How to Use an Amazon Fire TV Stick Without the Remote [November 2020]
As a consumer, you have more ways than ever before to choose how you watch TV. That’s what makes Amazon’s Fire Stick so surprising—despite mounting competition from Google, Apple, and Roku, their Fire TV lineup continues to be the best way to stream movies, music, television, and so much more.
With apps for nearly ever video streaming service on the market, it’s an easy way to get all of your video needs met. Of course, without a remote, browsing through the newest releases on Netflix might seem impossible. If you’ve lost or broken your Fire TV remote, you might feel like all hope is lost.
Thankfully there are plenty of ways to get around a lost remote, whether you need something immediately or you have the time to order a replacement. Let’s take a look at four different ways to use your Fire Stick without a remote.
Use the Fire TV Remote App
The easiest way to get around a lost or broken remote is to turn to Amazon’s Fire TV app, available for both iOS and Android. This app gives you all the controls you get with a standard physical remote and also allows you to use your phone’s keyboard and microphone to type or voice search for movies and TV shows.
For the app to work, you have to pair your smartphone (or tablet) and your Fire TV Stick. Thankfully, it’s super easy.
- Connect your phone and Fire Stick to the same WiFi network.
- Open the app on your smartphone and select the Fire Stick from the Available Devices screen.
- Enter the code that appears on your TV into the app to pair your devices.
With your remote set up, you can virtually control your Fire Stick right from your phone. It’s quick, simple, and the best way to replace a missing remote.
Buy a Replacement Remote
While Amazon’s virtual remote will help you out in a pinch, there’s no true replacement for a physical remote. If you have the time and the money to order a replacement remote, there’s good news. Amazon sells remotes directly from their own warehouse, which means you won’t have to worry about getting a knockoff device or something that doesn’t actually work with your Fire Stick.
In fact, there are two distinct versions of the Fire remote you can grab online: the first-generation model that includes built-in Alexa, and the second-gen model that adds power and volume controls right to the remote. Make sure you check the compatibility with your Fire Stick by looking at the product description before adding it to your cart.
When your replacement remote arrives in the mail, you’ll need to pair it with your Fire TV. Here’s how it’s done.
- Unplug the power supply to your Fire Stick for 20-30 seconds.
- Reconnect your Fire Stick, then turn on your TV and wait for it to boot.
- Press the Select and Home button on the new remote and hold them down until you see a message on screen that the remote is connected.
You need to hold both buttons at once and hold them for up to 60 seconds before the remote and Fire TV Stick pairs. However, once you’re paired, an on-screen message will confirm your devices are synced, and your new remote will work just like the original device included in the box.
Use a CEC-compliant remote
If your television (or your universal remote) was made after 2002, you may be able to take advantage of CEC-based universal remotes. CEC-compliant remotes can control hardware from any manufacturer who complies with the CEC standard (a part of the HDMI standard governing device interoperability). While using your TV’s remote as a way to control your Fire Stick may not offer the same experience as using your actual Fire remote, it’s typically good enough to get by for basic navigation.
For most modern TVs, CEC support should be enabled out of the box. However, some TV manufacturers may not list HDMI-CEC by its actual name, so you’ll need to be familiar with the branding your television manufacturer may use. Here’s a list of some of the most common TV brands, along with the name they’ve given HDMI-CEC.
- AOC: E-link
- Hitachi: HDMI-CEC
- LG: SimpLink or SIMPLINK
- Mitsubishi: NetCommand for HDMI
- Onkyo: RIHD
- Panasonic: HDAVI Control, EZ-Sync, or VIERA Link
- Philips: EasyLink
- Pioneer: Kuro Link
- Runco International: RuncoLink
- Samsung: Anynet+
- Sharp: Aquos Link
- Sony: BRAVIA Sync
- Toshiba: CE-Link or Regza Link
- Vizio: CEC
Having trouble finding your TV’s CEC setting? Try searching the web for your TV’s make and model number, followed by “CEC.”
Once you’ve ensured that CEC is both included and enabled on your television, plug your Fire Stick into the CEC-equipped HDMI port, and you should be able to both set up and control your Fire Stick using your television’s remote. While you won’t have access to Alexa on your device, the D-pad and navigation keys on your remote should work out of the box.
Use an Echo or Echo Dot
Finally, if you have an Echo device somewhere in your house that is linked to your Amazon account, you can use Alexa to control and manage your Fire Stick with just your voice. Here’s how to set it up.
- Head to the Alexa app on your phone, then select the More tab along the bottom of your display, followed by Settings.
- Under Alexa Preferences, select TV & Video.
- Tap Fire TV from the list of options.
- Tap Link Your Alexa Device, then follow the final setup instructions to link your gadgets together.
You can also link individual service providers in this menu, including Prime Video, Hulu, NBC, and more. These skills allow you to use commands for specific services rather than your Fire TV in general, and they’re all worth setting up for the services you pay for each month.