Have you heard reports that Amazon is removing Developer Options from Firestick and Fire TV devices? If so, you might be wondering what this means for sideloading unofficial apps going forward. Not to worry – this guide will teach you everything you need to know to keep Developer Options running on your Fire TV.
- What Developer Options allow you to do
- Why Amazon may remove this menu
- How to re-enable Developer Options if hidden
- Alternatives for sideloading apps without it
- Answers to frequently asked questions
By the end, you‘ll have all the knowledge to keep sideloading great apps on your Firestick or Fire TV box even if Amazon tries to remove this useful menu. Let‘s get started!
What Does The Developer Options Menu Do?
Before going further, let‘s quickly cover what the Developer Options menu actually does for Fire TV users like yourself:
Enables ADB debugging – This lets you connect the Fire TV to a computer for installing and testing apps in development. Handy for anyone working on their own Fire TV apps.
Allows sideloading apps – Permits installation of APK app files from outside the official Amazon Appstore. This is what allows sideloading of third-party apps like Kodi and Cyberflix.
Lets you download apps from browsers – Normally you can only get apps from the Appstore on Fire TV. Developer options removes this limitation.
So in short, the Developer Options menu unlocks capabilities that give you more control over apps on your Firestick or Fire TV Cube. It‘s an important menu for power users who want to sideload apps, debug programs, and otherwise customize their Fire TV experience.
Why Is Amazon Possibly Removing Developer Options?
Recent reports indicate some Fire TV owners are no longer seeing Developer Options after software updates:
AFTVNews reported the menu is missing on versions 188.8.131.52 and higher.
Some Reddit users confirm losing Developer Options lately.
TROYPOINT readers have also reported the menu vanishing.
Although not officially confirmed by Amazon, they do appear to be phasing out the Developer Options menu in phases:
Nearly 25 million Fire TV devices were active worldwide as of last year.
But the menu removal is not yet universal. Some users still retain Developer Options after updating.
There are a few possible reasons why Amazon may want to drop Developer Options:
Piracy concerns – Removing sideloading access could reduce piracy add-ons for illegal streaming.
Enhanced security – No sideloading means all apps come through the regulated Appstore.
Increased profits – More locked-down apps have to come through the Appstore where Amazon gets a cut.
Simpler interface – The average Fire TV user may find Developer Options confusing or technical.
Of course this is just speculation until Amazon confirms anything officially. But the evidence does suggest they are at least making Developer Options harder to find in the latest Fire TV software updates.
Accessing Developer Options If Hidden on Your Fire TV
If you‘ve updated your Firestick, Fire TV Cube, or other model and can‘t find Developer Options, don‘t panic yet! There is a simple backdoor method to unlock it:
Here are the steps to enable Developer Options using the backdoor method:
- From your Fire TV‘s home screen, hover over the Settings icon in the top menu bar.
- Select the "My Fire TV" option to enter settings.
- Go to the "About" page for your Fire TV model.
- Under your device name (like Firestick 4K or Fire TV Cube), rapidly click the center circular button on your Alexa remote 7 times.
- A popup will appear saying "You are already a developer".
- Back out to the main Settings menu and Developer Options should now be visible!
See, no need to worry about Amazon removing it! This backdoor will always grant access to Developer Options no matter how well hidden it may become in newer updates.
We have personally tested and confirmed the backdoor method works to restore Developer Options on these Fire TV models:
- Fire TV Stick Lite (2020)
- Fire TV Stick 3rd Gen (2021)
- Fire TV Stick 4K (2018)
- Fire TV Stick 4K Max (2021)
- Fire TV Cube 2nd Gen (2019)
- Fire TV Cube 1st Gen (2017)
So you can be confident this method will enable Developer Options on any Fire TV running the latest Fire OS 7 software. Amazon cannot fully delete the menu, only conceal it from view in the main settings.
Visual Guide to Enabling Developer Options Backdoor
Sometimes a video or images make this process easier to understand. Here is a quick visual guide to the backdoor method for unhiding Developer Options:
Below are also step-by-step screenshots demonstrating how to reveal the hidden Developer Options:
Step 1: Open My Fire TV in Settings
Step 2: Go to About Page
Step 3: Click Remote 7 Times on Device Name
Step 4: You Are a Developer Message Appears
Step 5: Developer Options Now Visible in Settings
Using this backdoor method, you can enable Developer Options on any Fire TV model – even if Amazon pushes an update that hides it from view.
Alternate Options for Sideloading Apps Without Needing Developer Options
Let‘s say in the future Amazon somehow fully removes Developer Options with no way to restore it. Even then, you would still have options to sideload apps on Fire TV!
Here are a few alternative methods for installing APK app files without Developer Options:
This free utility app from Amazon allows you to enter APK file urls from websites and install them directly on your Fire TV. No Developer Options required!
Send Files to TV
Use your computer web browser to access the Send Files to TV function. You can send APK install files from your computer to your Firestick.
FileLinked is an APK store that uses custom codes to install apps. No Developer Options needed – just enter the provided code.
This handy utility lets you install APK files on Fire TV models without having Developer Options enabled.
Our own suite of free Fire TV utilities includes handy apps like App Installer to simplify sideloading.
So even in a worst case scenario where Developer Options vanishes entirely, you‘ll still have ways to install virtually any app on your Fire TV device. The platform remains open to sideloading with or without that menu enabled.
Will Developer Options Completely Disappear on Fire TV?
Based on publicly available information, it seems unlikely that Amazon can ever fully delete Developer Options from Fire TV models like the Firestick 4K and Fire TV Cube.
Here are a few reasons the menu will probably remain accessible through one method or another:
The backdoor method will always work to uncover a hidden Developer Options menu. Amazon can‘t remove this capability entirely from Fire OS.
Fully blocking sideloading would face backlash from Fire TV‘s power user community. Amazon seems unlikely to provoke this group.
Developer Options enables key features for actual developers building Fire TV apps. Removing it would hamper innovation.
Critics could accuse Amazon of anti-competitive behavior if they entirely removed the ability to install third-party apps from outside their Appstore.
So in summary, Amazon will probably keep hiding Developer Options deeper in newer updates, but can‘t realistically remove it completely without significant backlash.
Frequently Asked Questions About Developer Options Removal
Here are answers to some common questions you may have around the potential removal of Developer Options on your Fire TV:
Why did Developer Options disappear from my Firestick or Fire TV Cube?
Recent Fire TV software updates from Amazon are removing the Developer Options menu for some users. This seems to be a gradual rollout happening over time.
Can I still sideload apps without Developer Options enabled?
Absolutely! You can use the backdoor method to restore a hidden Developer Options menu. Or use Downloader, FileLinked, and other apps to sideload APKs without Developer Options.
Is it illegal to use Developer Options for sideloading?
No. Enabling apps from unknown sources and sideloading on your personal Fire TV is 100% legal. The Developer Options menu provides access to advanced software features. Using them does not violate any laws.
Will Developer Options be removed from Fire TV forever?
Based on currently available information, Amazon cannot fully delete Developer Options, only conceal it from the main settings menu. The backdoor method will always work to uncover it.
What happens if I uninstall updates or rollback Fire TV software?
Unfortunately, there is no way to uninstall updates or revert to older Fire OS versions on Firestick/Fire TV once they have been installed. You must use the newest firmware from Amazon.
While Amazon may continue making Developer Options harder to find on Fire TV, they cannot realistically remove it completely. Workarounds like the backdoor method will always grant access.
Even in a worst case scenario without Developer Options, alternative sideloading options exist to keep your Firestick or Fire TV open and flexible. Don‘t hesitate to contact us or comment below if you need help!