In this guide, you will learn about various aspects of ES File Explorer important for a FireStick user. It is a freemium file manager app that is available on Amazon Store and can be downloaded on FireStick, Fire TV Cube, Fire Stick 4K, and other Fire TV devices.
ES File Explorer is an incredibly popular file manager app for the Android platform. This multi-utility tool can be used for storage management, sideloading apps on FireStick (requires premium subscription), connect to cloud drives and more.
I believe that ES File Explorer is a FireStick essential and a must-have if you want to manage your device better.
Update: Sideloading is now part of the premium version of the ES File Explorer app ($9.99 per month). It is no longer available for free.
Also read: Best apps for FireStick.
What Is ES File Explorer?
As I said, ES File Explorer is a file manager application, which also doubles as an excellent side-loading utility for FireStick.
ES File Explorer is available via Amazon Store. I have provided the installation instructions later in this guide.
This app lets you sideload third-party APKs with web URLs. However, to sideload apps, you require a premium subscription that costs $9.99 per month.
You may also connect your FireStick to a computer via ES File Explorer to sideload APKs and even transfer files back and forth. Again, I have provided step-by-step instructions to sideload apps using this app
Benefits of ES File Explorer for FireStick Users
ES File Explorer offers tons of utilities. However, there are plenty of features most FireStick users will probably never use. Therefore, I am prioritizing and highlighting the benefits that you are more likely to use. If you want help with any specific utility not mentioned in this guide, please feel free to let us know via the comments section below.
Here are the key benefits of ES File Explorer for FireStick users:
– Sideload third-party apps via direct link (premium subscription required)
– Sideload third-party apps using a computer
– Clean up FireStick storage by deleting unnecessary files, such as unused APKs
– Transfer files between FireStick and computer
– Connect to cloud services such as Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox, etc. (this function is currently not working)
How to Install ES File Explorer & Enable Install Apps from Unknown Sources on FireStick
This is easy. ES File Explorer is available on Amazon Store. Follow these steps to install it within minutes and then enable it to download & install apps from unknown sources:
1. Go to the home window of FireStick. Select Find.
2. Click on the Search tab.
3. Type the name of the app ES File Explorer. When you have typed a few letters, ES File Explorer will appear in the suggestions. Click it!
4. Click ES File Explorer icon on the next window.
5. Click Get or Download (depending upon what you see).
6. Wait while the app is installed.
Click Open to run the app OR you may run the app later from Your Apps & Channels section.
7. Go to home screen and click on Settings Gear icon.
8. Scroll down and select My Fire TV.
9. Select Developer options.
10. Select Install unknown apps.
11. Click on ES File Explorer to turn it on.
How to Sideload Apps with ES File Explorer Using Direct Links
ES File Explorer is one of the most effective sideloading tools for FireStick I have ever used. You just need to do is provide the direct link pointing to the APK you wish to download.
Note: Sideloading is no longer free with ES File Explorer. It is now available only with a premium subscription ($9.99 per month). If you don’t have a premium subscription, use the Downloader app to sideload third-party apps on FireStick.
Important!!! ES File Explorer can ONLY download APKs from the links pointing directly to the APK location on the web. If you have a link to a webpage, you can use the Downloader app to sideload apps.
I am using Cinema HD app in this demonstration. Here are the steps:
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1. Long-press home button on the home screen of Firestick and wait for the menu to appear. Then, click Apps.
2. Select App Library.
3. Open ES File Explorer.
4. On the first start-up, you’ll receive some pop-ups.
5. Click Allow.
6. Click Free Trial.
7. Accept and follow the on-screen instructions to start your free trial.
8. On its main window, click Downloader.
9. On the bottom, click New icon.
10. Click Path.
11. Enter the desired URL in the Path box (I am using https://www.firesticktricks.com/cinema).
Make sure you type the full URL, including https://.
12. You may leave the Name field blank or use any name of your choice.
Click the button DOWNLOAD NOW.
13. Now, we wait! The APK will download.
14. Once APK has been downloaded, click the option OPEN FILE.
15. Now click INSTALL.
16. ES File Explorer will stage the app for you. Click INSTALL.
17. Now just wait for the App installed notification.
Click DONE to use the app later or click OPEN to use it now.
