“Thawing” a Kindle Freeze

My Kindle Gen3 WiFi has frozen up on me 4 times.  A frozen or unresponsive Kindle is easy to thaw, and now I can pretty much prevent it from happening.
The first time my Kindle froze the screen went blank except the bar on top  (Author heading, indicators for battery). The text from the page I left off on was just gone. Changing the page brought back the same blank page.  I freaked–hey I was in the middle of an exciting book & my Kindle was only a few weeks old. I thought my books were gone for good. I noticed the battery only had 1/3 left so I charged it. The problem remained, so I searched Amazon for Kindle troubleshooting and followed the step by step guide. (For 3rd Generation Kindle only. G1 & 2 have slightly different  steps.)

How to Thaw a Frozen Kindle

  1. Unplug Kindle from power adapter or computer.
  2. Slide and release the power button. The LED light that surrounds the power button will display green for two seconds.
  3. Shut down Kindle by sliding and holding the power button for five seconds. The LED light will blink three times. Wait for the screen to go blank, then release the power button.
  4. Turn on the Kindle by sliding and releasing the power button.
  5. If Kindle is still not working, you can perform a hard reset by sliding and holding the power button for 15 seconds.
  6. If Kindle is still unresponsive, try charging Kindle before trying to restart the device once again.
  7. Make sure you have the latest software version available installed on your Kindle. The latest version is available here: www.amazon.com/kindlesoftwareupdates
    If you continue to experience problems, please contact us.

The Above Steps Failed to Fix the Problem. 

I requested a call from support and got a call back immediately. We went through the steps together and when that failed we did a “hard reset” together.  The friendly, helpful, and easy to understand service person said the common mistake is not holding the slide for a full 15 seconds during the fix. He timed me and afterward he walked me through reloading my books from my books archive stored by Amazon.  Done.

Kindles are Vulnerable to Freezing When:

  1. Loading Free Book Samples (But service person did not know why.)
  2. Batteries are Low. Keeping the battery charge above 50% is recommended for optimal functioning.  Kindle batteries DO NOT need to be drained dry periodically like some electronics require.
  3. WiFi Connection Fails (or weakens) during a download. (the download still worked for me though.)

After the fourth freeze* I called Kindle to see if something could be wrong with my Kindle. The service person basically said since my Kindle freezes happened as a result of low battery or loading a sample and/or responded to troubleshooting, there is nothing wrong with my Kindle 🙂

*2012 Update:

My Kindle never froze again after learning Kindle’s vulnerabilities 🙂

Leave a comment


  1. Bobbie

     /  08/06/2011

    What a gal!

  2. Oh man, I’ve only had the low-battery freeze happen to me once, and I’m with you — I was freaking out. I couldn’t find my wall adapter, and we run Linux at home; the Kindle and Linux have charging issues. (Which I now know how to work around, but at the time, nada.)

    Luckily I was able to boot my husband’s computer into Windows and it charged fine. It was a bad night until then, though.

    • I’ve been unlucky with my Kindle, although I still love it. I swear I have every one of the issues Amazon swears is rare! Kindle Freeze, sticky, power button, and my letters are wearing off keyboard.
      Maybe fate is just trying to help me with blog topics!

      Thank you for visiting and commenting the blog.

  3. Tom

     /  11/07/2011

    Yeah, my Kindle is freezing a bit too often for my liking. I’ve had it for a year, and up until about two month ago I hadn’t had a single issue.
    In the recent months though it has become unresponsive several times: It’s stuck on the “screen saver” (e.g. a picture of a famous author) and won’t “turn on”. Well, technically it is on, (the green LED responds fine), but the screen doesn’t do a thing.

    This is NOT due to low battery, or at least shouldn’t be, as it’s always charged at least halfway. I also charge it as part of the troubleshoot, just as Amazon suggests. The software is up to date as well.

    I followed Amazon’s troubleshoot, which simply suggests holding the power slider for 20 seconds. Tried that, several times, while looking at my watch.
    Then tried the steps here. Still no luck. In the past, messing around with the slider (5 secs, 20 secs, …) eventuelly got it to restart (i.e. display the “rebooting” screen with the progress bar, then reorganizing my home screen with all book out of order…). Not this time, it’s not doing a thing (except for the green LED, which does in fact turn on and/or flash).

    Frustrating! My Android phone crashing and restarting is one thing (that is, really annoying, but a trade-off I’m willing to make given its complex features), but single purpose devices like MP3 players, ebook readers, and so on should NOT crash and become unusable for several hours after.

    …sorry, I’m venting, I want to finish my book. I was at 95%… *sadly picks up a physical book from shelf instead* 😉

    • Tom,
      No apology needed, yours froze right at before the end! Yikes. I don’t think mine froze while reading an especially good book, I was freaked enough as it was.
      I really encourage you to call Amazon Kindle Customer Service. I’ve talked to them twice and they have been very helpful-they listen, understand me and I understand them when they speak.

      Thanks for commenting.


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