Whether you just bought your Firestick, or you’ve had one for a while and are wondering if there’s a better way to optimize Firestick and get the most out of its performance, this is the article you’re looking for.
The Amazon Firestick is already a great product when it comes out of the box, but by changing a few Firestick settings and giving your device a quick once-over, you can protect your privacy, speed up Firestick performance, and make sure you’re getting the absolute most out of your Firestick streaming experience.
In this article, you will see some of the Firestick settings you should switch to step up your privacy and your general experience with your Firestick. The Firestick settings we highlight below will help you configure and adjust some of your most important features from location settings, to privacy protection, to better picture quality. So, if you recently bought a Firestick and are looking for guides about how to set up Firestick, here are the tips and tricks we recommend you start using today.
Table of Contents
- 1 Firestick Settings and Set Up Tips
- 2 Conclusion
Firestick Settings and Set Up Tips
There are a few things we recommend you do as soon as you get your Firestick out of the box. They’re things that a lot of folks skip, overlook, or simply don’t know about, but they can make a huge difference in your over Firestick experience. Not all of these are Firestick settings, per se, but they do a lot to improve how well your Firestick operates. Check them out.
Install Fire TV Remote App
First things first! It is pretty useful to control your Fire TV via mobile phone. You can find the official Fire TV application on Apple App Store, Google Play Store, and Amazon Appstore.
There are a lot of good reasons to do this, but one of the most compelling is how much time you’ll save by typing out search terms on your phone’s keyboard instead of the slow and frustrating hunt-and-peck method you have to employ when you’re using the official Firestick remote. This alone makes the Firestick remote app a game-changing live-saver.
That’s not all, though, of course. This becomes especially useful if you lose your Firestick remote or of your Firestick remote stops working. The quickest solution to a remote problem is to just switch over to your handy Firestick remote app and just keep on streaming!
Check for Firestick Software Updates
It is essential to keep your Firestick’s core software up-to-date. This ultimately has a huge effect on you your privacy, security and overall experience. It takes just a moment to do and it makes a huge difference. We recommend you check this regularly and update whenever new versions are available. To do this:
- Go to Firestick Settings
- Press My Fire TV
- Then, from the About tab, click Check for System Updates
It might take some time to check if there is an update available. If there is, then go ahead and upgrade when prompted.
There can also be Firestick remote updates. To check this:
- Go to Firestick Settings
- Click Controllers & Bluetooth Devices
- Press Amazon Fire TV Remotes
Same here. Check for new updates and upgrade as new software patches become available! This will keep your Firestick running smoothly and securely.
Here’s our first foray into Firestick settings. For a smooth experience with your Firestick, it is substantial to find the right Display Settings. Although default setting in the Display Settings are compatible with most streaming applications and generally work just fine, you might find that tweaking a bit gets you a better result:
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- Go to Settings
- Press Display & Sounds
- Go to Display
- You’ll see a list of options
Here’s What the Display Settings Options Do:
Video Resolution: We recommend you to choose Auto as it will allow your Firestick to automatically find the best resolution for your television. If you prefer a more manual approach, you can easily change it to different resolutions.
Match Original Frame Rate: Although Firestick is totally capable of running at a 60Hz or 50Hz frame rate, most videos are shot at 25Hz or lower. Having unmatched frame rates can cause little “hiccup” moments in your playback that interrupt or take away from your streaming experience. Enabling Match Original Frame Rate allows your Firestick to play at whatever rate is native to the video file you’re watching. Don’t forget that the Video Resolution option needs to be at Auto for this.
Color Depth: You can select 8, 10, or 12 bits. Make sure that your TV supports the option that you have chosen. You can always check your TV’s user manual (which is likely available online) to see what it’s capable of.
Color Format: In general, we think it’s best to set this one to Auto, and let your Firestick handle this for you.
Calibrate Display: If you notice that your video is either too big or too small for your screen (look for text bleeding off the edge of the screen, or a black rectangle around your video), then you may need to update your Display calibration to make sure you’re getting the full picture!
Dynamic Range Settings: You can choose between the Adaptive or Always HDR Firestick setting options.
Disable Data Monitoring
This is a big one. Be default, your Amazon Firestick settings are set to gather and record your data and send it to Amazon. This allows Amazon to collect private information about you (that they don’t pay you for) and uses up valuable bandwidth.
