What To Know
- The Fire TV Stick 4K does not support external storage expansion due to limitations in its operating system.
- For the Fire TV Cube, simply plug a FAT32 formatted USB flash drive directly into the Cube’s USB port.
- To expand the storage of the Fire TV Stick 4K Max, use an OTG adapter cable along with a FAT32 formatted USB flash drive.
In this article, I will guide you through the process of expanding the storage on your Fire TV streaming devices and show you how to move apps to external storage.
To make it easy to follow, I’ve included images from my own tests and demonstrations.
Let’s get started.
- How to Expand Storage for Fire TV
- Alternative Solutions for Fire TV ‘Critically Low on Storage’
- Internal Storage Space of Fire TV Devices
How to Expand Storage for Fire TV
One common frustration for Fire TV Stick or Cube users is receiving a ‘Critical low on storage’ message.
The low storage issue can be particularly annoying, even after you’ve cleared the cache, deleted data, or removed apps, and yet the device continues to prompt you to delete more.
By adding more storage to your Fire Stick, you can effectively eliminate this problem.
Below, I have provided a demonstration of how to expand the storage for the Fire TV Stick 4K and Fire Cube.
In case you prefer not to add more storage, I’ve also included solutions to address the storage issue without expansion.
Feel free to skip ahead to the troubleshooting section if you’re interested in those alternatives.
Read on to see how it’s done.
Fire TV Stick 4K
The Fire TV Stick 4K can’t extend the external storage.
As reported by many users on Reddit including me I have also tested with my Fire Stick 4K.
While the device recognizes a connected USB, the option to format it for additional storage is unavailable.
This limitation is likely due to the operating system version.
The Fire TV Stick 4K currently runs on OS version 22.214.171.124, which is its latest update, and it doesn’t support upgrading to newer versions that are unavailable for this model.
In contrast, the 4K Max and Cube versions, running on OS version 7.0 or higher, do support USB external storage.
Below I have tested on the Fire TV Cube which will run smoothly with the USB external storage
Fire TV Cube
Expanding the external storage for the Fire TV Cube is straightforward and doesn’t require any extra cables, unlike the Fire Stick setup I previously demonstrated.
All you need is a USB flash drive. The Fire Cube has a USB port, allowing you to easily connect the flash drive without issues.
However, to effectively use the USB port for app storage on the Fire Cube, some settings adjustments are necessary.
Let’s go through the steps:
Step 1: Ensure your USB is formatted as FAT32
Step 2: Plug the USB into the Fire TV Cube via the USB port. An announcement will pop up on the Fire TV.
After plugging the USB flash drive into the Fire Cube, you can’t use it as storage immediately.
Then, you will need to format the USB drive to function as internal storage for the Fire TV.
Step 3: Go to Settings → My Fire TV → USB Drive → Format to Internal Storage
Once the formatting process is complete, you can start moving or storing apps from the Fire Cube to the USB storage.
However, it’s important to note that not all apps allow storage on external USB drives.
For instance, the ExpressVPN app doesn’t offer an option to move to USB storage, whereas a game like Crossy Road does provide this option.
Fire TV Stick 4K Max
Before diving into the step-by-step instructions, ensure you have the following items ready:
- OTG adapter cable
- A USB flash drive formatted FAT32
Now, let’s look at how to set up the connection:
Step 1: Connect the Fire Stick to the Micro USB cable from the OTG adapter.
Step 2: Insert the USB drive into the USB port on the OTG cable.
Step 3: Power the OTG adapter cable by using another micro USB cable.
Step 4: Plug the Fire Stick into your TV’s HDMI port.
Step 5: To use the USB flash drive for app storage, it needs to be formatted as internal storage on the Fire TV.
Go to Settings → My Fire TV → USB Drive → Format to Internal Storage
Alternative Solutions for Fire TV ‘Critically Low on Storage’
Remove Unused Apps
The easiest way to free up some space on your Fire TV is to uninstall apps you’re no longer using.
You might be surprised by how much space these unused apps can occupy. Simply browse through your applications and identify any that you don’t use anymore.
Removing these can significantly increase your device’s available space.
Deleting the APK Files
One of the most common Fire Stick users do is download unofficial or third-party apps such as Kodi.
However, when you download the installation file (APK), once you have installed the apps you should remove the installation file since you don’t need it anymore.
Here is how to do so:
Step 1: Download the Total Commander app from the Amazon App Store.
Step 2: Open the Total Commander app → select Downloaded Files → select the option on the screen.
From here you will see a list of APK files you have downloaded, select the recycle bin to erase the APK files.
Remove the Thumbnail Folder on the Kodi App
This solution is specifically for users who have been using the Kodi app.
Kodi stores numerous images, movies, and songs in its thumbnail folder, which can take up considerable space.
To free up some space on your Fire Stick, follow my instructions below on how to remove the thumbnail folder.
Clear Cache, Data & Apps
The apps on your Fire TV function just like those on your smartphone.
They accumulate cache data to remember your login details and the websites you’ve visited.
However, this cache can become excessive and occupy significant space on your Fire devices.
Regularly clearing this cache data is an effective way to free up space.
Turn Off Automatic Updates Apps
Each Fire TV device comes with an ‘Automatic App Updates‘ feature, which is typically enabled by default.
This means that whenever an app developer releases a new update in the Fire TV App Store, your device automatically downloads and installs it.
While convenient, this can inadvertently use up storage space, especially for apps you don’t actively use.
One limitation, however, is that Fire TV’s native apps provided by Amazon cannot be removed, even if you don’t use them.
To conserve space, consider turning off the automatic updates feature.
This prevents your device from downloading updates for apps you’re not interested in. Here’s how to disable it:
Step 1: Navigate to your Fire TV’s home screen, go to Settings → Applications → Select AppStore → At the top, you’ll find the ‘Automatic Updates‘ option.
Step 2: Use your remote to toggle this feature off.
By disabling automatic updates, you maintain more control over your Fire TV’s storage space.
Disable Amazon Apps Keep Updating
We all know that with Fire Stick and other Fire devices, you can’t uninstall the default Amazon-provided apps.
This can be frustrating, especially since these apps update automatically, consuming valuable storage space – often for apps you don’t frequently use.
However, there’s a workaround to prevent these apps from updating automatically. You’ll need to use an application called Debloat Toolbox, available for purchase from TechDoctorUK.
For detailed instructions on how to use this tool, you can refer to TechDoctorUK’s YouTube channel.
Internal Storage Space of Fire TV Devices
Different Fire TV devices come with varying amounts of internal storage space.
Below is a table that provides this information in an easy-to-understand format.
|Fire TV Devices
|Fire TV Stick
|Fire TV Stick Elite
|Fire TV Stick 4K
|Fire TV Stick 4K Max
|Fire TV Cube