Well, it didn’t take long for people to figure out how to root the Kindle Fire, and the process isn’t all that hard to follow either. Rooting will allow you to install the full Android Marketplace on your Kindle Fire and to use apps that require super-user access, so this is an awesome way to expand the capabilities of your Kindle Fire significantly. There are a few drawbacks though, most notably that rooting the Kindle Fire will make you unable to stream Amazon Video on Demand, although there is a workaround to this. Read on for the full step-by-step tutorial and let us know if you need any help or have any questions!
Step 1: Enable installation of third-party apps (sideloading) on your Kindle Fire.
Enable side-loading of apps on your Kindle Fire. This will allow you to install applications on your device from sources beyond Amazon’s app store. To do this, tap the top bar on your Kindle Fire (where the battery icon is). Select More…from the menu, then Device, and then turn on Allow Installation of Applications.
Step 2: Install the Android SDK and Java SE Development Kit on your computer.
Install the Android SDK on your computer from Google’s developer site. For Windows, the link is http://dl.google.com/android/installer_r15-windows.exe. If you don’t have it installed already (most of us don’t) you’ll need to install the JAVA SE Development Kit FIRST. Android SDK needs this to run, so we need it to Root our Kindle Fire.
To download and install the Java SE Development Kit, go to http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javase/downloads/jdk-7u1-download-513651.html and select the proper installer from that page. Make sure you download the correct installer – there are separate packages for 32 bit (x86) and 64 bit (x64) Windows.
Install it, and don’t worry about registering it when it asks you to. Now that you have the Java SE Development Kit installed, you can install the Android SDK, so go ahead and finish doing that. We’re on our way to rooting the Kindle Fire.
Step 3: Download and install the required Android SDK resources.
Android SDK Manager will automatically load up after you’ve finished installing. You need to check off the Android SDK Platform-tools boxes, all of the Android 4.0 (API 14) boxes, as well as the Google USB Driver package box down below. The USB package is critical because without it, our computer can’t communicate with the Kindle Fire once it’s connected. With those boxes checked, click Install 7 packages…
Click Accept All on the next screen, and hit Install. At various times it will ask you to restart the ADB process, which is fine. Just click Yes and Close when it’s finished and you see the Done loading packages message.
Step 4: Make the necessary changes to the Android SDK before we can root the Kindle Fire.
Everything we need is installed now, but we have to make two small edits to the Google USB Driver package we just downloaded. Navigate to your User Account folder in Windows, which should be C:\Users\YourAccountNameHere. Go inside the new “.android” folder, find the file named “adb_usb.ini” and open it in Notepad. On a new line at the bottom, type in (do NOT copy and paste this – for some reason the “x” isn’t copied over right, so just type it in) 0×1949 and save the file (some users may need to open the adb_usb.ini file in Administrator mode to be able to save it. We didn’t.). 0×1949 is the vendor ID for Amazon’s group that created the Kindle Fire, so adding it to this list will allow us to continue the Kindle Fire root.
Next, navigate to where you installed Android SDK. Be default, it should be C:\Program Files\Android\android-sdk. Go into the extra\google\usb_driver folder and open the file named “android_winusb.inf” in Notepad.
You need to copy three lines of text into this file in two different places: directly underneath [Google.NTx86] and [Google.NTamd64]. The lines to copy are:
%SingleAdbInterface% = USB_Install, USB\VID_1949&PID_0006
%CompositeAdbInterface% = USB_Install, USB\VID_1949&PID_0006&MI_01
Add them in like the screenshot below and save the file. Some people have issues with not being able to overwrite the original file. In that case, save the file elsewhere and copy it back over into the folder, replacing the original.
Step 5: Connect your Kindle Fire to your PC and make sure the proper USB driver is installed.
Go ahead and connect your Kindle Fire to your computer with a micro-USB cable. Since the Kindle Fire doesn’t come with one, you’ll need to either buy one or find one that you might already have. Many Android phones, digital cameras, and GPS units come with such a cable, so odds are that most tech-savvy people have one sitting around.
Once connected, we need to make sure that Windows is using the correct USB driver to communicate with the Kindle Fire. Go to Start -> Control Panel, and then Device Manager. Under Other devices you should see the word Kindle with a yellow exclamation point next to it. Right-click it and choose Properties. Click on Driver Details to check what driver Windows is currently using for the Kindle, if any. You’ll probably see the below message saying that no driver files have been loaded yet.
Click OK, and then choose Update Driver… to install the proper Google USB Driver package. Click Browse my computer for driver software and then hit Browse… to navigate to the C:\Program Files\Android\android-sdk \google\usb_driver folder where the driver file sits. This is the same folder we went to earlier to edit the android_winusb.inf file, so the location may differ slightly depending on where you installed the Android SDK originally. Select the usb_driver folder and click OK followed by Next. On the popup window select Install this driver software anyway. A window will pop up letting you know that the driver installed correctly.
Before we actually go and root the Kindle Fire, we should make sure that Android SDK is recognizing that our Kindle Fire is connected. To do this, open up a command prompt by going to Start -> All Programs -> Accessories -> Command Prompt. Once there, you’ll need to navigate to the Android SDK platform tools folder, which will usually be C:\Program Files\Android\android-sdk\platform-tools but may be different for you. In case you’re like us and don’t remember how to do these things with DOS commands, to change directories we type cd followed by the folder we want:
cd C:\Program Files\Android\android-sdk\platform-tools followed by enter
Now we type:
adb kill-server followed by enter
adb devices followed by enter. If all is well, we’ll see it list a device like below:
Note: we actually installed our Android SDK on a separate hard drive, the E:\ drive. If you also installed to a different hard drive than your operating system, then you first need to type the letter of the hard drive you installed to, followed by a colon :. For us, we typed “e:” before using the above commands.
Step 6: Finally rooting the Kindle Fire with SuperOneClick.
Now that we know everything is working in terms of connectivity, we can use SuperOneClick to actually root the Kindle Fire.
Download SuperOneClick at http://forum.xda-developers.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=778098&d=1320906597 and extract the zip file to its own folder – we put it on our desktop. In case you don’t already have it, SuperOneClick requires that you have Microsoft’s .NET 2.0 Framework installed. If you don’t have it, head over to http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=19 and install it. Lots of other programs use it so odds are that most people already have it installed.
Open up the folder you just extracted SuperOneClick to, and launch SuperOneClick.exe
Click Root in the top left, and let it do its thing. It will take a few moments. If you are asked to install Busybox, choose Yes. If all goes as planned, your Kindle Fire is now rooted.
Congratulations, your Kindle Fire is now rooted. This will allow you to install the full Android Marketplace, sideload non-Amazon apps (which you can technically already do anyways), and install apps that require super-user access. Post below if you have any questions or need any help while going through this process. As always, rooting is not for the faint of heart – there’s always a small risk that your device will break, and Tabletorials cannot be held responsible for anything that happens as a result of rooting your Kindle Fire.