Got a new Amazon Fire TV stick? Here's how to set it up for the first time

Your new Amazon streaming device gets you access to a world of streaming video. Here's how to hook it up and configure it.

Clifford Colby Managing Editor
Clifford is a managing editor at CNET, where he leads How-To coverage. He spent a handful of years at Peachpit Press, editing books on everything from the first iPhone to Python. He also worked at a handful of now-dead computer magazines, including MacWEEK and MacUser. Unrelated, he roots for the Oakland A's.
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There's a lot of power in this tiny streaming stick.

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If you're one of the bazillion people who just got an  Amazon  Fire TV Stick media device, you may have some questions about how to set up and start using Amazon's tiny streaming stick. With the Fire TV Stick attached to your smart TV, you can access streaming video from Netflix, Hulu and YouTube TV

Amazon's device especially shines when paired with its companion Prime Video streaming service, letting you watch original hit shows like The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Tom Claney's Jack Ryan and original movies like The Report without needing another streaming device or service.

As part of the setup, you connect the Fire TV Stick to your TV, configure the remote and link your streaming services. Here's how to get started setting up your device.

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Hook the Amazon Fire TV Stick to the TV

Ready? Here's how to connect your Fire TV Stick to your smart TV.

1. Plug the Fire TV Stick's power adapter into an electric outlet, and connect one end of the USB cable to the power adapter.

2. Plug the other end of the USB cable into your Fire TV Stick, and then plug the Fire TV device into your TV's HDMI port.

3. If you have the 4K version of the Fire TV Stick, make sure you are using your TV's HDMI HDCP 2.2 port. The port should be marked 4K or HDCP 2.2. You might need to shine a light on the port labels to find it.

If space is tight around your TV's ports, use the included HDMI extender cable to give yourself some room to work with.


Having a hard time plugging everything in? Try using the included extender cable.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Set up the Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice remote

Now, let's pair the Fire TV remote that came in the box with the Fire TV device and get everything set up.

1. Grab the remote, and install the included AAA batteries that come in the Fire TV Stick box. 

2. Turn on your TV and select the appropriate HDMI input as the source.

The remote should automatically pair with the Fire TV device. If the remote doesn't pair, try removing and reinstalling the batteries. If that doesn't work, press and hold the Home button until the LED starts to rapidly flash an amber color.

3. Press the play/pause button on the Fire TV remote, and follow the on-screen prompts.

4. Choose your language, select your Wi-Fi network, enter your network password using the onscreen keyboard and select Connect.

If you are having trouble with the Wi-Fi signal, try using the included HDMI extender to improve the wireless connection.

5. Next, either sign in to your Amazon account or create one on screen using the remote.

6. On the next screen, enable parental controls for your Fire TV stick if want. This will let you control what content your kids can purchase.

7. Finally, follow the prompts to complete the setup, including setting up your audio and selecting the streaming services you subscribe to.

8. Use the controls on your Fire TV remote to navigate around, or press and hold the Voice button at the top of the remote to have the Alexa voice assistant do it for you. For example, say, "Alexa, open Netflix."

For more, see our guide on all the Alexa commands you can give and how to step up your Amazon Echo game.

Originally published earlier this week.