What You Should Know About Rooting Your Kindle Fire & Getting Access To Google Play

Christian Cawley 27-06-2012

root kindle fireLike 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 isn’t as simple as it is with other Android devices. While apps such as Z4root can be used with phones and some tablets, the process involved in rooting a Kindle Fire at is a little more complicated.

Thanks to a useful tool – Kindle Fire Utility – the Kindle Fire can be easily rooted. A rooted Kindle Fire can play host to the Android Market (now known as Google Play), for instance, and even Google Apps. There are other benefits for users who take this step, not least in being able to install Android apps that require root access.

A Warning About Rooting the Kindle Fire

You should be aware before you skip down to the next section the consequences of rooting.

Put simply, rooting is the Android equivalent of jailbreaking A Newbie's Guide to Jailbreaking [iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad] Read More , a term you may have heard in connection with iPhones. The process basically involves removing protection that exists on the root directory of an Android device, allowing apps with enhanced privilege requirements to operate correctly. As apps that require a rooted Android are available from Google Play, you can be certain that Google is aware of this practice, but they’ve done nothing to ban it.

More crucially, however, is the fact that Amazon regularly forces updates onto the Kindle Fire. The result of this is that a previously rooted device will become “unrooted”, necessitating further action.


The tool used in the process of rooting, Kindle Fire Utility, is regularly updated, so if a future update does negate a previously established root, downloading the latest version of the tool should allow you to re-root.

Remember that rooting will affect your warranty.

Getting Started

root kindle fire

We’re starting this process with the Kindle Fire at version 6.3.1. After checking the version of the software on your Kindle Fire (Settings > More > Device) and updating if necessary, head to XDA Developers and download Kindle Fire Utility for Windows..


After downloading, unzip the contents of the downloaded ZIP file. This will be used to manage the rooting process as well as download and install Google Play and some other useful tools.

Before proceeding, therefore, make sure you have:

  • A fully charged Kindle Fire.
  • USB cable.
  • A Windows computer (or at least a virtual installation of the OS)

Next, prepare your Kindle Fire for additional software by opening Settings > More > Device and make sure Allow Installation of Applications is set to On. This will allow you to add applications from sources other than the Amazon App Store.

One last thing before starting: open Windows Explorer on your computer and open Organize > Folder and search options > View, where you will find the Show hidden files, folders, and drives radio button. Select this and click OK. This will ensure that you can view and open the files in the next section.


Installing The Kindle Fire Drivers

rooting kindle fire

To proceed at this point, open the folder where the contents of the downloaded ZIP file were extracted. Connect your Kindle Fire via USB cable to your computer, and with the device in USB storage mode (the screen will read “You can now transfer files from your computer to Kindle”) double click install_drivers.bat.

rooting kindle fire

This process can take a few minutes to complete, but when done you will see the screen above. To confirm the installation has been correct, return to the Explorer window and double-click run.bat. A successful driver installation will list the ADB Status as Online.


rooting kindle fire

If Offline is listed (as above), close the Kindle Fire Utility window and try the following:

how to root kindle fire

In Windows, right-click Computer, select Properties > Device Manager and look for an item with a yellow triangle and exclamation mark. It should be listed under Amazon or Android.

Right-click the item and select Update Driver Software, choosing the Browse my computer for driver software option then Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer and selecting USB Composite Device, which should then install Android Composite ADB Interface.

Rooting The Kindle Fire

You’re now ready to root your Kindle Fire. In Windows Explorer, return to the Kindle Fire Utility folder and double click run.bat. You should see that the ADB Status is listed as Online.

how to root kindle fire

Select option 2, Install Permanent Root with Superuser, to begin the rooting process. Over the next few minutes, the Kindle Fire Utility will install the necessary tools and reconfigure your Kindle Fire tablet as required.

You will need to be patient while this process continues. Don’t be concerned by the Windows alert sound of USB devices being connected and disconnected, as this is part of the process.

how to root kindle fire

Most importantly, don’t disconnect your Kindle Fire until you see the message above! Early disconnection could mean bricking your tablet, and you wouldn’t want that to happen…

Adding Google Play

Once your device is rooted, you can take advantage of certain apps that require enhanced privileges, as well as access Google Play on your Kindle Fire.

root kindle fire

To add this, start run.bat and select option 6, Extras (Requires |Root) then option 1 of the following screen, Install Google Apps / Go Launcher EX. Again, the process will take a while to complete, but once it is finished you can unlock your Kindle Fire and select the Google+, entering your Google account details.

