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Your Kindle Fire has some tricks up its sleeve that you didn’t know about.

Amazon has locked down its Fire OS rather tightly, but some standard Android tricks still work. With a few simple tweaks, you can get even more out of your Kindle Fire Your Unofficial Kindle Fire Manual Your Unofficial Kindle Fire Manual The Kindle Fire is a great alternative to the basic E-Ink Kindle e-readers, while offering compelling new features more akin to a tablet. Its small size and flexibility makes it the top choice. Read More . Plus, none of the tips and tricks in this article require you to root your Kindle Fire.

1. Access Quick Settings

The quickest way to change settings on your Kindle Fire is through Quick Settings. The menu is hard to miss, but easily overlooked. Let us remind you of its usefulness.

Go to your homescreen and swipe down from the top. Here you can quickly adjust the Screen Brightness, enable Blue Shade for reading sessions after dawn, set the device to Do Not Disturb, or open the full Settings menu, among other options.

Kindle Fire Quick Access

Remember Quick Settings whenever we ask you to go to Settings.

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2. Take a Screenshot

To capture the screen of your Android device, you need to know the hardware key combination that, when pressed, triggers a screenshot. On your Kindle Fire, the key combination is the Power + Volume down. Simultaneously press those two buttons for 2-3 seconds and you should hear and see the screen being captured.

3. Install the Google Play Store

Your Kindle Fire only comes with the Amazon App Store pre-installed. It has a great selection, but it’s still missing many essential ones, particularly Google’s own apps, like Gmail.

To install the Google Play Store on your Amazon Fire 5th generation you don’t have to root your device What You Should Know About Rooting Your Kindle Fire & Getting Access To Google Play What You Should Know About Rooting Your Kindle Fire & Getting Access To Google Play Like any Android-based tablet, the Amazon Kindle Fire can be rooted. This in turn offers several advantages to the user, such as an increase in functionality via previously restricted apps. Unfortunately, the process of rooting... Read More . All you need is RootJunky’s SuperTool. We have previously covered how to install the Google Play store and remove ads without rooting your Amazon Fire tablet Install Google Play & Remove Ads on an Amazon Fire Tablet Without Root Install Google Play & Remove Ads on an Amazon Fire Tablet Without Root There's no root required for these tweaks. Want to get rid of lockscreen ads and install the Google Play Store on your Amazon Kindle Fire tablet? We show you how to do that! Read More .

Briefly, enable Developer Options on your Kindle Fire, then go into Debugging and Enable ADB. Next, install the SuperTool version corresponding to your Kindle Fire, turn off Windows driver signature enforcement, and connect the tablet to your computer.

Now launch the SuperTool batch file and install the ADB USB driver on your computer; the tool features step-by-step instructions. When that’s done, you can proceed with the second step to install the Google Play Store and remove lockscreen ads.

amazon-fire-no-ads

Sadly, removing the special offers from the lockscreen won’t work for everyone.

4. Sideload Apps

You don’t have to use the Google Play Store to install apps — it’s just more convenient. You can sideload apps How to Manually Install or Side Load Apps on Android How to Manually Install or Side Load Apps on Android Sideloading a file onto your Android device is easy, and we can show you how to do it. Read More from sources like AppsApk.com, meaning you can download the APK file directly to your Kindle (or transfer from your computer) and install it manually. This method also allows you to install apps from any other app store.

It’s as easy as it sounds, but you have to prepare one thing. Go to Settings and under Personal open Security. Under Advanced, allow the installation of Apps from Unknown Sources.

Android Apps from Unknown Source

With this setting enabled, you will be able to install APK files from any source. You can even install an alternative app store Google Play Alternatives For Downloading Android Apps Without Fuss Google Play Alternatives For Downloading Android Apps Without Fuss Many people think that the Google Play Store is the only option Android users have for downloading apps, but there are actually quite a few quality alternatives out there. Read More , such as F-Droid, GetJar, or SlideME. Just keep in mind that it’s on you to ensure that the files you install are safe Is It Safe to Install Android Apps from Unknown Sources? Is It Safe to Install Android Apps from Unknown Sources? The Google Play Store isn't your only source of apps, but is it safe to search elsewhere? Read More !

