If you’ve got an Amazon Fire Stick, or you’ve spent some time reading about it, you’ll probably know it’s an amazing bit of kit. Not only is it compact and ships with its own remote, the Fire TV Stick has a wide selection of streaming services available for it.
With some being free, and some being premium, the Fire TV Stick is cheap enough to be considered as a strong alternative to the Google Chromecast (despite the Chromecast being a versatile device in its own right). But what if it doesn’t do everything you want?
Well, in that case, there’s the option to super-charge it, thanks to Kodi, the universal media center software. If you install Kodi on your Fire TV Stick you’ll be able to run a whole host of add-ons on the device, alongside TuneIn Radio, Netflix, Amazon Instant Video and many other services (which differ depending on where in the world you are).
Better still, it’s really simple to install Kodi on an Amazon Fire TV Stick (a compact version of the Fire TV), via your PC, whether you use Windows, macOS, or Linux.
In this article we explain how to install Kodi on an Amazon Fire TV Stick. Which, when you’ve finished, will leave you with the best media center for anyone on a budget.
Prepare Your Fire TV Stick
Before installing Kodi on your Amazon Fire TV Stick, plug the device into your TV via a spare HDMI port. Using the remote control, open Settings > System > Developer Options.
Here, switch the options Apps From Unknown Sources (a warning box will appear — click OK) and ADB Debugging to On.
Get a pen and paper handy for this next step, as you’ll need to note down the Fire TV Stick’s IP address.
Open Settings > System > About > Network, look for the IP Address field, and make a note of it.
NB: All of this assumes, of course, that you have already set up your Fire TV Stick with your home network. If you haven’t, you’ll need to do so before proceeding with anything more complex.
Install Kodi on Amazon Fire TV Stick With adbLink
Next, you’ll need to download a copy of Kodi, specifically designed for devices with ARM processors, like the Fire TV. To do this, you’ll need the Android version of the app.
This was previously available from the Amazon App Store, but it has since been removed. To get your copy, you’ll have to download it from kodi.tv/download. Find the Android logo, and select the ARM link to download the APK file to your PC.
With that downloaded, you’ll need the adbLink software, which you’ll find at jocala.com. This enables you to “push” files to your Amazon Fire TV Stick over adb. This is a wireless version of the Android Debug Bridge, often used to communicate with an Android device from your PC.
After downloading, run the EXE file and install adbLink. (Note that it can be used with the Nvidia Shield as well as the Fire TV Stick.)
Install Kodi With adbLink
The next step is to run adbLink.
Click New, and give your Amazon Fire TV Stick a descriptive name. Next, check your notepad and copy the IP address into the adbLink tool, and Save.
When you click Connect, your Fire TV Stick will be listed in Connected Devices. Highlight the device and click Install APK, browse to the Kodi APK file you downloaded, and click Yes to confirm the installation.
Click OK when it’s done, and Kodi will join the other apps on your Amazon Fire TV Stick, ready to use!
Alternative, Easier Installation
If the previous option didn’t work for you, there is an alternative, which you can do without a PC.
With your Fire TV Stick connected to your TV, go to Settings > System > Developer and enable Apps from unknown sources (Is it safe to install apps from unknown sources?), then head back to the Home screen, and find the Fire TV Apps screen.
Here, open ES File Explorer, select Favorite, then Add. Enter the following URL: http://kodi.tv/download then click Next. Enter Kodi then Next again, and Add.
You’ve created a new link, labelled Kodi, so find this in the left-hand pane, and click it to open, browsing through the list until you find the Android > ARM version. Select this, then use the menu in the bottom-right of the screen to Open in New Browser.
Wait while the ES File Explorer downloads the Kodi APK file to your Fire TV Stick, and when the dialog box appears, select Open File > Install. Accept the file permissions, then Install.
Kodi + Add-Ons = Supercharged Fire TV Stick
With Kodi up and running on your Amazon Fire TV Stick, you’ll probably want to consider the various add-ons that are available. We advise you to stay clear of the add-ons that offer pirated material for obvious reasons, and stick to what’s available in the software’s official repositories. Two are available, one offering access to third party services, the other providing tools for PVR functionality.
To access the repository, open System > Settings > Add-ons > Get Add-ons > Kodi Add-on repository. Here, you’ll see various categories; you’ll probably want Video Add-ons. In the next screen, you’ll find a whole list of official Kodi add-ons, so when you see one you like, select it, then click Install.
Not sure what to select? You might want to consider our list of add-ons to make Kodi more amazing.
To run an add-on, you’ll need to find it in the Kodi app. Video add-ons can be found in the Video category of the Home screen. Open the list to view the add-ons, click the one you want to watch, and you’re done!
Now that Kodi is ready, go even further and check out our Kodi setup guide for beginners.