Next, find the Go Launcher icon and tap this – your tablet will then look more like a standard Android device, but you will have access to Google Play, via the Market icon!


Applying these changes to your Kindle Fire will enable you to enjoy the tablet as much as any other Android tablet user can. Apps and games can be installed from Google Play, along with books and music, and you’ll also get the benefit of other Google services such as Google Drive. To learn everything your Kindle device is capable of, read our Kindle Fire manual.

Keep in mind that updating your Kindle Fire will re-apply the root file protection, resulting in all of the hard work done so far being undone. As such, you should not run an official update from Amazon unless you absolutely need it and can do without the advantage of a rooted device.

And if you ever need to wipe the device and start from scratch, see how to factory reset your Kindle Fire How to Factory Reset Your Kindle Fire Having trouble with your Amazon Kindle Fire tablet? Here's how to factory reset the Kindle Fire to clear up any issues. Read More .


Related topics: Amazon Kindle Fire, Android Rooting, eReader.

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  1. Shirley Storer
    October 26, 2017 at 4:53 pm

    Can a the tablet then be registered on Amazon? I unwittingly bought one on ebay that was blacklisted, so I was unable to register it.

  2. Marcus
    July 18, 2017 at 10:16 pm

    I can't get the link to download the ZIP file to work, keep getting sent to spam webpages and bad links.

  3. Marcus
    July 18, 2017 at 10:15 pm

    I can't seem to download the ZIP file for this utility from the XDA Devs forum pages...

    I just keep getting junk webpages I am being sent to.

  4. Haley Holden
    December 6, 2016 at 7:48 pm

    Okay so my kindle's version is 10.5.1_user_5174820. If I were to do this rooting system, (1) would it brick the kindle(?) and (2) is my kindle's version going to affect the process?

    • Christian Cawley
      December 6, 2016 at 8:53 pm

      Hi Haley - which Kindle is it? A standard e-reader, or a Kindle Fire? If the latter, which version?

      This guide is for the 1st Gen Kindle Fire. No other device.

  5. BCD
    August 13, 2016 at 7:44 pm


  6. someone
    February 19, 2016 at 6:04 am

    this sux... i tried to update my driver software cuz install_drivers.bat didn't work and i couldnt even find usb composite device!

  7. ss
    December 30, 2015 at 1:55 am

    I can confirm this just wrecked my computer. Massive facepalm for not reading the comments first. Super pissed right now.

  8. deepak
    December 25, 2015 at 6:56 am

    i have a kindle fire first generation but its updated to 6.3.4 as opposed to 6.3.1 mentioned in the above instructions. is the available utitlity for the same???

  9. Chesserw
    November 29, 2015 at 9:07 pm

    DO NOT USE XDA Kindle fire utility mentioned here. There is malware and bloat ware that is part of the file.

    • Christian Cawley
      November 30, 2015 at 12:32 am

      Would you care to expand on this assertion, left as a comment on a post over three years old?


      • chesserw
        November 30, 2015 at 4:57 am

        Certainly, today (11-29-15) I attempted to root my 1st generation kindle fire using your directions. I downloaded the latest file from XDA that they recommend. Upon unzipping the file, 12 different programs started installing. I took me 4 hours and a couple of programs to finally clean everything out. I will be glad to send you the Malwarebytes file of all the PUP's that was cleaned out.

        • Christian Cawley
          November 30, 2015 at 7:15 am

          No need, chesserw, I've been able to execute my own investigation in the interim. Thanks for taking the time to report this.

        • deepak
          December 25, 2015 at 6:53 am

          so does it really have malware or can i go ahead and unzip?

        • ss
          December 30, 2015 at 1:43 am

          I can confirm this just wrecked my computer. Massive facepalm for not reading the comments first. Super pissed right now.

        • Christian Cawley
          January 5, 2016 at 4:17 pm

          No, the original was hijacked, and has malware. Over three years on, I guess this isn't a huge surprise, but it remains disappointing.

