Your Fire Stick seems to carry countless streaming and gaming apps, along with several recording files. However, you’ve been noticing that it’s been lagging a lot lately.
Thinking it’s lagging from a slow internet connection, you rebooted your router. However, your Fire Stick is still incredibly slow.
You know that your computer lags when its storage is full, so could the same thing happen to your Fire Stick?
How much internal storage do Fire Sticks actually have? How can you add internal storage to your Fire Stick?
Keep reading to find out!
How Much Internal Storage Do Fire Sticks Have?
Most Fire Stick models have 8GB of internal storage.
However, not all 8GB of this internal storage is usable. Your Fire Stick stores its operating system, software updates, and cached data in its internal storage, which consumes a considerable amount of space.
So, in actuality, there is only 4.5GB of space for you to use and store stuff on your Fire Stick.
Refer to the table below to see how much internal storage and free storage different Fire Stick models have.
|Model||Internal Storage||Free Storage|
|Fire TV Stick Lite||8 GB||~4.5 GB|
|Fire TV Stick||8 GB||~4.5 GB|
|Fire TV Stick 4K||8 GB||~4.5 GB|
|Fire TV Stick 4k Max||8 GB||~4.5 GB|
|Fire TV Cube||16 GB||~12.5 GB|
How to Add Internal Storage to Your Fire Stick?
There are a few ways you can add internal storage to your Fire Stick.
If 4.5GB isn’t enough storage for you to store all of your apps and recordings, there are several ways you can extend your Fire Stick’s storage.
While some of these options will involve clearing up your device’s existing storage, others recommend using external hard drives to extend it.
1. Uninstall Unused Apps and Clear Cache
If you don’t want to purchase any additional gadgets to extend your Fire Stick’s storage, the best option is to remove any apps or data that may be consuming space.
This is, by far, the cheapest and easiest option since it’s completely free and will only take a few minutes.
Do you have any applications on your Fire Stick that you barely use? If so, uninstall them to clear up some space.
Don’t worry. You can always re-install them again later.
Step 1: Go to the Settings on your Fire Stick’s Home page.
Step 2: Click on Applications.
Step 3: Navigate to Manage Installed Applications.
Step 4: Search for and select the unused application you want to uninstall.
Step 5: Click on Uninstall from the list of options.
Your Fire Stick’s apps all have temporary data called cache which consumes storage. You can clear this data to free up some storage.
However, you will have to clear it regularly as the app will accumulate more temporary data as you continue to use it.
Step 1: Navigate to the Settings.
Step 2: Head to Applications.
Step 3: Go to Manage Installed Applications.
Step 4: Find the application whose cache you want to clear by searching for and selecting it.
Step 5: Click on Clear Cache or Clear Data to delete the app’s temporary data.
Step 6: Repeat this process every week or so to ensure the applications’ temporary data isn’t consuming a large amount of your Fire Stick’s internal storage.
2. Add Internal Storage via an External Drive
Another way to extend your Fire Stick’s storage is by connecting it to an external hard drive.
This will allow you to store apps, recordings, etc., on a separate device.
While this process can be a little complex for some, it’s a game changer for any who need extensive storage on their Fire Stick.
Let’s learn how to add an external hard drive to your Fire Stick!
Setup and Preparation
1. Find and prepare a compatible external hard drive. Amazon recommends using a hard drive with between 128GB to 2TB of storage, such as the hard drives listed below.
Last update on 2023-03-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API.
2. Once you’ve prepared the hard drive, you must format it to FAT32 on your PC or laptop.
a/ On Windows
- Connect the compatible storage device to your computer via its USB cable.
- Go to My Computer.
- Find and right-click on the storage device’s name. Then, click on Format from the drop-down list.
- Go to File System and select the FAT32 format.
- Click Start to format the external hard drive.
b/ On Mac
- Connect the storage device to your Mac’s USB port.
- Navigate to Disk Utility.
- Go to Format and select the FAT32 format option.
- Click on Erase to format the hard drive.
3. To connect the external hard drive to your Fire Stick while it’s being powered by its Micro USB cable, you will need a Micro-USB adapter. This will allow you to plug a USB-A and Micro USB cable into your Fire Stick’s Micro USB port.
- Specially designed for adding any USB peripherals to your host devices.
- PLEASE NOTE: It can NOT charge any Phone or Tablet at the same time, so it will ONLY support OTG if...
- Expansion Capability - Add on any USB peripherals such as keyboards, flash drives, external hard...
Last update on 2023-03-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API.
- Plug your external hard drive’s USB-A into the adapter’s USB-A port.
- Connect the adapter’s Micro USB cable to the Fire Stick’s Micro USB port.
- Then, plug a Micro USB power cable into the adapter’s Micro USB port. Next, connect the Micro USB cable to power, be it a TV USB port or a USB power adapter.
- Now, plug the Fire Stick’s HDMI cable/connector into your TV’s HDMI IN port.
