How to Download Apps on a Fire TV Stick

Install new apps to get more out of your Fire TV Stick

Couple on couch downloads apps on their Fire TV Stick.

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When you first activate a Fire TV device like the Fire TV Stick, its functionality is fairly limited. If you want to do anything other than watch and listen to content from Amazon services, then you need to download additional apps for your Fire TV Stick.

What Kind of Apps Can You Download On a Fire TV Stick?

Fire TV Stick apps are primarily focused on delivering video content, and all of the major streaming services have apps. You can get apps for Netflix, Hulu, CBS All Access, HBO Go and HBO Now, and most other streaming services.

You will also find apps for music, like Spotify, apps for sports, news, and most other types of content that you can stream on a computer and other devices. There are even web browsers, like Firefox, that you can use on your Fire TV Stick, and some games as well.

Most Fire TV Stick apps are free, but there are some that require an up-front purchase, and others only work if you pay a monthly fee or have a cable subscription.

The following instructions apply to all Fire TV devices, including the Fire TV Stick, Fire TV Cube and Fire TV 4K.

How to Download Apps on a Fire TV Stick

Fire TV apps are downloaded directly to the device, with the same internet connection the device uses to stream, so the process is really easy. You can actually search for and download apps right on your Fire TV device, or use a web browser to queue downloads remotely.

If you're willing to do some extra work, and you're comfortable with digging around under the hood of your Fire TV Stick, you can also sideload apps. This is a slightly more complicated process, but most users won't ever need to use it.

How to Browse and Download New Apps on Your Fire TV Stick

The easiest way to download apps on your Fire TV Stick is to navigate to the apps section, find an app you want, and download it. It's really that easy.

The App section of the Fire TV Stick interface is organized by category, which makes it relatively easy to find what you're looking for most of the time. Just scroll through the categories, and see if anything piques your interest.

Your Fire TV Stick must be connected to the internet, or it won't be able to download apps. Be aware that downloading apps will consume data, so keep that in mind if you're on a limited data plan.

Here's a quick walkthrough showing how to download apps on your Fire TV Stick or other Fire TV device.

  1. Navigate to the home screen of your Fire TV device.

    A screenshot of the Fire TV home screen.
  2. Press right on your remote until you reach the Apps section.

    A screenshot of the apps section on a Fire TV.
  3. Press down on your remote control to enter the Apps section, and then use the directional pad to find an app you're interested in.

    A screenshot of the Fire TV apps menu.

    With that app highlighted, press the button in the center of the directional pad to select the app.

  4. With Get selected, press the button in the center of the directional pad.

    A screenshot of a Fire TV app download screen.
  5. Wait for the download to complete to launch the app, or return to the Apps section later to use the app at any time.

How to Use the Search Function to Find and Download Apps on a Fire TV Stick

If you don't see the app you're looking for in the App section of your Fire TV interface, you can use the search function to look for specific apps. You can also use this function if you have a broader category of app that you're looking for.

If you don't remember the name of an app, but you can remember what it does, or what type of content it has, you can also search for that.

Here's how to use the search function on a Fire TV Stick, or any other Fire TV device, to find and download apps:

  1. Navigate to the home screen of your Fire TV Stick, or any other Fire TV device.

    A screenshot of the Fire TV home screen.
  2. Press left on the directional pad to enter the search section.

    A screenshot of the Fire TV search screen.

    The search section is represented by a magnifying glass. If you have a Fire TV remote with a built-in microphone, you can also perform searches by pressing the microphone button on the remote.

  3. Use the directional pad to type the name of the app you're looking for, and then select it from the list.

    A screenshot of an app search on a Fire TV.

    You may not have to type the entire name of the app. If you see the app you're looking for, and you're not done typing, just press down on the directional keypad until you reach the name of the app you want.

  4. Locate the app you're interested in, and press the button in the center of the directional keypad to select it.

    A screenshot of search results on a Fire TV.
  5. With Get selected, press the button in the center of the directional keypad to download the app.

    A screenshot of a Fire TV app download screen.
  6. Wait for the app to download and then launch it, or return to the Apps section later to use it whenever you want.

How to Download Apps to a Fire TV Stick Using the Amazon Website

The other way to find and download apps for Fire TV devices is to use the Amazon website. This method is somewhat less convenient, because you have to use a computer instead of your Fire TV Stick. However, it's also easier because you don't have to use the on-screen Fire TV keyboard to perform searches.

When you use this method, you locate an app on the Amazon website and then tell Amazon which device should download the app. It's all automated beyond that, so you don't need to worry about any additional complicated steps.

Here's how to find and download Fire TV apps using the Amazon website:

  1. Using the web browser of your choice, navigate to amazon.com/appstore.

    A screenshot of the Amazon app store.

    You can also just search for your app on the main Amazon site, but navigating directly to the app store provides more relevant search results.

  2. Scroll down until you locate the Fire TV Model section in the left sidebar, and click the checkbox next to the type of Fire TV device you have.

    A screenshot of the Amazon app store showing the Fire TV model option.

    If you don't know what type of Fire TV you have, skip this step. Search results may show you apps that aren't compatible with your device, but you'll be able to find that out before you try to purchase or download anything.

  3. Locate an app you're interested in, and click it.

    A screenshot of Fire TV apps on the Amazon app store.

    If you're looking for a particular type of app, or have a specific app in mind, you can narrow the scope of the results by selecting a category from the left sidebar or searching for an app using the search bar at the top of the page.

  4. Click the the down-down box located right under Deliver to.

    A screenshot of a Fire TV app on the Amazon app store.
  5. Select the Fire TV that you want to download the app, and click it.

    A screenshot of the device selection menu on the Amazon app store.

    If you don't see your Fire TV device in this menu, make sure you're signed into the right Amazon account. If you are signed into the correct account, then the app isn't compatible with your Fire TV device. Some apps are only designed to work with Fire tablets.

  6. Click Get App.

    A screenshot of purchasing an app on the Amazon app store.

    

  7. Wait for your Fire TV to download the app, and then look for it in the Apps section.