        • Bryan
          August 30, 2016 at 4:00 am

          Is there another location for the "good" file? Do you have a non-malware version you could upload somewhere and then relink from the article? I think the information here is still valuable to people who want to refresh their Kindle Fire devices.

        • Christian Cawley
          August 30, 2016 at 3:58 pm

          I would like to be able to provide another link, but without a device to test it on I simply couldn't share it.

        • Bryan
          August 31, 2016 at 12:23 am

          I understand. I have one of the first Gen Kindle Fire's and it's not doing much except gathering dust at this point. That's why I'm trying to root it and see if I can load another android OS on it. Thanks for the info you have provided above.

  10. Anonymous
    August 2, 2015 at 4:53 pm

    If anyone is having a problem getting the kindle fire utility to work and you've updated your kindle fire past 6.3.3, This video will explain how to root it using saferoot, as the kindle fire utility won't work until AFTER you have used this root method. Even after doing this however certain features of the kindle fire utility no longer work as necessary. It should however allow you to install google apps to your device

  11. Anonymous
    June 13, 2015 at 11:45 am

    i cant install that install_driver when i run it it install than it say unable to install with and x mark

  12. Kevin
    May 1, 2015 at 6:15 pm

    i just got a kindle fire HD7 4th generation model. Can you please provide rooting procedures for it? Thanks!

  13. Kevin
    May 1, 2015 at 6:14 pm

    i just got a kindle fire HD7 4th generation model. Can you please provide rooting procedures for it? Thanks!

  14. Riley
    January 17, 2015 at 11:49 pm

    when i run KFU it says that boot status is unknown but adb is online help

    • Christian Cawley
      January 19, 2015 at 7:17 pm

      Are you using the correct KFU release for your Kindle Fire? Do you have the drivers installed?

  15. Riley
    January 17, 2015 at 11:36 pm

    I need help please!
    When I load up KFU, my adb status is online but my boot status just says unknown

    So if i try to root it it just says waiting for device and doesnt change.

    Please help
    ive rooted this kindle before but unrooted it and i dont remember how i fixed this isue before.

  16. Charlie
    December 30, 2014 at 7:46 pm

    Can you use this for the 2nd gneration?

    • Christian Cawley
      December 30, 2014 at 8:35 pm

      2nd gen rooting is possible, but a different method is required.

      This is a good place to start/

  17. ahmed
    December 26, 2014 at 9:10 pm

    i have just downloaded kindle utility but i couldn't reach tapvr recovery so i restored factory settings , kindly help me

  18. Carressa
    October 25, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    I did everything on the instructions. when the Wizard popped up after downloading it said Google Inc. Update Fail just wondering if I did something wrong or maybe its the new Root ?

  19. Andria
    October 24, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    I need help, please!

    I did everything correctly...
    I tried rooting my Kindle Fire through a different way that tried getting me to write stuff in the command prompt, telling it to end a server and such.
    I tried yours, and it's worked so far, except, it's said it cannot find ANY of the specified paths... and now it's stuck at "please wait..."

  20. ibrahim
    October 13, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    thanks alot for all of this .... working good , can u please tell us how more can we use it .. like what is the fire fire fire .. and what else extra things we can get from this thanks

  21. Jason Sager
    October 12, 2012 at 10:45 pm

    I tried to root my Kindle when it first came out, but I had some issues with it. After resetting my Kindle to factory defaults I can't add photos to contacts and stuff like that. It does some weird things that aren't destructive, they just aren't normal.

  22. Tommy
    September 18, 2012 at 12:41 am

    what does JB all do for the kindle. i have apple devices and it installs Cydia and i can download other apps that apple doesnt allow etc. But what does "Rooting" actually do for the kindle. just starting to look into it, so go easy on me ha. Just wondering if it is even worth doing, compared to the iphone. Thanks every1

  23. Kellan
    September 13, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    I have heard rumors about doing this and not being able to ever let your kindle fire die or it will never turn on, are these rumors true?

  24. DesiRod
    September 3, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    I need help. My KF screen is stuck in TRWP screen which show 8 menu options. The TRWP version is v2.2.0. I ran intstruction ran option 2 - install permanent root with supervisor. I made sure I followed all instructions to that point. My KF was run 6.3.1. Now I can boot from this menu. Please help.

