Kindle Giving You Trouble? Three Easy Fixes and Troubleshooting Steps

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The Kindle range of e-readers from Amazon are excellent, lightweight devices that enable you to carry your library of books around wherever you go – but what happens when a Kindle goes wrong?

Amazon’s popular eBook readers are easy to setup and use, but from time to time they can run into problems. Issues related to wireless networks or the free international 3G network that can be used for buying and downloading eBooks are perhaps the most common. There are other problems that can arise from time to time, however, such as the Kindle display freezing, or the battery running low. Indeed, the vast majority of problems you experience with a Kindle will be due to low battery or connectivity issues – or both.

Before you can deal with your Kindle’s problems, you will need to establish which model you’re using.

Note that we are dealing only with Kindle e-readers here, those that use e-ink displays rather than the Kindle Fire (more information about which you will find in our Kindle Fire guide).

How to Identify Your Kindle

Before you can begin to effectively troubleshooting your Kindle, you will need to know which model you have. There are several different versions of the eBook reader, so being aware of which model is yours will help you to quickly find the right fix.

You might, for example, have a standard Kindle dating back to the first generation of devices, or the more recent version without the keyboard. Alternatively, you might be using a Kindle DX (with the larger, 9.7 inch screen) or a Kindle Touch, which combines the e-ink display with a touch screen.

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If you’re lucky, you might even have the Kindle Paperwhite with its free 3G global wireless.


A quick method of checking is by looking up the serial number. Do this by pressing Home > Menu > Settings > Device Info and read the serial number, which will begin with one of the following strings, revealing which model you have:

B001 = Kindle 1

B002 = Kindle 2 US

B003 = Kindle 2 International

B004 = Kinde DX US

B005 = Kindle DX International

B006 = Kindle 3 Wi-Fi and 3G

B008 = Kindle 3 Wi-Fi only

B009 = Kindle DX Graphite

B00A = Kindle 3 Wi-Fi and 3G

B00E = Kindle 4 NoTouch Silver (2011)

B00F = Kindle Touch 3G + Wi-Fi (Kindle 5) (U.S. and Canada)

B011 = Kindle Touch Wi-Fi (Kindle 5)

B010 = Kindle Touch 3G + Wi-Fi (Kindle 5) (Europe)

B012 = Kindle 5 (Unknown)

B023 = Kindle 4 NoTouch Black (2012)

B024 = Kindle PaperWhite Wi-Fi

B01B = Kindle PaperWhite 3G + Wi-Fi (U.S.) [Mostly]

(There are some variants, which you can find in the full list at

Serial numbers might also be found on the reverse of the device, and on the box. You can also identify your Kindle by visiting Amazon, signing into your account and selecting Your Account > Manage Your Kindle > Manage Your Device > Registered Kindle Devices.

Once you’ve identified your Kindle (this page at Amazon can also help) you’ll be ready to apply the correct fix.

There are several common problems you might experience with your Kindle – let’s take a look at how to fix them.

Kindle Connection Issues

If your Kindle cannot connect to a wireless network, you can’t download ebooks. Clearly this is a problem, but one that can usually be easily resolved. All Kindle devices have wireless connectivity.


To deal with wireless connectivity issues, begin by checking the strength of the signal. This is found in the top-right corner of the display on all models, and will also indicate your connection type. If you have a strong signal but cannot access the Kindle Store or your library, try disconnecting by opening Menu > Settings > Wi-Fi Settings (Wi-Fi Networks on later models) and accessing a different network. You may find that restarting the device will help (see below).

Some Kindles have 3G, however. If your problem is with connecting to the 3G network, first check the Kindle 3G coverage map which should help you determine whether a 3G signal should be available to you or not.


Next, check your battery. If it is low, then you will need to charge before proceeding. Open the menu and activate the 3G connection, following this by syncing your device with the Kindle library (Menu > Sync & Check for Items on later models).

Restarting your Kindle may help here – see the next section for details.

Remember that it can take a few moments for your Kindle to connect to a network after you switch it on.

Help – My Kindle Has Frozen!

An unresponsive Kindle is particularly frustrating. Restarting your device may help, but you should begin by charging it so that the e-reader has a full battery before proceeding.

