Pin Me

Using Kindle for Email and the Web

written by: Rita A.•edited by: Elizabeth Wistrom•updated: 7/29/2011

Using a Kindle to read e-books that you download from Amazon is a given - but can it do more? Let's take a look.

  • slide 1 of 4

    Many wonder, "Can I access email and the web on Kindle?" The answer is yes! Here's how.

  • slide 2 of 4

    Kindle's Web Browser

    Before you learn how to read email on Kindle, you should understand how the Kindle web browser works.

    The Kindle is mainly an e-reader used to download and read e-books. It does that job very, very well. Besides using it for reading e-books, however, you can also use it as a web access device because it comes with its very own wireless connection, which in turn can be used to read email.

    Its web browser isn’t perfect and it is still experimental. After all, it is an e-reader, right? Features such as JavaScript, SSL and cookies are supported, but plug-ins like Flash and Shockwave will not work. The screen itself is only monochrome, so pictures and videos won’t work too well on a Kindle. Your basic news sites, however, the Kindle works great. As the screen is only in black and white and not color, your basic news sites and email look great on it, but your favorite videos will not.

    The Kindle browser uses WebKit Engine, which is the same engine that Apple Safari, Google Chrome, and the browser on the iPhone and Android uses. To open the Kindle Web Browser, click Launch Browser from the Experimental screen, or you can open the browser by following a link from a book you are reading. When you click on a link in a book, the Web browswer will automatically open to that link.

    You can also open the Web Browser by searching. Press the Menu button and select Search. Start typing in the search field, and use the 5-way controller to search using Google, Wikipedia, or select G to Web.

    If you want to navigate to a different site after you open the Web browser, press Menu and then select Enter URL from the list of options. Type the URL address using the keyboard on your Kindle, and the press the 5-way controller to confirm that you want to navigate to that URL. To navigate around the pages, use the Next page and Previous page buttons. These buttons work in much the same way as you would use a mouse to navigate on a website on your computer.

    The links on a page will be underlined. Use the 5-way controller to open a link. Navigate to the link and press the 5-way controller. You can also use the 5-way controller to enter text into text boxes or search fields. Type the text using the keyboard, and then press the 5-way controller to confirm.

    If you want to view the websites you have recently visited, press the Menu button and choose History from the list. This will show you the History. To see a list of bookmarks, move the 5-way controller to the right side. Or, if you want to bookmark your current page, press the Menu button and select Bookmark this Page.


  • slide 3 of 4

    Reading Email

    The Kindle is not just for books, you can also access the Web and read your email for certain email services. The browser that is included with the Kindle is limited, however, and not all email clients will work with it. The following email services will work on the Kindle:

    • Google’s Gmail works pretty well on the Kindle.
    • Microsoft Hotmail or Windows Live. This email service looks the best out of the email services in this list.
    • Yahoo! Mail looks okay but is better viewed in Basic Mode.

    Basically, if you can read your email on a web browser on your computer, you very well may be able to read email on Kindle. If your email service is not listed above, give it a try using the Kindle browser. If it loads but looks horrible, load it in Basic Mode.

    The Kindle uses a Basic web browser to access websites, etc. The Basic web browser has limited capabilities, which means flash and JavaScript are disabled. For this reason, you will need to change the Basic web settings to Experimental before you can read your email.

    • Turn your Kindle on and go to the Home page.
    • Click on Menu, and then click Experimental to change it from the Basic Web browser to the Experimental browser.
    • Go to the Web browser and press the Select wheel. Enter the URL address for the mobile version of your email service provider into the URL field and press Submit. For example, the mobile version of Gmail would be
    • Enter your username and password for your email service to start reading your email.

    Do you have other tips for accessing the web or reading email on Kindle? If so, be sure to visit the comments section below.

  • slide 4 of 4



    Kindle Image Credit: