How to Add More Storage for Fire TV Streaming Devices?

The USB Drive on the Fire TV Cube with the external space

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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

One common frustration for Fire TV Stick or Cube users is receiving a ‘Critical low on storage’ message. 

Low on storage notification on Fire TV Stick

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. 

The notification of the Fire Stick 4K when a USB is connected

This limitation is likely due to the operating system version. 

The Fire TV Stick 4K currently runs on OS version 6.7.0.0, 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. 

A USB flash drive is plugged into the Fire TV Cube

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.

The notification about viewing pictures from the USB drive on the Fire TV Stick

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. 

Here’s how 

Step 3: Go to Settings → My Fire TV → USB Drive → Format to Internal Storage

The My Fire TV option from the Settings on Fire Stick

The USB Drive option available on the Fire TV Cube

The format to Internal storage feature on The Fire TV Cube

The notification about formatting USB drive on Fire Stick

The formatting complete notification on Fire TV Cube

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.

The ExpressVPN with the permissions option on Fire TV Cube

The Crossy Road app with the selection move to USB storage on Fire Cube

Fire TV Stick 4K Max

Before diving into the step-by-step instructions, ensure you have the following items ready:

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.

The Fire TV Stick is getting powered from the OTG adapter cable

The Fire TV Stick is plugged to the OTG adapter cable

Step 2: Insert the USB drive into the USB port on the OTG cable.

A USB is plugged into the OTG adapter cable

Step 3: Power the OTG adapter cable by using another micro USB cable.

The micro USB cable with the port from the OTG cable adapter

The complete setup of the Fire Stick with the OTG 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

The My Fire TV option from the Settings on Fire Stick

The USB Drive option available on the Fire TV Cube

The format to Internal storage feature on The Fire TV Cube

The notification about formatting USB drive on Fire Stick

Alternative Solutions for Fire TV ‘Critically Low on Storage’

Remove Unused Apps

The YouTube app is getting removed on the Fire TV Stick

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.

The app about managing the downloaded files on Fire Stick

Step 2: Open the Total Commander app → select Downloaded Files → select the option on the screen.

The downloaded files folder from the TotalCommander app on Fire Stick

The main menu with the data storage space number on the TotalCommander app

The downloader folder on the TotalCommander on Fire TV Stick

From here you will see a list of APK files you have downloaded, select the recycle bin to erase the APK files.

The remove file icon from the TotalCommander app on Fire TV

The Kodi APK installer getting removed on TotalCommander app

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 Clear data option for the Amazon kids app on Fire TV

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.

The Applications option from the Fire TV Stick

The Appstore from the Applications option on Fire Stick

Step 2: Use your remote to toggle this feature off.

The automatic updates is set to off on Fire TV Cube

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.

🔴NEW FIRESTICK DEBLOAT TOOLBOX 2022

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 Space
Fire TV Stick  8GB
Fire TV Stick Elite 8GB
Fire TV Stick 4K 8GB
Fire TV Stick 4K Max 8GB
Fire TV Cube 16GB

 

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How was content created? This piece is created collaboratively, with tech editors generating ideas, conducting testing, and proofreading meticulously, while AI assists in fine-tuning.

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