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How to Use an Amazon Fire TV Stick Without the Remote

Your Amazon Fire TV Stick is a great way to watch movies and television shows through your internet connection, negating the need for a cable subscription altogether. With options for almost every video streaming service on the market (with a couple of notable exceptions), it’s an easy way to get all your video needs met. Of course, unlike Google’s Chromecast, browsing the interface is only possible if you have a way of controlling your television, so if you’ve lost your Fire TV remote or it’s been chewed on by your dog, 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-associated app, which allows you to control your Fire Stick without the physical remote. Available for both iOS [1] and Android [2], the Amazon Fire TV app gives you all the controls you get with a standard remote, plus 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 the smartphone (or tablet) and the Fire TV Stick. Connect your phone and Fire Stick to the same WiFi network, open the app, select the Fire Stick from the available devices screen and enter the code that appears on your TV into the app to confirm. 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 the virtual remote will help you out in a pinch, if you have the time and the money to order a replacement remote, it can really help improve your usage of the Amazon Fire Stick. 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 worth with your Fire Stick. In fact, there are two distinct versions of the Fire remote you can grab online: the first-generation model [6] that includes Alexa built-in, and the second-gen model [7] that adds power and volume controls right to the remote. Make sure you check the compatibility with your Fire Stick by looking at the description before buying one.

When your replacement remote arrives, you will need to pair it with your Fire TV in order for them to work together properly. Here’s how to do it.

  1. Unplug the power supply to your Fire TV Stick for 20-30 seconds.
  2. Connect the Fire TV Stick again, turn on the TV and wait for it to boot.
  3. 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 around 50-60 seconds until the remote and Fire TV Stick pairs. Once done you should see the message and be able to use the remote as usual.

Use a CEC-compliant remote

If your television set (or your universal remote) was made after 2002, it may be CEC-compliant. CEC compliant remotes can control hardware from any manufacturer who complies with the CEC standard (a part of the HDMI standard governing device interoperability). The controls will be basic but may be enough to keep you watching. You may need to enable the CEC setting in your TV, though most newer televisions have it enabled by default.  The option will be found under the TV’s Settings menu.

Unfortunately, most TV manufacturers don’t call it CEC, instead “branding” it with their own made-up ID. Here is a list of some of the most common TV brands and the name they’ve given the CEC feature:

Enable CEC (by whatever name) on the TV, hook up your Fire TV Stick normally, and you should be able to both set up your Fire TV Stick and control it with the TV remote. You won’t have access to the voice control features of your device, but you’ll be able to get by with the navigational controls on the TV remote.

Echo Dot

Use an Echo or Echo Dot

If you use an Echo and Alexa as well as an Amazon Fire Stick and they are on the same network, you can use Alexa voice control to manage your Fire TV. It’s a feature introduced last summer to enable users to integrate their devices into the growing Amazon ecosystem. As long as your Echo and Fire Stick have been paired, you’re golden.

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Have any other suggestions for clever or unique ways to control your Amazon Fire TV Stick without the remote control? Please share them with us, and check out some of our other Fire Stick tips below!