Last Updated on June 21, 2022
Sometimes just referred to as a Fire Stick, the Amazon Fire TV Stick can transform your television into a smart device. You’ll instantly unlock access to Hulu, Netflix, YouTube, and many of your favorite streaming services. The Fire Stick may be small, but it is a full-featured streaming device in all regards.
The Fire Stick provides you with, as it claims, ‘tens of thousands’ of channels for your television. But what if you want to watch those channels on the go? Since the Fire Stick is about the size of your thumb, it’s perfectly portable. But how do you use an Amazon Fire Stick on a laptop?
The most straightforward way to use a Fire Stick on your laptop is via an attached HDMI cable. You will need to ensure that your laptop can support the correct resolution before you do so.
How to Use a Fire Stick On a Laptop
If you’d like to stream content onto a laptop, such as channels that are exclusive to your Fire Stick, connecting the laptop to your TV with an HDMI cable is the best solution. When streaming on a laptop or computer, a Fire Stick is not even always necessary.
If you have an internet connection, you do not need to connect your Fire Stick to your laptop. Your computer can already log in to most of the sites you’ll use a Fire Stick for, such as Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime Video.
The main reason people want to connect their Fire Stick to their laptop is to display their computer screen on their television. Fire Sticks work best when connected directly to a TV.
How to Connect a Fire Stick to your Laptop
If your laptop has an HDMI port, connecting your Amazon Fire TV Stick is a pretty straightforward process. If you want to hook your Fire Stick up to your laptop, the same way you would a television, simply connect it to the HDMI input port.
- Before you begin, you’ll need to verify that the shows or movies you want to stream will show up clearly on the computer screen. Double-check to see if the resolution of your screen is at least 720p.
- Next, find out whether or not your laptop supports High-Bandwidth Digital Content Protection, or HDCP. For the most part, if you’re using a newer laptop, you’ll more than likely find this feature supported. This feature decodes streamed content, allowing you to enjoy it without any interruption.
- Both the laptop and your Fire Stick need to be connected to the HDMI ports. This is important in the event that you’ll want to switch between them. Whether yours does or not heavily depends on the style, size, and build of your laptop.
Tips and troubleshooting
If you’re unsure of what your laptop’s resolution is, or whether it supports HDCP or not, you can easily find this out by googling your laptop’s model name and number and the word ‘resolution’ or ‘HDCP support.’
For example, if you have an Acer Aspire E5-573G laptop, you’ll want to google “Acer Aspire E5-573G resolution.” From there, you’ll be able to determine the device’s resolution.
Unfortunately, if your system does not support HDCP, it will not be capable of streaming content with a Fire Stick.
How to Connect Fire Stick with VGA Adapter
Some older laptops are not equipped with an HDMI port. In this instance, you can use a VGA adapter to connect your laptop and Fire Stick.
- Purchase a VGA adapter. You can find these online or in electronic supply stores.
- As above, double-check the resolution and HDCP compatibility.
- Insert the VGA adapter into the available VGA port.
- Connect the Fire Stick with the VGA adapter.
That’s all there is to it when you want to connect a Fire Stick with a laptop using a VGA Adapter.
Tips for Locating VGA ports
If you’re unable to locate them, VGA ports are usually located on the sides of your laptop. You’ll likely find them among the other ports.
Display Laptop Content on a TV or Other Device with a Fire Stick
If you’re looking to connect with other devices using your Fire Stick, you’re in luck. It is entirely possible to stream your favorite services on your laptop and transfer the picture and audio to a television, or another device, using an Amazon Fire TV Stick.
Generally, there are two ways to go about this. The first is to transfer the computer display to a TV. The second is to transfer the computer display to other devices, almost like you would with a projector.
How to Display Laptop Content on a TV with Screen Mirroring
To do this, you will need to set up screen mirroring on both the TV and on your laptop. The Amazon Fire TV Stick is likely already connected to the TV, so you can leave it there.
