In this guide, I will show you how to install APKs on FireStick from a PC/Computer. The method works with both Windows and Mac and on any Fire TV variant, including FireStick Lite, FireStick 4K, FireStick 4K Max, and Fire TV Cube. I’ll also cover other convenient methods of sideloading apps on FireStick.
Many apps aren’t available on the Amazon App Store. Although they’re compatible with FireStick, they’re not at your disposal from the official store.
If you’ve ever felt the need to download an Android app that isn’t available on Amazon App Store, I know exactly how you feel.
In this article, I’ll go through the following methods to sideload apps on your FireStick:
1: Without a PC or mobile device (direct method)
2: Using an Android mobile device
3: Using your PC
But before I illustrate each method, let’s go through the basics of sideloading.
Attention, FireStick Users!
Governments and ISPs constantly monitor your online activity, and accessing copyrighted content on your Fire TV Stick could lead to serious trouble. Currently, your IP is visible to everyone. I strongly recommend getting the best FireStick VPN to mask your IP address and securely stream your favorites.
I personally use ExpressVPN, the fastest and most secure VPN available. Not only is it easy to install on any device, it comes with a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee. Plus, if you're not 100% satisfied, you can always get a refund. ExpressVPN is currently also offering a whopping 3 extra months free on their annual plan!
Read: How to Install and Use Best VPN for FireStick
All About Sideloading
Sideloading refers to the act of downloading and installing an app from a third-party source. As not all applications are available on the Amazon App Store, sideloading can come in handy for accessing tons of useful applications. To sideload, we basically download and install the Android APK file for the application we are interested in.
Why Sideload Apps?
Users sideload apps because they aren’t officially available on the Amazon App Store. Although most of these apps are compatible with FireStick, the majority, including the popular ones, can’t be found in the Amazon App Store for various reasons.
Sideloading apps lets you access an unlimited collection of Android apps. This means you’re no longer limited to the Amazon App Store—you are free to use any app.
Whether it’s games, a well-known streaming service, or a third-party streaming service, anything that’s available on the Android platform can be sideloaded to your FireStick.
Is Sideloading Illegal?
Absolutely not! Sideloading legal Android apps that are available for free on the Google Play Store or any other verified marketplace isn’t illegal.
However, there’s one thing you need to be aware of. The APK files of paid apps are also readily available on the internet. Installing them on your FireStick is still legal, but using them to access paid content is very likely illegal. Other than that, you’re all good!
Is Sideloading Apps Hard?
Absolutely not! The three methods I’ll share in this article are quite easy to follow.
If you are reluctant, I recommend checking out the first method, as it doesn’t involve your mobile or PC, just your FireStick.
Also, if you are familiar with installing APK files on your Android phone, the second option that uses your mobile phone should be quite easy for you to understand and implement.
Do I Need to Jailbreak My FireStick to Sideload Apps?
Newer models of FireStick can’t technically be jailbroken. Online sources have just made “jailbreaking” a buzzword in the streaming community.
This buzzword came from the first model of FireStick, where users were required to explicitly jailbreak the device. All models after the first one simply have settings that allow you to install third-party APKs, apps, and more.
We’re done with the basics of sideloading, so it’s time to explore the sideloading methods.
How to Sideload Apps on FireStick Without PC or Mobile
First, I’ll show you the most direct and possibly easiest methods to sideload apps on your Firestick, which doesn’t require your PC or mobile device.
In this method, we are going to first download the Downloader app from the Amazon App Store. Then, we’ll enable Install Unknown Apps for the Downloader app from the FireStick settings. Lastly, I’ll show how you can use the app to download and install (sideload) an APK file on your FireStick.
Let’s get started.
Part 1: Download & Install Downloader on FireStick Via Amazon App Store
1. On the FireStick home screen, click on the settings gear on the far right.
2. Then, click on the orange Search tile.
3. Start typing Downloader in the input box and select it among the suggested search terms.
4. Click the orange Downloader tile in the search results.
5. On the Downloader dashboard, click on the Download or Get button.
6. Wait for the installation notification on the bottom right of your screen.
You are done installing the Downloader app on your FireStick.
Part 2: Enable Downloader to Install Unknown Apps
1. Go to the FireStick home page and once again select the settings gear.
2. Scroll down and select My Fire TV.
3. Click Developer options.
4. Next, scroll down and open Install unknown apps.
Note: Older FireStick models may show Apps from Unknown Sources instead. If that’s the case for you, select that setting to turn it ON and skip steps 5 and 6 below.
5. By default, the setting is off for Downloader. Select it to turn it ON.
6. Before moving to the next part, make sure the Downloader app is toggled to ON.
You are done allowing the Downloader app to install apps from unknown sources, which means we can now use it to sideload apps.
