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Amazon Fire tablets are incredibly popular, mainly because they are incredibly cheap. However, none of them have access to the Google Play Store, which is how most Android devices download and install apps. Instead, Fire tablets ship with the Amazon Appstore, which has a much smaller library and lacks apps and services created by Google. YouTube, Chrome and so on.
The good news is that it’s not incredibly difficult to install the Play Store on a Fire tablet, and the whole process can only take 10 minutes. This comprehensive guide for installing Play Store tablets on Fire contains detailed instructions for all models produced since 2014, with additional troubleshooting steps if you have problems.
- Remove the microSD card from your tablet if you have one installed. Otherwise, the Play Store and the necessary items can be installed automatically on the microSD card, which can cause problems. You can return the card as soon as you are finished.
- There is no way to manage a Fire tablet through Google Family Link, even after installing the Play Store.
- Apps installed on the Play Store may not work with Amazon FreeTime application management. I haven’t tested it personally, but that’s what many people have reported in the comments section.
- Some apps hide from the Play Store on Fire tablets, because Fire tablets are not certified by SafetyNet by Google (more info on here) Netflix is an application that does this. For these apps, you can try to find them on the Amazon Appstore or download them on APKMirror.
Enable installation from unknown sources
The first step in this process is to allow applications to be installed outside the Amazon Appstore. This allows you to open and install apps from downloaded APK files, and that’s how we’ll get the Play Store up and running.
First, go to the “Home” main page on the home screen and open the Settings app. If you’ve just purchased your tablet, you’re probably near the bottom of the list. Then, tap on the “Security and privacy” category (older models may only say “Security”), find the option “Applications from unknown sources” and activate it.
This process is slightly different on the latest Fire tablets. If you tap “Applications from unknown sources”, a list of applications is displayed, locate the Documents application in the list and slide the switch to ON to “Allow from this source”.
You are now ready to download and install the APKs needed to run the Google Play Store.
Install the Play Store
The next step is to download the appropriate APK files to the Play Store. You technically need to install four different applications – Google Account Manager, Google Services Framework, Google Play Services and, finally, the Google Play Store. The first three applications deal with basic account services and add APIs, while the last application is the store itself.
Since different Fire tablets run different versions of Android with varying hardware, the exact APKs you need to install depend on the Fire tablet you have. If you are unsure which model you have, open the Settings app again, tap on ‘Device options and system’ (also called ‘Device options’) and see what is listed under’ Device model.
For the Google Account Manager and Google Service Structure apps, find the appropriate links for your device in the table below and tap the main ‘Download APK’ button on the linked page. Do not open the downloaded files yet, we will do that later.
For these last two apps, click on your device’s link and select the version closest to the top of the list that has no “beta” in its name. Again, don’t open the files yet, just download them.
Now it’s time to install the applications. Find the Documents app on your tablet (also called ‘Documents’) and open it. Then find your device’s Downloads folder. For example, in Fire HD 8, downloaded files can be found by tapping ‘Download’ on the side menu or selecting the ‘Local storage’ tab and tapping the Download folder.
How to find downloaded APKs on Fire HD 8
You should see all four APK files if – otherwise, go back and see which one you missed (or download all of them for good measure). Open the applications in the order belowand when the installation is complete, press ‘Done’ and not ‘Open’. Installing apps out of order will cause the Play Store to stop working. In addition, if you have an SD card, remove it during these installations.
- com.google.gsf.log in
After installing the four apps, press and hold the power button and tap ‘Restart’ to restart your tablet. Older tablets may only have the option to shut down. In that case, let the tablet turn off and press and hold the power button to turn it on again.
Restart (or turn off and on again) after completing the Play Store installation.
After starting your Fire tablet, open the new Play Store app on the home screen. From there, the Play Store should ask you to sign in with your Google account and, finally, allow you to download and install apps.
Fixes for common issues
If the Play Store or other Google apps are not working properly, here are some fixes for common problems.
“This account already exists on your device”
If you receive the error “This account already exists on your device” when signing in to Chrome or another Google app, or if the app doesn’t detect your Google account, follow these steps:
- Completely close the application you are having problems with (for example, slide it out on the Recent / Multitasking screen).
- Open the Settings app, tap Apps & permissions and select ‘Manage all apps’. These options may have different names, depending on your version of Fire OS.
- Find the problem app in the list, tap it and select ‘Permissions’.
- Toggle all available permissions to ‘Enabled’. Enabling the Contacts permission alone did the trick in my tests, but you can also enable everything for good measure.
- Open the application again.
In the case of Chrome, you also need to open the browser, tap the Settings menu and tap the blue ‘Continue as …’ button at the top of the screen.
If you are having a problem other than the ones listed above, here are some generic troubleshooting tips.
Restart your tablet
This may be obvious, but it is a good step to take. Press and hold the power button, touch the ‘Power off’ option and turn the tablet on again by holding the power button again. Once launched, open the Play Store on the home screen and see if it works.
