This story was originally published 2020/03/18
4:41pm PDTon Mar 18, 2020 and last updated 2020/10/03
7:14am PDTon Oct 3, 2020.
Amazon’s Fire tablets are incredibly popular, mostly because they’re incredibly cheap. However, none of them come with access to the Google Play Store, which is how most Android devices download and install applications. Instead, Fire tablets come bundled with the Amazon Appstore, which has a much smaller library and lacks any Google-made apps and services. No YouTube, no 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 take as little time as 10 minutes. This complete guide for installing the Play Store on Fire tablets has detailed instructions for every model produced since 2014, with added troubleshooting steps if you run into issues.
If you’re more of a visual person than a reading person, we made a video version of this tutorial above that you can watch. You’ll still have to consult the below written guide for the links you need, but everything else is in the video.
- Remove your tablet’s microSD card if you have one installed, unless you’re using adoptable storage (e.g. your SD card storage is merged with your internal storage). If you don’t remove the external SD, the Play Store and its required may be automatically installed to the microSD card, which can cause issues. You can put the card back in once you’re done.
- There is no way to manage a Fire tablet through Google Family Link, even after the Play Store is installed.
- Apps installed through the Play Store might not work with Amazon FreeTime app management. I haven’t personally tested this, but that’s what many people have reported in the comment section.
- Some apps hide themselves from the Play Store on Fire tablets, because Fire tablets are not SafetyNet-certified by Google (more info here). Netflix is one app that does this. For those applications, you can try finding them on the Amazon Appstore or downloading them on APKMirror.
Enable installation from unknown sources
The first step in this process is to enable apps to be installed from outside the Amazon Appstore. This allows you to open and install applications from downloaded APK files, which is how we’ll get the Play Store running.
First, go to the main ‘Home’ page on your home screen and open the Settings app. Then tap the ‘Security & Privacy category (older models might just say ‘Security’), find the switch for ‘Apps from Unknown Sources,’ and turn it on.
If tapping ‘Apps from Unknown Sources’ brings up a list of apps, then you don’t need to do anything. You may receive a popup when installing APKs, but you’ll just have to tap the ‘Allow’ button when prompted.
Now you’re ready to download and install the APKs needed to get the Google Play Store running.
Install the Play Store
The next step is to download the proper APK files for the Play Store. You technically have to install four different applications — Google Account Manager, Google Services Framework, Google Play Services, and finally the Google Play Store. The first three apps handle basic account services and add APIs, while the last app is the store itself.
Because different Fire tablets run different versions of Android with varying hardware, the exact APKs you have to install depend on what Fire tablet you have. If you’re not sure which model you have, open the Settings app again, tap on ‘Device Options & System’ (it might also just be called ‘Device Options’), and look at what is listed under ‘Device Model. You also need to find out your Fire OS version — this is listed in the ‘System Updates’ menu of ‘Device Options & System’ (or just ‘Device Options’).
If you’re not already reading this on your Fire tablet, open the Silk web browser and type
http://andp.lc/firetabletplay into the address bar to jump straight to this post.
For the Google Account Manager and Google Services Framework applications, find the appropriate links for your device from the table below, and tap the main ‘Download APK’ button on the linked page. Don’t open the downloaded files yet, we’ll do that later.
For these last two applications, click the link for your device, then select the version closest to the top of the list which doesn’t have “beta” in the name. Again, don’t open the files yet, just download them.
Now it’s time to install the apps. Find the Files app on your tablet (it might also be called ‘Docs’ or ‘Documents’) and open it. Then, find your device’s Downloads folder. On most Fire tablets, this is located in the side menu.
Finding downloaded APKs on a 2020 Fire HD 8
Finding downloaded APKs on a 2018 Fire HD 8
You should see all four APK files. If not, go back and see which one you missed (or just download all of them for good measure). Also, switch to the file list view if you haven’t already, so you can see the full names of each APK.
Open the apps in the below order, and when the installation is complete, press ‘Done’ and not ‘Open’. Installing the apps out of order will cause the Play Store to not work. Also, if you have an SD card, make sure to take it out during these installations.
Once you have installed all four apps, hold down the power button, and tap ‘Restart’ to restart your tablet. Older tablets might only have the option to power off — if so, let the tablet shut down, then hold down on the power button to turn it back on.
Restart (or power off, and back on again) after you finish installing the Play Store.
After your Fire tablet has booted back up, open the new Play Store app from the home screen. From there, the Play Store should ask you to login with your Google account, and then finally allow you to download and install apps.
Fixes for common problems
If the Play Store or other Google apps aren’t working correctly, here are some fixes for common issues.
“This account already exists on your device”
If you get the error “This account already exists on your device” when signing into Chrome or another Google app, or if the app won’t detect your Google account at all, follow these steps:
- Completely close the app you’re having issues with (e.g. swipe it away in the Recents/multi-tasking screen).
- Open the Settings app, tap Apps & Permissions, then select ‘Manage all applications.’ These options might have different names, depending on your version of Fire OS.
- Find the app you’re having issues with in the list, tap on it, and select ‘Permissions’.
- Switch all available permissions to ‘On’. Enabling the Contacts permission alone did the trick in my testing, but you might as well enable everything for good measure.
- Open the app again.
In Chrome’s case, you also have to open the browser, tap on the Settings menu, and tap the ‘Continue as…’ blue button at the top of the screen.
