Kindle eReaders May Lose Connectivity if not Updated

John Lister's picture

Owners of older Kindle eReaders have been warned to update their devices today or temporarily lose Internet connectivity. The loss won't be irreversible, but will cause added hassle.

The issue affects all Kindle eReader models released before 2013. That includes the Keyboard, Touch and DX versions, along with the 5th generation and earlier of both the standard Kindle and Paperwhite editions. (Source:

The only unaffected models are those released from 2013 onwards, specifically the Paperwhite 6th and 7th generation, the 7th generation standard Kindle and the Voyage model. The Kindle Fire range of tablets is also unaffected.

Connection Method Is Significant

In each case, users will need to be running the latest available software edition for their model. Those on the second generation of the Kindle and DX need to connect to the Internet by 2G or 3G, while other affected models need to connect by WiFi.

The instructions for updating are the same for all models. Users need to first plug the device into a power outlet to make sure it doesn't shut down midway through the update. They then need to use the device menu to connect to the Internet, then go to the home screen and select Menu, then Sync, then Check for Items.

Users will need to leave the device alone until the update is complete, which may involve the device automatically restarting one or more times. The device will show a notification when the update has finished.

Missed Deadline Affects Usability

Amazon has emailed most affected users, but the message may not get through to those who have changed email addresses since purchase. It should be noted the emails are going to anyone who hasn't deactivated their device, so anyone that has not replaced and upgraded their Kindle might still get the message, even though they no longer use the device.

If users don't install the update by today (March 22) the device will be unable to connect to the Internet. That means users won't be able to buy or download new books, may be unable to keep track of their reading progress through a book, and may lose access to any documents and books that they have stored in the cloud, rather than on the Kindle itself.

It's not a complete disaster for users who miss the deadline, as a manual update is still possible. However, this will involve downloading the relevant file from Amazon's site to a computer, then hooking up the Kindle to the computer via USB, copying the file across using Windows Explorer or a similar file manager application, then using the Kindle menu to initiate the update sequence. (Source:

Update: 23 March

Following on from several queries we have from readers, here's some more detail on what you can do to check you are up to date.

Firstly, Amazon's site lists the version of the firmware/software your model needs to be running to avoid problems. You can find these details at Amazon's website.

You can check which software edition your Kindle is running through a couple of methods, depending on your model. In both cases you'll need to go to the home screen, press the menu button (which may be three horizontal lines) and select "Settings." In some models, the software version will appear at the screen. If not, you can select "Device info" and look for "Firmware version" in the resulting screen.

Secondly, if you aren't able to update the device in time and need to apply a manual update, full instructions are at the same Amazon page.

What's Your Opinion?

If you have a Kindle, had you received the message from Amazon? Do you pay much attention to software updates on your eReader or do you treat it as a "set it and forget it" device? Has Amazon been clear enough about this deadline?

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rwells78's picture

Yes, Dennis, I got their email twice. Initially, I was confused because my new Kindle did have the correct update. But then I remembered my initial Kindle (keyboard) was the one I was being bugged about. Better boot it up and connect to the net tonight.

On my new device apparently the default settings took care of the updates without my action, or knowledge/permission.
Update - After first recharging the battery, the automatic update did it's thing and updated the Kindle. I guess I am OK until the next panic.

alan.cameron_4852's picture

I have a Kindle (which generation I do not know) purchased November 2011.
I have not received the email advising of the update.
I have attempted the connection method described but nothing happens, nothing is downloaded. I checked and the Versions Kindle is 4.1.3.
So do I have to update I can connect to the internet just fine.

John Lister's picture

Hi -- according to Amazon, the only model released in 2011 was the 4th generation standard Kindle, which needs version 4.1.3 or later of the software, so you should be fine. I'm not 100% sure, but I suspect that means you have automatic updates switched on.

stoickkathy_6698's picture

I have tried to update my kindle per the above instructions but when I go to sync & download new items it says "no new items". What does that mean? Could there have been an automatic update that I was not aware of. I have never done an update before and I have not received an email from Amazon to do so. My kindle is a Touch and was purchased in 2011. Device Info shows the kindle firmware version is
Am I updated or not?

John Lister's picture

Hi - according to Amazon's site (, that model need version or later, so you should be fine.

Valachi's picture

Just wondering if the same issue applies to folks such as myself that own an older Kobo reader that's about 4 years old?
Since the rapid change in technology over that span of time, it's been unplugged and sitting in a closet. Curious to know if I could ever dust it off and continue using it with these recent changes? There's a number of books on it and does have the ability to automatically connect to the web to update.