With a Fire TV Stick, like this one from Amazon, you have access to Amazon’s streaming content, along with other apps. The convenient device came with a remote that makes it easy to navigate the on-screen interface. The remote even comes with Alexa so you can quickly find the show you want to watch. There’s a lot to like about the Fire Stick remote, but it would be simpler if you can use a universal one, but can you?
You can use a universal remote with a Fire TV Stick, but you may need an adaptor depending on the remote. You may also be better off to simply add hardware features to your existing Fire TV Remote.
So while the answer is yes, you can use some universal remotes with a Fire Stick, not everyone is compatible or able to do this. Some will require an adapter or additional hardware. For that reason, it's best to ensure you know what you're doing by doing a bit of research beforehand; here's what you need to know.
If you’re tired of picking up the wrong remote every time you want to control a different component, there’s another solution. You can put the Fire TV remote away and use a universal one to control your devices. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as grabbing the first universal remote you see. Not all automatically pair with a Fire TV Stick. You might need an adapter or add a few features to your existing Fire TV remote (on Amazon).
Your Fire TV Stick does not come with built-in infrared (IR) technology like most entertainment devices. Instead, your Fire TV remote uses Bluetooth to communicate commands. The two technologies are not compatible when it comes to remotes, in fact, we've already explored Bluetooth compatibility before. If you purchase the wrong one, you can control almost any other connected smart device except for the Fire Stick.
If you already have a universal remote and don’t want to spend money on a new one, you do have options. A receiver might help with syncing issues, and there are also features you can add to your Fire TV Stick with an adapter.
Most consumers with multiple entertainment devices already have an IR universal remote. The only component not compatible is the Amazon TV Fire Stick. Even though its included remote does exactly what it was designed for, it is still one more controller that you have to pay attention to keep track of.
Instead of purchasing a new universal remote, another option is to add an IR receiver (more on other receivers here in our guide). Similar in scope to an adapter, once the receiver is connected you can use the IR remote to control the Fire Stick. It’s not hard to install an IR receiver, and you only need to purchase a USB Y cable The cable creates a USB connection via the USB port on the Fire Stick.
How the receiver is installed depends on the type of Fire TV stick. If you are still using the original Fire TV box, set-up is a breeze. It’s a two-step process that starts with connecting the receiver to the USB port on the back of the box. The other end is what receives the signal from the remote. This means placing it where it can pick up the signal from the universal remote without interference, and this is the second step.
If your Fire TV box is in a closet or behind other devices, you may need to relocate it so the signal from the remote isn’t interrupted by the long-distance or disruptive objects. Not everyone has the original Fire TV box, but it’s still easy to connect an IR receiver. It does take a couple more steps and the addition of a USB Y cable.
Even though there are a few more steps than with a Firebox, it will still only take a few minutes to connect the IR receiver. You will need a USB Y cable, and it’s not hard to find an inexpensive one at any electronics store. You’ll use the Y cable to create the signal connection between the receiver and the Fire Stick.
Your Fire TV Stick only has one port that is designed for the power adapter. However, with the Y cable, you can have both power and connectivity with the IR receiver. The USB Y cable plugs into the Fire Stick’s port with the powered adapter and receiver connected at the opposite end of the cable. Once the Fire Stick adapter is plugging into an electrical outlet and the receiver is turned on, you shouldn’t have any problems pairing your IR universal remote with the Amazon Fire TV Stick.
Even though Amazon is constantly upgrading its Fire TV remote, it always seems to lack some of the features you get with a universal remote. If you want to keep using the Fire TV remote, you can give it an upgrade. Often for less than you may pay for a top-rated universal remote.
If you want to add features to your Fire TV remote and turn it into a universal remote, there are handy adapters you can attach to it. You don’t have to replace the remote, only slide the adapter into place. It extends the length of the remote, so it’s more comfortable to hold. You still get the convenience of Alexa voice search, along with all of the functions you expect on a universal remote.
With an adapter, you can upgrade your Fire TV remote. It’s an inexpensive option and you get to use one remote to control all your entertainment devices. With a Fire TV remote, you have only a few basic functions. Along with home, pause, fast-forward, and rewind, there’s a button for voice commands. This is all you can do with the remote.
When you add an adapter, suddenly the Fire Stick remote can turn components on and off. You have input functions, along with ones for volume and channels. Your Fire remote can even adjust the volume on a soundbar. With programmable buttons, you can decide which devices and functions you want the remote to control. Best of all, an adapter is simple to set up. You’ll follow the same pairing steps as you do with other remote controls.
Remote controls do break, but it’s not expensive to replace the one for your Fire TV stick. The only downside to replacing the Fire TV remote (from Amazon) is that you can only control one device. Without the addition of an adapter, the remote will only operate your Fire TV. If you want to purchase a universal remote and a USB Y cable, it is another option for controlling your Fire Stick TV. It is more expensive than replacing the original remote but if you don’t want to use an adapter it’s your best alternative.
Several universal remotes can control your Fire TV Stick. There is also more than one adapter that will turn your Fire remote into a universal one. Before choosing one over the other, it’s best to research all of your options.
The Logitech Harmony Smart Controller (on Amazon) is probably one of the most well-known universal remote controls out there. There are a few Harmony remotes that can control your Fire TV Stick and other components. Depending on the price point, a Harmony universal remote can control up to 11 devices, including some smart home automated functions. The smart remote is also compatible with Alexa and Google Home Assist. Since the remote works with Bluetooth, IR, and Wi-Fi you don’t have to worry about compatibility issues. You also won’t need to attach a USB Y cable.
The SofaBaton F2 (on Amazon) is a great universal remote attachment made specifically to work with a Fire TV remote. How this attachment works is very simple. It turns your Fire remote into a universal controller that controls nearly everything. It’s an affordable option that still lets you get rid of the other controllers. The F2 clips onto the Fire Stick remote, extending its length, while also giving you 11 additional buttons.
These functions are programmable so you can pair the remote with other connected devices, along with the Fire Stick. Since the attachment comes with IR learning, the setup is simple. The remote basically programs itself. The only downside is the attachment’s construction because it can't handle much wear and tear.
The design of the WeChip Mini Air Fly Mouse Remote (on Amazon) may throw some consumers off. It is reminiscent of the blackberry design. You get a full keyboard on the back of the remote that’s handy when you’re searching for a specific show or movie. The front of the remote features all of the functions you expect. It’s compatible with Fire TV Sticks, along with PCs, and some Android devices. Setup is quick and easy, though you will need to purchase an OTG cable. The cable connects to the Fire Stick so the remote can pair with it.
The One For All Streamer Remote (on Amazon) is certainly not the most common universal remote and it is limited in available functions. However, it is an affordable option that doesn’t require the use of additional cables. The small remote does come with backlit buttons for easy use at night. You can even select the backlighting color from the options list.
Even though the remote works great with your other devices, including the Fire TV Stick, the Roku, or even the Apple TV, there are still limitations. You can only control up to three devices with the remote, so you may still have remotes laying around for other components like soundbars and gaming consoles.
You love watching Fire TV, and Alexa and makes it so easy to search for apps and content, however, you probably wish you could do more with the Fire Stick TV remote. Others may wish there was a universal remote that was compatible with their Fire Stick. As we just explained, there are other options.
You don’t have to use a separate remote for your Fire Stick. There are handy attachments that will turn the Fire TV remote into one that controls all your connected devices. You can also spend a little more and purchase a universal remote, but make sure it’s compatible with the Fire Stick. If it’s not, you can always add an IR receiver.