So you’ve installed the Google Play Store on your Amazon Fire tablet. What’s next? While you can’t yet root Amazon’s latest tablet or replace the operating system with a custom ROM, you can disable a bunch of Amazon apps and features.
Don’t need the Amazon Appstore, want to disable the Weather, Prime Video, or Kindle apps? Or maybe you want to prevent your tablet from automatically downloading and installing Fire OS updates.
Here’s how to do that. Note that the steps outlined in this guide have been tested with both the Amazon Fire HD 8 (2020) and Amazon Fire HD 10 (2019) tablet, but should work with most recent Amazon tablets.
On your tablet, take the following steps:
Now there are two methods for disabling apps: you can do it manually using the Android Debug Bridge (adb), which takes a little more work, but gives you a lot of control. Or Windows users can use a free utility called Fire Toolbox that automates the process
Here’s the part where we can actually disable specific apps. Note that Amazon does not make it easy to completely uninstall or remove apps that come pre-installed on its tablets, so we’re going to disable them instead.
That means you won’t necessarily save any storage space on your device, but you won’t see these apps running on your device after running the following commands. You may also have to run through these steps again at some point in the future if the apps start running again after Amazon pushes a software update.
In a nutshell, you can disable an app by entering an adb command that looks something like this:
adb shell pm disable-user com.goodreads.kindle
That particular command will stop the Goodreads app from running on an Amazon Fire tablet. But you can customize the line to disable other apps or disable apps just for specific users.
For example, com.amazon.kindle is the name of the app you’re disabling in the command above. If you know the package name of the app you want to affect, you can disable just about any app on your tablet by changing that part of the command.
Here are just a few of the apps you can disable:
That last command will remove ads from the tablet’s lock screen almost instantly. Here’s what it looks like when you execute that command while viewing the lock screen:
Again, keep in mind that the lock screen ads may re-appear at some point in the future if Amazon pushes an update. You can either run the same command to remove them again, or permanently remove them by paying Amazon $15 to $20 to officially remove “Special Offers.” On some (mostly older) Amazon Fire tablets you can also root the tablet or install a custom ROM that will permanently remove lock screen ads, but neither option is currently available for Amazon’s latest tablets.
You can find a longer list of apps that can be removed in a thread at the xda-developers forum. Note that you might have to disable multiple packages to fully disable some apps and features. For example, in order to disable the Weather app, you would run the following commands, one after the other:
I’m giving this one its own section, even though you can remove it with a simple command just like any of the apps listed above. The key thing to keep in mind is that you only want to disable the Fire Launcher after you’ve already installed a third-party launcher. Otherwise your tablet will get stuck at the loading screen when you turn it on.
If you’ve already installed a third-party launcher from Google Play, APKMirror, or another trusted source, then you can run the following line to disable the default Fire OS Launcher:
adb shell pm disable-user com.amazon.firelauncher
If somethings goes wrong and you’re left without a working launcher at all, the tablet will get stuck at a loading screen. Fortunately, you can always re-enable any app you’ve disabled. See below.
Say you’ve disabled an app and discovered that you actually wanted or needed it? Here’s how to re-enable an app.
The example above will re-enable the default Fire OS Launcher app after it’s been disabled. But you can change the package name to any app that you’ve previously disabled. For example, if you disabled Goodreads using the command listed earlier in this post, then pasting this line into a terminal will re-enable Goodreads:
adb shell pm enable com.goodreads.kindle
Don’t want to jump through all the hoops above which involving installing Google’s Android software development kit and running command-line utilities one at a time? Fire Toolbox is a Windows-only application that automates many of the most popular Amazon Fire tablet hacks.
You will still need to enable developer mode and USB debugging on your tablet before you can use Fire Toolbox, but rather than finding the exact command to remove a specific app, you can use the “Manage Amazon Apps” function to disable multiple Amazon apps at once, or use the Manul section to choose the specific apps you want to disable.
In the main Manage Amazon Apps section. you’ll find “standard debloat” and “complete debloat” commands that will disable some or most Amazon apps and services.
You can also manually select the specific apps you want to disable from a checklist.
Note that the “Simple” mode will show just the most common apps and services, while the “Advanced” option lets you disable just about everything, which can get you in trouble if you’re not careful. So read the descriptions carefully before deciding to disable apps using this method.
Note that you’ll find the option to disable “special offers” or “Lockscreen ads” in a separate section of the Fire Toolbox utility called “Lockscreen Management.”
This method attempts to permanently disable ads, but it does this partially by blocking the tablet from receiving over-the-air software updates from Amazon. I’m not really a fan of taking that step, since it means you won’t receive feature or security updates for your device, which could leave you open to potential vulnerabilities. But if you’d rather not have to run a command to disable the special offers app every few months and don’t want to spend money to have Amazon disable lock screen ads, then I suppose this is a way to do it.
Want to restore an app that you’ve disabled? Fire Toolbox has a “Restore Everything” option, or you can use use the Manual options to selectively choose the apps you’d want to restore. In the Simple UI, look for the “Restore Apps” tab. In Advanced, it’s called “Disabled/Hidden Apps.”
This article was originally published June 6, 2020 and last updated October 2, 2021.
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