Fire TV users no longer have to resort to deleting an app to free up device storage space. Amazon is rolling out a new feature called App Offload.
Instead of uninstalling an app entirely, App Offload removes an app’s application and cache data, leaving the user data intact. This allows you to reinstall an app later and have it retain your account information. Since user data stays on your device, you’re still sacrificing a bit of storage, but the overall process is more flexible. It’s worth noting that you might hit a snag while reinstalling if your app has significantly updated since you offloaded it.
Once you enable the feature on your Fire TV device, it will start clearing the app cache if an app is not used for more than 30 days. If your device is running low on storage, the feature will offload any app that hasn’t been used in the last 60 days. Amazon said that it consider less than 800 MB the mark of low storage. You can switch to manual offloading by going to Settings > Applications > Manage Installed Applications and selecting the Offload option. With manual offloading, the feature will show you how much space you’ll free up by offloading an app before you confirm the choice.
You can also offload apps directly from the Fire TV home screen or app grid by pressing the menu button to see the Offload option. Offloaded apps will still be visible, but they’ll be marked with a little cloud icon. If you’re also an Apple user, you’re familiar with this icon. The icon appears on the app grid and in settings, but not on the home screen.
To toggle the feature on or off, go to Settings > My Fire TV > About > Storage > Auto Offload > On/Off. By default, the setting will be auto-enabled.
There’s no option to reinstall an offloaded app when its selected from the device settings menu, just the option to fully uninstall which will delete your user data. To reinstall an offloaded app you have to select it from the app grid or Amazon’s app store. The feature also doesn’t work on Kids profiles and won’t be coming to older Fire TVs running Fire OS 5, including the first and second gen Fire TV box and Fire TV Stick, respectively.
Amazon held its product launch event in September and unveiled a slew of devices like the Echo Show 8, Echo Pop Kids and the eero Max 7, The company also unveiled two new Fire TV sticks, the Fire TV Stick 4K and the higher end Fire TV Stick 4K Max. The new Fire TV Stick 4K Max has 16GB of storage — finally increasing device storage from 8GB — WiFi 6E, and a quad-core 2GHz processor.