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How to change the Amazon Fire TV Ambient Experience background

When it comes to the streaming platforms that power our access to the world of services from Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+, and more, there's no doubt that Amazon Fire TV is among the biggest on the planet. Millions of users worldwide turn to its Sticks, Cubes, and TVs in part because of their low cost, but also because they reliably deliver a consistent experience across them all.




5 minutes

What You Need

  • Amazon Fire TV Stick Max (2023)

  • Amazon Fire TV Omni Series

One exception to that is what's known as the Ambient Experience. It's a combination of beautiful backgrounds and widgets of varying degrees of usefulness, depending on how embedded you actually are into the Amazon ecosystem. But for now, the Ambient Experience is available only on the Fire TV Omni QLED — the Amazon-branded television that runs on Fire TV — and on the 2023 model of the Fire TV Stick 4K Max.

The backgrounds are what we're going to focus on here. They really are very good. And Amazon has given us a ridiculous number of them. So you're going to want change them up on a regular basis. Here's how.

The small widgets on the Amazon Fire TV Ambient Experience.
Phil Nickinson / Digital Trends

Turn on the Ambient Experience

Given that you can only change the Ambient Experience background while the Ambient Experience is running, we'll need to turn it on first.

Step 1: Wait. The Ambient Experience will turn itself on if you wait long enough. (That length of time is customizable.)

Step 2: Or, you can hold down the Home button on your Fire TV remote and then choose Ambient Experience from the menu.

The Amazon Fire TV menu.
Phil Nickinson / Digital Trends

Choose a new background

You'll be able to change the background once Ambient Experience is active. Here's how to do that.

Step 1: Press the Menu button on your Fire TV remote (it's the one that looks like three horizontal lines).

Step 2: Using the remote's directional buttons, choose Change background.

Amazon Fire TV Ambient Experience options.
Phil Nickinson / Digital Trends

Step 3: Now, you have some decisions to make. Amazon has dozens of options — including your own photos, if you're using Amazon Photos.

Using the directional buttons, select a collection. These are groups of individual backgrounds, each of which contains a number of backgrounds. Some are static images, others include motion.

Background options for the Ambient Experience on Amazon Fire TV.
Background options for the Ambient Experience on Amazon Fire TV. Phil Nickinson / Digital Trends

Step 4: Find the background you want to use, then click the Select button (it's in the center of the ring of directional buttons) to confirm.

Step 5: Click Change Collection to confirm your choice again.

And that's it. You'll need to hit the Back button a couple of times to get back to the Ambient Experience if you want to see the new background right away. Or you can just wait it out and it'll load on its own in due time.

This is the sort of thing you could spend way too much time playing around with, simply because Amazon has so many great options from which to choose.

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Phil Nickinson
Section Editor, Audio/Video
Phil spent the 2000s making newspapers with the Pensacola (Fla.) News Journal, the 2010s with Android Central and then the…
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