Troubleshooting Kindle Fire Problems
The Kindle Fire is a multimedia powerhouse from Amazon that lets you load your favorite movies, music, books, apps, and more. It's a wonderful device, though not impervious to trouble. Common problems include:
- Frozen screen
- Battery problems
- Failure to receive a converted file
- PC failing to recognize the device when it's connected.
This article will help you resolve these issues on your own before seeking (or paying for!) professional support.
Frozen Screen on Kindle Fire
If the screen on your Fire freezes or locks up and won't respond to any actions, don't panic! There are a few things you can try:
- Perform a hard reset. This is not the type of hard reset that restores the device's factory settings. Rather, it just cuts off any programs that are currently running and shuts down the device so you can restart it again later. Hold down the power button for at least 20 seconds, until it shuts off. Wait for a few seconds and then turn on your Kindle Fire.
- Charge your Kindle Fire's battery. A low battery is a known cause of Kindle Fire screens locking up.
- Update your Kindle Fire operating system to the most recent version. The device will freeze more frequently if you are using programs meant to run on a newer version of the operating system on an older version. Updates for the device are available on Amazon.
Kindle Fire Not Receiving Converted Files
There are various reasons you may not be able to receive a file on your device that you submitted to Amazon to be converted into the Kindle-friendly format:
- The e-mail address you used to send the file to Amazon may not be on the Amazon-approved e-mail list to accept files from. Ensure that this e-mail address has been added through the Manage Your Kindle section on the Kindle Fire.
- If wi-fi is not enabled on your Kindle Fire, you won't be able to receive the document from Amazon. Be sure your wi-fi is set up and working properly.
- Double-check that you supplied the correct Sent-to-Kindle e-mail address for Amazon to mail the converted file. This name will be something similar to "firstname.lastname@example.org." Check for typos.
- The file you are trying to convert may not be capable of being converted. File types that can't be converted to a supported format by the Kindle Fire include: unprotected PDF and MOBI files, TXT, PRC natively, HTML, DOC, RTF, JPEG, GIF, PNG, and BMP.
- The converted file may have been funneled to your junk or spam folder.
General Battery Problems with Kindle Fire
If your battery doesn't seem to be charging or runs out quickly, try some of the following:
- If the device isn't charging, perform a hard reset as described in the frozen-screen section above. This closes all running programs and clears the device's cache, which wastes battery life.
- If the battery is not lasting as long as you'd like, disable any function that you aren't using that drains the battery, such as wi-fi.
- Alternatively, transferring a massive amount of files to the device can drain the battery even after the files have been added, as the device still may be indexing them. There is nothing you can do about this, and you'll need to wait until the files are indexed.
Computer Doesn't Recognize Kindle Fire
Here's what you can try if your computer isn't recognizing your device:
- Unplug the Kindle Fire from the USB port and try using a different USB port or a different USB cable.
- If the computer still won't recognize the device, disconnect it again and then restart the Kindle Fire. Try reconnecting the Kindle Fire to the computer.
- Be sure you're using a high-power USB port. High-power USB ports are typically on the back or front of most computer towers. Or, if you're using an all-in-one computer, on the back of the monitor. Devices connected to low-power USB ports often aren't recognized by the operating system. Low-power USB ports are typically located on the keyboard or on the sides of a standard monitor.
- If the computer still isn't recognizing the Kindle Fire, leave the device connected to the computer and then restart both the device and the computer.
- If the computer is still blind to your Kindle Fire, disconnect the Kindle Fire and perform a hard reset as described in the frozen-screen section above.
Supported Files Won't Play on Kindle Fire
The file type may be supported by the Kindle Fire, but the file may be wrapped in a codec that isn't supported by the device.
- If you converted the file yourself, try reconverting the source file to the same file type, but select a different codec to wrap the file in. Even if you don't have the source file, try re-converting the file and wrapping it in a different codec. You may lose quality by doing this, but the file may play on the device.
- If you don't have an audio or video converting program, free converters such as Any Video Converter and Any Audio Converter make converting files and selecting new codecs easy.
Kindle Fire Won't Charge at All
This is often the sign of a deeper problem with your device, such as:
- The device suffered a major jolt that jiggled some of its internal components loose or broke them.
- Overheating, which resulted in some of the internal components actually melting, rendering the device unusable. If this may be the case, contact Amazon Support as soon as possible to see if your device is still covered by the manufacturer's warranty. If it is, Amazon should give you the option to send it back for a replacement device. However, if your device is out of warranty, you'll need to purchase a new device.
There's always the chance that even after suffering damage, your Kindle Fire may resume working again at some point, but it will likely be incredibly unstable and you should still contact Amazon as soon as possible, describe your problem, and work on getting a replacement device.
Question Mark on the Kindle Fire Battery Icon
If a question mark appears on top of your Kindle Fire's battery icon, this is a warning from the device that it isn't properly detecting or displaying the amount of power left in the battery, and that your battery may run out or last longer than what is indicated on the battery icon.
- Try updating your Kindle Fire's firmware to resolve this issue.
- If that doesn't work, restore the Kindle Fire to its factory settings. While the first option may work, restoring the factory settings resolves this issue almost every time. This problem doesn't signify deeper issues with your device; it's just a quirk in its software.
How many books do you read on your Kindle Fire in a year?
© 2011 Max Dalton