To restart the Kindle (whichever model) hold the power button until the device powers down. Leave it for few moments before repeating the action to boot it back up. Be aware that the problem that caused the freeze may need resolving, so the reboot may be slow.


Another option is to install the latest update. Updates can be downloaded from Amazon and installed by connecting your Kindle to your computer via USB and dragging the downloaded file to your Kindle.

For serious freezing issues, you may need to reset your device. From a frozen Kindle, this is done by depressing the power switch for 20-30 seconds. Be aware, however, that this action will wipe your device, so you will need to login and resync all of your content. This step should only be taken in the event that no other fix works.

Maximise Battery Life

As you might have noticed, there are several problems that a low battery can cause on a Kindle e-reader – so what’s the best way of making the charge last?

Well, we should start with the obvious. To keep your Amazon Kindle battery up, you should charge it whenever the battery is low. This will mean keeping an eye on the battery level in the top-right corner, of course, but this should allow you to fall into a routine of charging every few days or so.

To keep the battery as full as possible for as long as possible, however, you should be disconnecting from wireless networks and 3G (if applicable) whenever you’re not using them. This should really be most of the time, unless you’re using homebrew apps to browse the web and use your e-reader like a monochrome tablet.


Disconnecting is best done by switching to airplane mode, which you will find under Menu > Settings.

Other Kindle Troubleshooting Tips

The majority of issues with the Kindle e-readers can be fixed with a hard reset, as described above.

However, one or two cannot. For instance, problems with your payment method or your user account password will need to be dealt with by signing into the Manage Your Kindle page at Amazon, where you can make the necessary checks to ensure your details are all correct.

Once you’ve done this, any sign-in and issues with making payment for new ebooks should be sorted out. All you will need to do is to make another attempt at the sync or purchase you were trying to make on your Kindle, updating any changed details on your device to correspond with those on your account page.

You can also check sync issues by using the desktop Kindle app – this is a quick way of determining if there are any problems.

Straightforward Fixes Make E-Reading Easy

You’ll have noticed above that I pointed out that these fixes and troubleshooting steps are aimed at the e-ink Kindles and not the Kindle Fire. The main reason for this is that the e-ink devices are so much easier to use, and simpler to fix; after all, they do much less, and in many ways are single-purpose devices, unlike the multipurpose Kindle Fire.

What this means is that you shouldn’t have too many problems with your ebook reader – but if you do, you should be able to cope with them using the steps outlined here.

Image Credit: Robert Drózd

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34 Comments - Write a Comment



I have another problem with my Kindle Touch not mentioned in the article:
What if the Wifi password changes?
I connect to a wifi network that requires me to change the password every 3rd month. After going through all the obvious places to change password / reconnect, it seems that the only way to remove a wifi network on the device is to do a factory reset (which is very frustrating to do every 90th day).
Does anyone know about any other way to do this?

Christian C

Remarkably, that is the only way to do it, Simen. As UI design flaws go, it’s a big one.


G P Witteveen

One correction. You write that holding power switch steadily 20-30 seconds will reset. In fact the way for factory default restoration is in the MENU >Settings list of options (say, for example, you wish to give or sell to another person & wish to remove content; you may wish to de-register from your account & creditcard, etc). But in fact the hold-power move for 10 seconds will turn off the device (as opposed to letting it ‘sleep’ after 10 minutes unattended) and holding for 17 seconds will cause the device to “re-inventory” the titles and personal documents onboard. As well, any recent content that it has not yet indexed (for speedy searching) will be initiatied, so routinely doing this “hard restart” is good once every month or two.

Christian C

Useful addendum, thanks!


Victoria Pryce

My kindle has lines starting from the middle down and a picture in the right hand lower corner and I don’t know how to sort it out??


Interestingly so do we. Don’t bother going to the Kindle website they go out of there way of NOT being helpful (after having to talk to 5 people)about the issue. As usual fine if we return it at our cost, all they do I offer a refurbished one at our cost. Ours is going in the “bin” Less than 2 years old. Carefully looked after. What a rip off. Wont be advising others to purchase.




I chave downloaded a couple of books but some cannot be opened. These ‘un-openable’ books appear greyed out and have a cross within a circle icon in their top right hand corner similar to the close window button found on most computer applications.
What does this mean?