Part 3: Sideload Apps Using Downloader
1. Press and hold the home button on your FireStick remote until the menu pictured below appears. Then, click Apps.
2. Next, open the Downloader app.
3. Upon the first launch, it will ask you to allow it to access your files and folders. Click Allow to continue.
4. Another popup will appear. Read the instructions and click the yellow OK button.
5. Next, click the URL input box on the home screen of the Downloader app.
6. Enter the URL of the APK file you want to download and click on the Go button.
Note: I’m installing the Cinema APK file found at https://www.firesticktricks.com/cinema for demonstration purposes. FireStickTricks.com doesn’t host or distribute this APK; the link redirects to the host site.
7. Wait for the APK file to download.
8. Once it’s done, the app will automatically prepare the APK file for you to install it. Click on the INSTALL button to continue.
9. Wait for the installation notification on the bottom right of your screen.
Congratulations! You have sideloaded an APK onto your FireStick using the Downloader app.
I recommend that you now click DONE and, when prompted, I recommend that you Delete the APK file. You’ve already used it to install the app on your FireStick, so it’s only wasting space at this point.
How to Sideload Apps on FireStick Using an Android Mobile Device
In this section, I’ll show you how to sideload apps onto your FireStick via your Android device.
First, we are going to download and install an app called Easy Fire Tools on our Android. This app will help us create a bridge between the Android device and the FireStick. Then, we are going to set up the Easy Fire Tools app and the FireStick. Lastly, we’ll sideload an app onto the FireStick using the Easy Fire Tools app.
Note that you’ll need an Android phone with a modern web browser (Google Chrome, Firefox, etc.) to follow this process. Also, your phone and your FireStick must be connected to the same internet network.
Part 1: Download & Install Easy Fire Tools on Your Android Mobile Device
You should be able to find Easy Fire Tools in the Google Play Store. Open the Google Play Store on your Android, search for Easy Fire Tools, and install the app that way if you can.
If you can’t find it in the Play Store, follow these steps to get Easy Fire Tools on your Android:
1. On your Android phone, launch a web browser. I’m using Google Chrome.
2. Next, tap on the search box.
3. Search for easy fire tools apk.
4. Select the first link that reads Easy Fire Tools for Android – APK Download on the site apkpure.com.
5. Wait for the web page to load. Once it’s loaded, click on the green Download APK button.
6. Wait for a few seconds.
7. Now, click on the OK button to continue the downloading.
8. Go to the Downloads menu within your browser and wait for the download to complete.
9. Once the APK file is downloaded, click on it.
10. Your phone will automatically prepare to install the app for you. Click on the INSTALL button to start the installation process.
11. Once the app has been installed, click on the DONE button.
We’re done downloading and installing the Easy Fire Tools app on our Android phone, so let’s link it with our FireStick now.
Part 2: Setup Easy Fire Tools & FireStick
1. Launch Easy Fire Tools on your Android phone.
2. On your first launch, you’ll see a pop-up window. Click on the Agree button.
3. Make sure you have turned on ADB debugging on your FireStick. You’ll find the option in Settings > My Fire TV > Developer options > ADB debugging.
4. Next, back on your Android phone, tap on the discover icon located on the top right side of your screen.
5. Now, wait for the app to discover and find the FireStick connected to your network.
6. Once it’s done searching, you’ll see the name of your FireStick. Tap it to link your FireStick and Android phone. In my case, it’s FST Fire TV.
7. Now, the app will ask if you’d like to use this device permanently. Tap Yes.
8. After that, click on the plug icon at the top right.
9. When the app shows you the Trying to connect message, switch over to your FireStick.
10. You’ll see a USB debugging menu appear on your FireStick. Check the box that reads Always allow from this computer.
11. Then, click on the OK button.
12. Now, switch to your phone and click on the Continue button on the next popup.
13. You’ll see that the plug icon on the top right side will turn green, it means your phone and FireStick are now connected.
We are done bridging the Android mobile device and FireStick together. It’s showtime!
Part 3: Sideload Apps on FireStick Using Easy Fire Tools on Android
1. Let’s sideload your favorite app from your phone to your FireStick. To do that, simply select the app from the list on the Easy Fire Tools home screen. I picked AccuWeather.
2. The app will confirm your decision. Click Yes.
3. Wait for Easy Fire Tools to transfer the app to your FireStick.
4. Once it’s done, wait for it to install the app on your FireStick.
5. On your FireStick, you’ll receive an installation notification when the installation is complete.
6. To install APK files downloaded on your phone, go to the CUSTOM APK FILE tab.
7. Click on the orange Select file button.
8. Then, click on the hamburger menu (three horizontal lines) on the top left of your screen.
9. Browse to the folder where the APK file you want to sideload is stored. For me (and probably for you), it’s the Downloads folder, so that’s what I’m selecting.
