Mobile Phones Android How to Root Kindle Fire Root your Kindle and unlock new capabilities By Robert Earl Wells III Writer Robert Wells is a professional writer and amateur game developer. His specialties include web development, cryptocurrency, and cybersecurity. our editorial process LinkedIn Robert Earl Wells III Updated November 04, 2019 iStock / Getty Images Android Switching from iOS Tweet Share Email If you know how to root your Kindle Fire, you can use third-party apps, uninstall pre-loaded apps, and even install custom operating systems. All you need is a Windows PC and a Kindle Fire rooting utility. Although the original Kindle Fire is no longer in production, most people still call Amazon Fire Tablets "Kindle Fire," so the names are used interchangeably. What Does It Mean to Root Your Kindle Fire? All Amazon tablets use an operating system called Fire OS that's based on Android. Developers place restrictions on which features and files users can access so they don't accidentally harm their device by changing or deleting something important. Like Apple, Amazon also imposes restrictions on its devices to prevent users from downloading third-party software outside of the official app store. Rooting a device removes those restrictions, giving you "root access" to everything. Rooting a Kindle fire is the equivalent of jailbreaking an iPhone. It's perfectly legal to do, but it will void the warranty, so carefully consider the pros and cons of rooting your mobile device. Should You Jailbreak Your Kindle Fire? Before you begin, you should make sure you really want to root your device. Rooting your Fire tablet can grant you several benefits. For example, you can: Use apps you couldn't use beforeRemove pre-installed appsTransfer installed apps to an SD cardInstall performance boosting custom ROMsChange your device's interface or operating system Risks of rooting your Fire Tablet include: You cannot get your device serviced under warrantyYou could brick your device (render it useless)Your device may be more vulnerable to viruses and malwareYour device's overall performance may suffer Due to these potential risks, you should back up your photos, music, and other important files by saving them to your Amazon Cloud Drive or transferring them to your PC before you attempt rooting. Rooting is no longer necessary to install Google Play on Fire tablets running Fire OS 22.214.171.124 or later. Navigate to Settings > Device Options > System Updates to see which version of Fire OS your tablet is running. Kindle Fire Rooting Utilities In addition to a Windows PC, you'll need a rooting utility such as the Amazon Fire Utility. Which utility you should use depends on what you want to do with your rooted Kindle Fire. For example, this particular tool gives you the following options: Turn off automatic updates from AmazonRemove lock screen adsRemove pre-installed appsInstall Google Play, Google Photos, and other Google appsReboot the device to recovery modeChange the default launcher You can find dozens of similar utilities for rooting your Fire tablet by searching the web. For example, if you want install custom ROMs or operating systems, you can try the Amazon Fire 5th Gen Super Tool from Root Junky, which will also work with newer Fire tablets. Only download files from reputable websites, and always scan files you download from the internet with a virus scanner before opening them. Whichever utility you use, carefully read the instructions that come with it so you know exactly what each feature does. For example, the Amazon Fire Utility's option to remove pre-loaded apps will uninstall everything except the Camera and Settings apps. How to Root a Kindle Fire These instructions apply to all fourth generation and later Amazon Fire Tablets, including the Fire HD and Fire HDX. Some steps may vary slightly depending on which version you have. On your Kindle Fire, swipe down from the top of the screen and tap the gear icon to open your Settings. Tap Device Options. Tap the Serial Number field repeatedly until Developer Options appears below it. Tap Developer Options. Tap Enable ADB to activate Android Debug Bridge. Tap Enable again. Go back to the Settings menu and tap Security & Privacy. Tap Apps from Unknown Sources to allow the installation of apps from outside of the Amazon store. Connect your Fire tablet to your computer with a USB cable. If your PC doesn't automatically detect your Kindle Fire the first time you connect it, you can install the USB drivers and ADB manually as detailed in the Amazon developer's docs. On your computer, download the Amazon Fire Utility from the XDA developer forums. Extract the contents of the Fire Utility ZIP file to your desktop or somewhere else on your computer. Double-click the Windows Batch (.bat) file to open the Fire Utility. Type the number of the action you wish to perform and press Enter. Follow the on-screen instructions. Do not disconnect your tablet from your computer until you see a message confirming the action succeeded or failed. Close the Fire Utility and disconnect your tablet from your PC. You may need to restart or perform a factory reset on your device for changes to take effect. Amazon forces frequent firmware updates, which can cause your device to become “unrooted,” even if you tried to disable automatic updates in some cases. If this happens, reconnect your tablet to your PC and run the Fire Utility to root it again.