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Fix “Unknown Error Has Occurred. Check Your URL” for Downloader on Firestick

Sideloading new apps on your Fire TV or Fire Stick device is normally a simple and straightforward process. There are several easy methods you can use, but the one most Fire device owners prefer is Downloader. The Downloader app is a free piece of software available on the Amazon appstore that lets you directly download and install any compatible file directly to your Fire TV. No browser required, just type in the URL and go.

Fix Downloader Change URL Error 1

While the Downloader experience is generally foolproof, there is an error some users run into from time to time. If you can’t get Downloader to install your apk files, keep reading for the best way to fix the “Unknown error has occurred – check your URL” issue on Fire TV.

Keep Your Fire TV Secure with a VPN

Privacy is at a premium these days. Every fragment of data you send across the internet is tagged with a unique IP address, a series of numbers that can be used to trace online activity back to your home. Government agencies and ISPs alike are using this fact to track users and log their activity, destroying any sense of privacy no matter which device you use, even Fire TV!

The good news is there’s an easy way to keep third parties from spying on your information. Virtual private networks, or VPNs, encrypt data before it leaves your device, locking down sensitive data so no one can view it or trace it back to you. With a VPN in the background you’re free to stream anything you like in complete privacy.

Best VPN for Firestick and Fire TV – IPVanish

Fix Downloader Change URL Error 2 - IPVanish

IPVanish has all the right features for a smooth, safe, and private Fire TV experience. The app is lightweight and runs silently in the background to prevent your identity from being discovered, allowing you to stream official and sideloaded movies with ease. IPVanish also runs a fast network of over 950 servers in 60 different countries, secures data with DNS leak protection, an automatic kill switch, and strong 256-bit AES encryption, and has a fantastic zero-logging policy on traffic to ensure you stay hidden at all times.

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How to Fix the Unknown Error Has Occurred Issue

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First time users of the Downloader app may encounter the frustrating “check your URL” error immediately upon launching the software. Don’t worry, it’s easy to fix, and should only take a few moments of your time. Then it’s back to streaming!

What Causes the “Check Your URL” Issue?

The “unknown error” message Downloader often throws out to new users is simply the app’s way of saying it can’t access parts of the Fire TV’s file structure necessary to complete the request. This is directly related to permissions, which Fire TV handles a bit differently than other Android apps. There’s really no way to prevent it, so if you run into the problem, just use the quick fix below and get back to sideloading.

Best Way to Fix the Downloader Error

First, back out of any apps and return to the Fire TV’s home menu. Go to Settings in the text menu at the top, then scroll right and choose the Applications icon. Inside, select Manage Installed Applications then move down until you see the entry for Downloader.

Fix Downloader Change URL Error 5 - Downloder on Fire TV

Open the Downloader menu item and scroll to the bottom. You’ll see a listing called Clear Data. Activate it and confirm your selection, then back out of the settings screen and launch Downloader again. You can simply head back one menu and click “Launch application”, or return to the home screen and launch from there.

Fix Downloader Change URL Error 6 - Unknown URL

Fire TV should throw a confirmation window at the bottom of the screen when you open Downloader after clearing the data. Choose “Allow” when you see the message above, then continue using Downloader as normal. You should be able to fetch and install apks without any kind of error.

Fix Downloader Change URL Error 7 - Downloader editing

If problems persist even after following the steps above, there are two more things you can try. The first is to uninstall Downloader and reinstall it from the appstore. Do this by navigating to Settings, then scroll right until you reach the Applications icon. Open it, select the Downloader entry, then move down and pick Uninstall. Confirm in the window that pops open. Next, head back to the appstore by navigating to Apps > Categories > Utilities. Scroll until you see Downloader, then re-install it.

If both of the above methods fail, try rebooting your Fire TV. Head to the Settings menu at the top of the main screen, scroll right and select Device. Move down until you see the Reboot option. Confirm and your Fire TV will automatically restart.

Fix Another Common Downloader Issue – Can’t Install File

Users may encounter a few other issues with Downloader, the most persistent of which is the “can’t install” error. If you’ve typed in a URL, Downloader has fetched the file, but you’re unable to install it, follow the steps below to fix the issue.

Fix Downloader Change URL Error 8 - Downloader on Fire TV

First, you’ll need to uninstall the downloader app. Go back to the Fire TV’s home screen, then select the Settings option at the top. Inside, scroll right until you reach the Applications icon. Open it, then move to the Downloader entry and select it. (Note: You can skip this step if you see Downloader’s icon on the main screen. Just press your remote’s menu key (the one with three horizontal lines), then choose uninstall from the small window that opens in the bottom corner of the screen.)

Fix Downloader Change URL Error 9 - Fire TV manage applications

Fire TV will present you with several options for managing Downloader’s data. To go all-out, we’ll choose Uninstall. Confirm in the window that pops open and your device will uninstall the Downloader app in just a few seconds.

Fix Downloader Change URL Error 10 - Fire TV developer options

With the old app out of the way, your next step is to back out to the main settings menu. Scroll right and choose the Device icon, then pick Developer Options. Now you’ll want to set “Apps from Unknown Sources” to “ON”. This allows the Fire TV operating system to install content that isn’t on the appstore, and it’s the prime source for all of your Downloader issues.

Fix Downloader Change URL Error 11 - Downloader main appstore entry

Now it’s time to reinstall the Downloader app. Go back to the appstore by navigating the top menu icons, then select Categories > Utilities. Scroll until you see the orange Downloader icon, then install it right away. Launch the app and you should be able to download content without any errors.