10. Then, select the APK file you want to sideload.
11. Easy Fire Tools will show you a preview of the app you are going to sideload. Click the orange Install button to continue.
12. You’ll be asked to confirm the process. Click Yes.
13. Wait for Easy Fire Tools to transfer the app to your FireStick.
14. Easy Fire Tools will then install the app on your FireStick.
15. Finally, on your FireStick screen, you’ll receive an installation notification.
Congratulations! You have successfully sideloaded an app or APK file from your Android mobile device to your FireStick.
How to Sideload Apps on FireStick using a PC
Firstly, download and install the Downloader app on your FireStick from the Amazon App Store.
Next, make sure that your FireStick and computer are connected to the same Wi-Fi network for this method to work.
Now, follow the parts below one by one to sideload apps on your FireStick using a PC or Mac.
Part 1: Enable ADB Debugging & Allow Installation of Unknown Apps from Downloader
1. Click the settings gear.
2. Navigate to and click My Fire TV.
3. Click Developer options.
4. Turn on ADB debugging.
5. Scroll down and select Install unknown apps.
Note: If you see the option Apps from Unknown Sources instead, select it to turn it ON and then skip steps 6 and 7 below.
6. Select Downloader to turn it ON.
7. Make sure it’s turned ON before proceeding.
Part 2: Install & Use MiXplorer
We are now going to install MiXplorer via the Downloader app. The MiXplorer app will help you transfer APK files from your computer to your FireStick.
In the past, we used ES File Explorer to sideload apps this way, but it now requires a paid subscription to do the job. So we’ll use MiXplorer instead.
Follow these steps on your FireStick:
1. Press and hold the home button on your FireStick remote until this menu appears. Then, select Apps.
2. Open Downloader.
3. Click the URL input box.
4. Enter https://bit.ly/3GPH28p exactly as shown in the input box and click the Go button.
Note: FireStickTricks.com doesn’t own or host this APK file. The shortened URL redirects to uptodown.com.
5. Wait for the page to load. Once it’s done, use the cursor to scroll down until you see the blue Latest version button. Click it.
6. Wait for the page to load. Then, scroll down again and click on the green Download button.
7. Wait for the APK file to download.
8. Once the download is complete, the app will prepare for installation automatically. Click on the INSTALL button.
9. Once the app is installed, click on the OPEN button.
10. Upon the first launch of MiXplorer, it will ask for permission to access your files and folders. Click Allow.
11. Click the blue OK button.
12. Click on the three dots at the top right of your screen.
13. Click Servers.
14. Click Start HTTP/WebDav Server.
15. Leave your FireStick on this screen. You’ll need to enter the URL, as indicated in the screenshot below, on your computer. We’ll do that next.
Part 3: Transfer APK Files From PC to FireStick
Follow these steps on your computer:
1. Download the APK for the app you wish to install on your FireStick. You can use any web browser (like Chrome, Firefox, or Opera) to download the file. Remember where it’s saved (likely your computer’s Downloads folder).
Note: I’m installing the Cinema APK file found at https://www.firesticktricks.com/cinema for demonstration purposes. FireStickTricks.com doesn’t host or distribute this APK. The link redirects to the host site.
2. Open a new tab in your web browser and enter the link from your FireStick. In my case, it’s http://192.168.18.168:8181, but make sure you use your own.
3. You should now see a list of all the FireStick folders on your computer. Click the Downloader folder, which is where we will save the APK file.
4. Click Choose file.
5. Browse to the location where you downloaded the APK file in the first step. Then, select the APK file and Open it.
6. Click on Upload.
7. Wait for it to upload.
8. You’ll see the file listed in the folder once it has been uploaded successfully.
Part 4: Install APK Files Transferred From PC to FireStick
Once the APK file has been transferred, we will use the Downloader app to install it on FireStick.
Follow these steps on your FireStick:
1. Click Stop HTTP/WebDav Server.
2. Click on the X button.
3. Press and hold the home button on your FireStick remote until the menu appears. Click Apps.
4. Open the Downloader app.
5. On the home screen of the Downloader app, click the Files tab on the left. In this list, find and select the APK file you transferred from your computer.
6. Click INSTALL.
Now, simply wait for the desired app to install.
Great job, we did it!
Sideloading apps lets you break through the barriers of the Amazon App Store and discover a whole new side of your FireStick. In this article, I showed you three ways to sideload app APKs on FireStick, including an easy method to install apps on FireStick using your computer.
Personally, I prefer using my Android phone, as it makes app installation on FireStick a piece of cake. But if you want to install a ton of APKs, uploading them all from your computer is the fastest way to get it done.
So, which applications are you planning to sideload on your FireStick? Let me and other readers know in the comments below. Happy sideloading!
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