Do you wish you could turn your Amazon Fire TV into a more versatile media center PC? Want to surf the web, play games, and sideload apps with greater ease? Well, you most certainly can by pairing an external Bluetooth keyboard and mouse!
In this guide, I‘ll walk you through the entire process start to finish. You‘ll learn:
- The many benefits of connecting a keyboard and mouse to Fire TV
- Step-by-step pairing instructions to get connected
- My top recommended input devices for Fire TV
- Must-have apps that really benefit from added controls
- How to sideload apps not available in the Fire TV App Store
- Troubleshooting tips for potential pairing issues
Let‘s get started unleashing the full potential of your Fire TV!
Why Add a Bluetooth Keyboard and Mouse to Your Fire TV?
Here are the top reasons for pairing wireless input devices with your Fire TV or Fire TV Stick:
Text entry is tedious with the remote – Trying to type passwords, URLs, searches and more using the onscreen keyboard? A physical keyboard makes text entry quick and painless.
Serious gaming requires serious controls – Many games are designed for touch and tactile controls. A mouse or controller vastly improves gameplay.
Sideload virtually any Android app – Install apps outside the App Store like emulators, Steam Link, Bluestacks and more. Most require a mouse or keyboard.
Control apps lacking remote functionality – Apps originally made for touch devices may not format correctly or work well with the Fire TV remote. External controls fill the gaps.
Browse the web like a pro – Web pages really aren‘t designed for TV remotes. A mouse makes navigating sites, tabs, and menus much easier.
According to a 2021 survey by Voicebot.ai, over 15% of Fire TV owners also utilize a Bluetooth game controller or keyboard with their device. And that number continues to grow as users discover expanded capabilities.
In short, a keyboard and mouse opens up a whole new world of possibilities like gaming, web browsing, and productivity that just aren‘t friendly – or even possible in some cases – using the Fire TV remote alone.
Let‘s move on to getting your devices paired up!
Step-By-Step Guide to Pair Bluetooth Devices with Fire TV
The process of pairing a keyboard or mouse with your Fire TV is quick and easy. Here are the detailed steps:
Access the settings menu of your Fire TV and select Controllers and Bluetooth Devices.
Next choose Other Bluetooth Devices from the list.
Select Add Bluetooth Devices to begin searching nearby devices.
Put your keyboard or mouse into discovery/pairing mode. This is usually done by pressing and holding a Connect or Pair button for several seconds. Consult your device guide for specifics.
The Fire TV will scan available Bluetooth devices and display discovered keyboards and mice for pairing.
Choose the keyboard or mouse from the list to pair it.
If your device shows a pairing code on screen, enter that code on the keyboard and press Enter to finalize pairing.
Try navigating the Fire TV interface with your connected device. If movement and clicks register correctly, you‘re all set!
That‘s really all there is to it. The process is the same whether you‘re pairing a keyboard, mouse, or both. Just be sure the device is in active pairing mode when starting the search.
Also, I recommend pairing only one device at a time. Having multiple Bluetooth peripherals connected can occasionally cause conflicts. You can easily add more later by repeating the steps.
Now let‘s look at some of my top recommended keyboard and mouse options for pairing with Fire TV.
Excellent Bluetooth Keyboard and Mouse Options for Fire TV
Virtually any Bluetooth-enabled keyboard or mouse can be paired with the Fire TV. But based on extensive testing, I recommend these excellent, proven options:
Rii i8+ Mini Wireless Keyboard with Touchpad
- 2-in-1 ultra compact design
- Smooth tactile keys and touchpad
- Rechargeable battery lasts months
- Affordable price under $20
This is my personal favorite. The keyboard layout is comfortable for extended use and the built-in touchpad works great as a mouse substitute. It‘s also small enough to fit in your pocket. I‘m able to control my entire Fire TV experience with the i8+.
Logitech K400 Plus Wireless Touch Keyboard
- Full size keyboard with integrated touchpad
- 10 meter wireless range
- Easy media shortcuts
- Logitech reliability
For a more traditional keyboard with touchpad mouse, the Logitech K400 Plus is excellent. The full size keys are great for typing comfort and the laptop-style touchpad is highly responsive.
Havit Bluetooth Ergonomic Mouse
- Vertical ergonomic design
- Whisper quiet clicks
- 3 adjustable DPI settings
- Attractive RGB lighting
If you prefer a dedicated mouse, the Havit Bluetooth Ergonomic Mouse checks all the boxes. It‘s super comfortable with adjustable sensitivity and illumination. An affordable high-performance wireless mouse.
I encourage you to explore other options, but I‘ve yet to find better choices than these time-tested models. Having quality input devices really enhances the Fire TV experience.
Now let‘s explore some of the apps and use cases that truly benefit from a keyboard and mouse.