Debadri roy

Hi Linda, I too have a kindle & your issue means that the particular book is not downloaded fully.Get the wi fi option on and the following so called”queued” book will start downloading automatically.Your book will be activated and start to read it.The cross at the top means that if you want to cancel the download of the book.But you need to have it downloaded fully to activate the book.
With Love,& Care for your Kindle.
Debadri Roy,India –Calcutta



when I put my Kindle 4 into the usb, the system says “the usb device wasn´t recognized” all the time. I tried different cables and different computers, but still cannot add anything because of that. charging works, the computer just can´t see the device. any help? thanks

Christian Cawley

What operating systems are the computers?

Debadri roy

This means that the particular book is not downloaded fully.Get the wi-fi option on and the “queued” book will start downloading automatically. The cross option means that if you want to cancel the download.
Thank u.
Debadri Roy.-From India.(calcutta)



I try to get connection to wi-fi at home in Denmark. But my Kindle papir White will not accept it. I know the password is right. It works with IPhone, Ipads e.g. Do you have a proposal, or do I have to send the Kindle back to UK?



I have a Kindle 5 B011 and for some reason I can no longer get into the Kindle Store

Christian Cawley

Can you access the store through a desktop browser?



I have the same problem of having a line down the middle

Christian Cawley

Have you dropped or banged the device?


Umm… Well once it dropped.. But that was long before the line appeared….. The line is peculiar in behaviour.

In normal mobi format the line is hardly noticeable but whe ever i look up a meaning using dictionary, the line darkens and hoes back to negligible when i resune reading

In other options and home (where all the books are displayed) the line is dark again…



I have a Kindle-4 9023. I purchased it last year or so in India. I used it initially but after that it was left unattended for the past 3 months in its cover near my other electronic items.

To my dismay, when I took it, I could see that the e-ink in the top-half of the screen is faded.

Do anyone of you faced this issue? If so, do please provide your solutions and suggestion

Andy MacNicol

I have the same problem with the ink fading and came here to find a solution. No joy yet.


Christian Cawley

I would suggest resetting the device with a long hold of the power button. If this doesn’t work, contact Amazon support


Dave Goodman

I have a kindle light I have had it about 3years I down loaded about 90 books ,I started down loading a new book and it tellin me it hasn’t down loaded . Have tried rebooted it ! and it still will not down load. I have got another kindle and all book have been down loaded.


Ngumimi Koughna

I have a kindle paperwhite. I purchase books and pay via amazon gift cards. I presently have over 60 US Dollars gift card in my amazon account but I am unable to make purchases. Any Idea on what to do next? I have visited mazon fixpayment but no solution


A Walklett

I have the problem with not being able to connect to WiFi. Read your notes but can’t get a WiFi visible at all. House WiFi is deff working, also have a second kindle device same model 4.1 and it is fine
If try factory reset does this mean loose all existing books , or will they drop back in?

Christian Cawley

Books are stored in the cloud once purchased, so you should be able to download them again once you sign into the reset device.



I can’t get my kindle to switch on


Alesia Bradley

I hit my kindle with my hand trying to kill a bug. Now the screen is a mess. It is not broken, but looks all scrambled. Any hope?


Christian Cawley

The first thing you should try is resetting. After that, call Amazon and if under warranty they’ll replace it.



My kindle is not detecting wifi . Reset, factort reset all done.



I have connection issues to the is connected but saying it isn’t and won’t let my kid play her games

Christian Cawley

We’re talking about Kindle eBook readers on this page, Christina. From your comment you seem to be referring to a Kindle Fire? Can you confirm?



I have a Kindle 3 wifi only, and it has lost wifi connection. When I try to reconnect by putting in my password it still won’t connect. I have had this device for a few years now with lots of books and music on it and this has never happened before

Christian Cawley

Hard reset followed by setting up and resyncing your account would seem to be the first thing you should try, Mary.



I have B011 (Touch Wifi) version and it could connect to Wifi but was not syncing and shop not opening (though I could open internet pages in the browser). I have done Factory Reset but it didn’t help.

The solution was to install the new firmware! I had factory 5.0.0 and now is available. Just go to and follow the instructions (I had to make firmware upgrade in three turns).

Hope it helps

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