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How to Download Apps on Firestick and Fire TV in 2022 (3 Quick Steps)

Downloading apps on your Amazon Firestick or Fire TV is easy and opens up a world of entertainment possibilities. With just a few steps, you can access popular streaming services, live TV, music, games, and more.

In this comprehensive guide, we‘ll walk you through the different methods for installing apps on your Fire TV device. Whether you want to use the Amazon Appstore or sideload apps and APKs, we‘ve got you covered.

Overview of App Installation Methods

There are three main ways to get apps on your Firestick or Fire TV:

  • Amazon Appstore – The official app store for Amazon devices. Offers popular apps like Netflix and Hulu.

  • Sideloading – Manually installing apps outside of the Amazon Appstore. Requires enabling Apps from Unknown Sources.

  • Alternative app stores – Third-party app repositories like Aptoid TV provide access to apps not available on Amazon.

Below, we‘ll break down how to use each method, along with the pros and cons of each approach.

Method 1: Amazon Appstore

The Amazon Appstore is the easiest way to find and download apps onto your Fire TV. Here are the steps:

  1. From the home screen, hover over Find and select Appstore.

  2. Browse or search for the app you want. You can scroll through categories like Entertainment, Music, and Games or use the search bar to find a specific app.

  3. Select the app you want to install.

  4. Choose the Download option.

  5. The app will begin downloading. Once finished, you‘ll get a "Ready to Launch" message.

Pros of the Amazon Appstore:

  • Simple, streamlined process. Just search, select, and download.

  • Contains popular apps like Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, ESPN, Disney+, and more.

  • Reputable source for app downloads. No need to enable unknown sources.


  • Selection is limited compared to other app sources. Many apps are not available.

  • Cannot access unofficial third-party apps or APKs.

Overall, the Amazon Appstore is best for easily grabbing major streaming and entertainment apps from trusted developers. However, you won‘t find more obscure apps or those banned from Amazon‘s store.

Method 2: Sideloading Apps and APKs

Sideloading refers to manually installing apps on your Firestick or Fire TV outside of the Amazon Appstore. This requires enabling unknown sources in your settings.

The benefits of sideloading include access to a wider range of apps, emulators, Android APKs, and more. However, the downside is that sideloading carries some security risks if you install apps from untrusted sources.

Here are the steps for sideloading:

  1. Use Downloader or another browser app to install APKs. We recommend Downloader since it simplifies the process.

  2. Enable unknown sources:

    • Go to Settings > My Fire TV > Developer Options

    • Select Apps from Unknown Sources

  3. Find the APK you want to install and download it directly on your device. Popular sources include APKMirror, APKPure, or app-specific sites.

  4. Once downloaded, select Install to sideload the APK onto your Firestick.

  5. You may need to allow app permissions or enable additional settings for full functionality.

The key advantage of sideloading is gaining access to a much wider app ecosystem outside Amazon‘s walled garden. It does require more technical steps, but unlocking sideloading vastly expands your Fire TV‘s capabilities.

Method 3: Install Third-Party App Stores

Another option is to sideload alternative app stores like Aptoide TV. These stores act as an intermediary, giving you access to apps you can‘t get on the Amazon Appstore.

Here are the basics to deploy third-party stores:

  1. Install Downloader and enable unknown sources as explained above.

  2. Find the repository for the app store you want and download it through Downloader or your browser.

  3. Install the app store APK after the download completes.

  4. The third-party app store will now appear in your Firestick apps – use it to download apps and games normally.

Aptoide TV, for example, offers thousands of Android apps you won‘t find on Amazon‘s store. Other options like AppCloner can generate multiple app profiles.

The benefit of these stores is simplifying sideloading. However, be careful to only use reputable app repositories to avoid malware.

Fire TV Model Differences

It‘s worth noting that app capabilities can vary somewhat across Fire TV models. For example:

  • The most recent Fire TV Stick 4K Max offers the fastest and smoothest performance for running demanding apps and games.

  • Lower-end Fire TV Stick models have less RAM which can impact performance. Stick Lite has 1.5GB RAM while the 4K model has 1.5GB.

  • Fire TV Cube 2nd gen and Fire TV Omni Series have 4GB RAM for optimal app performance.

While all Fire TV devices support the Amazon App Store and sideloading, higher-end models will provide the best user experience for more intensive apps and gaming.

8 Essential Apps to Install on Fire TV

Once you know how to install apps, you‘ll want to populate your Fire TV home screen. Here are 8 must-have apps we recommend downloading:

  1. Netflix – The world‘s leading premium streaming service for binge-worthy movies and shows.

  2. YouTube – View endless videos and content from YouTube‘s massive catalog.

  3. Hulu – Top pick for next-day streaming of TV shows from major networks and cable channels.

  4. Disney+ – The new streaming home of Disney, Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar and more.

  5. Pluto TV – An excellent free live TV streaming app with hundreds of channels.

  6. Prime Video – Amazon‘s streaming service with a solid selection of movies, shows, and originals.

  7. Twitch – Leading app for watching live streams of videogames, eSports, cooking and more.

  8. Plex – Media server app that lets you stream your personal media collection to your Fire TV.

This covers the most popular entertainment apps. You can further expand your Fire TV‘s capabilities with VPNs, utility apps, emulators, and more.

Tips for Managing Your Fire TV Apps

Once you‘ve downloaded some apps from the sources above, here are some tips for keeping them organized:

  • Use folders – Combine related apps in labeled folders on your home screen to keep things tidy.

  • Expand storage – If you run low on space, use a microSD card or external drive to add more storage for apps.

  • Remove unwanted apps – Go into Settings > Applications > Manage Installed Applications to delete apps you don‘t use.

  • Stop auto-updates – Disable auto updating in settings to avoid unwanted app updates using extra bandwidth.

  • Use Alexa voice commands – Say "Alexa, open [app name]" to quickly launch your apps using Amazon‘s voice assistant.

Following these app management best practices will keep your Fire TV running smoothly while giving you easy access to your favorite apps.

The Bottom Line

Installing and managing apps is quick and convenient with Fire TV devices. The Amazon Appstore provides a familiar way to download common streaming and entertainment apps. For advanced users, sideloading opens up access to a broader world of apps.

Carefully research and vet any third-party APK sources before sideloading unfamiliar apps. While providing more choice, sideloading does carry some minor security risks.

With the app installation methods and tips above, you‘ll be able to fully unlock your Firestick or Fire TV‘s potential. The right apps will turn your Fire TV into the ultimate hub for movies, shows, music, and more.


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