If you’re having a different issue than the ones listed above, here are some generic troubleshooting tips.
Reboot your tablet
This might be obvious, but it’s a good step to take. Hold down the power button, tap the ‘Power Off’ option, and turn your tablet back on by holding down the power button again. Once it has booted back up, open the Play Store from the home screen and see if it works.
Clear app data
When I initially wrote this guide, I wasn’t able to sign into the Play Store until I cleared the app’s local data. This will essentially reset the Play Store app to its original state, and should fix most problems you might encounter.
Open the Settings app, select the ‘Apps & Notifications’ section (or whatever else has ‘Apps’ or ‘Applications’ in the name), and tap ‘Manage All Applications.’ Find the Play Store in the list of apps and tap it.
You have to perform two steps on this info screen. First, press the ‘Force Stop’ button to stop the Play Store from running. Then press the ‘Storage’ menu option and tap ‘Clear Data’ (it might also be called ‘Clear storage’). Now return to the Play Store app and see if it works.
If that didn’t help, follow the above steps again, but restart your tablet before trying to open the Play Store. If that didn’t work either, try force-stopping and clearing data for Google Play Services in addition to the Play Store.
Reset the tablet
If you still can’t get the Play Store to work, your best option is probably to factory-reset your tablet and try again. Make sure you don’t restore from a backup when you’re setting up the tablet again, unless the backup was made before you tried to install the Play Store.
Stuff to do afterwards
Congrats, 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.
Add more Google services and change the launcher
With a little bit of extra work, you can make your Fire tablet function much more like a regular Android phone or tablet. Setting Chrome as the default browser, adding Google Assistant, and even changing the home screen launcher is possible. See our guide at the below link to get started.
Install Google Play on other device profiles
Since the Play Store isn’t a system-level application on Fire tablets, the install process only applies to the device profile you’ve been using. If you want to add the Play Store for other users on the same device, the steps are a bit different, because Amazon’s Fire OS won’t let you have different versions of Play Services and the Play Store installed on each profile — thanks to Florian Wolters on Stack Overflow for pointing this out.
This is an extremely tedious process that will probably take longer than the original guide. Believe it or not, the below steps are still the easiest way to get the Play Store on other device profiles, with the fewest ways of screwing something up.
The easiest way to get the Play Store on another user profile is to extract the APKs already installed on the first profile and install them on the second profile. We only need to grab the files for Play Services and the Play Store.
On the user profile that already has the Play Store:
- Install ML Manager from the Play Store and open it.
- In the list of applications, find Google Play Services, and tap the ‘Extract’ button.
- Find Google Play Store in the list, and tap the ‘Extract’ button.
Now the two APKs have been saved to the ‘ML Manager’ folder in your tablet’s internal storage. Because user profiles can’t access the files from other profiles, you have to copy the two APKs somewhere else, log into the second profile, and copy them to the second profile’s files. The easiest way to do this is using Swiss Transfer, an online tool for sending files.
- Open Swiss Transfer (swisstransfer.com) on your tablet’s browser (Silk, Chrome, whatever) and accept the terms and conditions of use.
- Tap the upload button, tap the menu button on the right, and select ‘Show internal storage’.
- While still in the file browser, open the left side menu and select your tablet (it should be the only item that says how much storage is remaining).
- Open the ML Manager folder, hold down on one of the files until ‘1 selected’ appears, then tap the second file. It should say ‘2 selected’ at the top. Keep going until you have all the APKs selected, then press ‘Open’ at the top-right.
- If the other user profile has an email account set up, fill out the email form to send the link in a message. Otherwise, tap the Link button to just create a link.
- Tap the ‘Transfer’ button.
- If you chose the link option, so write it down, log into Google Keep on the web and put it in a note, or save it with some other method.
Now you have everything you need, so it’s time to switch to the other user profile.
On the user profile that doesn’t have the Play Store:
- Go to the link you got in the previous step, either by typing the link in the address bar of your web browser, or by opening the email Swiss Transfer sent (if you chose that option).
- 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 very start of this guide, and follow the instructions just like before. When you get to the steps where you have to download APKs, only download and install the first two items — Google Account Manager and Google Services Framework. Once you install those two apps, you need to install the APKs you just copied from the first profile.
- Open ES File Manager from the home screen.
- Tap on the menu button at the top-left, tap ‘Local’, and tap ‘Download’.
- Tap the ZIP file you downloaded earlier (it’s probably called ‘Send-Archive’).
- You should see two APKs. Just like before, these have to be installed in the correct order.
- Tap the one that starts with ‘com.google.android.gms’ (this one is Google Play Services), then tap ‘Install’.
- Now tap the one that starts with ‘com.android.vending’ (this one is the Play Store), then tap ‘Install’.
Now reboot your tablet again, log into the second profile, and see if the Play Store works. If you encounter issues, take a look at the Troubleshooting section above.
Improve tablet performance
Fire tablets aren’t the fastest devices in the world, but you might be able to make yours marginally faster with a few easy steps. Check out our full Fire tablet performance guide for the instructions.
There you have it — the ultimate guide to installing the Google Play Store on Amazon’s Fire tablets. If you’re having troubles, leave a comment, and we’ll do our best to help. Your feedback might even help us improve this guide!
- Zampacto (Fire 10 2019 help),
- Trevor (Chrome login fix)