Clear application data
When I first wrote this guide, I was unable to enter the Play Store until I cleared the local data of the app. This will essentially reset the Play Store app to its original state and should fix most problems you may encounter.
Open the Settings app, select the “Apps and notifications” section (or whatever else has “Apps” or “Apps” in the name) and tap “Manage all apps”. Find the Play Store in the list of apps and touch it.
You need to perform two steps on this information screen. First, press the ‘Force Stop’ button to stop the Play Store from running. Then press the ‘Storage’ menu option and tap ‘Clear data’. Now return to the Play Store app and see if it works.
If that didn’t help, follow the steps above again, but restart your tablet before trying to open the Play Store. If that also doesn’t work, try stopping hard and clearing data from Google Play Services as well as the Play Store.
Reset your tablet
If you still can’t get the Play Store to work, your best option is probably to reset your tablet to the factory and try again. Make sure not to restore from a backup when you are setting up your tablet again, unless the backup was done before you tried to install the Play Store.
Things to do afterwards
Congratulations, your Fire tablet now has the Google Play Store! Pat yourself on the back. Now that the hard part is over, here are some things you should do or keep in mind.
Install Google apps
Now that you have the Play Store, you can download all the Google apps that you couldn’t download before! Here are some suggestions – if you’re reading this on the Fire tablet, the links will take you directly to the app’s Play Store page.
Set Chrome as your default browser
If you use Chrome as your primary browser, you may want to install it on your Fire tablet and set it as the default browser. First, download it from the Play Store on your Fire tablet, searching for “Chrome” in the store or tapping the link below.
Once this is done, open the Settings application and navigate to ‘Applications and notifications’> ‘Standard applications’> ‘Browser application’. Finally, select Chrome from the list. All links should now open in Chrome by default, and Chrome custom tabs should work.
Install Google Play on other device profiles
Since the Play Store is not a system-level application on Fire tablets, the installation process applies only to the profile of the device you are using. If you want to add the Play Store for other users on the same device, the steps are slightly different, because Amazon’s Fire OS will not allow you to have different versions of Play Services and Play Store installed on each profile – thanks to Florian Wolters on stack overflow for pointing this out.
The easiest way to get the Play Store in another user profile is to extract the APKs already installed in the first profile and install them in the second profile. We just need to get the files from Play Services and Play Store.
In the profile of the user who already has the Play Store:
- Install ML Manager on the Play Store and open it.
- In the list of applications, find Google Play Services and tap the “Extract” button.
- Find the Google Play Store in the list and tap the “Extract” button.
Both APKs have now been saved to the ‘ML Manager’ folder on the tablet’s internal storage. Since user profiles cannot access files from other profiles, you must copy the two APKs elsewhere, log in to the second profile and copy them to the files in the second profile. The easiest way to do this is using Firefox Send.
- Open Firefox Send (send.firefox.com) in your tablet’s browser (Silk, Chrome, whatever).
- Tap the ‘Select files’ button, tap the menu button on the right and select ‘Show internal storage’.
- While still in the file browser, open the menu on the left and select your tablet (this should be the only item that indicates how much space is left).
- Open the ML Manager folder, hold down one of the files until ‘1 selected’ appears and tap the second file. It should say ‘2 selected’ at the top.
- Touch the Upload button.
- When the files finish uploading, you will receive a link. You will need to open this link in the second profile, so write it down, send it by email to the other user, log in Google Keep on the web and write down what is best for you.
Now you have everything you need, so it’s time to switch to the other user profile.
In the profile of the user who does not have the Play Store:
- Open your web browser and access the link you obtained in the previous step.
- Download the ZIP file with the two APKs inside.
- Open the Amazon Appstore, search for ‘ES File Explorer’ and download it.
Now, go back to the beginning of this guide and follow the instructions as before. When you get to the steps when you need to download APKs, download and install only the first two items – Google Account Manager and Google Service Structure. After installing these two apps, you will need to install the APKs you just copied from the first profile.
- Open ES File Manager from the home screen.
- Touch the menu button in the upper left corner, touch ‘Location’ and touch ‘Download’.
- Touch the ZIP file you downloaded earlier (it’s probably called ‘Upload-file’).
- You should see two APKs. As before, they need to be installed in the correct order.
- Tap what starts with ‘com.google.android.gms’ (this is Google Play Services) and then tap ‘Install’.
- Now tap on what starts with ‘com.android.vending’ (this is the Play Store) and then tap on ‘Install’.
Now, restart your tablet again, log in to the second profile and check if the Play Store works. If you encounter problems, see the Troubleshooting section above.
Here it is – the best guide for installing the Google Play Store on Amazon’s Fire tablets. If you’re having trouble, leave a comment and we’ll do our best to help. Your comments can even help us improve this guide!
- Thank you:
- Zampacto (Fire 10 2019 help),
- Trevor (Chrome login fix)