The Amazon Fire TV Stick is an excellent product for transforming any kind of television into a smart device. Due to this, users are able to stream services like Netflix, Prime TV, and even Internet apps like YouTube on TVs that do not have these apps or services built in. However, you may be wondering if a Fire Stick would work on a laptop.
Though it can be time-consuming to set up, the Amazon TV Fire Stick can be used on a computer. Fire Sticks can allow you to stream content on a computer or display your computer screen on a TV screen or another device, instead. Some of the methods for these two uses may involve making extra purchases. The easiest way to use your Fire Stick on a laptop is through the HDMI cable.
Keep reading to learn more about the ways an Amazon Fire TV Stick can be used on a laptop or other computers.
Streaming Content on Your Computer
Streaming content on a laptop or computer monitor with HDMI input is the simplest way to do so. When streaming on these, a Fire Stick is not even always necessary. Some computer monitors do not have HDMI input, though, so these are the most difficult type to connect to a Fire Stick.
How to Stream Directly on a Computer
Truthfully, there is really no point in using a Fire Stick to stream videos on a laptop or most computer monitors. As long as your laptop or monitor is connected to the internet, all of your subscriptions should be available directly in the web browser.
For example, going to Netflix.com and signing in is all you need to do to watch Netflix on a computer with an internet connection. Frankly, there is no point in spending money on a Fire Stick if streaming directly on a computer with internet is all you want to do.
However, you can still use a Fire Stick in this way, as well as for displaying your computer screen on a tv screen. Fire Sticks also work well directly with TVs.
How to Connect Fire Stick to a Computer Monitor
On the bright side, connecting an Amazon Fire TV Stick to a laptop or to a computer monitor that has HDMI input is a pretty straightforward process. To connect your Fire Stick to your computer the same way you would a tv, you just need to connect it to the HDMI input port.
- First, to ensure that whatever you end up streaming will show up clearly on the computer screen, check to see if the resolution of the screen is 720p or higher.
- Next, check to see if your computer supports High-Bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP). Almost all newer models have this feature, as HDCP decodes all streamed content and lets you watch it with no issues.
- Your Fire Stick and computer tower both need to be plugged in to HDMI ports in case you might need to switch between them. Newer computers tend to have more than one.
- The easiest way to determine your computer’s resolution and whether it supports HDCP, especially for those who are not tech savvy, is to google your model and resolution or HDCP. You might google “Dell XPS 13 resolution,” for instance.
- If your computer does not support HDCP, it will not stream content from a Fire Stick.
- HDMI ports tend to be located on the sides of a laptop or the back of a desktop CPU. Sometimes, they are clearly labeled HDMI.
How to Connect Fire Stick with VGA Adapter
For older computers that do not have HDMI ports, you can use a VGA adapter to connect your Fire Stick to the computer monitor.
- You will need to buy a VGA to HDMI adapter.
- Check the resolution and HDCP (see above).
- Plug the VGA adaptor into the VGA port.
- Plug the Fire Stick into the VGA adapter.
- VGA ports are usually located on the back of a desktop CPU.
- You can buy VGA to HDMI adapters off of Amazon.
Display Computer Content on Your TV or Other Devices
It is possible to stream things like Netflix on your computer and transfer the sound and image to a tv or other devices with an Amazon Fire TV Stick. There are two ways to do so. The first transfers the computer display to a tv, and the second can be used to transfer the computer display to other devices like a projector.
How to Display Computer Content on TV with Screen Mirroring
You will need to set up screen mirroring on both your tv and your computer. The Amazon Fire TV Stick should already be connected to the tv. Also, your computer must have Windows 10 installed for this process to work.
- To set up your Fire Stick for the mirroring process, go to the home screen on the connected tv by pressing the home button on the Fire Stick’s remote.
- From the top of the home screen, scroll over to and click on the settings tab, which should be at the top right of the screen.
- From settings, click on “Mirroring and your Amazon Fire TV Stick.”
- Then, you should be able to select “Enable Display Monitoring.”
- To set up your computer for this process, start by clicking on the “Notifications” icon. It will be located in the right corner at the bottom of the screen, and it looks like a speech bubble with lines in it.
- Several panels should pop up on the screen. Click the one on the bottom row that is labeled “Connect.”
- From the list of devices that appear, select your Fire Stick. It should be in the name of whoever created the Amazon account, so if that person’s name is Cindy, the Fire Stick will be labeled “Cindy’s Fire TV Stick.”
- If the Fire Stick does not appear on the list of devices to connect to, the Fire Stick may have timed out on linking to your computer. Repeat the Fire Stick setup.
- If the display on your tv does not fit the tv screen, the resolution needs to be adjusted from your computer. Right-click the desktop screen and click “Graphics Properties.” From here, hit “Display” and type select 1280 x 720 from the options.
How to Display Computer Content on Other Devices with Plex
If you want to display your computer content on a device that is not a tv—usually, the alternative is a projector—you can do so with an app called Plex.
- First, you will need to install the Plex app on your Fire Stick. You can do so by selecting the search tab on the home screen. It is the icon that looks like a magnifying glass in the top left.
- If you already have a Plex account, you will have the option to sign in. If you do not have a Plex account yet, you must select the “Create Account” option on the same screen.
- After you have signed in to your Plex account, you need to make sure that your computer, Fire Stick, and other device are all connected to the same wifi.
- From here, Plex will provide you with easy to follow instructions to finish the setup and start streaming.
- While it is unlikely that you will have connected any devices to a different wifi network, you may have forgotten to connect one at all, so it is still important to check.
Frequently Asked Questions
The following questions are among those most commonly asked when people are in the process of attempting to use an Amazon Fire TV Stick on a laptop or other computer.
What Is Mirroring?
Though the term may seem confusing even with context, mirroring is simply a quick way to describe displaying the content from one screen on another screen. If you are familiar with Apple’s Airplay feature or Chromecast by Google, they work in a very similar fashion.
The Computer Monitor Lacks Speakers, Will Sound Work?
If you are trying to stream content from your Amazon Fire TV Stick to a desktop computer monitor without speakers, the sound will not work unless you are using a VGA to HDMI adapter with an audio output feature.
If you do not have that either, you will need an HDMI Audio Extractor. These can be purchased from Amazon.
The Amazon Fire TV Stick is a very useful device for streaming video on TVs that do not already have the necessary apps built in. While it can be a bit tedious to set up, it is possible to use a Fire Stick on a laptop or other computer.
If your computer has internet, you should be able to stream directly on it without the aid of a Fire Stick, but the Fire Stick can be used for this if you would prefer. An Amazon Fire TV Stick can also be used to mirror your computer screen on TV or another device like a projector.
Depending on what your computer already has and if it is a newer or older model, you may need to buy some extra products to use your Fire Stick on that computer.