For this process, your computer must have Windows 10 installed.
- First, you’ll be getting the Fire Stick ready for mirroring. To do this, head to the home screen on the connected TV. You can achieve this by pressing the home button on the Fire Stick’s designated remote.
- From the topmost part of the home screen, scroll over to and select the settings tab, usually located on the top right of your TV’s screen.
- Once you’re in the settings menu, look for a setting called “Mirroring and your Amazon Fire TV Stick.”
- After you’ve selected it, locate “Enable Display Monitoring” and click on it.
- Next, you’ll get your laptop set up. Click on your“Notifications” icon, located in the right corner at the bottom of the screen. In most Windows 10 setups, this is a speech bubble with lines in it.
- Several panels will come up on your screen. Select one on the bottom row, labeled “Connect.”
- Search through the available devices until you find your Fire Stick. It will be under the name of the person who created the Amazon account. (For example, if your name is Steve, it will be labeled as Steve’s Fire Stick.)
Tips and troubleshooting
If you find that the Fire Stick isn’t showing up on the list of available devices, the Fire Stick may have timed out on linking up to your computer. Repeat the first four steps again. If you’re still struggling, you may be experiencing a problem with your Fire Stick itself. In this case, reach out to support to find the solution.
If your laptop’s display does not fit the television screen, you need to adjust the resolution on your computer. Right-click the desktop screen and select “Graphics Properties.” Select “Display” and choose 1280 x 720 from the options. This should get you in the right place for most TV displays.
How to Display Laptop Content on Other Devices Using Plex
If you want to display your computer content on a device that is not a television, you can download an app called Plex. Plex is a handy app that allows you to cast your displays elsewhere.
If you have your own projector device, see if it is able to connect to a Fire Stick externally. It may be able to hook up without the need for extra cords or apps. Check your manual to see what it is capable of.
- Install the Plex app on your Fire Stick. You’ll be able to locate it easily from your Fire Stick’s search tab.
- Create an account with Plex using the onscreen instructions. If you already have an existing account, you’ll need to log in.
- After you have signed in or signed up for a Plex account, double-check to ensure that everything is connected to Wi-Fi.
- Follow the onscreen steps provided by Flex to set up your projection. These should be fairly easy to follow, allowing you to get started in using your Fire Stick to project your laptop screen.
What is Mirroring?
If you’re following these instructions and are unsure what ‘mirroring’ is, don’t fret. The term is sometimes difficult to describe. In short, mirroring refers to duplicating the exact content from one screen onto another. For example, displaying exactly what you see on your laptop screen, on your TV as well. Other applications, like Apple’s Airplay or Chromecast by Google, use this same technology to allow their casting methods to work.
My Laptop Doesn’t Have Speakers. Will Using My Fire Stick Work?
If you want to stream content from your Amazon Fire TV Stick to a laptop without speakers, or with poor quality ones, the sound will not work properly. The way around this is to use a VGA or HDMI adapter with an audio output feature. You might also be able to arrange for external speakers to act as output, but this takes a few extra steps.
Alternatively, you can use something called an HDMI Audio Extractor. You can find these either on Amazon or on other electronic supply stores.
The Amazon Fire TV Stick is an incredibly useful device for those who are interested in streaming video on their TVs. The setup process may be a little messy and tedious, but the end results are worth it. It is definitely possible to use a Fire Stick with your laptop. You can also use these methods to connect with a desktop computer. It will work more or less the same.
If you have an HDMI cable, you already have what you need to get started with using a Fire Stick with your laptop. In other cases, apps like Plex can help you experience your favorite shows on the big screen.
Keep in mind if your laptop has internet access, you’ll be able to stream directly on it without attaching an extraneous Fire Stick. However, there may be content exclusive to the Fire Stick that you want to access. Or, an Amazon Fire TV Stick can be used to mirror your laptop’s screen onto your TV, acting as a projector. Simply set it up and enjoy.