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Troubleshooting Kindle Paperwhite Problems

Updated on October 1, 2012
Max Dalton profile image

Max holds a B.S. in Mass Communications from SIU and an M.A. in Communication from U of I and is pursuing an MBA from Webster University.


Weighing in at less than 8 oz., the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite is built to be a highly portable e-Reader and not a multimedia powerhouse like the Kindle Fire HD. Common problems with the Kindle Paperwhite include the device locking up, charging problems, books not opening, the device not being recognized by the computer and more. Use troubleshooting to try working through problems you're having on your own before throwing in the towel and contacting Amazon Support.

The Kindle Paperwhite weighs less than 8 oz. and can operate for more than two months on a full charge.
The Kindle Paperwhite weighs less than 8 oz. and can operate for more than two months on a full charge. | Source

Forgot Passcode

It happens to the best of us. In an effort to keep people from accessing content on our devices, we set up a passcode on our devices. If you forget the passcode you set up on your Kindle Paperwhite, you'll need to restore your device's factory settings using the onscreen keyboard on the screen where you input your passcode. You can do this by entering "111222777." As a result, you'll need to set your device up again, restoring any content to it that was previously on it.

Kindle Paperwhite Frozen or Unresponsive

  • Try forcing your Kindle Paperwhite to restart by doing the following:
  1. Hold the device's "Power" button down for roughly eight seconds to force the screen to shutdown. Continue holding down the "Power" button.
  2. Remove your finger from the "Power" button after a total of roughly 25 seconds. The Kindle Paperwhite begins booting up. Because you forced the device to restart, the boot process will likely take a bit longer than a normal boot-up.
  • Plug your Kindle Paperwhite in to AC power and allow it to charge until the battery is at least halfway charged. After the device reaches a 50 percent charge, disconnect it from AC power and then restart the device to see if that resolves your problem.
  • If the device freezes or locks up regularly, try updating the Kindle Paperwhite's firmware/software. Among other things, Amazon firmware updates resolve software issues identified by Amazon. You can update the firmware by doing the following:
  1. Navigate to your Kindle Paperwhite home screen.
  2. Tap "Menu."
  3. Tap "Sync and Check for Updates." If a message appears notifying you that a firmware/software update is available for your device, elect to install it.
  • If updating the Kindle Paperwhite's firmware doesn't resolve the problem, back up any content on the device you don't want to lose and then restore it to its factory settings by doing the following:
  1. Tap the "Menu" icon on your Kindle Paperwhite's home screen. The Menu button features three horizontal lines.
  2. Tap "Settings."
  3. Tap the "Menu" button again to display a menu.
  4. Tap "Reset Device." The factory reset begins. When the device boots up to the screen you saw the first time you turned on the device, the factory reset is complete.

Lines on Screen

  • This could be the result of you being too close to something that's emitting an electromagnetic pulse. Try moving to a different area and see if you're still experiencing the problem. If you no longer experience the problem when using the Kindle Paperwhite in a different area, this is likely the problem.
  • It may be the result of a temporary glitch. Try forcing your device to restart, as outlined in the Kindle Paperwhite Frozen or Unresponsive section to see if that resolves the problem.

Book Not Opening

  1. Hold your finger against the title you want to delete on your Kindle Paperwhite's home screen. A pop-up menu appears.
  2. Tap "Remove from Device" to remove the book from your Kindle Paperwhite.
  3. Re-download the book to your device through the Cloud section. The problem will be resolved if there was a glitch as a result of downloading the book the first time. If you're still experiencing problems, the issue may actually be with the file. Contact Amazon Support to report the problem.

Kindle Paperwhite Not Recognized by Computer

  • Try connecting your Kindle Paperwhite to a different USB port on your computer. The USB port your attempting to connect to may not enabled or it may not be working properly.
  • Restart the device while its connected to the computer.
  • Disconnect your Kindle Paperwhite from the computer, restart it and then reconnect it to the computer after it restarts.

Kindle Paperwhite Charging Problems

  • Ensure the connectors on each end of the charging cable are firmly pushed in to both the Kindle Paperwhite and the power source.
  • If you're charging your device by connecting it to a USB port on your computer, try connecting to a different USB port in case the USB port you're currently connected to either isn't powered or isn't working correctly. Additionally, only connect your device to USB ports located directly on your computer's tower; if you're using an all-in-one computer, only if you're using an all-in-one computer is it acceptable to connect your Kindle Paperwhite to a USB port on the monitor for charging. Also, don't connect your device to a USB port on your keyboard or on a traditional monitor, as these USB ports are often low-power USB ports.
  • If the device isn't holding a charge for a long time, try reducing the brightness of your device and turning off the WiFi to see if that extends your battery life sufficiently. Having the brightness turned up and WiFi enabled can drastically reduce your device's battery life.


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      Robert 5 years ago

      Buyer beware, if you purchase a Kindle Paperwhite and pay to not have advertisements you will still get advertisements on the cover view home page unless you disable the kindle store. Apparently paying $20 to get rid of the ads wasn't sufficient for them to deliver what they advertised, you still get ads in the form of "Editors' Picks".