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To safeguard your privacy, we don’t recommend you avoid letting your information leak to any organization in the name of “developing the app” for future updates. Your personal information is yours and there’s no reason you should let private companies with no oversight monitor you for free. Luckily you can prevent this intrusion by changing your Firestick settings.
The Device Usage Data and Collect App Usage Data options on Firestick are set “ON” by default; you can (and should) turn them “OFF” by going to Settings. To do this:
- Find your Firestick settings in the menu bar at the top of the screen
- After that, go to Preferences and select the Privacy Settings tab
- Then, turn Device Usage Data and Collect App Usage Data to off
You’ll also find an entry here titled Interest-based Ads. We highly recommend that you turn this off as well. You’ve already paid for this device and there’s no reason they should be able to use it to sell you stuff that you don’t need.
If you go back to your Preferences tab, you’ll see a tab titled Data Monitoring. Select this as well and make sure that Data Monitoring is set to the Off position.
Important: We strongly recommended that you utilize an encrypted VPN when streaming in order to further protect your privacy. An encrypted VPN will hide your location, identity, and activities from corporations, hackers or government organizations. The VPN service will help to protect you from being tracked for streaming things that could potentially be illegal, as your streaming activity is sometimes monitored.
Choosing a VPN can be difficult. Many are overpriced, and too many of the free ones are tracking and harvesting your data. We’ve carved out an exclusive discount for our readers with our favorite VPN service.
Again, we really recommend you pick something as a measure to protect yourself from getting in trouble streaming with free movie apps for Firestick. If you need a little help, this guide will show you how to install a VPN on any device.
Silk Browser for YouTube and Casting
If you enjoy browsing YouTube, the Amazon Silk Browser is a great pick for you. We rated among our best browser for Firestick.
Silk Browser lets you access Youtube as well as allowing you to cast Youtube from your phone to TV, which is great when you’ve got the perfect video already queued up on your phone and don’t want to go through the annoying process of typing it all out again with your remote. Once you have installed the Silk Browser to your Fire TV, you will see a cast button available on YouTube on your phone.
Additionally, you can use the casting feature on Netflix, but that hardly seems worth it when you can just use the Netflix app on your Firestick.
Set Up Live TV
One of the recent features of Fire TV is Live TV. Live TV may seem like a relic of the past, especially on a streaming device, but it’s still the absolute best way to watch sports games and news. You can see the list of apps and services’ channels as well as live content. Pluto TV is a great example of what Live TV on Firestick has to offer.
For the configuration, you can follow the Firestick Settings > Live TV menu. Once a source is configured, you can see the On Now menu appear on the screen.
With the help of Alexa, you can use a huge number of apps via voice command. You can ask to launch music or video apps, look at the weather, check the calendar, look for pictures, search for movies and music without typing, and lots of other things.
You can install the Alexa app from Google Play Store and Amazon App Store. There’s no reason not to make this happen for yourself. It’s definitely a time saver.
Configure Your Screensaver
When you are not using your TV, Firestick will go to screensaver mode after a preset period of time. To change the screensaver to something that suits your personality, you can follow the steps below:
- Go to the Firestick Settings
- Press Display & Sound
- Click Screensaver
- Here you can choose a screensaver that you’re happy with
Set Up Parental Controls
If you have kids, you probably have rules or guidelines around what kind of content you want your children watching. To help you enforce these guidelines, Fire TV has a parental control option on board. To set this up, follow these steps:
- Go to your Firestick Settings
- Go to Preferences
- Press the Parental Controls menu
- You can choose between General, Family, Teen, Young Adults, and Mature options to prevent some apps or viewing options to launch.
This is also a great way to keep your Firestick porn apps from being seen by the wrong set of eyes.
Activate Volume Leveler and Dialogue Enhancer
Have you watched movies and TV shows where the dialogue was way too quiet, but then an action scene comes on and it feels like the sound is so loud it might shatter your windows?
The volume leveler Firestick settings prevent any giant booms in volume or excessively loud noises from ruining your viewing experience. You can find this option by going to the Firestick Settings > Display & Sounds > Audio > Advanced Audio menu.
The Dialogue Enhancer in your Firestick settings works to increase the low volume you so often find in dialogue scenes. This is a great way to even out your sound settings!
If you’ve made it through this list of Firestick settings, then you should be in a lot better shape to have an easy, fast, high-quality streaming experience on your Amazon Firestick. Let us know in the comments if there are important Firestick settings we missed!