How to Sideload with Downloader

Fix Downloader Change URL Error 12 - Installing apks on Downloader

Now that you’ve got the “check URL” error fixed, let’s add some new apps to your Fire TV! Downloader is one of the most straightforward methods of sideloading available. In a few seconds you can install new streaming sources, apps, utilities, games, and more.

Installing and Using Downloader

If there’s something you want to sideload, you can have it on your Fire TV in just a few seconds, all thanks to Downloader. Just follow the steps below to get started.

  1. Locate the file you want to sideload to your Fire TV. You’ll need a direct URL to the file in order to use it, so make sure it ends with .apk Alternatively, you can use Downloader’s built-in browser to search the web for apk files to download.
  2. Install Downloader to your Fire TV. Either search for it on the appstore, browse the utilities category, or send it from the web via the previous link.
  3. Open Downloader and select the URL box in the middle of the screen.
  4. Type the URL to your apk file exactly as it appears.
  5. Once the link is complete, click the Go button below. Downloader will start to fetch the file right away.
  6. When the download completes, Downloader should prompt you to install the file. You can do that now, or choose the Files section to do it when you’re ready.
  7. That’s it! Access your sideloaded app at any time from Fire TV’s main menu.

Other Downloader Features

Not satisfied with just downloading and installing apks? Downloader has a couple of other features you’ll find handy. For starters, the software comes with its own rudimentary web browser. It doesn’t have a lot of power or unique features, but it does let you search the web for files to download without having to turn on your PC. This is best used with a bluetooth keyboard and/or mouse, as the remote is a bit cumbersome when it comes to browser navigation.

The Favorites menu is another great feature in Downloader. To use it, enter the menu section and add a link in the empty box. Now you’ll be able to download a file without having to type in the URL. This is perfect for grabbing new versions of content that stay in the same location from version to version.

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Alternatives to Downloader

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The above fixes should restore Downloader to full operation in no time. If you just can’t get it to work, however, or if you’re looking for ways to sideload content with a little more oomph, try the excellent Downloader alternatives below.

Sideload with adbLink

One of the most powerful pieces of free software you can use with your Fire TV is adbLink. This incredible app runs on your Windows, Mac, or Linux PC and can interface directly with any Fire TV device running on the same home network. With adbLink you can take a look at your Fire device’s file structure, install any apk directly from your desktop, create or restore backups, take screenshots, or even install Kodi with just a few clicks.

Before you jump in and use adbLink, make sure you’ve toggled unknown sources to “on”. Then just follow the steps below to get the software and connect it to your Fire Stick or Fire TV.

  1. Turn on your Fire TV device. Make sure it’s connected to your home network, the same one your PC uses to access the internet.
  2. On your Fire TV go to Settings > About – Network and write down the device’s IP address.
  3. On your PC or laptop, visit the adbLink website, download the program and install it.
  4. In adbLink click “new” next to the devices box and add your Fire TV Stick.
  5. In the next window, type a unique description and the IP address of your Fire TV.
  6. Make sure your Fire TV is selected in the dropdown box, then click connect.
  7. adbLink will now directly interface with your Fire TV.

When you want to sideload an app to your Fire TV, turn it on, then run adbLink. Connect adbLink to your active Fire TV, then click the “Install APK” button. Find any apk file you want, upload it to your Fire device, then stream the night away.

Use apps2fire for Sideloading

If you own a separate Android device, using apps2fire to install content to your Fire TV is by far the most convenient solution. This free app essentially copies installed content on your Android phone or tablet, then pushes it directly to your Fire TV, no questions asked. If you can install it on your phone, you can install it on your Fire Stick. It really is that simple.

  1. On your second Android device, install apps2fire from the Google Play app store. Make sure it’s the official one developed by Koni, not one of the knockoffs.
  2. Install the app you want to install on your Fire TV to your extra Android device. For example, if you want to sideload YouTube to your Fire Stick, add it to your Android phone first.
  3. Run apps2fire and let it create a list of your installed content.
  4. When the scan is complete, slide the menu left and tap Setup.
  5. On your Fire TV, go to Settings > About – Network and write down the IP address.
  6. Back in apps2fire, enter your Fire TV’s IP address and tap “Search Fire TVs”.
  7. Go to the Local Apps tab and scroll down to the app you want to install.
  8. Tap the icon, then select “Install” when the window opens.
  9. After a moment, the app will upload to your Fire TV and install. This can take a few minutes depending on the speed of your internet connection and the size of the apk in question.
  10. Head to your Fire TV’s main interface and enjoy your new content.

apps2fire is a great sideloading companion. Since Android devices are usually a little easier to access than a Fire TV or Fire Stick, installing new apks is a breeze.

Is Sideloading Safe? Is it Legal?

Apps like Downloader and apps2fire let you sideload any compatible Android app to your Fire TV or Fire Stick device. As long as you obtained the files legally, such as purchasing them from Google Play or using free apps, you aren’t going against any regulations to sideload content to your device. After all, you own it, so where’s the harm?

Sideloading is also completely safe to do. Amazon hasn’t put up any barriers between you and the Fire TV’s operating system. There’s no need to gain root access, jailbreak, or modify the actual hardware to install separate programs, just install the content using Downloader or one of the apps above, and you’re set. There’s no danger of permanently harming your Fire TV or Fire Stick.

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Conclusion

Downloader is one of the most useful apps for Fire TV. Not only is it safe and easy to use, but it opens the door to a wealth of third party and sideloaded apps, all without complicated hardware or software setups. With Downloader you simply enter the URL and start downloading, plain and simple. Most users never even encounter the “unknown error” issue, and if they do, the fix is so easy you can do it with your eyes closed.

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