Installing new firmware on your Android TV box is a great way to get additional features, or just fix some pesky bugs. Many manufacturers have an OTA (Over The Air) process to update their firmware.
For those that don’t, you can still flash your firmware using the Amlogic USB Burning Tool.
- This tool will only work if you have an Amlogic chipset in your device. (s805, s905, S912, s922, etc.)
- Never disconnect the power to your device while flashing the firmware. That’s a great way to brick your device.
- Always use the “Normal Erase” option in the tool. I’ll remind you of this once we get to that particular section.
Before we get started, head on over to our Android TV Box Firmware Guide. It’s a great resource where you can find links to download official firmware for every manufacturer of Android TV devices.
For this walk-through, I’m using Windows 10 and a MINIX NEO U9-H. We’ll be installing Amlogic USB Burning Tool v 2.2.0.
Download the Amlogic USB Burning Tool
The first step to flashing your Android TV box’s firmware is to download the latest version of the Amlogic USB Burning Tool.
It’s important to download the latest version. The Amlogic USB Burning Tool has been around a long time, and a new version comes out every few months. Usually the new version fixes a couple of bugs, but it also adds drivers for any new Amlogic chipsets that have come out since the last version.
Without the right drivers, your PC won’t be able to connect to your Android TV box.
That said, there are some legitimate reasons for wanting to use an older version of the tool. I recommend downloading the latest version (version 2.2.0) and only installing one of the older versions if you have an error that can’t be resolved.
You can download the files here (links to Mega):
Once you download the version you want, extract it to a temporary directory on your PC.
For each version, I’ve created a RAR file with the USB Burning Tool file, as well as a shortcut to this article if you get stuck along the way.
I created a folder in my C:\Temp directory called Amlogic end extracted the files there.
Once the files are extracted, navigate to that directory and click on the setup exe file to get started.
Connect your Android TV Box to Your PC
There’s one critical step before you start to install the Amlogic USB Burning Tool on your PC. You’ll need to connect your Android TV box to your PC using a USB cable.
Most TV boxes come with a small OTG-USB cable. OTG stands for On-The-Go (seriously). It’s simply a cable with a USB type-A on one end and a micro-USB on the other end.
If your TV box came with one, then that’s going to be your easiest (and cheapest) option.
I used a 15′ USB-A to micro-USB cable that I had purchased for another USB device and it worked great. It allowed me to leave my Android TV box where it was and connect the cable comfortably to my laptop.
No matter which cable you use., you’re going to want to connect the micro-USB end to the OTG port on your Android TV box. It’ll look like this:
Once both ends of the cable are connected, turn on your TV box and let it boot up normally.
Once it powers up, your PC will detect it as a new device and a pop-up box will appear in the lower right-hand corner of the screen, just above the clock.
You don’t have to do anything with this message at this time. Once the message appears you can move on to installing the Amlogic USB Burning Tool on your PC.
How to Install the Amlogic USB Burning Tool
Installing the Amlogic USB Burning Tool is fairly straightforward, but there are a few potential hiccups to watch out for. So let’s run through the process together.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, I’m installing this on Windows 10. If you have a different version of Windows, or are installing this on a Mac, then your screens will probably look different than mine.
The installation process is split into two sections: the burning tool itself and the drivers for your Android TV box.
Install the Tool
Start by clicking on the Setup.exe file that you extracted in the first section of this article.
A small pop-up window will appear asking you to choose a default language for the tool. We’re going to assume for this guide that you want English, so go ahead and click OK to continue.
The first installation window gives you the standard disclaimer that you should exit any other program. Click Next to continue.
You’re then given an option to change the installation directory. Unless you have a reason to change it, I recommend leaving it at the default location.
Click Next to continue.
You’re also given the option of where you want to create the Start Menu folder and icon for the tool. By default, it will create a folder titled Amlogic. However, if you have all of your Android apps in one specific folder, you can change that here.
Once you’ve selected the installation folder, click Next to continue.
Finally, you’re given the option of adding an icon on the desktop. I normally leave this un-checked.
Click Next to continue.
The installation program will ask you to verify your settings one last time. If everything looks correct, click Install to complete the process.
At this point, the actual Amlogic USB Burning Tool is installed. However, if you’ve previously connected your Android TV box to your PC, you should see a second window pop up.
Install The Drivers
The second part of the installation will load the correct drivers for your device. This will allow your PC to actually communicate with your TV box.
If your Android TV box isn’t connected to your PC and turned on, this is your last chance to do so.
But if you were diligently following along, you’ve already taken care of that, right?
Click Next to continue.
Your screen will probably show something different right now, unless you’re flashing the firmware on the same device that I am. As long as your PC correctly installs drivers on this step, you’re OK.
Click Finish to close this secondary window.
Once the drivers are correctly installed, the original setup window will change to the image you see above.
Click Finish to complete the installation of the Amlogic USB Burning Tool.
How to Change the Language
Back in the first step of the installation process, you selected the default language for the app. However, if you click the wrong button, or if you have an older version of the Amlogic USB Burning Tool, you may be shocked to see your screen like this:
Thankfully, changing the language is easy. Best of all, it doesn’t require you to be fluent in another language.
