6 FireStick Settings You Should Know and Change Right Now

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  In this article, I will take you through some of the FireStick settings that will improve your streaming experience, enhance your privacy, and better the overall experience with the device. You can apply the same to other Fire TV devices too including FireStick 4K and Fire TV Cube.

When you set up your Amazon FireStick for the first time, your device is assigned the default settings (also called factory settings). You may keep using FireStick without feeling the need to change any of the settings. However, changing some of the settings may customize FireStick which is more suited to your needs.

Best Settings for FireStick

Coming up next is the list of the various Firestick settings you can change. Even though you can always revert to the default settings, I recommend that you keep these settings to enjoy Firestick to its best capability and also to maintain your privacy.

We will talk about the different settings one by one (not necessarily in any order of priority)

1. Enable ADB Debugging & Install from Unknown Apps

This is probably one of the first settings you should change on your Firestick / Fire TV, especially enabling the option Install Unknown Apps.

When Apps from Unknown Sources is enabled, you can sideload and install third-party apps onto FireStick. Not all the apps you want are available on the Amazon Store; many of them must be downloaded manually.

With ADB Debugging enabled, you can use certain apps like Mouse Toggle. You would want this option turned on if you want to connect your FireStick to a computer.

Here is how you can do it:

1. Access the Settings option from the home screen of FireStick / Fire TV / Firestick 4K. You will find it in the menu bar on the top

Best firestick settings for better streaming experience

2. Choose the option My Fire TV on the next window

best settings for amazon firestick

3. Now, you want to open Developer Options

Change developer options settings on amazon firestick

4. Turn on ADB Debugging
Now, click Install Unknown Apps

unknown sources installation settings

5. When you click Install Unknown Apps, you see a list of the apps. Turn this option ON for the app which you want to use to sideload apps on FireStick
Downloader is the most popular sideloading app for FireStick. Install the Downloader app and then turn this setting on for this app.


2. Manage your Privacy Settings and disable Data Monitoring

Amazon rolled out an update for FireStick late in 2018 that enabled data monitoring by default and allowed the company to collect user data related to app usage and device usage.

Even though Amazon is a renowned organization, we do not want anyone stealing or using our data in any way that could compromise your privacy.

While the FireStick privacy settings are ‘ON’ by default, you can easily turn them OFF. Follow the steps below:

1. Go to the FireStick Settings from the home screen

firestick settings for better performance

2. Open Preferences on this window

firestick preferences settings

3. Click Privacy Settings when the following set of options are displayed

privacy settings on firestick

4. Turn OFF the following options: Device Usage Data & Collect App Usage Data

Note: It is totally up to you whether you want to keep ‘Interest-based Ads’ ON or OFF. To be on the safer side, I have disabled this option

disable device usage data setting

5. Now, press the back button once to go the Preferences menu again (or from the FireStick home screen navigate to Settings > Preferences)

6. Click Data Monitoring

data monitoring settings

7. Make sure Data Monitoring is OFF on the next screen

Best firestick settings

3. Change the Amazon Appstore settings

There are a few options in the Appstore settings you might want to change for a better experience with FireStick. Here is what you can do:

1. Open the FireStick Settings again from the home window

firestick settings menu

2. Choose and then click the option Applications

firestick applications settings

3. Next, go ahead and open Appstore

amazon app store settings

Here is how you would want the various settings to be:

  • Automatic Updates: Keep it ON so that the apps update automatically whenever there is an update. This option works only with the apps installed from the Amazon Appstore and not any third-party apps you might have sideloaded
  • External Market Links: Certain apps have links that redirect you to the Amazon Appstore for the installation of other apps. Click this option and either choose Ask Before Opening (recommended) or Don’t Open.
  • In-App Purchases: Keep this option OFF. It will make sure you don’t end up making in-app purchases accidentally. This will also prevent kids from making in-app purchases.
  • Manage My Subscriptions: This option does nothing. It simply asks you to go to www.amazon.com/appstoresubscriptions to manage your subscriptions
  • Notifications: You may turn this option OFF if you don’t want to be bothered by the Appstore notifications

tweak app store options on firestick

4. Change App Notification Settings

Notifications are often more annoying than they are useful. There are some apps that you need, but they keep throwing irrelevant notification. This could get a bit frustrating and may even affect your overall FireStick and streaming experience.

Thankfully, you can disable app notifications universally for all apps or choose to turn the notifications OFF for specific apps. And, you can do that for apps from Amazon Store as well as the third-party apps that have been sideloaded onto FireStick.

Follow these steps:

1. Open Firestick Settings one more time

Best firestick settings for better streaming experience

2. Open the option Preferences

tweak firestick settings for speed improvement

3. Click Notification Settings

notification settings

4. If you want to disable notifications from all the apps, turn ON the option DO Not Interrupt

On the other hand, if you would like notification disabled for specific apps, click App Notifications and choose the desired app

do not interrupt and app notifications on amazon fire tv

5. Disable Video and Audio Autoplay

The home screen of FireStick displays the ‘featured content’ around the top, underneath the menu bar (and above the row Recent).

The video and audio and preview of the content start playing automatically when you leave the home screen idle even for a few seconds. I personally find it a little annoying and if so do you, here is how you can disable it:

1. Go to the Settings Menu on FireStick

amazon fire tv settings menu

2. Click Preferences

Firestick 4k settings

3. Click Featured Content on the next screen

Change firestick settings

4. Turn OFF the following options: Allow Video Autoplay and Allow Audio Autoplay

disable video autoplay on fire tv stick

6. Change the Firestick Display settings

Choosing the right video and display settings is important if you want smooth and judder-free streaming experience. The default display settings of FireStick often work with most streaming applications. However, at certain times, tweaking the settings may give you more satisfactory streaming results.

Follow the steps below:

1. Open Firestick Settings

firestick 4k display settings

2. Open the option Display & Sounds

display and sounds menu on amazon fire tv

3. Click Display on the following screen

best display setting for amazon firestick

Here are the options you can explore:

  • Video Resolution: Choose the desired video resolution. However, I recommend the Auto mode so that FireStick selects the best available resolution for you
  • Match Original Frame Rate: FireStick usually either works at the 60Hz or 50Hz frame rate. However, a lot of videos are usually shot at 25 Hz or lower frame rate. If the frame rates aren’t matching, you might see occasional judder during the playback. You may turn Match Original Frame Rate ON to allow FireStick to match the frame rate of the native content, provided you are using a supported app. Also, the Video Resolution setting must be set to ‘Auto’ for this option to work
  • Color Depth: Choose between 8 (default), 10, or 12 bits. Your TV must support the color depth setting you have chosen
  • Color Format: Set it to ‘Auto’ and best let FireStick choose the most suitable format for you
  • Calibrate Display: For the best streaming experience, you would want the videos to be fully displayed. If they aren’t, choose this option to calibrate the display and contain the videos within the 4 sides of your TV
  • Dynamic Range Settings: You can choose between ‘Always HDR’ and ‘Adaptive’. Choose the former only if your TV supports HDR

modify display settings on firestick

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