetooth Devices.
  3. Scroll down and open Other Bluetooth Devices.
  4. Click on Add Bluetooth Devices and pair it with headphones or speakers.

11. Using a Mouse Toggle to Navigate Third-Party Apps

Some APKs are not intended for your FireStick or TV even though they can be installed because they are designed for touchscreen devices, like your smartphone and it can be very difficult to navigate these third-party apps using your Firestick or tv remote.

However, you can still navigate these third-party apps using another third-party app called Mouse Toggle. On your FireStick, this app shows a mouse pointer that can be moved using your remote. Where your FireStick remote won’t reach, you can use this pointer to navigate to and click on certain areas of the various apps.

12. Mirror or Casting videos onto FireStick

If for some reason you can’t watch videos on your Firestick or want to easily control videos via touch, you can use your phone and mirror or cast videos on the Firestick.

Mirroring/Casting works with mobiles, tablets and computers but the platform on which you are watching the video must support casting for it to work. You also need to have both devices connected on the same Wi-Fi network.

YouTube is a good example as it supports Casting. When you are playing a video on your mobile or computer you can click on the casting button at the top and choose Firestick. The video will start to play on your TV.

13. Moving App to Shortcut/Quick Menu

When you download an app, usually you have to navigate to My Apps to open it whenever you want to use it. This can be a long process for most people especially if you just want to jump straight into that app.

Good news is that you can move your favorite apps to the top row shortcut menu, and you can do this in 3 simple steps.

  1. Scroll to My Apps and open it.
  2. Scroll to the app you want to and click on the Menu button on your remote.
  3. 3. Click on Move to front

14. Force closing apps

When you open an app and close it, it still runs in the background, consuming more memory storage. This can noticeably slow down your Firestick or Fire TV device especially if you open multiple apps.
One way you can avoid this is to force stop each app.
1. Go to Settings and scroll to Applications
2. Scroll down to Manage Installed Applications
3. Open apps that you recently used and click Force stop

15. Settings shortcut

The Settings menu takes you a number of clicks to get to and the more apps you have on top row, the longer. There is a pretty neat trick to get to the Settings using just one button and this will display Profiles, Apps, Sleep, Mirroring and Settings.

Simply press and hold the home button on your remote for 2 seconds from the home screen. This is the fastest way to get to your apps and Settings.

16. Adjust display resolution

Instead of going to the Display settings by navigating to Display and Sounds and scrolling to Video Resolution, you can easily access it quickly by pressing and holding Up and Rewind buttons for 10 seconds. This will show you your current resolution and circle through different resolutions giving you a chance to select. 

17. Resetting your Fire TV

Electronic devices need to be restarted from time to time to refresh the system. The Firestick also needs to be restarted but it does not have a restart button. The power button does not restart it. 

Thankfully there is a code for this. Simply click on the Select button(center button) and Play/Pause button at the same time for about 5 seconds. This will help clear some bundled-up memory and get your device running much smoother.

18. Resetting your Fire TV to Factory

If you really need to reset your Fire TV to factory settings, it’s possible by simply pressing and holding Back/Undo button and Right from the navigation button for about 10 seconds.

This is only necessary if you really need to restart your device to factory as this will completely delete all your apps, and settings, and sign you out of your Amazon account. For example if you want to sell it, give it away or its bricked.