How to reset a Kindle: Three simple solutions, and what to do if they don't work

Our guide to how to reset a Kindle if yours has frozen or you're getting a black screen

Frozen kindle - woman holding mug with kindle in shot
(Image credit: Getty Images)

If your Kindle has frozen, glitched, or is showing nothing but a black screen, there's no need to fear. Our simple guide will show yow how to reset a Kindle, and to get yours back up and running in no time. 

When you're reading one of the best historical fiction books, best romance books, or the best science fiction books, the last thing you want to happen is for your eReader to crash on you. An occasional glitch can affect even the best Kindles. Luckily, there are some easy tricks you can try to reboot and get everything back up and running. 

If it's time to upgrade your ereader, don't miss our in-depth Kindle Paperwhite review, which is an Amazon best seller. 

The three ways to reset a kindle are: 

  • Check the battery of your device.
  • Try a soft reset first.
  • Factory reset the Kindle.

How to reset a Kindle—three options to try

We'd suggest trying these options in order, to be able to rule out some simpler issues first: 

1. Double check the battery

While the best eReaders have a long battery life, the battery running out is inevitable. Checking yours sounds obvious, but it is often a step that people overlook when their Kindle screen is black. 

Plug your device into a charging source. When it is fully charged, a green light should appear on the bottom of your Kindle. You will see an amber light if it isn't charged. If you find that you are unable to charge your device, it may mean that the charging cable or the battery itself is damaged and needs fixing or replacing. 

If you suspect your cable is preventing your Kindle from charging, you can try plugging in the micro USB cable that you use for your tablet or smartphone—often they will be compatible. If this isn’t an option, there are plenty of chargers for all models of Kindle available from Amazon and all good electrical retailers.

If this fails, the battery itself could be the problem. There are a number of video tutorials online showing you how to fit a new battery yourself, but unless you are a technician, we would really advise leaving this particular task up to the experts—see the bottom of this article for advice on how to do this. 

2. Try a 'soft reset'

How to fix a frozen kindle - Woman holding kindle

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The second option is to try a soft reset. This is how:

  • Flip open your Kindle cover, and press and hold the power button (this is usually on the bottom of your device, but may be on the back) until the power menu appears. Then, press restart. Alternatively, if you press and hold the power button and your screen goes blank, hold the button. 
  • Continue to hold down for a count of 40, then release.
  • After a few seconds, your Kindle should automatically begin rebooting. Don’t worry if the screen flashes during the process. This is normal.

In the same way that it is important to fully shut down your desktop computer or laptop regularly—rather than leaving them in perpetual sleep mode—it is vital that you allow your Kindle a chance for a refresh every now and then. The soft reset won’t wipe any of your data or mess up your settings, so it’s perfectly safe to do as often as you need.

3. Factory reset your device

If your Kindle battery is fully charged, and the device is still freezing after doing a soft reset, it may be worth wiping the slate clean by restoring it to its factory settings.

Before committing to a factory reset, it might be worth quickly checking with Kindle Support to ensure there are no other steps you can take. 

From the home screen of your Kindle select 'Menu', then 'Settings'. From there take the option to 'Reset device'. These steps may vary, depending on which model of Kindle or tablet you are using. Look for the three vertical dots in the top-right of your homepage if you are unsure, as these should link directly to your settings.

Be warned: a factory reset does remove all the content from your device, but you will be able to re-download your apps, free eBooks, and your best eBook titles from the Cloud, or directly from your Amazon library. It's worth noting though that your WiFi details and any parental controls you had set up will need to be entered again. 

As a side note, if you ever decide to sell your Kindle or it gets stolen, you'll also want to do a factory reset to clear all your content and personal information.

What to do if all else fails

If you have tried all the steps above and to no avail, there are two more options to help you get your Kindle back to working order:

  • Visit the official Kindle Digital Services and Support page
  • Visit the official Kindle Facebook page

First of all, you can seek professional help through the official Kindle Digital Services and Device Support page. Here you will find a full library of help topics, forums where you can ask other Kindle users and Amazon staff for advice on how to reset a Kindle, with dedicated user guides for every type on the market. If your device is under warranty, you will be able to contact Amazon Customer Services and arrange for a local technician to carry out any repairs.

There is also an official Kindle Facebook page, which is a great community to join if you need quick help and advice from experts and users alike. You may find that you get a faster response here on how to reset a Kindle than you would via the main Amazon site. 

If the warranty has expired on your device, or you want a faster solution than the one Amazon is offering, you could try contacting a friendly neighborhood expert for help. Simply type ‘local Kindle technicians near me’ into your search engine to find out who’s out there, but be sure to check their credentials and read customer reviews before you hand anything over.

Frozen Kindle - woman holding kindle in bed

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Why is my Kindle frozen? 

There are a couple of reason you may be experiencing issues with your Kindle freezing. One of the most common reasons and the one that can be fixed easiest is that your Kindle is running out of power. When your device has significant low power than it reduces the power going to the main processor therefore causing it to freeze and malfunction. 

Another reason your Kindle might have frozen is that it may be due an update. If you've not updated your Kindle's firmware in a while, the device may be suffering from bugs that have been resolved in the latest update. When you've successfully got it un-frozen using one of the aforementioned steps then check your settings for the newest update and download it. 

Your Kindle may also be suffering from memory issues. Kindles are designed to only store so much data so if they're reaching their max capacity you may start to see some slowness and eventual freezing. If this is the case, it might be time to clear out some of the old books you no longer need or want to read. 

Freezing may also occur when using the web browser feature on your Kindle, the devices don't have much processing power so something like being on a web browser can slow it's functioning speed down. 

Isabelle Broom

Isabelle Broom is the author of eight escapist fiction novels. She won the Romantic Novelist’s Association Best Contemporary Romance Novel award in 2019 and The Great British Write Off short story competition in 2015, with her winning entry, The Wedding Speech, later being adapted into a short film. 

As well as heading off on adventures abroad—a pastime she now gets to call ‘research’—Isabelle is lucky enough to write book reviews and travel features on a freelance basis.

With contributions from