Watch the video below demonstrating how to connect an external hard drive to your Fire Stick.
How to Know Current Fire Stick OS
The process of formatting your external hard drive on your Fire Stick will vary depending on which OS is installed on your Fire Stick. So, to ensure you’re following the right steps, it’s best to check your current Fire Stick OS version.
Luckily, you can find this information in your Fire Stick’s settings and it only takes a minute or two.
Let’s learn how!
Step 1: Go to the Settings.
Step 2: Navigate to Device.
Step 3: Click on Fire TV.
Step 4: Head to Software Version to see your Fire Stick’s OS.
How to Update Firestick OS
If your Fire Stick currently has OS version 4 or below, you will need to update it to connect it to the external hard drive.
Please note that you will be unable to update your Fire Stick’s OS 5 or OS 6 to OS 7. Instead, you will have to ensure your Fire Stick is updated to, at least, OS 5 or OS 6 before following the steps to format the external storage on it.
These updates will install minor updates, such as bug fixes, as well as security and compatibility updates.
Step 1: Click on the Settings tab.
Step 2: Head to My Fire TV.
Step 3: Go to About.
Step 4: Select Check for System Update.
Step 5: If there are any pending updates, there will be an option to install updates. Otherwise, a message will inform you that your Fire Stick is up to date.
How to Format External Storage on Fire OS 7
While you will have to download third-party apps to make OS 5 and OS 6 support internal storage expansion, Fire OS 7 supports this feature natively.
So, you can format the internal storage expansion directly from your Fire Stick’s settings.
Step 1: Navigate to the Settings.
Step 2: Head to My Fire TV.
Step 3: Click on USB Drive.
Step 4: Select Format to Internal Storage.
Step 5: Once the external storage is formatted, you will be able to move your Fire Stick’s apps and files to your USB drive.
How to Format External Storage on Fire OS 5 and OS 6
Since Fire OS 5 and OS 6 do not natively support internal storage expansion, formatting your external storage to your Fire Stick is a much more complicated process.
However, one upside of formatting external storage on these Fire Oses is that you will have the option to divide your USB device into different partitions, allowing you to use half as internal storage and the other half as external storage.
This will allow you to customize your Fire Stick’s storage and is the best option for large storage capacity devices.
For instance, you can save apps on the internal storage and access files through the external storage. You can then download files (e.g. films, TV shows, family albums) from your laptop and display them on a media player, such as VLC, on your Fire Stick.
As mentioned previously, this process is quite complex as it involves using Android Debug Bridge (ADB).
For a written guide on how to format external storage on Fire OS 5 and OS 6, check out How to Add Storage to Fire Stick OS 7/6/5, which features a comprehensive guide to expanding Fire Sticks’ storage.
If you’re a visual learner, watch the video below outlining this process from start to finish using a Fire Stick 4K as an example.
Move Apps from Onboard Internal Storage to the New Internal Storage
Now that you’ve formatted your external storage to your Fire Stick, it’s time to move apps from the internal storage to the external one.
Let’s go over this process for Fire OS 7, OS 5, and OS 6.
Fire OS 7
Step 1: Head to the Settings.
Step 2: Go to My Fire TV.
Step 3: Navigate to USB Drive.
Step 4: Select Manage Installed Applications.
Step 5: Click on Show.
Step 6: Select All Applications.
Step 7: Click the application you want to move to the internal storage, followed by Move to USB Storage.
Fire OS 5 and OS 6
Unfortunately, this process is more technical for Fire OS 5 and OS 6 as you will need to manually insert a partition ID and command.
While this process can be done by tech amateurs, it will take some time.
We suggest referring to How to Add Storage to Fire Stick OS 7/6/5 for a complete guide on how to do this process on Fire OS 5 and OS 6.
Alternatively, you can watch the video below which explains in great detail how to complete this process in record time.
Wrapping Things Up
Most Fire Sticks have 8GB of storage, with only 4.5GB of said storage being available for use.
While casual Fire Stick users may be perfectly content with the device’s storage space, others may need some extra storage space for their numerous apps and files.
If deleting unused apps, cache, and data doesn’t clear up enough space, consider connecting your Fire Stick to an external storage device.
You will have to format the storage device to FAT32 before connecting it to your Fire Stick with a Micro USB adapter.
The following steps vary depending on which OS your Fire Stick has. While Fire OS 7 supports this process natively, OS 5 and OS 6 do not.
If your Fire Stick has OS 5 or OS 6, kindly consult the linked article and video for additional guidance and expect a somewhat lengthy process. However, with some persistence and patience, you too can connect an external storage device to your Fire Stick.
What’s your experience expanding your Fire Stick’s storage?
Let us know in the comments below!
Yesenia Achlim is a technical copywriter and editor with a focus on AV equipment. She aims to break down complicated topics and make technology accessible, no matter your technical expertise. When she’s not teaching you how to replace a projector lamp, you can find her reading and baking.