How to Increase Firestick Storage

By following this guide, you will learn how to increase the storage on your Firestick. These steps can also be carried out on to other Fire TV devices such as Fire Cubes and Fire TVs.

The Amazon Firestick is undoubtedly the most popular streaming device on the market right now due to its low price and ability to jailbreak it with just a few simple tweaks. It’s a perfect streaming device for beginners as well as advanced users who wish to cut the cord.

However, just like any other streaming device, you must properly maintain your Firestick to avoid running into issues. Running out of storage is one such issue you’d obviously rather avoid. But, if you need more space what you can do? Luckily, it’s entirely possible to add an external USB storage device to your Firestick in order to get more space. Watch the videos for full details or follow the written step-by-step guides below instead.  

Table of Contents

Why Should You Increase Firestick Storage?

For the average Firestick user, it’s generally not necessary to add any extra storage. The Firestick performs well, without any issues, with as many as 20 different applications installed.

However, Firesticks only come with 8GB of storage space. But, when you take into account Amazon’s pre-installed apps and space the operating system takes up, you’re left with an average of 5.5GB useable space.

Additionally, some users have IPTV applications installed, free streaming apps or games which can take up a lot of space. Especially if those apps are used to record, download or have large game files.

If you find yourself constantly running out of space and getting a low storage warning then you may want to think about increasing your storage. 

Can I Increase Storage on Any Firestick?

Extra storage can be added to any Firestick, Fire Cube or Fire TV that is running software version Fire OS 5 and above. Additional storage can be used and categorised in 3 different ways: 

  1. General storage – used simply as general storage to share and access files
  2. System storage – used to install more apps 
  3. Mixed storage – used as part general storage and part system storage

Depending on which software version your Firestick, Cube or TV is running, this will determine how extra storage is added and what type of storage it can be used for. So, the first step is to find out which Fire OS version your device is running on.

How to Check Fire OS Version

  1. Open your Firestick Settings
  2. Then select My Fire TV
  3. Select About
  4. Then take a look at the right-hand side of the screen for the Software Version

It will either be Fire OS 5, Fire OS 6 or Fire OS 7.

Can I Use Any Type of Storage?

The type of storage you use is down to you, but there are few things you need to consider when choosing your USB storage.

Storage Size

As Fire TV devices are formatted to FAT32, the maximum size of USB storage you can use is 2TB. However, Amazon officially recommends using USB drives that are 128GB or smaller.

Amazon also recommends that high speed USB 3.0 drives are used, even though Fire TV Devices have a 2.0 USB port. This is because USB 3.0 drives tend to have faster read/write speeds and will perform better, even when connected to USB 2.0 ports.

I prefer to use SanDisk or Toshiba branded storage drives as I’ve yet to experience any issues using these brands with any of my Firesticks.

SanDisk

US Link
UK Link

Toshiba

US Link
UK Link

Formatting

Whatever storage you’re using, it should be formatted to FAT32. If you have a brand-new storage drive that is up to 32GB in size, it should already be formatted to FAT32. If your storage drive is larger than 32GB it’s likely to be formatted to exFAT.

Depending on which Fire OS version you have, this will determine if the USB storage requires formatting to FAT32 manually before it can be used it with your Firestick.

Fire OS 5 and Fire OS 6 – Manual formatting of storage required 
Fire OS 7 – Supports automatic formatting of storage drives (that are not NTFS)

4GB to 32GB
64GB and above
Default format for memory cards and flash drives
FAT32
exFAT

How to Manually Format Storage to FAT32

You’ll need a laptop or PC in order to format a USB storage drive. Storage drives that are 32GB or smaller are easy to format with Windows disk management. However, Windows disk management will not allow  formatting of any USB drive above 32GB into FAT32. In this case you will need to install a free piece of software to format the storage. If you need help formatting your storage select the link below.

How to Format USB Storage to FAT32

Extra Equipment Required to Increase Firestick Storage

If you have a Fire TV, there should be a USB port on the back. USB storage can be plugged in without the need for any further equipment.

