The Amazon Fire tablets have an excellent value for money; however, there are some significant drawbacks. Fire tablets all run FireOS, which is a fork of Android. Unfortunately, there are some pretty big trade-offs users will make when opting for a Fire tablet. Follow this guide to learn how to turn your Amazon Fire tablet into a stock Android device, with a few exceptions.
At first glance, the operating system running Amazon Fire devices looks like it's Android. While this is technically true, at least in the sense that Fire devices run a lot of Android code, FireOS isn't quite the Android you know, as Fire devices don't support the Google Play Store or any Google services. Think of it this way: the base of FireOS is Android, but the rest of the house is something completely different. Unfortunately, this means there are some caveats.
For most users, the biggest difference is the missing Google Play Store. To install apps on an Amazon Fire device, users must use the Amazon app store. The biggest problem most users will encounter is the limited apps available on the Amazon App Store compared to Google Play. This limits the functionality of your device.
Also, Amazon doesn't allow Fire device users to swap the launcher. One of the best features of the Android operating system is the ability to customize it. For most users, customization begins with the launcher - the home screen where users can launch apps, open the app drawer, etc. Lots of launchers are available, and they all change the end-user experience.
Unfortunately, Amazon doesn't allow Fire device users to change the default launcher. This means that FireOS users have a bland-looking grid layout, reminiscent of iPadOS. To make matters worse, Amazon-centric apps are front and center, urging you to keep spending money on the online retail giant.
What will happen to your Amazon Fire tablet if you follow these steps
Essentially, what we do in the process outlined below is bypass some of the restrictions that Amazon places on your Fire tablet. Using a free software tool, we are installing the Google Play Store on the tablet. This allows you to install any Android app found on the Google Play Store on your Fire tablet, regardless of whether the app is available on the Amazon App Store or not. Plus, you'll be able to install any custom launcher on your Fire tablet. You'll have more control over the appearance and functionality of your device, including eliminating Amazon's bloatware. Also, the ads on the lock screen can be disabled if needed. Let's take a look at how to make it happen.
What you will need to convert your Fire tablet to an Android device
Before we get started, there are a few things you will need. First, you'll need an Amazon Fire tablet. Any Fire tablet from 2014 to present is compatible with the method described below. Also, you will need a PC with Windows.
Finally, you will need a software tool called Fire Toolbox. This software uses ADB (Android Debug Bridge) to modify your Amazon Fire tablet by removing restrictions put in place by Amazon and restoring full control to the end user.
Prepare your Fire tablet
Before doing anything, you'll need to enable USB debugging on your Fire tablet. This will allow you to tweak your Fire tablet via your PC. To do this, we need to enable developer options on your Fire tablet.
- Open the Settings menu by swiping down from the top of the screen to view the Quick Settings menu.
- At the bottom right, you will see a gear icon. Tap it to see all the Settings options on your device.
- Scroll down to the bottom of the menu and select "Device Options".
- On the next screen, tap "About Fire Tablet".
- Tap “Serial Number” eight times in quick succession. You should see a countdown of the number of taps needed to unlock developer options at the bottom of the screen.
- If done correctly, this will reveal the “Developer Options” setting in the previous menu.
- Go back one screen and tap "Developer Options".
Note: If "Developer Options" is not listed in the Settings menu, return to the "Device Options" screen and tap the serial number again five or six times.
- Enable “Developer Options” by tapping the toggle switch.
- When you see a pop-up asking if you really want to enable developer options, tap "OK".
- Scroll down and slide the toggle switch labeled "USB Debugging". A pop-up will ask you if you really want to do this. Tap "OK".
Now that we've enabled USB debugging, we can move on to the PC for the next steps.
Installa Fire Toolbox
The first thing you need to do is download and install “Fire Toolbox” on your Windows PC. The tool can be found on XDA Developers along with abundant documentation. We recommend that you read the instructions and FAQs found on XDA.
- Download the Fire Toolbox installer or zip file to your PC. At the time of writing, the most recent version of Fire Toolbox is v25.2.
- After the installer has finished downloading, open the application to launch the Fire Toolbox.
- The program will recognize that this is your first time running Fire Toolbox and will ask you to choose a theme for the tool's user interface.
- After making a selection, the program will restart.
- When Fire Toolbox restarts, it will automatically search for all available updates. We recommend that you apply any updates to the software. Fire Toolbox will restart if updates are applied.
Note: Some users have reported receiving an error message while applying updates. If this happens, simply restart the Fire Toolbox.
Connect your Fire tablet to your PC
- When Fire Toolbox restarts, it will report the following: “No device detected. Please connect a Fire tablet. "
- Connect your Amazon Fire tablet to your PC using the USB cable that came with the device.
- When the Fire tablet is recognized by the PC, you should see a pop-up on the Fire tablet asking if you want to allow USB debugging. Tap OK. This will allow your PC to make changes to your Fire tablet.
- If you are using your own personal computer, feel free to put a check mark in the "Always allow from this computer" box.
How to use Fire Toolbox
Now that you've connected your Fire tablet to your PC, you'll see the Fire Toolbox interface. You will be asked if you have used Fire Toolbox before. If not, we recommend that you click on “No, I'm a new user”. This will provide a brief walkthrough on how to use the software.
Fire Toolbox offers a number of options for tweaking and customizing your Fire tablet. We cover the four most popular below, but feel free to experiment with the other options as well.
Installa Google Play e Google Services
As mentioned above, Fire tablets don't have the Google Play Store. This forces users to install apps from the Amazon App Store, which has a narrow selection of apps in comparison. To install the Google Play Store, click the “Google Services” button. This will provide a description of what will happen to your Fire tablet. If you are satisfied with the proposed changes, click on “Run Tool”. Let Fire Toolbox do its thing and be sure to read any prompts that appear.
Manage pre-installed Amazon apps
Amazon wants you to use its services over its competitors, so the Fire tablet range pushes these apps pretty hard. Fortunately, you can disable these apps by following the instructions below and using the Fire Toolbox. Note that instead of Fire Toolbox completely deleting applications, it disables and hides them from view.
- Click on your “Amazon Management App” in the main menu.
- On the next screen, choose to manually disable some apps. Doing so will take you to a list of apps that you can disable. They are color coded to indicate how safe they are to disable, with green being fine and red not recommended.
However, if you don't want to mess with individual apps, choose an automatic debloat of your Fire tablet. On the "Manage Amazon Apps" screen there is a drop-down box labeled "Disable Amazon App".
This presents you with two options: "Full Debloat" and "Standard Debloat". You will notice that the "Standard" option is recommended. For this reason, we suggest you opt for that as well. Click "Run" to run the tool and disable the recommended Amazon apps.
Install a custom launcher
The default FireOS launcher is pretty straightforward, and Amazon disables the ability to change it right away. Thankfully, we can install a new default launcher using Fire Toolbox.
- From the main menu, click "Custom Startup".
- Click the drop-down box to select the launcher you prefer.
- After selecting the launcher of your choice, you will be presented with a few more options. We recommend that you disable the fire launcher. Also, you can enable widgets if you use them.
- When you're ready, click the "Yes" button. Fire Toolbox will automatically download and install your chosen launcher.
Turn off ads on the lock screen
Finally, we would like to disable those annoying ads on the lock screen.
Note: If you've opted for a more expensive model that doesn't have any ads on the lock screen, you can skip this step.
In the Fire Toolbox main menu, click "Lock Screen Manager". On the next page, click "Remove Lock Screen Ads -> Run Tool". When it asks if you really want to proceed, click "OK" and let the tool do its thing. Once the tool is done, you will no longer see ads on the lock screen on your Fire tablet.