How to Sideload Apps From Your Computer and Transfer Files
As I mentioned earlier, ES File Explorer can be used to sideload APKs stored on your computer. You can transfer other types of files between your FireStick and Computer. Here are the steps:
1. Select the Settings Gear icon on the right side of the FireStick home window.
2. Select My Fire TV.
3. Choose Developer options.
4. Make sure ADB debugging is ON.
Note: Important! ADB debugging must be turned on for ES File Explorer to connect to your computer.
5. Open ES File Explorer.
6. On ES File Explorer home screen, scroll down.
7. Click View on PC.
8. Click TURN ON.
9. You should now see an FTP address. For example, the image below shows ftp://192.168.0.102:3721/.
10. On your computer: Open any folder and enter the above FTP link in the address bar.
I’m demonstrating on a mac, so connecting to a FTP link was kinda different for me.
11. On your computer: You will see all the FireStick folders here.
You can now transfer any files between FireStick and computer.
You can transfer media files such as music, video, and images too. However, keep the limited storage capacity of FireStick in mind.
If you want to sideload APKs on FireStick that are stored on your computer, follow the next steps.
On your computer: Copy the desired APK file in one of the FireStick folders (say, the Download folder).
12. Get back to ES File Explorer on FireStick and click Home on the left-menu bar.
13. Open the Download folder or the folder you have used as a path to drop APK file from your PC.
14. Open the APK file.
15. Click Install.
16. Now, you can install the APK file.
So, this is how you transfer files or sideload APKs from your computer onto your FireStick using ES File Explorer
Connect to Cloud Drives (Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox, Etc.)
Update: This feature isn’t currently working.
The ability to connect with your cloud drives is one of the most exciting features of ES File Explorer. Cloud drive connectivity lets you access images, videos, and even the APK files saved in the cloud.
This is an excellent way of gaining access to your files without having to save them on your limited FireStick storage
If you have the cloud drive synced with your computer, you could copy the APK files to the drive and access it on FireStick via ES File Explorer.
In other words, you can sideload apps on FireStick via your cloud drive
ES File Explorer supports all the major cloud services including Google Drive (Gdrive), OneDrive, DropBox, Box, SugarSync, S3, MediaFire, Yandex, and Baidu NetDisk
Note: You CAN sign in to multiple cloud drives. For instance, you can use Gdrive and OneDrive together. You may also sign in with two different accounts for the same drive
Here are steps to connect to your cloud drive:
1. Open ES File Explorer.
2. Click Cloud Drive on the right OR click Network > Cloud Drive in the left menu.
3. If you want to use Google Drive, click Log in to Google Drive button.
If you have any other supported cloud drive account, click Log in with other cloud drive.
4. Choose the cloud drive you want to use.
5. Follow the on-screen instructions to sign in.
6. To access your signed-in cloud drives, go back to the main window of ES File Explorer and click Cloud Drive on the right OR click Network > Cloud Drive in the left menu.
7. You will see the icons for all your signed-in cloud drives. If you want to add another cloud drive, click the plus (+) sign.
8. You may now access all your cloud drive folders.
Clean Up FireStick Storage Using ES File Explorer
Storage management is another key aspect of the ES File Explorer app, especially since FireStick comes with limited storage.
You can easily delete all the unwanted and unnecessary files. For instance, you may delete the APK files after installing the third-party apps. Once the app has been installed, APK files become redundant.
Remember that this needs to be done manually. Here are the steps:
1. Run ES File Explorer. Click where it says Internal Storage on the top.
2. FireStick folders appear on the right. Open the folder in which the files you need to delete are stored (let’s say the Download folder).
3. Long-press the file you wish to delete (say an APK file).
Note: DO NOT click the selected file.
4. Navigate to the bottom menu of ES File Explorer and click Delete.
5. Click OK.
You can also uncheck the Move to recycle bin option to permanently delete the file.
This is how you delete the files on FireStick with ES File explorer.
That’s pretty much it about ES File Explorer FireStick app. It has many other features and utilities we haven’t talked about in this guide. If you are looking for help with something specific, please contact us via the comments section below.
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