9 Amazon Fire TV remote tips and tricks that'll change how you use your TV

 The Amazon Alexa Remote in a hand over a blue background.
The Amazon Alexa Remote in a hand over a blue background.

You have to use a remote every time you use an Amazon Fire TV stick or similar Fire TV device, in order to find the show, movie or sport you're looking to stream, or simply to set the device up.

So you may view the Amazon Fire TV Stick's remote, properly known as the Amazon Alexa Remote (or the Remote Enhanced, if you use a Fire TV Cube or Fire TV Stick 4K Max), as simply a means to an end. But it can be a lot more than that!

If you know some simply Fire TV remote tips and tricks, you can improve that little piece of plastic you use every day... or remove it from the equation altogether! Here are our 9 favorite things you need to know about the Alexa Remote.

Just to be clear, these are tips to improve how you use the remote itself, and are less about Fire TV (the smart TV user interface) itself.

You can stop it making those navigation noises

By default, when you're using the Alexa remote to navigate the Fire TV menu, you'll hear a little 'ticking' noise to let you know that the command has worked. Selecting an app? Tick. Going back to a previous menu? Scrolling right to find your chosen app? Tick, tick, tick, tick, tick!

But if you find yourself tiring of the constant ticks, you'll be pleased to know that you can switch them off, something we'd recommend you do before the rest of our trips, lest the noises drive you mad!

To turn them off go to the settings menu in your app list, then select 'Display & Sounds' and 'Audio' and toggle the navigation sounds option to 'off'. You can retrace these steps to turn the sound back on if you prefer.

Use the Amazon Alexa remote to control your TV

One of the best features of the Amazon Fire TV remote, for all sticks save the TV Stick Lite, is that you can use it to control your TV itself. That includes turning it on and changing the volume.

This doesn't work on all TVs, and few projectors or other monitors allow it, but it's still handy for most standard sets.

You can set this functionality up when you set up your Fire TV Stick, but if you missed it then, you can still turn it on in the settings menu. In this menu go to 'Equipment Control' then 'TV' and 'Change TV'.

Now go through the process of selecting which TV you're using, simply by following the instructions on screen, though it'll help you save time if you know which TV you have.

Find X-Ray during playback

When you're streaming from Amazon's Prime Video, you can use a handy feature called X-Ray. This tells you which actors are on screen, which song is currently playing, and even little tid-bits of trivia about your chosen show or movie.

On PC or mobile devices this is easy to bring up, but you'll be happy to know that the Amazon Alexa Remote lets you play around with this feature on your Fire TV.

When you're watching a video, simply press the 'up' part of the selection circle at the top of the remote. This will bring up X-Ray, so you can get extra information.

The Alexa Voice Remote Enhanced over the Prime logo.
The Alexa Voice Remote Enhanced over the Prime logo.

Navigate using your voice

My personal favorite feature of the Amazon Fire TV remote is that each of them is Alexa-enabled, so a handy smart assistant can help me find my chosen show or streaming service. And the best part is, this is all voice enabled, so I barely need to use my fingers.

If you press and hold the blue Alexa button on the Fire TV remote, you can issue commands to your stick which saves a lot of time. Ask it to download or open a certain streaming service, to find a particular show or movie, or simply to return to the home screen.

Honestly, I barely navigate with the Alexa remote now, and rely on voice commands all the time!

Quickly restart the Fire TV stick

Sometimes, for whatever reason, you'll want to restart your Fire TV. Maybe it's playing up, or needs a reset. You don't need to stand up and unplug then re-plug it though, or hunt through the menus for the restart button, as you can restart it using the remote.

On your remote, press and hold the centre of the navigation wheel (the select button) as well as the play & pause button, and hold them for five seconds. If you've done this right, a menu should appear that'll let you handily restart your TV.

Turn off your Fire TV Stick

The Amazon Fire TV Stick next to its remote and box on a wooden table.
The Amazon Fire TV Stick next to its remote and box on a wooden table.

If you don't want your Amazon Fire TV Stick whirring away in the background all the time, then you can use the Fire TV remote to turn it off... or, at least, to put it in sleep mode, to save power.

This is a simple task. Press and hold the home button for a few seconds until a menu shows up, then navigate to the central option: 'sleep'. Select it and your Fire TV will go into sleep mode.

For more information, we've got an entire guide on how to turn off your Amazon Fire TV Stick.

Unpair an old remote...

Another handy tool is the ability for you to un-pair a Fire TV remote, maybe because you've bought a new one or simply because it's acting up and you want to re-pair it. That's fairly easy to do, though you can't do it with the remote alone.

To unpair a remote find your Fire TV settings menu, then go to 'Remotes & Bluetooth Devices' and 'Amazon Fire TV Remotes'. Select the remote in question and go through the on-screen options to unpair.

... pair a new remote

Out with the old, in with the new, and it's time to pair your new Fire TV remote.

Turn your Fire TV off and on again (fully off, not using the above step but from the power). Your Fire TV should be confused due to the lack of a connected remote.

On your new chosen remote, press and hold the home button to begin the pairing process. Sometimes this can take a while, up to half a minute, but you'll be notified on the TV when it's successful.

If your Fire TV Stick can't find the remote, make sure that there are batteries in the latter that still have juice. You may need to restart the Fire TV Stick to try again.

Drop your remote in favor of your smartphone

A smartphone with the Amazon Fire TV app next to the Alexa remote
A smartphone with the Amazon Fire TV app next to the Alexa remote

You don't actually need to use your Amazon Alexa Remote at all if you want, as your smartphone will totally work.

Using a Fire TV app, you can navigate your smart TV using an app on your Android or Apple smartphone, which will be really handy for people who already control their smart home using their mobile. Soon, you can leave that little plastic controller to gather dust.

If you're interested, we have a guide on how to use a smartphone to control your Fire TV Stick which will walk you through the set-up process.

Use a games controller instead of a remote

A smartphone isn't the only non-remote device you can use to control your Fire TV or Fire TV Stick, as Amazon also lets you use the Fire game controller to do it.

Originally designed for Amazon's game streaming service Luna (which you can access on the Fire TV), this remote gives you all the functionality to browse streaming service and pick movies to watch.