Kindle Fire: Enable USB Debugging

Developers may notice that the Amazon Kindle Fire doesn’t come with a USB Debugging setting. There is no way to enable USB Debugging on the actual device to allow you to connect it to Android development tools. There is a hack available to make it work though.

Note: This tutorial assumes you have the Android SDK and platform tools installed.

Windows

1. Download and extract the Google USB Drivers.

2. Replace the android_winusb.inf file in the Google USB Driver folder with this one.

3. Connect your Kindle Fire. When it prompts you for a driver, point it to the Google usb_driver folder. If Windows has already tried to find a driver, right-click My Computer/Computer then select Manage > Device Manager > Other Devices, then right-click Kindle and select Update Driver Software…

4. Hold down the Windows key and press R to bring up the run dialog and type %USERPROFILE% then click OK.

Windows run userprofile

5. Open the .android folder.

6. Open the adb_usb.ini using Notepad or Wordpad.

adb usb file

7. Type 0X1949 at the end of the file, then save and close adb_usb.ini. (Note, some people are saying the ‘X’ has to be upper-case in order to work. See comments.)

add line to adb_usb file

8. Stop ADB server with the adb kill-server command, then use the adb devices command. You should see the Kindle Fire listed.

adb finding kindle fire

You can now use Android development tools on the Kindle Fire like DDMS for taking screenshots.

Kindle Fire in DDMS

Mac & Linux

1. Navigate to ~/.android and open the adb_usb.ini file in a notepad appllication.

2. Type 0x1949 at the end of the file, then save and close adb_usb.ini. (Note, some people are saying the ‘X’ has to be upper-case in order to work. See comments.)

3. Stop ADB server with the adb kill-server command, then use the adb devices command. You should see the Kindle Fire listed.

Comments

  1. Kristin says

    When I open the adb_usb.ini 0x1949 is already there. How do I stop the ADB server? I’ve ever done any of this before so I want to make sure I’m doing it correctly. Thanks!

  2. Louise says

    I have an older computer that will not recognize my Kindle Fire USB. It is running Windows XP. Can you help?

  3. LSC says

    Thanks. This worked very well. However, on Windows, instead of replacing android_winusb.inf with this website’s version, just copy the lines for Kindle Fire from this website’s version to the android_winusb.inf that is in the Google USB driver folder. Otherwise, the instructions may not work if you download a version of the Google USB drivers that is newer than the version that the android_winusb.inf on this website was created for.

  4. Natalie says

    I would like to add that I also discovered that there is another listing under Device Manager – Android Phone — it is Android Composite ADB Interface…

    Thanks again,
    Natalie.

  5. Natalie says

    What am I missing….Please help…

    1. I’m running Windows 7 64bit on my PC
    2. Have installed the drivers correctly (I believe). The Kindle Fire was being recognized under Other Devices before. However, I reinstalled the drivers and it is now being detected under Portable Devices (Kindle) – No Yellow Exclamation mark..
    3. I run No Root Screenshot It but it still doesn’t recognized the device as being connected….

    Please help…I feel that I’m closer than I was before but I feel that I’m missing a few steps

    –Natalie

  6. Rajshekar says

    just u need to follow the above steps
    if drivers are not available
    goto android developers search in OEM USB Drivers
    get the drivers that are supported by your device
    just update the drivers from device manager (For Windows)
    then follow the steps shown above
    then it will run

    Thank you for valuable information

  7. Jeff Elliott says

    Also, my C:\Users\\.android\adb_usb.ini contains lines that end with 0x0a (linefeed) without a 0x0d (carriage return). If the typical Windows user attempts to edit this file with Notepad, it’ll add 0x0d and 0x0a to the end of the 0x1949 line (if is pressed).

    The code that parses this file is evidently thinking Mac/Unix only and evidently doesn’t recognize Windows CR/LF line endings.

    I’d suggest all users might want to either use a better editor or erase all other text in this file except “0x1949″ and NOT terminate that line with a CR.

    FWIW.

  8. Roger says

    Doesn’t work on Snow Leopard. Errors are
    “ADB server didn’t ACK”
    “* failed to start daemon”
    “error: cannot connect to daemon”

    Newer Kiindle firmware maybe? Newer Android tools maybe?

  9. elucidator says

    Windows7 32bit will NOT let me update the driver and I have been trying for DAYS. Im getting: “The folder you specified doesn’t contain a compatible software driver…blah,blah” OR I get:”Windows has determined that the driver software is up to date..blah”

    Please note: I DID replace the “android_winusb.inf” file with the one listed above using NotePad under Admin permissions.I checked the driver folder a million times also.

    Im stuck, can someone help?

  10. Colonel32 says

    Worked for me on OS X 10.6.8. I did change the ‘x’ to ‘X’ in the line I added to adb_usb.ini. Thanks for the info though. Super useful and helpful.

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