5. Quickly Free Up Space

Is your device running out of storage space? You can use a third party application like DiskUsage to nix the files and folders that consume the most space. Or you can use 1-Tap Archive, a built-in feature of your Kindle Fire.

Open Settings and under the Device header select Storage. If you have items that have not been used during the past 30 days, you can now archive them, meaning they will be removed from your device, but they will remain accessible from the cloud.

1-Tap Archive

Choose View Contents to review the items your Kindle considers inactive and uncheck those you wish to keep on your device. Here you can also see how much space you will clear up. When you’re done, tap Archive Now.

If you’re constantly running into space limitations, maybe because you’re downloading movies to watch offline How to Download Amazon Prime Videos to Watch Offline How to Download Amazon Prime Videos to Watch Offline Amazon has announced that Instant Video now allows offline viewing of movies and television shows on Android and iOS devices, and we have the full lowdown on how you can initiate this fantastic feature. Read More , read our guide on how to make more of your Kindle Fire storage space How To Make the Most of Your Kindle Fire's 8GB Storage How To Make the Most of Your Kindle Fire's 8GB Storage I almost ran out of space on my Kindle Fire last week. Sadly, I was away from my computer, which meant I couldn’t simply move data off the device – I would have to delete... Read More .

6. Share Your Account

Amazon has enabled extensive sharing features for families. You can add up to one adult and four children to your device and create an Amazon Household. This allows your family members to manage their own profiles on a shared device and adults can “collectively manage content and services” for the household.

If you are a Prime member, you can even share free shipping, video streaming, early access, and access to the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, where you can borrow one book per month for free using a Kindle device. Of course you can also add friends to share a device in the same household.

To share your account, head to Settings > Profiles & Family Library and either tap Add a second adult profile or Add a child profile.

Kindle Fire Family Library

If you’re adding an adult, you’ll first have to enter your password to proceed. Then you’ll be asked to pass the device to the person you’d like to add, so that they can enter their login details.

Pass Your Device

If you’re adding a child, you’ll set up a new profile. Since profiles can be opened from the lockscreen, you will have to create a lockscreen PIN to prevent unauthorized access. Consequently, setting the PIN is the next step, before you continue setting up an Amazon FreeTime account.

Child Profile Setup

Once you have set up your Amazon Household, you can share individual purchased books or your entire library. Note that the second adult added to your account also has access to your payment options.

7. Change the Wallpaper

Your Kindle Fire comes with a default option to change your wallpaper. Open Settings > Display > Wallpaper, choose a wallpaper from the default set, or pick your own image.

If you desire a few more options or would like to rotate through a set of wallpapers, we recommend Rotating Wallpaper because it will actually work on your Kindle Fire. With this app you can create sets of wallpapers and let them rotate at custom intervals. You can manually switch to the next image by selecting Rotate Now inside the app.

Rotating Wallpaper

Under Settings you can enable your Active Wallpaper Set, determine the Rotate Interval, and control many other settings.

Rotating Wallpaper Settings

Other apps we tested lost the wallpaper when the device was locked and unlocked or they never set a wallpaper to start with.

Power Up Your Kindle Fire

We hope learning a little more about your Kindle Fire rekindled your appreciation for this little entertainment device. Have you had a chance to add free unlimited content How to Find Free Unlimited Content for Your Kindle How to Find Free Unlimited Content for Your Kindle Looking for more things to read on your Kindle? Here are all the websites, tools, and tips to fill your e-reader with high-quality free content that will keep you reading for hours Read More  yet?

Do you know of any other neat tweaks? What would you like to do that you haven’t been able to yet? We appreciate your hints in the comments!