    • Christian Cawley
      September 3, 2012 at 6:13 pm

      Hi DesiRod - could you reiterate the last post as it isn't entirely clear what you're saying. "Now I can boot from this menu" sounds like everything is okay - you should be rebooting your KF after rooting.

      • desirod
        September 3, 2012 at 10:00 pm

        Hi Christian,

        My KF is booting with TWRP menu, which shows 8 menu options. Install, Backup, Restore, Wipe, Mount, Settings, Advanced, Reboot. I am not familiar with this menu. I have tried to install the Google extras and go Launcher, but no luck. I dont know what the next steps are? Desi

        • Christine
          September 5, 2012 at 12:03 am

          I am experiencing exactly the same what do I do?

        • desirod
          September 5, 2012 at 9:59 pm

          Select Reboot, select system reboot. When system reboots, select first option for boot menu options. Use the power key on kindle Fire to make selection. You system will book up fine. Then use run.bat to copy go laucher.

      • desirod
        September 5, 2012 at 9:57 pm

        Hi Christian, I fixed my issue, it is working fine. One question, how do you change KF Wallpaper? I tried changing with Go Laucher, but KF changes back to standard KF wall paper. Desi

  25. DesiRod
    September 3, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    I run your utility and my screen is now display the TWRP Screen. v2.2.0, which shows a menu with 8 menu selections.

  26. ray
    September 2, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    It froze while installing after choosing option 2. I left it up for hours but nothing happened. My Fire has TWRP installed and I can navigate it but the only useful thing I can get it to do is turn off. I'm glad I only tried this after buying another tablet; I was curious and willing to risk bricking it since I don't use it. I wish I could fix it though. I've been going through various threads at xda but nothing works.

  27. Tabitha
    August 31, 2012 at 12:02 am

    No matter what I do, I cannot get the ADB Status: Online. What am I doing wrong?

    • Christian Cawley
      August 31, 2012 at 7:59 am

      You need the drivers to successfully install for this message to appear. Reasons for it not working might be a conflicting driver. Which version of Windows are you using?

  28. Ruchi
    August 25, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    Also pls notice my kindle fire is not getting started now.
    It is stuck on the TWRP screen now.

    • Ruchi
      August 25, 2012 at 7:04 pm


      I followed all the steps as mentioned but never got the final screen.
      The utility was stuck on one error abt some file not found under /sbin folder for hours.
      I waited for a ong while and then restarted the utility.
      Now I see that the Boot Status : Unknown and when i select option 2 for permanent root , nothing happens.

      My KF is freezed on the TWRP screen forever.
      Restarting also did not help...pls help soon.

    • Christian Cawley
      August 25, 2012 at 7:59 pm

      hi Ruchi: check this thread at XDA for full steps on fixing your problem

      • Ruchi
        August 25, 2012 at 8:35 pm

        Hi Christian,
        Thanks for your prompt response!

        I am sorry but i cant see the thread you are redirecting me to...

        Can you help again?


      • Ruchi
        August 25, 2012 at 8:35 pm

        Hi Christian,
        Thanks for your prompt response!

        I am sorry but i cant see the thread you are redirecting me to...

        Can you help again?


      • Ruchi
        August 25, 2012 at 8:44 pm


        Just to give you the brief:

        Online status and 4000 let me know it was time to start, so I first selected #5 FFF, went well, then selected #2, which I did. Went smoothly for about 18 seconds, then this came up:

        * NOTICE *

        Fastboot uses a different device than ADB.
        You should check device manager for “Kindle” or “Amazon”

        If you see it, rerun the driver installer that came packaged with KFU.

        Installing FFF…

        sending ‘bootloader’ (243 KB)… OKAY [ 0.066s]
        writing ‘bootloader’… OKAY [ 0.053s]
        finished. total time: 0.120s

        Installing TWRP…

        sending ‘recovery’ (5448 KB)… OKAY [ 1.401s]
        writing ‘recovery’… OKAY [ 1.490s]
        finished. total time: 2.892s

        Setting Recovery Bootmode.