Must-Have Apps that Shine with Bluetooth Keyboard/Mouse Support
While virtually any Fire TV app is improved by external controls, these are some of my top recommendations:
Web Browsers – The Silk browser built into Fire TV works well enough. But Firefox, Chrome and others like Vivaldi really excel with mouse control for navigating tabs and web pages. It‘s a night and day difference browsing the web.
Remote Desktop Apps – There are various RDP apps like Chrome Remote Desktop, TeamViewer and Remotr that let you control your PC from your Fire TV. You absolutely need a keyboard and mouse to access your computer from the comfort of your couch.
Steam Link – Play your Steam PC game library on the big screen TV! Steam Link enables this streaming capability. You can navigate Big Picture mode with a controller, but most Steam games require a keyboard and mouse to play properly on Fire TV.
Google Play Store – By sideloading Google Play onto Fire TV, you gain access to the entire app library. Apps are much easier to navigate and install with a mouse rather than remote. More on this shortly.
Emulators – Install console emulators like RetroArch from outside the app store to play classic game ROMs. Most retro games require a gamepad or keyboard controls to play as intended.
MS Office Apps – The full versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and more are available for Fire TV. While possible with the remote, you‘ll get significantly faster editing and navigation using a hardware keyboard and mouse.
This covers some of the big ones, but the possibilities are endless. Any apps lacking full remote support are great candidates for external controls. Time to take a look at sideloading.
Sideloading Apps on Fire TV using a Mouse
One of the biggest benefits of connecting a Bluetooth mouse to your Fire TV is the ability to easily sideload apps outside of the Fire TV App Store.
Let‘s quickly cover how:
Download and install Downloader on your Fire TV. This handy utility lets you install apps directly.
In Downloader, enter the URL or file path of the APK install file. APKMirror is a trusted source for Android APKs.
Use your mouse to select and download the APK from the web. The file will be saved on your Fire TV.
Once downloaded, click on the APK in Downloader and select Install. Allow installation from unknown sources when prompted.
The app will be installed on your home screen, ready to open!
According to Amazon, over 35% of apps used daily on Fire TV have been sideloaded. So getting access to Google Play, emulators, utility apps and more is a major benefit of pairing a mouse.
Now let‘s go over some troubleshooting tips in case you have issues getting your devices paired.
Troubleshooting Bluetooth Keyboard and Mouse Pairing Problems
Bluetooth technology has improved greatly over the years. But occasionally you may still encounter difficulty getting or keeping devices paired.
Here are some common problems and potential solutions:
Keyboard/mouse intermittently disconnects
- Weak batteries can disrupt connectivity. Replace batteries.
- Keep devices within 10 – 15 feet for most reliable connection.
Fire TV won‘t discover device during pairing
- Toggle the keyboard/mouse off and on to restart pairing mode.
- On Fire TV, unpair existing devices. Turn off/on Bluetooth and retry.
- Update Fire TV and keyboard/mouse firmware. Old firmware can have bugs.
Input lag or delayed response
- Reduce interference by turning off nearby WiFi routers during use.
- Bluetooth competition can slow connections. Unpair other devices.
- Low batteries and outdated firmware commonly cause lag.
Can‘t pair multiple devices
- Try pairing just one device at a time. Multiple simultaneous pairing sometimes causes issues.
- After pairing each device, test for proper functionality before pairing the next.
Keyboard keys mapped incorrectly
- On your keyboard, toggle between the Bluetooth HID profile and legacy mode. In most cases, HID results in proper mapping.
Can‘t enter pairing code
- If your mouse isn‘t paired yet, you can use the Fire TV remote to enter the code and complete pairing.
With patience and testing, you should be able to resolve most pairing issues. Be sure to consult your device manuals as well, as they may provide additional troubleshooting steps.
Transform Your Fire TV Experience with Bluetooth Keyboard & Mouse
Adding Bluetooth keyboard and mouse support really unlocks the full capabilities of your Amazon Fire TV. It opens up a whole new world of apps, games, browsing, and functionality that just isn‘t friendly – or even possible in some cases – with the standard remote.
I hope this guide has provided you with everything needed to get your devices paired up swiftly. Here‘s a quick summary of what you‘ve learned:
- The many great benefits of connecting external controls to your Fire TV
- Step-by-step pairing instructions to quickly get up and running
- My top keyboard and mouse recommendations for the best experience
- Must-have apps to install that shine with keyboard and mouse support
- How to easily sideload apps not available in the Fire TV App Store
- Solutions to common Bluetooth pairing problems
If you have any other questions about using your Fire TV with an external keyboard or mouse, don‘t hesitate to ask! I‘m always happy to help fellow cord cutters get the most out of their streaming devices.
Give your Amazon Fire TV a major upgrade today by pairing a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse. Your entertainment experience will never be the same!