  1. MzM
    September 17, 2016 at 1:58 pm

    Hello, I have a 5th Generation 7" Fire Tablet. I love it, except it is not compatible with an HDMI cable. I want to mirror my Fire Tablet screen to my portable projector (I don't have a TV and don't want to get tech-neck from binge watching on my tablet). Is there an app or something that I can use to accomplish this? Or is the fire stick compatible with an ASUS S1 Mobile Projector? I sure would appreciate any help or advice.

    • Tina Sieber
      September 18, 2016 at 10:29 am

      That's a very specific question and I'm afraid I don't have an answer.

      If no one else responds here, I would recommend you to find an Amazon Fire forum dedicated to hacks like this and ask the question there. Good luck!

  2. Ean
    August 9, 2016 at 1:27 am

    Thank you for showing me tweaks in the device but there's one more thing you missed out is the live wallpapers.
    But thank you again??

    • Tina Sieber
      August 9, 2016 at 8:15 am

      You mean I forgot to recommend an app for live wallpapers? Or can the Kindle Fire do this natively? Where?

  3. boulderingfun
    August 6, 2016 at 2:40 pm

    Do you have any tips for minimizing and/or relocating the menu buttons that are now located at the bottom of the screen on OS 5? OS 4 had them on the right side and they would auto minimize. Now they take up screen space, and on our Kindle Fire Kids device they are extremely easy to press by mistake when swiping near the bottom of the screen.

    • Tina Sieber
      August 8, 2016 at 5:53 am

      Are you referring to the Back, Home, and Active Applications buttons on Android / Kindle devices?

      • Ken
        August 8, 2016 at 1:02 pm

        Yes. The triangle, circle and square that overlap the screen. They are always present (sometimes slightly minimized as 3 dots) and easily get pressed by fingers working the screen. My son kept exiting the game by accident. When I tried it the same thing happens because buttons are in the way. The normal adult kindle fire at least fully minimizes them but not the kids version.

        • Tina Sieber
          August 8, 2016 at 9:14 pm

          These buttons are called soft buttons. You could try an app called Immersive Mode to hide them in fullscreen mode. This does not require rooting, but I'm not sure it will work on the Kindle Fire.

          Please let us know in case this works or you find another way. Thank you!

  4. Average User
    June 7, 2016 at 4:19 am

    I've never liked pretentious titles like "... things you didn't know... ". They always make the author/site look stupid.

    Like in this case, right in the first point you say: "... The menu is hard to miss, but easily overlooked. Let us remind you of its usefulness.".

    So the user did know about this after all...

    See? Stupid.

    • Tina Sieber
      June 8, 2016 at 1:55 am

      You still read the article, possibly learned something, and commented. Mission accomplished. :)

      But I do get your point! What's a title you'd feel better about?

  5. likefun butnot
    May 30, 2016 at 3:04 pm

    Sadly, older Fire* devices don't have the option of directly installing the Play Store, are no longer getting firmware updates and in many cases still have uncracked boot loaders with no option to root available.

    I have a rooted 3rd generation Fire HDX and while I think it's great hardware, I was very lucky that I decided to root it in a narrow window when a working tool was actually available for the firmware and OS revision I had. I've found that I simply can't root other third and fourth generation Fire devices since the modding community isn't working on them any longer.

    A Fire HDX 8.9 with an SD card slot and full Google Framework support would be a perfect Android device in my opinion. As it is, I have to settle for a Shield tablet with a much less impressive screen or my rooted HDX, which doesn't have as much space as I'd like it to have.

    • Tina Sieber
      May 31, 2016 at 9:29 am

      Thank you for sharing your insights!

      It sucks that rooting gets harder when devices get older because the modding community moves on as you say. However, it's still possible to sideload apps to older and unrooted Fire devices. It's a little less convenient than using the Play Store, but good enough to customize the device.

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