Firesticks and Fire Cubes do not have USB ports, so you’ll need some sort of connecter to be to attach the USB storage device. In order to do that, you will need an OTG adapter or an OTG cable. Both do exactly the same thing, one is small and compact and the other gives you a little more flexibility.

If your Fire TV Device is connected to the internet via an ethernet cable and you want to remain connected as such, you’ll need to upgrade to a multi USB hub. The Amazon ethernet adapter will not work as there are no additional ports to attach USB storage.

OTG Adapter

US Link
UK Link

OTG Cable

US Link
UK Link

Multi USB Hub

US Link
UK Link

How to Connect USB Storage

Connecting an OTG Adapter to Increase Firestick Storage

  1. Remove the power cable from your Firestick
  2. Plug the OTG adapter into the micro-USB port on the Firestick
  1. Plug the USB storage into the OTG adapter USB port
  1. Plug the Firestick power cable into the OTG adapter micro-USB port

Connecting an OTG Cable to Increase Firestick Storage

  1. Remove the power cable from your Firestick
  2. Plug the OTG cable into the micro-USB port on the Firestick
  1. Plug the USB storage into the OTG cable USB port
  1. Plug the Firestick power cable into the OTG cable micro-USB port

How to Add and Use the Increased Firestick Storage

Once the USB storage has been formatted correctly (if necessary) and attached to your Firestick, the next steps depend on the Fire OS version. 

Firesticks running Fire OS 5 can use additional USB storage as general storage. Carry on reading below for more information for Fire OS 5.

If your Firestick or Fire TV is running Fire OS 6, adding storage to use to install apps to requires manual input of a line of code. Select the link to find out how: Fire OS 6 Instructions.

Adding additional storage to install more apps to is a much simpler process on Firesticks and other Fire TV devices running Fire OS 7. The process is handled automatically by the system without having to enter any line of code. Select the link to find out how: Fire OS 7 Instructions.

Any Firestick or Fire TV device that is running Fire OS 5 is limited to using extra storage as general storage only. This means that it is only possible to attach your USB storage and use it with your Firestick to access files. The USB storage cannot be used to install additional apps to.

Adding general storage can be useful in a number of ways. Access files on a USB drive with your Firestick such as photos or videos. The best way to view files on your USB drive would be to install a media player such as VLC or MX Player.

It is not possible to update Fire OS 5 devices to Fire OS 6 or 7.

Fire OS 6 and Fire OS 7 devices can use attached USB storage as system or mixed storage. If you’d prefer to upgrade to a Fire OS 6 or Fire OS 7 device then choose either the Fire TV Stick 4K, Fire TV Cube 2nd Gen, Fire TV Stick Max, Fire TV Stick Lite or Fire TV Stick 3rd Gen. Then take a look at my guide to Add More Storage to Firestick (Fire OS 6) or Add More Storage to Firestick (Fire OS 7).

Wrapping Up

In this guide, you learnt how to choose and connect USB storage to your Firestick, Fire Cube or Fire TV. By using the links above, these will take you to the correct guides for adding the storage to Fire OS 6 and Fire OS 7 devices. If you need further help, or have any questions then select from one of the following options. 

2 Comments

  1. Tanya – pls forgive the intrusion. Following your video of some time ago I added external storage to my Firestick using your recommended OTC adapter and ScanDisk flash drive. All worked fine, and I was able to download and use several apps that were stored on the flash drive. Recently, my Firestick failed to recognize the flash drive, and the apps on it were not displayed amongst my installed apps. I assumed that the flash drive had somehow failed, and I removed the OTC adapter and flash drive from my Firestick.

    There was one particular app (Cinema HD) that I really like and tried to reinstall on my Firestick. However, it would not install as that app’s name was still contained somewhere in the Firestick, even though the app itself was not there. My question is how do I either delete that name or install the app on my Firestick’s internal storage. Your help will be greatly appreciated. A US Fan.

    • Hi, if you still have the original flash drive, you can try plugging it back in to check if the apps will now recognise it.
      If not, a factory reset will probably be the best option to fix any issues the unexpected removal of the USB caused.

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