On the top left-hand corner of the app’s window will be the menu bar. The second word will allow you change the Language.
Click on that word and you’re able to change the language back to English in the drop-down menu.
How to Use the Amlogic USB Burning Tool to Flash Firmware
Now for the fun part. It’s time to flash your Android TV box firmware.
You’ll need to do three things before you open the Amlogic USB Burning Tool:
- Download the latest firmware image file using our Firmware Resource Page,
- Turn your Android TV device completely OFF
- Connect your TV box to your PC using the OTG cable (discussed above)
Once all that’s done, it’s time to get started.
Open the Amlogic USB Burning Tool as Administrator.
Windows is set up to be a (relatively) secure operating system, so they want to make sure that you’re not going to inadvertently harm your computer. Because of that, we need to run the burning tool as the Administrator.
To do this, locate the USB Burning Tool icon in your Start Menu.
Right-Click on the icon.
Depending on your version of Windows, you may be able to click Run As Administrator directly, or you may need to click on the More menu as you see above.
Once you click on it, the screen should change and all your windows will vanish temporarily. A new pop-up box will ask you to confirm that you want to run this program. Click yes\ok to confirm.
After a few seconds, the burning tool should load. It will look something like this:
As you can see, there’s nothing listed in the main window under the Device or Status headings. That’s OK. Since your TV box is powered down, that’s normal.
Re-boot Your Android TV Device in Recovery Mode
Recovery mode is a kind of low-level operating system that allows you to perform diagnostics or repair your device if it’s having major problems. Most operating systems have them (Windows, iPhones, Android, etc.).
It should look something like this.
If those menu options look a little scary, that’s OK. We won’t be using any of them. The Amlogic USB Burning Tool will take care of all of that from your PC.
The trick is that every device is slightly different and there are several ways to get into recovery mode. The most common ways are the ‘paperclip method’ and the ‘long-press method.’
The Paperclip Method
You’ll need to use the ‘paperclip method’ to reset older Android TV devices, more often than not. Although, it’s still common to find, even on newer TV boxes like the MINIX NEO U22-XJ that you see below.
This method got it’s name because there is a small hole on the device that has a button deep inside it. If you press and hold button while turning the device on, it boots up in recovery mode.
The hole is so small that only a small pin or paperclip would fit, hence the name.
Long-Press the Power Button
Most newer devices have a much easier way to boot into recovery mode.
Locate the power button on the TV box itself. It’s usually on the side of the device, however it could be on the front or back as well.
With the device powered off, press and hold the power button until the recovery screen appears. For most devices, this is around 5-6 seconds. However, don’t be surprised if it takes longer.
Once your Android TV device has safely booted into Recovery Mode, it should be visible to the Amlogic USB Burning Tool.
Verify that you see a message saying Connect Success in the Status column of the main window.
Don’t worry that the Device ID column doesn’t display the correct name of your device. It’s actually referring to the name of the port that your TV box is connected to. In this case, I’ve connected my TV box to one of my USB 3.0 ports.
In this step, all you need to look for is the Connect Success message. Once you see it, we can move on to the next step.
Import the Firmware Image File
Earlier, you downloaded the new firmware file and saved it to your PC. Now it’s time to import that into the Amlogic USB Burning Tool so it can transfer it to your Android TV box.
In the upper left-hand corner of the app, you’ll see the Menu Bar. Click on File.
Click on Import Image.
Once you do, a file menu dialog box will open. Navigate to the directory where you saved your new image file.
Note: If the image file is still in a .zip or .rar file format, you’ll need to extract it before you can import it.
Once you’ve found the file, click Open to continue.
The Amlogic USB Burning Tool will automatically start to verify the file. If the file was corrupted during the download process, or worse, intentionally corrupted elsewhere, this process should figure that out and throw and error message.
This process could take anywhere between a few seconds to a couple of minutes, depending on the speed of your computer and the size of the image file.
Flash Your Android Firmware
Once it’s complete, the pop-up box in the center of the screen should go away. The Start button in the upper right-hand corner will change from greyed-out to clickable.
There are only a couple of options that you can change in this tool. Thankfully the default settings are configured in such a way that I’ve never needed to change them.
Verify that both Erase Flash and Erase Bootloader are checked.
This is the point of no return. Once you click Start, you can’t interrupt the process. Doing so will potentially brick your device.
Click Start to begin the process.
The entire process took exactly three minutes on my device, so you’ve got time to go grab some coffee. If you want to keep tabs of what’s going on, status bar will slowly begin to increase while it’s working. It will also give you an idea of the specific task it’s working on.
Once the status bar turns green, you’ll see a message saying 100% Burning Succesfully.
At this point you can click the Stop button to safely disconnect your Android TV box and remove the USB-OTG cable.
Congratulations! You’ve successfully flashed your firmware.
Once you reboot your device, you’ll need to go through the setup process again, just as you did when you first purchased the device. We have a great guide to how to set up your Android TV box quickly and easily. I highly recommend you check it out.