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Resetting and Restoring Your Kindle

written by: Elton Gahr•edited by: Elizabeth Wistrom•updated: 9/18/2011

Most of the time, the Kindle works great - but on occasion it can freeze or glitch. In those cases, knowing how to simply reset the device will almost always solve the problem.

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    When your Kindle does have an issue, it’s hard to know what to do or even how to reset Kindle devices. The problem is that the only instructions included with the device are on the Kindle itself. If your unit is frozen, then you are stuck and can not read those. Still, getting your e-book reader to work again isn’t really too much trouble. The first thing to do is plug your device in for a few minutes. Even something as simple as a low battery life will make it act strange. Then, once you have checked to ensure that it is well charged, you are ready to begin with the more important procedures, like resetting the Kindle or even doing a factory restore.

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    Resetting the Kindle

    Amazon Kindle 

    I have found that the most common time for the Kindle to freeze is when using experimental functions, like browsing the Internet. No worries, though! Knowing how to reset Kindle devices is the easiest of the troubleshooting steps. All you need to do is find the small metal slider at the top of the Kindle. You can use this to put the device into sleep mode. Simply slide it to the right and hold it for about twenty seconds. The device should reset. After a few seconds of a blank screen, you should see the image of someone sitting under a tree reading a book and the slider across the bottom. Simply wait for the bar to fill, and you should return to the main page.

    On rare occasion, this will not work. This could be a sign of a more major problem. Before you take any steps, however, the next thing that you should do is to make certain that it is actually powered enough to restart. Plugging your device into a wall or USB for about ten minutes and then resetting it should solve the problem. If by some chance it still doesn’t work, or if the device freezes as it starts, then you’ll likely have to do something more drastic.

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    Kindle Factory Restore

    The problem may be odd settings or bad files, and restoring the device may be your only option. In order to do this, you will want to go through the same process as resetting it. Slide the bar over for about twenty seconds. As the kindle begins to reset, you will want to hold down the Home button. Wait until the screen flashes, and then let both go free. You will be taken to a screen that looks similar to the restarting screen, except that it says Restore to Factory and gives you the option of clicking the five direction button to stop it. If you do not tell it not to restore, the device should reset. If any of the problems you were having were due to software, that should solve them.

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    What to Do After Restoring a Kindle

    kindle image amazon 

    If restoring the device does solve the problem, then you will need to register the Kindle so that you can download the books that you have bought already. In order to do this, go to the main home page. Hit the Menu button and you will see a list of choices. Choose Settings and Registration. Once you have done this, you should be able to put in your email and a bit of information, and get everything you want back. Before you do that though, you may want to play with the device a bit to see if you’ve really fixed the problem, There is always a small chance that getting those books again will cause the device to freeze.

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    While no one likes to have to deal with device errors, the Kindle is a very basic unit, and one that typically will be very easy to repair. Simply turning it off will solve many of the problems, and resetting it should solve ninety-percent of the rest. For those rare instances where you have bad software on the device, restoring it should be enough. Beyond that, the problem is almost certainly going to be hardware related. If that is the case, rest assured knowing that trying all of these things at least once or twice will make the phone call to Amazon Support go a lot faster. This will allow the support team to focus on those things that are less common and can hopefully help you solve everything very quickly.

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    Do you have other troubleshooting tips to offer when it comes to knowing how to reset Kindle devices? If so, be sure to visit our comments section below.


  • Source: Author's own experience
  • Image, courtesy of