        … OKAY [ 0.688s]
        finished. total time: 0.689s
        finished. total time: 0.001s

        Please wait…

        /sbin/sh: idme: not found
        2729 KB/s (22364 bytes in 0.008s)

        Attempt to remove root checker.

        mv: can’t rename ‘/system/bin/check_rooted’: No such file or directory

        Please wait…

        N here it is stuck..

    • Irish Brian
      August 28, 2012 at 9:34 am

      I got confused too when the KF was booting into that TWRP 2.2 screen..... then I realised that when the KF boots it says at the bottom "Press Power key for boot menu...". there are then 3 options Normal Mode, REcovery Mode etc. You switch to Normal Mode by pressing the Power button so that the dashes line up with it..... then wait and it boots into the normal KF system, now with the rooting !!!

  29. Ruchi
    August 25, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    Hi, I followed all the steps as mentioned.
    I never got the final screen.
    There were few files missing error on the screen.
    So I restarted the utility and now my Boot status : Unknown
    Now when i select option 1 (permanent one)....nothing happens.
    I am lost...pls help!

  30. Valerie
    July 31, 2012 at 1:16 am

    I followed all the steps but after an hour my KF screen just says "Kindle Fire" and that final screen never came up on my computer. Not sure what to do now because the KF is just frozen. Any help is appreciated.

    • Christian Cawley
      July 31, 2012 at 9:22 am

      Reconnect your device, run Kindle Fire Utility and select option 1 > 1 Normal boot mode.

      Let me know what happens.

      • Valerie
        July 31, 2012 at 11:27 pm

        Thank you! I was able to unfreeze my KF and get in! I appreciate your help.

      • LeeCoffee
        October 27, 2012 at 12:41 am

        My Device Manager lists an “ADB Interface”, rather than “Android Phone”, and the subentry for the ADB Interface is “Android Composite ADB Interface”. I’ve tried reinstalling the driver several times, but the “run” batch file shows ADB offline.


        I verified my Kindle System Version prior to starting, and I have “Allow installation of applications” on.

      • LeeCoffee
        October 27, 2012 at 12:42 am

        My Device Manager lists an “ADB Interface”, rather than “Android Phone”, and the subentry for the ADB Interface is “Android Composite ADB Interface”. I’ve tried reinstalling the driver several times, but the “run” batch file shows ADB offline.


        I verified my Kindle System Version prior to starting, and I have “Allow installation of applications” on.

  31. Vern
    July 27, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    My Device Manager lists an "ADB Interface", rather than "Android Phone", and the subentry for the ADB Interface is "Android Composite ADB Interface". I've tried reinstalling the driver several times, but the "run" batch file shows ADB offline.


    I verified my Kindle System Version prior to starting, and I have "Allow installation of applications" on.

  32. John
    June 29, 2012 at 12:12 am

    "Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer and selecting USB Composite Device"

    Yes to this. This is probably the most important part of the whole procedure. I rooted a couple of weeks ago (also flashed gedeRom). Whenever I reconnect the Fire (Win7 Home Premium), I need to reselect this driver in order for my computer to see the device again. Odd behavior but I'm happier now with ICS as opposed to Amazon's custom UI.

  33. taylor
    June 28, 2012 at 5:34 am

    I Have A Warranty On My Kindle Fire So Whenever I Break It I Can Get A New One For free ! If I Root My Kindle Fire Will It Effect My Warranty ?

    • Christian Cawley
      June 29, 2012 at 10:08 am

      Your warranty will be temporarily affected - forced updates from Amazon will undo rooting, so this isn't a major issue as it might be for other devices.

  34. 67GTA
    June 28, 2012 at 12:00 am

    Does rooting the Kindle Fire still let you use the bookshelf launcher? My wants google play apps, but doesn't want to lose the Kindle UI.

    • Kieran Colfer
      August 11, 2012 at 6:18 am

      Yup, you can still use the bookshelf - rooting just allows you to install other apps than the ones the amazon store decides are suitable for you device. One thing to watch out for if you do the "install google apps/GO Launcher EX" option on the root utility is that afterwards when you hit your home button you'll be offered a choice to "Complete action using GO Launcher EX or Launcher" with a check box for "use by default". If you want to keep the bookshelf launcher, check the box and choose "launcher".